How do you deal with losing and feeling discouraged?


Hey all,

Recently decided to start playing online in SFV. I’ve won a fair amount of matches as an online beginner, I’m proud that I have. I was not expecting to win my first match.

I lost my first mirror match, without warming up at all. For some reason thought it would be a good idea to go into a ranked match first thing in the morning. I was annoyed I didn’t win and got tilted instantly.

Kept playing after, won 4 matches. Took a long break from playing after that day. Came back today for the first time in a while and won both matches.

Even though I’ve won half of my matches, I still feel really anxious when queuing for a match. Is it normal to get discouraged when first starting out online? how do you deal with it? Is losing a big deal?

I’ve felt crud ever since even though I’m winning games.



That’s normal for a lot of people, but it’s not healthy to have that attitude. You’re gonna lose a ton if you keep playing the game, so if losing one match is hard on you, you’re going to have a bad time.

Accept your loses and use them as a learning experience whenever possible. If you get stuck in the mindset that you deserved to win because you did what you were supposed to and the opponent was playing stupid or using gimmicks, then you need to correct that and realize that you lost because of how YOU played. Laggy matches aside, if you lose, it’s your fault. If you tell yourself this when you start to get annoyed or frustrated, and you believe it, you will ultimately be happier and a better player.

Alternatively, you can always just whine about the game on a forum, or start a salty twitch stream and try to be the next DSP/LTG.


use every game (not just losses, wins also) as feedback for yourself. picture yourself as a player, and think of all the different aspects of your gameplay that go into making the full version of yourself as a player, and rate yourself in each aspect.

how good are your punishes? do you max punish mistakes every time?
how good is your defense? how good are you at escaping disadvantaged situations quickly and with minimal damage taken?
how good is your neutral? are you playing as cheap as you can? do you feel confident you know this matchup, what your path to victory is, and how to tilt the risk vs reward of interactions in your favor?
and so on for every category you can think of

when you think of your experience with fighting games in this way, it becomes an exercise in self-improvement, rather than an ego-driven comparison with other players. in a way, your opponent is not really the players you beat or lose to. your opponent is yourself and your own shortcomings, and other players are external challenges to test yourself against.

take the emotion out of it. your job as someone who wants to improve is to learn as much as possible about the game and the matchups for your character, build gameplans from that, execute them, then reflect on how well you did and what you need to work on.

for a few years I had the wrong mentality when playing online. I’d care really deeply about winning every game, and get annoyed when I lost, especially to people who I thought were gimmicky or lag-abusing, or whatever the reason was. when you stop thinking of other players as “guys I really want to beat to prove that I’m strong” and start thinking of them as “opportunities to test myself against” you end up in a healthier place IMO.


Without losing feeling shit, winning can’t feel good.


Losing happens. Even the top players don’t always win.
My only advice is: if you’re losing several matches in a row, just take a break. Losing many matches puts you in a state where you think “I need to get my points back”, but the pressure will actually make you play worse than usual and enter a spiral of defeat. You better start fresh a few hours or days later when you forgot all your previous losses and are ready to win again.


Well, I had a meltdown a few months ago. My first real meltdown, as in “fuck everything, this is the fucking worst, I’m losing to people who can’t even DP and I just want to throw my stick out the window”. I just bitched here like a whiny child for a while, got some really solid pointers, and stopped. I guess it was part that I just needed to get it out of my system, part other shit that made me depressed.

It all depends on your personality, but for me what really helped was to have someone look at my games and say what I should be practising. Even though I probably knew most of the shit I was doing wrong, it just helped to get some outside perspective and get out of my own head, where everything I did was shit and nothing worked. If nothing else, having one or two specific areas of improvement rather than “everything I do is worse than people better than me” was more constructive.


Yeah those are really good points. I should’ve practiced before. If I did I would’ve had a better chance at winning. So that’s a mistake learned from, always do training mode and vs CPU before online. For some reason, it’s only the idea of losing mirrors that annoys me. It just feels like there is so much pressure on me to win.

Something I need help with as an aside, what should you do when your opponent has 1% percent health and just turtles? I tried to poke and overhead but I got punished. That’s something I need help with.

So going forward, would it be a good idea to just play loads of matches and bite the bullet? Should I just grind casual matches and get used to it?

Thanks for all the replies by the way.


i never thought losing felt bad…Until I became good at a game. Anything before is just like the training room in The Matrix. But when you lose in a high skill match? salt.


The problem is that people go into fighting games expecting to win.

This is terribly unrealistic. Being new to fighting games and expecting to win any matches at all is like never having played football before and expecting to help your team win in the NFL.

Sure there will be other beginners floating around, but you should just pretend they don’t exist.

If you go into there with the correct mindset (everyone and their dog is better than you), losing is not discouraging. It is expected. The sky is blue, Earth is round, and you will lose.

Now that you expect to lose, every win is a triumph. Everything you do is working towards the goal of winning – and when you DO get it, it is the greatest. It also gives you proper goalposts. Let’s be honest – beating up other beginners is pretty pointless if both of you will get wiped the minute a player from another tier swoops down on you. Aim high.

So don’t ever think “I lost, this is terrible.” Think “holy shit I actually won a game! This is great!”.

This may sound defeatist, but honestly it’s just curing people of the delusion that they should be winning just because they bought the game. People who put in more time win. People who have played longer than you will beat you unless you put in HARD WORK. That’s how it is with fighting games and many other things in life.


If your opponent has 1% health and you have more than them, why aren’t YOU turtling? The onus is on HIM to come to YOU. No point in sticking your neck out when if the timer runs out you’re already gonna be the winner.


As bchan009 said, just turtle and run out the clock. Alternatively, if you have full meter you can kill them with chip damage from a super. Or you can frame trap or try to do an instant overhead(if your character has one).

As for the other stuff, playing loads of matches is good, but also try to figure out what you need to work on and spend time in training mode whenever necessary. You’ll also get better faster if you play against higher ranked players in battle lounge.


I just got done with someone in battle lounge. He mains Balrog and Guile which are horrible match ups for my character. I definitely feel myself improving. One thing I noticed is I kept falling for the same stupid sh*t, but I don’t really know any alternatives or how to get a better ground game. I rely heavily on jump-ins which is dead easy to predict and counter. One thing I’ve learned is to jump in when they Hadouken or Sonic Boom. Also I have trouble getting pressured into the corner and not being able to escape.

Another thing, can you explain what a frame trap is? I’ve never quite understood. I’m a complete beginner, kinda need coaching xD


Without getting into frame data, a frame trap is when you do a normal that is safe on block and allows you to get out another normal before they can attack. Basically they think it’s safe to throw an attack out, so they do that and get hit(counterhit) by your attack. But if they are anticipating the frame trap, they can throw out an invincible reversal or a normal that can beat it, like a jab. If you want to get more into how that works, then I would recommend learning about frame data.

The corner is the worst place to be, but you gotta stay cool. Don’t frantically try to jump out or anything. You can v-reversal to get them off of you, try to throw them into the corner, wait for them to do something that can be caught by an invincible reversal, etc…


If you feel you jump in too much, then do the simplest thing: walk forward and block.

People forget that this is one of the best things you can possibly do.

Walk forward, block what comes. Take your time. No need to dash forward. Just walk.

Your opponent may try to jump over you to escape to the other side. If you see it coming you can jump up also and air-to-air. You got 99 seconds. Take it nice and easy.


Cool, I just need to work on mix ups and try to be more deceptive. Would appreciate it if you guys had a few matches with me in the lounge and help me improve directly. Thanks again.


My philosophy when I got started was, if you’re losing, and losing hope, keep playing. It builds mental toughness to suffer through the losses. My rule is: Do not stop playing until you’ve won enough. How much is enough? Depends on how good you are. If you lose every game, one is enough. If you normally do pretty well, but go on tilt, going on a 5+ win streak (in SFV, I’d consider 2 out of 3 matches a win) is enough. If you lots 500+ ranking points, getting back to where you started is enough. If you have to take a break, only do so for eating and using the bathroom, as not doing both will make you play worse.

Protips. Don’t play right after getting up. Don’t play on an empty stomach (Or through lunch time. Make sure you eat, or you will end up losing more). Don’t play under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

I’m going to disagree. Accepting the loss and using them as a learning experience isn’t enough. Losing should be a personal affront to a player. A player should hate losing with every ounce of their soul. Some players are overwhelmed by this, and give up. What they have to remind themselves is that if you really want to get good at something, giving up is the ultimate form of losing.


I usually tell myself that I’m shit and I need to get better.
When I’m really mad my reflexes suffer big time and I can’t think straight switching between extreme static defense and super obvious offense, getting even saltier every loss after that.

That’s when I stand up, go for a walk or watch some midget porn.


Stop caring about the wins/losses and play for the excitement of the match. Ask yourself who gives a fuck if you lose, nothing is at stake.

Dick around, online is what it is - a giant training sandbox


This is actually golden quality post. Tip my hat to you, sir


I have experienced the whole feeling discouraged thing, first of all I put the game down for a long time. I played probably 150 matches in ranked, initially I felt good but eventually I hit a road block and I was in a bad place so I just stopped playing online.

I still suck but recently felt more comfortable playing online again and I think its partially because of my outlook. I don’t care if I win, at the moment I know I’m bad and I want to get better. I’m looking at these loses differently, its for practice.

In fact in my matches I focusing on doing particular things, I also don’t try hard to win the match at all costs. Instead I focus on anti airs or uppercuts and if I lose so be it for now. I’ve realized this isn’t a race, most of the people I see on Twitch/Reddit/Youtube have been playing fighting games most of their life.

Basically just makes goals for yourself but small goals, don’t go into every match saying “My goal is to win!” your goal should be to get better by small amounts practice things in match and don’t worry about winning every round.