How many hours did you put in when starting out?

To be specific, roughly how many hours did you need to put in to go from completely new to being what you considered proficient, or above average? I realize that can have a broad range of answers, and that people who have been playing for many years will have a different curve as well.

But to go from more or less completely new, to get to the point of being able to land good length combos consistently, learn match-ups, frame data, frame traps, links, etc. etc., about how many hours would you say that you put in? And how did you go about it? Time spent in training, working on character specific trials, online matches?

I ask mainly because I’ve made some improvements coming from not being entirely new, but having really only played casually with friends, and I’d like to continue improving. But I’m starting to feel like I might be hitting a wall. I don’t mind putting in the time to get better, as I’m well aware it doesn’t happen overnite, but I am curious as to how much work some other people have put in to get to where they are. Hopefully hearing that it took other people a lot of time will help me feel a bit less discouraged.

It’s all based on how you learn and handle things. I started playing fighting games right after Evo 2010. I played SSF4/AE, Arcana Heart 3, and KoF 13.I got into SF4 about a third of the way into Super’s lifespan and played it up until a month after AE hit consoles. I was trash at that game from start to finish. I’ve played Arcana Heart 3 for about a year since it’s release. In that year it took me around 7-8 months to even learn what the hell to do and how to approach things. Now I’ve been playing KoF 13 pretty much exclusively since the game hit consoles. Which was about 3-4 months ago? In that short amount of time I’ve played the game I’ve learned enough to keep up with a lot of people in my area. Even those who have had previous experience with older KoF’s and CvS2. This is also my first KoF game, mind you. With that being said I’m probably only half decent at best with a long road ahead. At the end of the day it’s all mainly how you approach learning things and how you are able to deal with the walls you hit. Your fundamentals also play a role and how fast or how slow you level up as well. If you have a solid grasp of fighting game fundamentals you’ll pick up on stuff a bit faster than someone who doesn’t.

Everyone knows at hour 35 in the training room you get really good. Just kidding it doesn’t work like that.

If you want to get really good you need to play alot. Here’s The formula in my mind number of matches x level of skill of oppenent x number of oppenets x you.

What game?
SF? Throws and jabs. For SFxT better study those crossups and your jabs. Tekken? Put on a red nose and clown shoes and learn how to juggle. Mahvel? 10 years and you still suck.

Different amounts of time for different players. I’m not sure how many hours I put into playing with games like Guilty Gear XX at home, but I’ve probably played SSF4, Marvel 3, and KOF XIII for at least a combined 800 hours now. I rate myself as an intermediate player.

It’s not about how many hours you put in it’s about what you put into those hours.

Also true.

Person A could play SF for 24 hours. He does nothing but complain about things being “cheap” and does nothing to improve his game-play.

Person B plays SF for 24 hours. He figures out what he’s losing to and attempts to make corrections to his game in order to ameliorate those deficiencies.

Who do you think improved more?


Playing against skilled local players around 10h/wk, it took about 6 months after starting from scratch before I considered myself no longer “terrible,” a year before I was “meh,” and two years before I was “okay.” Most of that improvement I’d chalk up to general execution practice and learning fundamentals, rather than anything character-specific. I’d still only rate myself average at best. If I weren’t playing against skilled players (say, just being an online monster) and I was attempting to learn in total isolation, my results would have been far worse.

In short, it takes a lot of time to improve, just like any skill. Think of it like learning a musical instrument or learning to draw.

I remember some years ago I spent a lot of time on FG through emulation, end of the 90s to mid-2000. But due to lack of guides and online play at that time, I never had the chance to improve and had to start from scratch again 9 months ago. Then I discovered online play and managed to remember and improve on the knowledge I had forgotten. That was my initial purpose anyway.

I still lose but put a little more effort. Now learning to master all those combos and links was never my goal, though I respect the opponents who do.

training room does very little aside from letting you explore the basics of a character and the system mechanics of the game. You need to actually play others on your level or higher consistently to understand the ins and outs of a game and the character(s) you play.

Knowing how to do a combo and knowing how to use a combo are two entirely different things. Very few people realize that. Which is one of the reasons I hate the “Trials” in fighting games now. It gives a false sense of comfort.

You can know every frame count, combo, trap, whatever for your character(s) but if you have no clue how to utilize those tools you’ve basically learned nothing and wasted x amount of hours.

Experience builds knowledge. Think of training mode as kind of a foot note when it comes to learning FG’s. It’s good to go back to from time to time as a refresher but after a while it ultimately isn’t needed. For instance, I haven’t played CvS2 in a few years. If I turned it on right now I would go to training mode, practice Roll Cancelling for about 5 minutes, practice some custom combos and be ready to go. It’s a refresh on what I already know.

honestly about maybe 50-100 hours of REAL playtime.

I started playing fighters the day MVC3 came out, I started on a stick too. I think that was invaluable for my improvement. Ir would say practice your combos a lot in the lab, just basic ones. I got mvc3, played with my roomate then just went into the lab, practiced 3 guys doing their most basic possible combo into super till I could do it pretty well (it took a long time, mind you), then battled online a lot. I think it took a good 50 hours of lab time and a few hundred games of online play in MVC3 before I was winning most of my matches.

Ultimately though, depends on the game. SF4 is a lot harder than UMVC3, so your mileage may vary.

207 (probably more like 250~) hours ingame.


You don’t feel that the combo system and footsie mechanics of SF4 are generally more difficult to grasp than MVC3’s? I’m curious to hear why, I’ve always had for more trouble learning to execute links, cancels, and fadcs than even the medium difficultly combos of mvc3. Could be different for everyone though. Perhaps I just learned MVC3 first so going to sf4 was doomed to be more difficult. I felt I played relatively strongly ( for an amateur, of course) and now I’ve put double the time into sf4 and I’m only a B rank akuma player online.

I don’t know…I’m by no means any good so take with a grain of salt, but I found some of the loops in mahvel infinitely harder (Magneto comes to mind) than anything in the SF series (though, FADC>ultra does require fast hands). 1f links, sure, but I refuse to spend time on those (out of principle, it’s such a stupid idea in the first place). Marvel may not have 1f links, but BnBs are much more easily dropped due to their length imo. SF always felt more natural to me in general, I suppose.

Sorry if not coherent, just got up.