How are you supposed to play SF (2D fighters)...?


I have a question which is very simple and extremely complex. It depends on how seriously you take the question.

I’m a Tekken player, I love it. It’s movement, combo, and knowledge dependent. To me there isn’t really any mystery in it. Street Fighter has always confused me…there’s some mystique about it, something eludes me. I want to take a break from TTT2, and Akuma was just released, but, as I’m in the training room in SFV, I’m thinking of the problems I had in SF before.

These combos in trials…seem really dumb. There are so many combos starting with a jump in. Why would any competent player be hit with a jump in…? I would just do a b. hp, l. shoryu, or m shoryu…keep jumping in and you’ll take damage repeatedly.

Maybe this is really obvious, but, are you just supposed to poke and space til your opponent makes a mistake…? I’m not trolling, honestly. How do you play SF, especially SFV where it’s so simplified…?

thanks anyone that will take the time to answer me.


Jump ins can be set up by projectile or go beyond the anti-air and act as a cross up. The added lag no doubt helps. Dashing in and out, going for an overhead, or lows that lead into strings on wake up is also common. Projectiles can also be used to set up dash with lows that lead into strings. Sometimes a jump in, overhead, or dash in is set up by the other player doing something that is not safe.

*This covers the majority of 2D fighters. Not sure about Street Fighter V as I have never played it and never intend to.


There r a few things, firstly with regards 2 jumps in. In the heat of a match u r looking out for so many different things pokes, hit confirms etc… u don’t always react 2 a jump in in time. Also certain characters can change there jump trajectory with dive kicks and such which can make it even more difficult. Let’s says ur playing TTT2 and Kazuya does df2, u kno it’s punishable but sometimes u just don’t react in time because ur thinking about so many different things at the time. The risk/reward of jumping in is very much in favor of the person jumping in so people will always jump at least a few times

Lastly trial combos r a lot like sample combos in tekken there r never optimal or the best options they r simply there 2 show u some possibilities.

Playing SFV will differ depending on urs and ur opponents character unlike tekken this is very much a match up heavy game but in general u want 2 learn ur normals and how + or - they r, ur AAs and mostly ur punishes and try 2 optimize ur combos as much as possible. When u knockdown ur opponent u want 2 apply pressure once u get the basics down u can start getting more technical with shit like frame traps


Playing several matches, jump ins are unreasonably good. They were not this good in past games. I forgot how strange this hurt boxes are as well. People just walk right into attacks. If they are smart enough to anti-air, then it’s easy to play footsies


Hey, great explanation and comparison.

I got the game to play Akuma, he’s much easier to play than in past SF games. However, some of these characters are so lame, like stupid to play against. The way you seemingly can just press buttons in a brainless manner, really irritating.

Compare it to Marshall Law or Eddy in Tekken, you’ll have a decent win ratio even if you suck. It’s the same in SFV if you play Laura for instance.


Neutral in 2d games often comes down to trying to get in, or trying to keep the other player out. which of these will actually be your goal at any given time depends on the matchup and other factors such as playstyle, available resources, and even remaining health and time on the clock.

this leads to the basic push/pull dynamic of 2d footsies. if I walk towards my opponent, they can poke me to try to keep me out. but what if I walk forward a tad but then stop right outside their poke range? the poke will whiff and I can punish its recovery. whiff punishing is somewhat harder to do in SFV than previous SF titles but it’s still quite important. keep in mind that it’s often pre-emptive rather than reactive, too.

once you’ve established you can whiff punish, your opponent has to be more careful about throwing pokes out. they may choose to delay their poke, in which case you can walk forward and press a quick button of your own to stuff it. this is known as “counter-poking.” your opponent may also opt to walk/dash/jump backwards when they see you approaching. this allows them to stay at a safe range at the expense of gradually pushing themselves into the corner. (position is very important in 2d games and the corner is the worst position to be in)

jumping works in neutral for a number of reasons, especially in SFV. these are the main situations:
-you expect your opponent to throw a fireball or press a button so you jump on them to catch their recovery
(depending on the range fireballs can be punished with a jump on reaction; normals not so much)
-your opponent fails to react to your jump-in because they’re preocuppied by the ground game
-you’re at a range where your opponent is unable to AA you even if they react in time due to their character’s AA sucking at that range

I recommend reading this classic article series for a better understanding of footsies:

As well as the Gief’s Gym series on the /r/SF subreddit which includes drills that will teach you to apply those concepts directly to SFV:


Wow, thanks for all that info, really great

I’m getting better very quickly…but I’m still having trouble with fundamentals, mainly block and whiff punishing. In Tekken, I like block punishing, and moving around A LOT to fish for an EWGF or launch. Combos aren’t as lengthy and mistakes aren’t as lengthy besides the obvious ones: specials that are negative on block, hard normals, wake ups. Tekken there are lots of dumb things you can do and not dumb things, but just the wrong choices…so punishing is a much easier learned fundamental, imo.

Anyway, thank you. The comments I have received have helped a lot. I’m playing Urien now rather than Akuma and I find him, if used properly, arguably stronger than Akuma…arguably.


Jump-ins are like sniper camping or death-balling (MOBAs). A decent game will punish it severely, a horrible game will encourage it.


SFV is a lot like 3d games upclose, actually - a ton of moves are negative or punishably negative on block. The upclose game has turns in a very 3d-esque manner.

The neutral game in 2d games is heavily about putting stuff in your opponent’s way, or punishing them trying to do that. Sonichurricane’s great but a tad convoluted, Shie’s take is simple and gets you in the correct mindset: