Help a newbie out, will ya?


I don’t exactly consider myself a super n00b, but I struggle a lot and I was hoping I could get some tips. I have trouble doing long combos (especially FADC ones), and I also have some execution problems like having trouble dashing out of Abel’s stepkick. I end up getting zoned by shotos, especially when i’m playing a slow character. I feel like my problem is that I have to focus too much on actually executing my moves instead of what’s happening in the game. If anyone could give me some execution tips it would help out a lot.

P.S. Not that I think execution is the only thing you have to learn in order to be good.


A SF4 question, huh? I believe after Abel’s stepkick you can just tap forward one more time to get the dash. It’s a little tricky at first, but there really aren’t any tips for that except for ‘practice’. If you have a specific FADC combo you’re talking about, there might be some pointers available, but it’s hard to answer a broad question like that.
I firmly believe that the muscle memory you gain in training mode eventually translates to performing the same combos in a match, as long as you truly build the muscle memory (like being able to do a combo 10 times in a row).

The other part of your post is strategy. Which slower characters are you using? There’s a reason why slow characters can be zoned so easily. It’s because usually they can dominate the match when they get in close. It’s up to you to slowly and carefully close the gap (even if you take a few fireballs to the face).


This was helpful. I do believe that muscle memory is a big part of it. I switched to using a fightstick about a month ago, so i’m still trying to get comfortable with it. (Also I wasn’t talking about any character in particular, but I do play a lot of Zangief.)

EDIT: About the stepkick, I played around with it, and I figured out that if I input a dash and a MK at the same time, it would come out.


break the combos up into pieces helps me.


You mean like do separate parts and then put them together?


yeah, imagine a 5 hit Ryu SF4 combo like crouching light kick-crouching light punch-crouching medium punch-crouching medium kick-fireball. Work on the last two hits, crouching medium kick-fireball, till you have it 100% . do crouching medium punch-crouching medium kick till 100% now do Cr MP-Cr Mk-Fireball till 100%. now work on the first half cr lk-cr lp-cr mp till 100%. then start working on putting it all together and don’t get discourage when you fuck up at first cuz you are training you mind and muscles to do 5 things in an exact timed sequence and it takes timeand practice. Another way is to take that combo, star with the last two hits(4&5), then when you have that add the hit before(3&4&5) then and another (2&3&4&5) then the first (1&2&3&4&5)


Yes, I do this a lot with Dudley. Pick out the parts of the combo that are easiest for you, and get those down. Then, when you have it down, add the extra hits one at a time. This works for your general playstyle, and is a start to figuring out new combos - you have a string that works, then you can try new things at the ends to see if you can make it longer.

That approach is how I got j.HK > st. HK > EX machine gun > duck upper > ultra II/jet upper/EX duck (depending on screen position) down. First the duck > ultra, then adding in the EX machine gun blow, then the kick cancel into machine gun, and finally a jump in at the front of everything. Heck, I’m sure you can make that longer somehow, too.

It’s okay if it takes a while! That combo above took me several months, but in learning it I got a lot of different combos down that have similar execution, and overall became a lot more confident in my movements. My suggestion to get the muscle memory in, is to try and set a goal like “do the combo 10 times in a row successfully”. If you can get to the point where you do it that consistently, you can then test it out in a real match and see how it holds up against your nerves.


That makes sense. I’ll have to try that.


do you use stick or pad? i know for stick users we have whats called p-linking or plinking which is an advanced technique for inputting a button multiple times within a small window to make sure it registers more than once increasing your chance of hitting those tight 1-frame links. You can try googling that technique there is a lot resources out there. Unfortunately SF4 is one of the more execution-heavy titles so it’s going to be an uphill battle. Do you play Abel or Blanka (your profile pic)? I heard from Strider801, a pro Abel, what separates a good Abel player from an amateur is if you can perform step kick dash forward and link standing Fierce (it’s a tight window). If you can master that execution without thinking about it, you’ve got the foundation for a good Abel. As for Blanka, as with any charge character, you better get comfortable with charge buffering because a good charge player instinctively executes an attack and immediately goes back to down back on their stick to buffer another move.