How long to get to 1000PP online?


Hi all,

I’ve played SF4 on and off for about 3 years now, and my long-time goal to get to 1000 PP. A couple years ago I got to one game away (like 960PP), but then I stopped playing for a while. At my best though I still sucked, maybe averaging 600-700ish points.

Now when I log in I find myself at about the 300pp level, meaning that I’m pretty much the worst person on the internet, and frequently lose 10 games in a row. I don’t know how much of that is my getting worse and how much, if any, is other people getting better.

Anyway my wife and I have a kid on the way, so I’m hoping to get to the 1000PP level in the next two months while I still have free time. How realistic do you think this goal is? Is there an average time it takes a super-crappy player to become slightly less crappy? Or does it vary greatly by person? Since I apparently don’t have the fighting game gene, is it possible my skill is already capped out?

Watching my replays there are just tons of problems. I’m basically free to jump-ins because I get hit while trying to input cannon spike. I die to fireball spammers because I can’t react in time to properly focus/neutral jump/spin knuckle/ultra1 them. When I meaty an opponent’s wakeup I’m often so early that I whiff or so late that the opponent can jab or low-short me. When I try my bnb combo I miss my link and get punished. I often whiff moves or sweep someone right next to me. Basically my timing, spacing, and execution is horrible and I’m sure my games are indistinguishable from someone who just bought the game hours ago. (In training mode I’m ok though, there I can generally hit my combos.)

If it matters, I used to play Rose, but recently I switched to Cammy. Cammy I think is a cheaper character, whom hopefully I can use to win games just by mixing opponents up and spamming random stuff. Online I hear about 2000PP Cammy’s who are just on auto-pilot—I want to be a crappier version of those players! I still like Rose’s style more, but I feel winning with her requires good reactions and more exact spacing/footsies. Also Cammy has a 2 frame hit-confirm, while Rose’s BnB hit-confirm is a 1frame. Online I’ll be playing with 30ms ping often, which is like 2 frames lag (USF4 doesn’t have rollback netcode), so I pretty much have no hope of landing Rose’s BnB consistently with my network connection.

Thanks all!


You’re right that inputting a DP takes time which is one of its biggest weaknesses as an anti-air. Most chars have a couple upward-reaching normal attacks which you can throw out much faster and serve the same purpose (and with less risk). With cammy I think her go-to anti-air is cr.HP but you might want to check with someone who plays her.

You can buffer spin knuckle/ultra by doing the motion over and over from a safe distance and then just being a button-press away from activating the move. Besides that, a big part of dealing with fireballs is predicting them (especially online). Most low-level players are pretty predictable about when they’re going to throw a fireball so try and recognize times when you should be looking for it (don’t just guess though, especially with something like an ultra).

Also don’t be afraid to just block and take the chip if it gives you some time to breathe and reposition. 10 damage won’t be the death of you.

Sounds to me like you aren’t comfortable with your character and are panicking when put in a situation where you have to make a quick decision. Take some time and find a few of your char’s best buttons, get used to their max ranges in training mode and play some games using ONLY those moves. When you reduce the number of options you have to pick from, you’ll have a lot more mental energy to dedicate to using them correctly.

I feel like this is the opposite direction you should be heading. What you need to win at low levels is just a good grasp on fundamentals, being able to reliably anti-air and wear down your opponent with a solid neutral game. Doing “random” stuff will get you wins, but it will also get you losses when that doesn’t work in your favor and you won’t get anywhere. Once you have already learned the basics, then you can start adding setups, mixups, frame traps into your solid foundation.

I don’t personally think that its a matter of learning slower or faster but that some people learn in a different way than what is most commonly used to teach. You already seem to have identified what is wrong with your play which means you’re on the fast track to improving. Someone who is already a good enough player can hit 1000pp in one or two sessions of playing so I think its just a matter of hitting that level which shouldn’t be too difficult.


P.S. SF4 ranked isn’t a true zero-sum game so if you play long enough you’ll get infinite PP no matter what.

  1. You’re using Cammy, she’s godlike, obviously not in everyone’ hands (so fu** off you “experts” Kappa) but she’s insanely good. I frown upon Cammy players, just kidding, somewhat… cough…
  2. That goal is totally realistic man, just start hitting the lab and working on execution, if you can’t do your special moves on que, then there’s a problem! Get in there!


What I got out of reading your post is that you know what your problem areas are, you are either unable or unwilling to address them, and have instead chosen a character whom you feel is easy/cheap/mindless. You also play the game on and off, and are soon to going to see your pool of video game time shrink due to the wonderful blessing you and your wife are expecting.

I think that you need to reframe your expectations to mastering a character you enjoy and focusing on eliminating your weak points, PP be damned. There is too much of a random factor playing online for it ever to be an accurate representation of someones skill, and besides, it’s not like 1000 PP is going to be blowing away anyone who gives a shit about the game. PP can be used as a guage as to how you are doing at a particular time, but it isn’t like you win the game if you get to a particular number. What happens if you get to 1004 PP, are you going to drop the mic and never play ranked again?

You seem to have a very good handle on what you need to work on, and where your losses are coming from. Get better, do the best you can to eliminate error on your end, and draw your enjoyment from the journey, not the destination.


play the metagame

^Much of this information applies to SF4. He explains zoning better than anyone IMO. <- the absolute best tutorial ive seen on footsies so far.


You have that post on speed dial, don’t you?


Teach your wife to play and have sex matches. Loser gets a finger to the butt, you’ll be gdlk in a week and your wife will either becomes a great SF or purposely lose depending on the kind of woman she is.

Also, online, for points? Seriously!?

Serious answer, father to father shit…
Play in person. Give yourself one or two nights a month to go somewhere far and play a session (marathon) or tourney. When I had twins in 2010 I dropped the game. But I really did not want to. I did find that its better to simply treat the game as a hobby. Learn what you can on the forums or youtube, watch a tourney, hit up practice mode every couple days (unless you feel get that inspiration to try something out or experiment with something) and go to a monthly or over night. You will get better from that point and your online game will improve also…


You will always have a little pp


I answer this question so many times that I literally created a google doc to just paste it everywhere lol


It shouldn’t be hard getting to 1000PP. It just takes some knowledge of your character and maybe a little luck can help because you might end up facing someone that can give you easy wins


I don’t mean to be a dick–those links are all obviously useful to new players–but which of those links were metagame related? They were all in-game stuff like controlling space, zoning, tick throws, and footsies. I think you may have a bit of a terminology issue going on there.


Keep fighting and don’t give up


Also if you end up losing some games in a row and begin to get angry. Take a break because things might get worse if you continue playing angry


Yep, I guess I need to be more realistic about my reactions. A good player can probably input the dp on reaction to seeing the other player jump, even if they’re not predicting it, but I’m obviously not there yet.

Thanks, I hadn’t heard this advice before but it sounds like it’s worth a try.

Hmm, do you think I should switch back to Rose then? If one character will help me win more than another I think that’s a valid reason to switch. (At least it’s better than the mentality “oh I’m just losing because unlike me the other guy picked a cheap character”.) Another concern is that I think it would be more fun and less depressing to win 40% of the time instead of 10% of the time.

BTW I’ve read other people give the advice like “learn the fundamentals first, then the advanced stuff”, but I never got it. I think it may just be because a lot of good players started on games like SF2 Turbo which didn’t have a lot of advanced stuff like setups. But really the “fundamentals” always seemed to me to be a lot harder and more advanced than the “advanced” stuff. Doing FADC into ultra, doing a setup, option selects, those just requires memorizing an input sequence and maybe some matchup-specific information. That’s stuff I (and anyone else) can already do (at least in training mode). But being good at footsies, or being able to space properly, etc., all that stuff I’m miles and miles away from. So it seems weird to try to practice the hardest parts of the game first, while delaying on some easy and effective parts.

Thanks for the encouragement!


You’re right in the aggregate—the players who beat me always get more points than I lose. I’d estimate my total additional to the PP pool to be around 30,000PP!! So I’m definitely doing my part to cause PP inflation. However, there’s nothing that prevents me personally from staying at 300PP indefinitely.


I think PP is an excellent gauge of strength online, at least at my level. I’ve never beaten a player who was 1500PP or above. Players at that level just cream me. On the other hand if a player has 300 points either they’re new, or they’re a more equal match for me. The fact that I’ve never gotten to 1000PP shows that the system is working pretty well. Of course there will be exceptions, and at higher levels the difference between online and offline play becomes really important. But the PP system works well at my level.

I get your point, I will try to enjoy the journey (even if that journey involves me losing 10x in a row repeatedly :)). But unless there’s a destination, it’s not really a journey (it’s more like wandering). And I’m hoping having concrete goals will help me focus and stay motivated.

Thanks, I had seen all those except the Juicebox footsie one. He does a really good job explaining things, but unfortunately it’s way above my playing level at the moment.


took me roughly 10 minutes


Maybe this is the kind of mental framework that would help you progress?

I also second the idea that you should stop thinking about PP. Thinking about points or wins will just keep you focused on getting those - usually as fast as possible - and just lead to frustration. Being really good is a side-effect of obsession, in my view - you play a game that’s just so fun you can’t help but devour information. That obsession and fun also helps with motivation to practice.

Progress comes from just learning stuff. Set yourself simple goals - antiairing stuff with Cammy’s close heavy punch for example. Don’t measure your progress with points, but just “did I succeed in antiairing this guy” “did I tech throw attempts better than last week?” “Do I maintain an advantageous distance better than I used to” “Did I do stuff intentionally and calmly up close”. Those kinds of things. Because those are actual progress, actual skill. The points are at best a consequence of attaining more of it. So focus on gathering skill, not on gathering points.

Pressing heavy buttons up close is a problem I had for the longest time when I still played SF. It’s a result of having to do a ton of small actions really fast which isn’t something you’re necessarily used to. It’s a bunch of work, but what I do is I fire up training mode and practice my hitconfirms and connecting jumpins.

First on stationary targets set on random block, then against an AI - not because an AI is good practice, but just because it’s a moving target. So I can tag it with a button, do the next 1-2 light moves I practiced which gives me enough time to see if the string hit or was blocked, and then continue into a finisher.

That kind of practice is what allows you to remain calm in upclose situations. You have a plan, you know what to do and can look for the correct things. Just mashing buttons wildly will increase panic and ensure you won’t get shit done.


My take on this? Fuck the score! I just play for quality rather than to win! :stuck_out_tongue: Seriously though, good luck with your goals man! :slight_smile:


Thanks for the replies all. I’ve been derping away at it for the past month, playing maybe an hour a day, and I think I have improved a bit—I think I moved from about 300pp to about 450pp lol.

One big downer I noticed though when I got above 500 is that when I lost to a player with 2000+ points, I actually lost 15pp! I’m used to only losing 1 point against such a highly rated player—I think something changes when you hit 500ish points.

In an Elo-like system, the average point gain between players should be 0. In other words, if I have a 33% chance of beating CrappyFighter53, then I should gain twice as much points for beating him as I should lose when CrappyFighter53 beats me. The rewards are balanced, so in the long run, we can play each other over and over and our points will stabilize. But a 2000pp player is so much better than me he might as well be an alien from planet Street Fighter or something—I’m basically never going to win. Optimistically, I’d beat a 2000pp player like 1% of the time. But if I lose I lose 15 points. If I win would I gain 100*15 = 1500 points? I’ve never done it, but I doubt it. I think I’ve beaten a 900pp player and gotten 70pp or something.

So anyway, I knew it wasn’t pure Elo, but I thought the PP system was similar except they floored the points at 0 to prevent people like me from hitting -1000pp or whatever. Now I don’t know—what system are the PP online based on?

Also, is there a tutorial for beating people who jump a lot? I notice jumpers beat me a lot, and also I do better if I jump a lot. When someone mixes in backwards jumps and neutral jumps with jump-ins, they may give up space, but they have the initiative in the fight—I end up following them around the stage. And maybe my anti-air is 50% effective, but they can do a lot more damage with a jump-in than I can with an anti-air. Maybe the solution is just to get better at anti-airing, but I thought someone may know some tricks for punishing characters (especially shotos) who constantly neutral and backwards jump (and maybe mix some tatsus in).



If they want to jump themselves into the corner, let them. Just don’t let them back out.