Help a new player out with SFV? Terrible time understanding the game

Hey, so, thanks for giving this a look. I’m a new player who has dabbled in fighting games before, and I even got mildly okay in SFIV with Dudley - but I want to get properly decent in SFV. And I’m getting blown up for the trouble, I’m afraid.

I’m finding myself unable to react to players who act quickly, even if they’re doing stupid things like random jumps and button-mashing on normals recklessly. The game just seems to go too fast, which is a shame, because when I do run into a slower-paced match I do much better and even find the game quite enjoyable. But right now at my level the matches simply feel…random, more often than not. And, even when I do get a read on my opponent, I can’t react quickly enough to counter what they’re doing more often than not, or don’t understand which normals I need to employ in a given situation. I’ve read guides, taken notes on normals and when to use them, tried to practice combos, but, none of it really seems to stick when I have to deal with fighting another human being.

I’ve been told that with experience the pace of the game will seem slower, but I’ve been trying to play semi-daily for about a month now and frankly nothing really seems to be changing, and playing is simply frustrating rather than enjoyable more often than not. Doesn’t help that I really cannot settle on a main with the launch cast. Ah…I don’t know how helpful any of that was, but, if you do have any advice, I’d really appreciate any input. I really want to play this game and have fun, but, I really feel I’m stuck at a wall.

This is probably because you’re trying to use too much information at once compared to your level.

Settle for a main, if you don’t know which one because you don’t really like any, pick Ryu. Learn his normals well.
Learn one very easy crush counter combo, one very easy punish combo starting with a fast normal (they can be two hits combos) and learn how to do xx fireball.
Forget about shoryu for AA but do cr.hp instead.
Don’t jump unless it’s very obvious you’re going to hit. If you get the jump do the fast punish combo after it or just xx fireball.

Forget everything else for now.

That would be my advice.

Good advice from @Valoon.

It’s possible that you’re not making progress because you’re training/playing in a way that doesn’t really stick for your brain. Everyone remembers/learns things differently. Some people need a mentor, someone who is much better than them to spell out the mechanics of a character, their strengths, the uses of their normals. Some people learn better by doing, meaning just grinding out matches and win or lose, they learn. Try out a few ways to understand the game’s mechanics and see what sticks for you.

Okay! I’ll try these things. Thank you both for the advice.

I suggest at first JUST focus on blocking. Don’t worry about teching throws or punishing people on reaction. Just block and then punish unsafe moves. This will help you get a feel for the pace of the game as well as help you become familiar with different characters’ movesets (as well as your own character’s). Plus, blocking is probably the most important fundamental to learn, so you should start with that.

As for everything else. Take it one thing at a time. Once you master blocking, start working on combos or mixups. Eventually you’ll start to piece many pieces together and you’ll have a semblance of a game plan, and the game won’t seem so overwhelming anymore since you’ll have an idea of the things you know how to stop and counter versus the stuff you still need to work on that is blowing you up.

Fighting games are the type of game that you don’t notice you are getting better until you look back at your matches a year later and say "Fuck I used to be that bad???you are getting better you just don’t notice it, so instead of looking at your over all improvement, pick something new to work on each day and focus on being better at some aspect of your play every day

This. One important thing to note is that blocking alone is much stronger in Street Fighter V than it is in IV.

Oh, thank you all for the further advice! I’ll try and be patient - I need to play a lot more, honestly. ^^; I’ll make a point of trying to block well consistently in matches…been thinking of picking Birdie back up, if I do that I won’t have any choice I think, hah. I’ll try and take things one at a time, thanks again everyone.