So I picked up SSFIV about a month ago and stick about two weeks ago. I went to my first tournament today. I expected to lose and did, but I had fun. I held my own (winning a match by luck) and getting throughly whipped the next set. My question is to experienced players. How does it feel getting good? By that I mean how did you start training? What did you do to become good or even semigood? Right now it feels like beating my head against a brick wall. I can’t complete all the trials on my main (Akuma), I know one combo, and my execution looks like Helen Keller’s writing (no offense).
IT FEELS GOOD, MAN & If you keep training and keep playing and keep confident and put your mind into it. It Can only get Better.
It feels great, and you see Capcom added this thing in the game called training mode. Now, when you go into this ‘training mode’ it lets you practice more than one combo, and work on your execution.
to say “feels good” is a fucking understatement. especially if it’s against someone who’s been kicking your ass forever. unfortunately, I can’t find a pic crazy enough to show you what I mean. this is the best I’ve got and it still doesn’t quite capture it:
everyone builds up different skills though, so it’s totally dependent on you. all i can say is… whatever you wanna play like, aim for that as hard as you can, I don’t give a fuck what anyone says. you will feel and BE awesome. then once you’ve got one style of play under your belt, you can add more
with perseverance and time the Caterpillar turns into Godzilrrrrrah.
It feels good getting better, but you have to look at where you once started too, because the better you get the more you fully realize there is still an incredibly long way to go. However, the better you get the more exciting it also is to keep practicing and gaining knowledge! Personally, I have 1100+ hours of game time logged between sf4 and ssf4 on xbox and have started entering tournaments like the Northeast Championship where I got my first chance to play great players like Lud, Dr. Chaos, and Justin Wong.
Instead of writing something coherent and even longer about my experience and opinions, I’m just going make a bunch of statements that I hope help:
-It was a very long time before I could execute Vega’s/Guile’s ultra1, let alone the later trials, and it wasn’t until almost G1 in sf4 before I started getting them consistently enough. Don’t get stuck up about not being able to do something, under-utilizing something other players do, or lacking knowledge about a couple matchups. Always practice and apply one or two new things at a time while relying more on what you already can do in most matches.
-Try to find 3 different skill levels of players to fight: 1) People at about your skill level or lower so that you can practice new/difficult techniques in real game situations. 2) Players that are above your skill level that challenge you about as much as you can take - these help you improve a lot. 3) Occasionally fight players that are WAAYYYY above your skill level because it helps give you a good perspective of the game, and helps you decide what kind of goals you need to set technique-wise in order to eventually deal with those players. Realize that sometimes it’s only a single improvement or change in your game that can make the difference between getting dominated and giving your opponent a hard time.
-Learn everything you can about the game, and concentrate on what is most interesting to you. I loved reading basic strategy and mentality guides posted by players around this site and especially the ones on sonichurricane.com - even if I already knew mostly what was being talked about. I found a lot of value in learning a lot about “frame data”. Starting to understand how the game handles the timing of when attacks hit and can be punished helped demystify a bunch of fuzzy conceptions like “priority”, and using this data to invent new combos and attack situations improved my execution A LOT, as did trying to copy great players I saw in videos. Some strong players don’t bother with frame data though - and they have the ability to learn faster through physically playing the game.
-Everyone goes through hard times, getting stuck at a skill level or losing to players you thought you could handle by now. It will happen basically forever, and you have to keep positive and fun attitude to get through it. The kind of player that NEEDS to win at board games like Monopoly or Scrabble in order to have fun will not survive the environment of fighting games. It takes great sportsmanship and modesty to not get hung up over wins and losses.
-Sleep is an important part of training. When you sleep, your brain reorganizes and integrates the things your brain and muscles have been trying to learn throughout the day. If your night has been long and is becoming frustrating, the best thing to do is get some rest! The next day has a much better chance of seeing some improvement if you keep at it.
I recently–by recently, I’m referring to about a month ago–my first tournament. It was a local tournament, and only about 12 people. Honestly, I didn’t anticipate doing well, but I walked away with 4th (lost to the guy who won, 1-2 FT2, and lost to a Guile I got impatient to, 1-2 FT2). I was unsatisfied with my performance, but I certainly felt like I learned something. Even if you failed like fuck, you can sit back and see what the hell you did wrong, and what’s needed to be done later.
Once you get to a certain point with your character, though, you sort of can feel 'em out. I used to struggle like hell with Abel’s f+mk, s.hp link (1-framer, of course). But, now I can basically shit it out on command. You’ll get to a point where you’re no longer worried about execution, but instead do what you think is best at the moment. I don’t think, “Damn, a f+mk, s.hp xx fierce CoD FADC cr.hp U1 would help a lot right now.” I just do it. You’ll get timing down on your Akuma, too. You’ll learn how to do the best timing for meaty demons and you’ll start pissing off Abel players like me with it.
Don’t expect to become pro. I mean, if it happens, good stuff. But, I just consider SSF4 tournaments a, “potentially profitable hobby.”
I just recently went to my first event. I had a blast and got to meet some awesome players. I’m hung up on my execution though. I started playing a few months ago and it’s still awful. PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE.
If you want to practice execution, I suggest you get some of the older Street Fighter games like Super 2 Turbo or any of the games in the Alpha series. Execution windows on those games were strict as hell.
However, getting good is not just about execution. It’s about a mix of things, including (but not limited to) reactions, intuition, prediction, analysis, and adaptation.
Definitely check out your character’s respective forum on SRK and study the matchup thread. Make sure to remember (or take notes on) the things that give you trouble in a match. Then try to read up on them, or emulate them in training mode: record the AI doing it to you, then see what your character can do to stop it, counter it, punish it, or escape.
Most importantly, if you really want to get better, never, ever, ever be complacent with losing. When you lose, reflect on why you lost. Most of the time, execution is not the only problem.
It is not enough to say “he got lucky” or “he was mashing” or “a smart player would never do that.”
Because it is possible that in a tournament, you could come up against a lucky, mashing player who does stupid shit that smart players wouldn’t do because nobody expects it.
Losing should feel shitty. I’m not telling you to rage about it, because that’s childish, but it should upset you, at least a little.
Dude she is going to read that and fucking flip.
execution doesn’t win fights, solid fundamentals do. if you put the time into practicing and thinking about the game, execution will come.
developing solid fundamentals takes years of playing against tournament-level competition.
learn to feel good about playing regardless of whether you win or lose. If you are serious about it, you will lose for years. When the wins come, they’ll just be sweeter.
it will make you happy(that all of your training/playing has paid off).
Find your own motivation to get better.
Play a lot. Figure out what makes you lose. Stop doing it. Repeat.