How Many "Mains" Should Someone Have?


Just curious on how many main(s) a person should have? Is it at any advantage having the skill of being able to play multiple characters well? I was just curious what you “people that know more about this game than I do” think about me playing 17 characters. Yeah…I have 17 “mains” if you will. Ryu, Ken, Honda, Dudley, Seth, Gouken, Akuma, Sakura, Chun Li, Abel, C.Viper, Bison, Sagat, Cody, Guy, Rufus, Balrog, and Fei Long. I can play each character with the same skill…while it might not be professional status, I’m somewhat confident in my playing(When I’m playing my friends). I have a hard time narrowing it down because I enjoy playing each character equally.

I’m really curious to hear what you guys/gals have to say :karate:


I can only main 1…and have 1 or 2 alternates to make matches not so boring.


The way I see it is, You can’t have more than one main. You have one main, and an unlimited amount of alternates to fit certain situations.

My main character is Sakura

My alternate characters are:


Can you play Guile and Juri at the same skill level that Sakura has?


Generally speaking, people have 1 main by definition. Anything else is alts or dabbling.


What they said.
A main is your go-to character. You will generally know this character in and out.
You will know all of their moves, what moves link into which other moves, how fast their moves come out, what their strengths and weaknesses are, who they match up well against, who they do not match up well against, etc.

After that point, you will have alts. These are a few characters you can whip out depending on the match-up or just to spice things up. You might know them as well as your main, and you might not. Depends on you really.

I don’t see a problem with playing 17 different characters if you’re having fun with them, but at some point you will probably like to start narrowing down your playing field to a handful of fighters and start figuring out who really fits you the best and learn them inside and out.

Once you understand the core mechanics behind the game at an intimate level and have one character that you know inside and out, you will be able to pick up and master other characters at a much faster rate (at least, in my experience).

The problem with switching between 17 different characters is you will never be able to master one, you’ll always just be decent with 17. It’s kind of like being a jack of all trades. Yeah, you’re probably pretty sweet at a lot of jobs, but you’ll never be as good at a job as a specialist who does one thing and does it better than anyone else.

Same thing. You can probably pull out some sweet moves with all of your characters but when it comes down to the wire, unless you know the character you’re playing at a higher level, you’ll probably choke in contrast to someone who just plays that one character.


This is just my opinion so take it with a grain of salt…

I think until you really start to delve into the real nuances of whatever game you’re playing and really getting a good understanding of the fundamental skills of the game (footsies, reading people, very consistent execution), picking up a bunch of different characters just distracts you from moving out of a beginner-intermediate level of play. It’s absurd for me to think of someone without at least 4-5 years experience (with that game or sf in general) playing 17 characters. It just doesn’t seem like a wise use of time. A lot of top players can win using characters they aren’t very familiar with using their strong understanding of the games fundamentals. It seems a lot harder to develop that when you are learning the combos and matchups of 17 different characters. I know there are superstars out there that womp on people with the whole cast, but I just know if I’m sitting down trying to have serious games, its a waste of my time to take my Zangief for a whirl.


Pherai is correct. If someone tells me they main Akuma, Abel, Sagat, Zanigef, Banjo-Kazooie, Juri, and Dhalsim, i’m just going to assume they have no idea how to play the game.


1 with 2 chars you like to play for fun but you can really only get good focusing on one char. People that have 3 or more mains suck.


i’m exactly like the op… i get bored really easily and i don’t like choosing the same character all the time… i use about half the characters in the game usually an equal amount of times and when i’m at the character select screen i tend to pick someone i haven’t used yet… i think i’m equally as good with every character as the next as i pull wins out with pretty much all of them… if i had to choose a “main” i’d say it would be… but use him as much as i use every other character so he’s my main by a sliver


If you have so many “mains”…you really don’t have a main.




I like this post.

And this one :slight_smile:

Thanks for the great posts. Now I have a really tough decision narrowing it down to one :expressionless: How would I go about doing this? Play the character I’m most familiar with? The most attractive fighter? I probably know Sakura the most, but C.Viper is the most attractive(titties).


play whoever you like best.
then develop them.

then play alts for funsies.

but it comes down to if you wanna be a competitive player or a casual player.


I’m just a casual player who wants to up his game. You probably wont see me in the tournament scene.

Edit: I pay too much attention to the tier lists. Maining Sakura means that I’m maining one of the worst characters in the game, which is a disadvantage to me. With my skill level being somewhat low, picking a bad character(according to tiers), probably isn’t the best idea. That’s how I see it.


I say one(the character you do the best with & have the most fun playing).


If you’re a casual player then stick to one main, but possibly like I did you’ll get a bit bored and switch to random other characters now and again. Currently I main Balrog, trying to get to a stage with Rufus where I can main him…but I could get along fine online with Akuma, Dudley, Seth, Ryu, Ken, Sagat and Sakura. I’ve just done these guys BnB’s in Training Mode with them and are quite familiar with them. Dunno about you, but I’ll see a video of some character and be like “omg i need to uze dese charz, dey sow beezty!” and then after about a week I get bored again.

Online play 1 or 2 is fair enough. In the competitive scene I would say 1, however I’ve seen Sanford Kelly rape with just about every character in the cast.


If you state you are a casual player…why care about tier lists?


Well, look at it this way- If you did get really good with Sakura, the tier list wouldn’t matter much at all. I’m sure that a majority, if not all of members of this forum have been whipped on by someone using a character at the bottom of the tier list.


I ask myself that all the time. :expressionless:

Over the past day I’ve played Street Fighter almost nonstop and discovered I know quite a lot about Ryu. I feel most comfortable with him, so I guess I could consider him my main…?