How much daily practice is sufficient?

How much daily practice should be sufficient to compete in at least local tournaments?

I’m mainly asking because I took a day off of work last Tuesday and I noticed a lot of the same players I normally see in the evening or on weekends were online.

This made me realize how some people spend vastly more time playing than I do, and it kind of seems like I might just not have enough time to really play this game at anything but a completely casual level.

I’m definitely making progress because I try to make my practice sessions productive, but there are players on my friends list who started at the same time as me and are now at like 3k+ PP whereas I’m around 1.8k usually.

There is no magic number. You practice until you get to the level you want to get to, and you probably have to keep practicing to maintain it.

Furthermore, you don’t actually need any practice to compete in tournaments.

PS. The points don’t matter.

Obviously there’s no absolute number, but I’m interested in hearing opinions from experienced players.

I know that getting better at something isn’t just a simple process of practicing a certain number of hours, the structure and duration of a practice session are also critical. I’m highly limited on duration and I’m trying to gauge where I can realistically expect to get with this game.

To give you an idea of where I’m at, I can devote about an hour per night during the week.

If you train smart for an hour a day then that is plenty.

probably should read this

It depends on how meaningful your training sessions are. I’ve known people who have been playing since Vanilla, and I can easily beat them with less than 6 months of experience.

It’s one thing to just play online and grind out matches. It’s another to actually take some time between matches, figure out what you did right, figure out what you did wrong, and to come up with a game plan to improve your own personal play.

But I’d say at LEAST an hour a day, to be on the road to becoming a winning tournament player. Obviously some hardcore players do several hours per day. But if you just stick to a consistent schedule, you’ll begin to see improvements in your play.

The last time I really improved a lot was when I started considering online matches as a daily training program. So there was the anti-air day, the zoning day (where I tried to stuff the stage with projectiles whenever I could), footsies day…sure I tried to win, but with the tools I tried to improve on that day.

My greatest issue several months ago was predictability. After the training routine mentioned above, one day after a couple friendly matches, my SF rival (since Vanilla) told me that I’m being too random and that it’s frustrating to fight me. You wouldn’t believe how happy I was to hear that, lol.

So really, the Ryu mentality is the best approach here; Don’t ask how much daily practice you need, instead consider EVERYTHING to be practice. Don’t say “This is what I trained for!”, instead think “I wonder what kind of learning experience this will be.

And yeah, don’t stop. I did. Forgot the flow. I suck again! XD

it can be as low as 10 min a day if you are always learning.

i am not joking.

3-5 hours a day is good. Even an hour or two is good. Just a matter of playing as many games as you can against people who are equal to or greater than your skill level. Then kind of just review what went wrong and why.

Then again there are people who have been playing this game 24/7 for the past two years. So skill gap is to be expected.

really? I know I said there is no magic number, but nobody becomes good practicing 10 minutes a day.

i played 60+ matches straight against my buddy who plays really well he whooped me 38 straight before i started winning… funny thing is, i always mained command character (Ken, Cody, Oni) in that order… but during our session i decided to pick M.Bison/Dictator on our 39th fight and from what i learned using only Oni for those 38 fights i was able to start pulling out wins on a charge character i never thought i’d be good with… excited i decided to hit up my buddy that plays pro/semi pro and he noticed that my Bison was better than my Oni, i think the best practice is just playing against people you know because you get raw feed back, but if your in the same boat i am, you can only practice an hour or 2 a day and sometimes not even that :confused:

Preferably as much as possible. But you should take breaks every hour or so because after about 3-4 hours you start to get fatigued and play a little bit worse then that fresh first hour or so.

To me execution is very very important. I think an hour a day is great. More is better. I was at a very low level of execution once. Recently I became better just because of my commitment and goals. I wanted to play characters like magneto or modok or sf4 viper instead of playing chars like sf4 ryu, balrog or wolverine. Just for the hell of it. so I set challenges and it took me about a mouth of an hour or more a day to learn 40% of the character which isn’t alot. It takes 2 mouths to really dive down in that character. I like to keep progress of my work. I think it really helps. Anyways once you reach that level of execution it will be easier learning other characters. I think that 2 mouths of character knowledge you should feel comfortable with your options and should come almost naturally. You shouldn’t stop learning characters in a video game. I think its a great tool in case you have to face the match up but also because you should stay hungry and active. If I just learned how to do a combo that was hard then I would want to learn to do it consistently. To me hitting it 70% -100% of all your characters bnb is great.

Also fighting game these days are now subjected to more balance changes. So if your character ends up getting nerfed, then you might need to switch characters. If your playing to win then odds of you winning with a heavily nerfed characters is really low if you don’t everything about that character. So it’s best to keep active and keep learning new stuff and new characters. You never know you might learn to like a character you never dared of touching. Also having good execution will help you adapt to other games. If you’re say playing Mvc3 wesker, hulk, wolverine and you only play with those characters and train with those characters only, then you’re not going to adapt to fighting games that require tight execution. You will max out on those characters really fast. You’re not going to learn much after almost maxing out your character’s abilities. You can still play them if you are so loyal but I’m just saying its always good to stay hungry. Execution helps you play quicker and think quicker in my opinion.

When I go into training mode I learn mostly the bnbs first just to get me started, then the approach like getting in the offense, and then mix ups. Then I play someone at my skill level and apply it. also i commit to playing the character im learning even if I get beat badly. If you commit to playing large sets like 50 matches then you’ll definitely improve. And options will be familiar.

For learning a 2nd character, since I have about an hour per day, should I alternate working on characters on different days? Should I wait until I’m very skilled with one before working on a 2nd?

I’m doing fine with my main now that I have a basic understanding of him (Balrog), but he has some bad matchups so I’ve been working on a top tier character (Sagat) a bit. I also feel like Sagat will help with fundamentals for all characters more since Balrog has a really unique move set.

Just play as much as you think you need to, Really.

I try to learn a new Combo or link everyday, a new punish, a new way in, a new Oki game. Yknow?

Keep things fresh.

Alternating characters can be a good idea since it shows you how they differ. Sagat has normals which are very good, specials which can give your opponents headaches and good stamina. His main drawback is that he’s slow, so sometimes you have to be defensive and react to them when they try to attack you.

Balrog’s main moves are his various dashes which you’ll have to mix up some so that your opponent doesn’t predict them w/FAs–use his armor breaker when they start trying this–and then just breaks apart your offense. Of course, I’m not forgetting about Buffalo Head, but that one has a lot of recovery which can be punishable. He does have good normals as well…especially his jabs which are a very good poke. Out of the two of them, Sagat has more range w/his normals though.

What it all boils down to is how much time do you need to feel comfortable with how you play your character. What I’ve been doing lately before starting to play a character online is putting them to the test in the Hardest Arcade mode and see if I can beat Seth. If I can, then I’ll start using 'em online.

I started out playing sf4 with balrog. Actually ken and spamming srks. But balrog is a good char to start with. I learned my first combo with him. Also his normals are better like jabs? But I think it be good learning fadc combos and other hard links so you try out the shotos if you havent. That’s how i did it. Then Super came and I just tried every other character. Mostly because of the trial modes. I think going to those modes will help you out.

To me versatility is important ability. Helps you play and adjust. I think if you should stride to be a master of your character. Learning everything about them. Even doing fadc ultra. That I still haven’t learned. If you think something is impractical then try to make it practical. Links are something that you need to get down. Like jabs into low roundhouse.

Probably best for you to just stick with your main and keep practicing with him. Learn him through and through.

Switch characters when you get bored with your main. Go back to your main when you get owned online, and the owner instantly rechallenges you.

I play about an hr a day. I would get better faster if I played more, but I play for enjoyment. If I was putting in hrS a day, I wouldn’t like it as much.

Remember that it’s supposed to be fun. A lot of fighting game ppl get fixated on becoming awesome and turn it into work. I already have a job. I play games for fun.

I play roughly 2-3 hours a day, focusing on my main. When I get bored, (Although this may be counter-productive for some) I tend to switch up the game, or character I am playing. Like many have said here, there is no point looking for that magic number, you’ve really got to set a time for yourself to practice each day, over and over until you become comfortable with the concepts of each training session. No matter what the game, the statement “Practice makes perfect” holds true.

Define what level of play you want to get too, DETERMINE THIS FIRST.
Then practice whatever you’re comfortable with (or until your hands start to hurt)

Knowing where you want to be, before you get there is huge, don’t overlook, or underthink this aspect.


Hours = skill

not true not at all, If you’re just autopiloting footsies and not trying to be creative with your mix ups in every game and adjust according to your enemy then theres nothing but PP and BP you can take away from that game, not worth it. If you’re starting to feel like you played enough for today you probably have