How does one improve their fundamentals?


Very humbling day at the arcade. Haven’t been able to play much so far this week (SFV) but, today I had a real eye opener as to how far I have to go as a player.

Mostly losses, able to take a few rounds here and there. Then I played against this one guy for 20 games straight and only managed to win one round. I was struggling to get in when I did he blocked everything, saw my tick-throw set-ups from a mile away and teched every single time. Anti aired me with normals and generally just shut me down in any way I attempted to play.

I can pull off combos, I understand the character’s moves. But I struggle with the neutral game and fundamentals how does one improve these things? Something as simple as walking the character backwards made all the difference in my matches against this guy as he simply walked backwards and my moves would whiff and he’d combo me all day. I couldn’t seem to figure out what I was doing wrong. I’m now in a state of confusion and not sure what my game plan should be during matches. What I should be practicing?

Is the goal to mainly to poke and bait moves? Are combos rewards for landing pokes? I need someone to teach me these things one on one. Cause being an online warrior and then getting wrecked at the arcade once a week isn’t gonna make me a future pro level competitor. I need a gameplan to improve my skills and am at a complete loss as to how I should be playing to get better. I refuse to touch any other character besides Ryu until I establish strong fundamentals.


Fight the player, not the character.


Helpful but I’m still feeling confused. I watch all these videos on Youtube explaining the basics and fundamentals and yet I still struggle. Is the only way to improve them by playing countless matches and trying to analyze your own mistakes?


What you now want to learn is the infamous term called “footsies”. The opponent knew your max range pokes and which pokes to look for. He probably walked into your range and then back out baiting your poke and whiff punishing it. If he was just waiting for your pokes this means you can walk further into his ranges allowing you to press more advantageous buttons. If he also press pokes to keep you out, then find your normal that whiff punishes it by doing the same little gamenof walking in and out of his max range. Now there is another aspect, different buttons interact differently with eachother based on their hit and hurtboxes, startup and active frames and even recovery frames.

Example, ryu his is low and goes decently far karin her is perfect answer for stopping it it or even whiff punishing. Ryu can walk into tlaround the same range again and press to bait a response. Due to it being a much faster button its impossible to whiff punish on reaction but can be done on anticipation although stll extremely tough. Opponent responded with karin which you can try and sweep. Another thing you can do is walk forward and do or even then. This may not be a punish but you can now start your offense or apply light pressure.Another way is baiting a poke and make it whiff so you can try to dash in afterwards. Most people block immediately after a whiffed normal. I have not tested this situation but you might have better buttons available. Ryu his has good hitbox and active frames, so you can throw it out slightly before when you think hell press a button and his button gets stuffed by the

Ryu is notoriously lineair and basic, people have dealt with his pokes and gameplan for yeaaaaaars, most decent players have gameplan ready for ryu and so it arguably can considered though to win consistently with him as he’s so predictable … unless you have very solid fundamentals.

Two players walking back and forth pressing buttons seems to be very easy to the casual player yet it is one of the hardest concepts to grasp and apply properly. It is also what makes the great players great.

A little tip, cancelling a normal in a special where the normal will whiff is called buffering. The special only comes out if the oppobent walks into your poke or pressed a normal and you normal beat it. Ryu is a well known example of this but you can get as creative as you want. A famous example is daigo doing a cr.hp xx super on reaction and anticipation against arturo his dhalsim fullscreen poke…whiff punishing with maximum damage.

Another tip, heavies beat mediums, while mediums beat light normal attacks when they meet at the exact frame. Where in sfiv they might trade, in sfv the lower priotity button gets beaten. This is only if they would’ve traded otherwise, this is also not taking things such as hitboxes into account.

Footsies is all about making the opponent press the buttons you want them to press. This is what makes sf fun, it isnt just doing combos but also the mindgames that lead up to them. Knowing you completelynoutplayed your opponent, staying one step in front of them.

Next time you play the same guy, talk to him, ask him questions, advice on how you can improve etc.

Welcome to street fighter


So essentially move back and forth into range on the ground and throw out buttons you think will land? Keeping an eye out for jump ins?


Yeah, that’s part of it, but there’s a lot more to it than that.
It can be written long essays on the subject, which someone thankfully has already done. I recommend reading through this (I recommend you focus on chapter 1 before you do anything else) and then implementing the different elements into your game one at a time.


That’s the general gist, but to throw a little more into it:

You aren’t really moving into and out of your opponents range… Generally you are moving to JUST outside of their range where they think they might hit you if you were to move forward a bit or if they simply made a mistake and wiffed.

The general thing that is trying to be done is either keep your opponent from getting in on you, or trying to get in on them. You can actually do both at the same time. Try to be ambiguous about when you get in as well as thwarting all of your opponents attempts to get in.

That’s if both characters are actively trying to get in or keep up a midrange spacing.

If one character is more defensive then it’s the aggressors job to get in without taking to much damage, and the defensive characters job to stop that.

Another way to think about it is like boxing. Both boxers want to punch each other but neither really wants to take hits, some boxers are defensive and some are offensive, some are power punchers and some are fast, some are counterpunchers and some based on great footwork. No bower wants to be cornered… Streetfighter is basically the same.


If you play that guy again, try to record some of your matches (or watch a replay of online matches you lost). If you rewatch the match, you’ll be able to see what’s going on. You might see perfect examples of the footsies being described above. Against better players, it’s often difficult to understand what’s going on while in the heat of the match.

@Dime_x You said above "You aren’t really moving into and out of your opponents range… Generally you are moving to JUST outside of their range"
While the sonic hurricane guide linked above says this “Momentarily step into your opponent’s poke range and quickly back out instead of attacking. This is Footsies 101.”

So is it a little of both?


Lmao I already had that bookmarked. I’ll just have to go into training mode and practice some of the concepts.


Sonic hurricane is basically wrong on that one point. Don’t take that to mean the footsies guide isn’t invaluable… I still refer to it to this day and I’ve been playing streetfighter for over 20 years.

In the example from sonic hurricane they show mike Watson making his opponent block a sonic boom, then while his opponent is still in blockstun he moves INTO the opponents range, but since the opponent is still in blockstun, they can’t actually do anything. Then mike quickly moves out at the last second while the opponent still thinks mike is in range. It’s an incredible tactic that TBH I’ve only ever seen Mike do. And it’s a very specific tactic that he only does with guile (doesn’t do it with ryu)

There are other things to consider as well. Take ryu v ryu… Possibly the best footsies match there is. NEITHER ryu really wants to be in the others range… Which funnily enough is both characters ranges. So what’s really going on is both ryus want to get into that range… But need to try and trick the other player into allowing them into that range, or making reads about how the other ryu is controlling space and use that against him.

As an example, a footsie that I taught myself years ago was against other players that really like to wiff punish or simply pressure my wiff… That simply sticking out my semi quick recovery move twice in a row, well.

I was playing Valle at A3 I was getting destroyed in the footsies, my gen versus his ryu. I would try to walk up and poke with with my but he would walk backwards at the last second and I would wiff alot, and then he would walk in and pressure me fit as I wiffed… That’s when I noticed “he’s only pressuring me, he’s not actually wiff punishing me” so I started to throw out gens at a range I thought it wasn’t super obvious I was trying for the wiff, but instead of sticking it out once, I stuck it out twice in a row. The second one in anticipation of his walk forward and pressuring my wiff…

And guess what happened? He walked right into my Now I WANTED to cancel that into super, but I second guessed myself and didn’t do it. But guess what happened then? Alex stopped wiff pressuring me so obviously. Now when I wiffed an attack with my gen I wasn’t being pressured for free, because he knew I might have a second lurking.

Nowadays I still use that tactic, except that I do it with like a wiffed jab and then do an immediate The wiffed jab makes the opponent think it’s the startup of a more laggy move and they move forward, into my next move and get hit.

Some people don’t learn and get hit with this over and over again, others learn and start to mixup how they react to my moves.

That’s streetfighter.

It isn’t just in and out, it isn’t just sit on the edge of your opponents attack range, it’s about mixing up your tactics in an as unpredictable a fashion as you can safely do, to keep your opponent confused about what’s going to happen next.


My goal is to reach 2000 LP before learning another character, I figure if I can reach this point with Ryu I have at least some general skill and understanding of fundamentals. Last week I was at 1800 dropped all the way down to 1000. Tonight well…

The frustration is real, back up to 1500 back down to 1000. Don’t even really care about the points anymore just losing in general I’m sitting here with the most blank expression just pushing buttons in a match. Like I just don’t know what to do. I can’t stop playing though.

Like I have this innate interest in fighting games yet no matter how hard I seem to try, I always seem to plateau at some point and fail to recognize what I’m doing wrong. I learn all these mix-ups, read all these strategies only to defeat scrubs which raises my confidence. Then I face a player of real skill only to be anti-aired, out-poked, have every throw I make teched, and all my buttons blocked.

Like why am I so trash?

I vary my tactics, I just gotta keep grinding away I guess?


same boat here, i know my character’s movesets well, but i have trouble defending myself. i especially hate myself when i miss punishing a failed sweep, or anti air when someone jumps in, i just don’t have the reflexes to react in time. it feels like this is something that will only improve with time and experience, no amount of training mode will help me react in a real fight.


Footsies are crazy critical in this game. Even more than of SF4 I think. Combos are extremely easy to pull off in This game. It’s earning it through footsies that’s important.


That’s what I think. I’m a noob as well.