How Do You Practice Effectively?

I know that might sound like a dumb question but I really want to know how.

I see a player like trag, and on day one, he’s literally doing things I still can’t do with my main character. Stuff he calls child’s play I just recently learned. **What’s the key to getting down muscle memory and tech skill?**I understand players like trag are outliers and they’ve been playing fighting games for while, but still the fact that someone can do more technical combos with every single character (not to mention, many combos he’s INVENTING) in the game than I can do with my main character still baffles me. I mean, the game hasn’t even been out for a month yet. I’m not a professional gamer, but I always saw myself as a fairly quick learner, and my technical skill is certainly past standard casual gamers.

If I want to learn how to do something, do I just go in training mode and practice it over and over?

Do I go at it step by step?

Should I work on only one thing at a time until I master it and then move on or multi-task?

Also what’s the best way to practice spacing and approaching?

You already answered it yourself. Players who generally have more experience with fighting games (especially of the versus/crossover genre such as MvC2 and TvC) have an edge on learning this stuff more quickly. Trag also performed various technical TvC combos, so with this game being somewhat similar, it wasn’t very hard to pick up.

I’m a TvC player myself and I made this combo video on the second day I got the game: [media=youtube]Qee-kp2EQw8[/media]

So yeah, past fighting game experience gives you a HUGE edge in learning combos for this game. The muscle memory regarding combos and approaches (wave-dashing, tri-jumping, square-jumping, etc.) are all already developed.

As for practicing and learning, what I usually do is…

  1. Practice the combos first a lot in training mode. Just repeat until you get it down. I highly suggest combos that have easy reliable set-ups (like combos that start from a light attack or something). Basically just experiment.

  2. Now play Arcade mode or use the training mode set-up to have the computer AI control the dummy. Set the difficulty to like easy or normal, you just want a moving opponent to loosely simulate a player. Now apply those combos and see if you can pull them off.

  3. Try to find someone to apply it on now. Do some player matches or create a lobby. Go play ranked if you want to test your luck.

At least that’s what I do.

I understand what you are saying, and I know Trag played TvC, which is similar, in fact his combo videos really helped mold my Roll, but I played a lot of TvC, not nearly as technical as Trag, but enough to know that TvC and MvC3 are not nearly as similar as some people think they are. When I practice the combos, or… say, a combo, how long should it take me to get down, how exactly should I go about practicing it. I understand that I’m not going to be picking up things like magic, but I feel that there’s something wrong if it’s taking me several days to really get down bread and butters that deal decent damage, when others are doing it at a substantially faster rate. There has to be a specific way to practice more effectively.

I think the biggest mistake people make is comparing themselves to superior people, and expect to be able to pull that shit off in a reasonable amount of time with practice. It truly varies for everyone, but you gotta start someone, and gotta accept that it’s a long road ahead to becoming inherently skilled at fighting games.

It doesn’t matter how long it takes you to do something as long as you can do it. Fighting games aren’t a race, they’re a test of execution. I only log at the most two hours of Marvel a day–if that–but I’ve noticeably improved from just last week. I remember watching Dante combos day 2 and not understanding a single thing that happened in them. Now I can at least identify what combos into what, if not pull it off myself. Mission mode used to abuse my spirit, but I’ve since crushed all of the characters I use missions. It comes differently to everyone. I see amazing shit Richard does in tournaments with Dante while the most advanced thing I can do currently is perhaps superjump canceling out of Prop Shredder into Air Trick. They probably discovered it Day -2, and I’m here three weeks in only ~50 percent consistent in executing it. But I’m improving. I’m dropping less combos and winning more matches. Progress.

I’m sorry I kinda started giving my life story there, but it’s all just a matter of time. If you put in the work, you’ll get there eventually. Remember, these pros more or less dedicate half their lives to playing fighting games exclusively. They’re professionals for a reason. And another thing, J.Wong is smashing kids using combos that are not in themselves difficult, but rather just understanding the game and how it works. Which is much more important than pulling off those “holy shit!” combos.

Good luck to you man.


I have to run, but I just to put a friendly reminder, don’t train what you’re good at. Train what you suck at. I know, it’s a little bitter, but that’s the only way you’ll grow.

I played a lot of BlazBlue, so the button layout and combo system in MvC3 come pretty naturally to me. However, it was really tough to learn my combos in that game for the first time. You pretty much just have to keep working at it, and it’ll get much easier eventually.

I’m fairly new to the Marvel VS games, never played MvC2 that often, and MvC3 is the first time I’ve really sat down to try and understand the mechanics of it. I must have spent about ten minutes trying to get Taskmaster’s trial 6, but once I got it, once I got my fingers trained to it, I can pull it off fairly consistently. Completely different pace from what I’m used to, so I can see I’ve got a long road ahead, but you just have to grind it out.

So there’s no real effective way to learn things faster?

lol only way to learn faster is to practice longer =P.

i came from sf and when i first started i was completely new but lucky for me i met alot of tournament lvl frends who i played with very consistently. now im pretty good at sf. i think the same might go for this game. just find a decent person(doesnt have to be tourney lvl) and jus play em alot. ull get to pick up on what they know and ull lern from ur mistakes.(hopefully)

don’t mash and you will learn faster

i also like to think that playing other games which require some level of skill will help keep your inputs clean and sharp
super monkey ball
trauma center
devil may cry etc.
but that just may be me

and research lots of research

maybe practice parts of a combo until you’re able to get it down, then keep adding to it more and more til you are able to complete the whole thing “easily.” try it from all different parts of the stage.

try it with various dummy settings (crouching, block all (to get block strings, etc.), try it on the dummy on very hard, etc. etc.

then take it to a live opponent. just keep trying. maybe try a variety of characters out. i’m having a lil trouble on finding somebody that fits my playstyle but i go from character to character until i find one that fits.

back in the day we played for fun and you got good out of the love of the game. now its like everybody is forcefully trying to be that next nigga and it takes the fun out of it. sit back and enjoy learning and practice because you love the game and not just because you want to be that dude, maybe?

I’m fairly new to any fighting game scene or community. I’ve played various titles since I was younger, but never competitively. Only with friends and family (semi competitively I guess). Once I found out there were other people around my area that liked to put money down and play it became different. Once something is on the line then it becomes necessary to learn faster. Also, another thing I’ve noticed while trying to figure this question out is that like Kuraiyo said, you are only as good as your opponent. The better caliber opponent you are against regularly the better your own focus and skill become. Some top players don’t use training mode much at all.

There’s actually a lot of wisdom here. To expand on it a bit though - for any combo you have trouble with, find the parts that you have the most trouble with and try to do them as (reasonably) slowly as possible, then speed up a little bit until it works. A lot of people see high-execution combos and put them on a pedestal thinking they aren’t fast enough to pull them off, so when those people try these combos they end up just mashing, often even if they don’t mean to. If you slow down your execution to the bare minimum it will help you gain a better understanding of how the motions should actually feel, and from there with enough practice you will naturally speed up to a comfortable level.

It’s hard for me to back this up, but I had horrible execution for the first year or so of SFIV’s lifespan; I mained Abel the entire time and still had a ton of difficulty landing his BnB combos in real matches, and it even took me weeks just to get through his trial combos. Fast-forward to the past few months and I now have solid execution (though it’s still pretty subpar for how far along I should be by now) to the point where I’ve completed 99.something% of the trials in SSFIV (stupid Fuerte and Viper), I hit my combos almost without fail in matches, I’ve released several TvC combo videos, and I’ve been releasing MvC3 combo videos almost daily; I might even go so far as saying I’ve been one of the key driving forces behind evolving Zero’s combo game. I feel like I owe all of this 100% to this method of slowing down for understanding, then speeding up for comfort.

For what it’s worth I applied the same thing to SSBM - I went from being a super scrubby Puff player (who I only played because I couldn’t l-cancel or wavedash to save my life) to a Falco player who consistently pulls off multiple waveshine into double shine into instant nair/bair during real matches. Again it’s hard for me to back this up but I’ve only been playing Falco for about a month now and my execution rivals that of people I play with who’ve been playing the same character for years.

For me: practicing to get better means that I need a good team.

Before I even start with practice mode I look at the characters. I do several things: pick a point char that I like personal or choose one that fits my playstyle. Next I hop on youtube to learn/observe how that character plays and look at the forums for tactics that are successful with other people for said point character.

After that it comes down to team synergy. Look at your point character’s strengths and choose assists from characters to compliment him/her(ie I pick doom’s beam assist to cover my wesker’s approach).

This is all assuming you have a good understanding of the game engine(ie how man bounces you get during a combo, frame data, projectile interaction). If not I suggest the hyper guide. If you do and just want to land combos, ways to punish, pressure/mixup: the best way is with a friend. When practicing by myself I just rehearse a combo through repetitions in sets of like ten. If I mess up then I start over.

Never giving up is probably the best tip to practice with. If you get hot headed then cool off and realize you are practicing on your time and schedule…not someone else.

Don’t worry about the technical combos. First focus on a characters bread and butter and focus on what that character can do. Play against other people and use reliable combos that hit 100% of the time instead of a technical combo that never hits on every attempt.

Once you understand how your character works, you can begin to add more based on what you know. Harder combos that require better timing have to be practiced to perfection. There is no shortcut to learn it or be able to do it faster. You have to constantly do drills (repetition of the same thing) and THAT is what develops your muscle memory. The problem is that you want a shortcut or a secret, and there are none. In China, they call this Kung Fu. Kung Fu is a skill earned through hard work and determination.

In the big scheme of things, combos are one of the easiest things to improve at because it’s entirely limited to you. It’s all about your ability to recognize a situation and execute. Once they’re in hit stun, the opponent isn’t contesting you in any way - it’s just a matter of how much practice time you put in, and if you can hold your nerves in tense situations. Natural talent plays into it, but ultimately it’s practice.

At the same time, I’ve found that focusing on elaborate combos and setups often detracts from your overall performance. You begin to fixate on the latest thing you’ve been practicing rather than what actually wins you matches.

That said, as you’re practicing, be very mechanical with your inputs. Analyze how you’re doing your combos and see if you’re mashing or fudging any inputs. Those kinds of things will hamper your execution ultimately. Better to catch them early.

Just be really engaged when you practice. Stay focused and don’t tune out and think about random stuff.

one thing to keep in mind for this game as opposed to a LOT of others i’ve seen is this game is going to require plenty of timing practice. most shit in MvC2 didn’t require much more than what you saw on the screen. if someone typed out a combo, you’ll input it and there it was…not the case in this game as anyone who has played the missions knows. i honestly still don’t know the timing for most characters and i’m not going to try for some time. i need to focus on finding 6 characters first.
from there, i need to know their ins and outs. playing them against most other characters regularly to know where my strengths and weaknesses are at (something people OBVIOUSLY haven’t been doing with Sent). i’ve never been too big on having a character that can’t be strong on point at any given moment and i suggest practicing with that mindset. spend time with the difficulty on hard and do NOTHING but counter-attack. this will let you find holes in offenses and give you ideas about things you can do if you wanted to use whatever character you’re defending against.

most of my practice sessions are the basics. maxing those out goes very far. by the time you have them all for whoever you’re using, advanced shit should be easy. also, it isn’t normal for a game to have this much uncovered this fast. that being said, don’t go about thinking ‘______ can do this shit, why can’t i? and why aren’t i finding this shit on my own?’

Some specific thoughts:

If you’re practicing a combo that you think you should be able to get, but no matter how many times you try you keep fucking it up in the same place in the same way, just take a 30-minute break and come back to it later. Sometimes I do this to get some bad muscle memory out of my system.

If you want to break your mashing habits, try to play Chun-Li. You will either force yourself to make your execution more exact, or you will be getting accidental legs and bird kicks all day.

As has been said before, you might as well learn how to apply the simple stuff well before you try to attempt the advanced stuff at all. Wong has been wrecking fools with technically simple combos; he’s just a mile ahead of everyone when it comes to opening people up and applying the subsystems of the game (snap back, optimized DHCs, etc.) correctly. My execution isn’t on the level of Trag’s by any means, so when I watch his videos and attempt to replicate them, I’ll usually reach a point where I just cut out a hit or two in certain places to improve my consistency at the expense of a minimal damage loss.

Make sure to only practice combos that you can reasonably expect to start. Learn combos off of a crouching light. Learn combos off of your most common air-to-ground overhead. Learn combos off of your assists. Don’t invest much time in learning how to combo off of, say, a hyper that you have no chance to combo into with your current team configuration (if such an example exists) until you’ve already covered those other bases.

First off learn what your character can do, that includes combos, combos only exist as an extension of a move, even if they are unnecessarily long and bothersome. People practice hundreds of hours, even years just to learn how to use press buttons and learn a combo such as what happened in MVC2 to some people who still make videos about it.

The second part, is trying to make those moves land and block or dodge whatever comes at you. Win or lose, you have to accept the game for what it is, two characters with bars where your goal is to win. There are those who wish to do things effectively and quick while others are desperate and time consuming.

That is all, if you can’t understand that much, then your too stupid to even try.

I think mission mode will be one of your best friend in this type of thing anytime I want to learn to play a character I hit mission mode HARD because it gives me a feel for how the character plays and then a GREAT idea I got from someone here on the forums is to put the CPU on HARD in training and set the options to resemble an actual match and just play for the win and try your hardest to win. When you Start polling stuff off on their psychic blocking ability (lol) then you’ll notice your self getting better with nothing to lose. Execution wise anyway. :slight_smile: