How old were you when you started?

Last weekend I visited a friend of mine. He played a little bit of Super Street Fighter IV, I thought it was pretty interesting, and I bought it deciding that it would be a cool Summer project to learn how to play it.

One week later, I’m watching EVO live and getting really into it, despite never following fighting games before. It’s like how I get really into the Winter Olympics, despite not being a sports fan. In fact last night when the stream cut out during the grand final and it turned out that Daigo won, I just had to laugh at how pissed off I was over something I’d only been invested in for two days.

But also like when I watch the Olympics, I’m seeing pretty young people competing at such a high level, which tells me that they had to have been much younger than me when they started (although I’m not a terrible curler). Then I get that Yoda voice in my head saying “Yes, he is too old. Too old to start the training.”

I’m only 21 years old. Just typing that feels weird since the desk my keyboard is on is covered in Power Rangers and Transformers figures, but it feels a little bit like I’ve missed the boat. I’d love to give tournament play a try, not for fame or fortune, but to experience some of that energy that I saw at EVO - it just looks like a great time.

So, at what age did you tournament players start learning these games? Maybe you can talk me down from sticking to casual play before my TE stick arrives on Thursday.

Get the TE Stick.

I’m no tournament player… and I’ve only started like a couple of months ago only. The stick is worth it. I’ve played fighters before when I was younger, and I wasn’t very into it. I was the best button masher though, but never took the time to learn the moves or what not. The furthest I got was learning Hadouken by accident.

Here I am after learning that Hadouken when I was like… 8, Seventeen… almost 10 years after. I got Street Fighter 4 when I started a couple of months ago… and then I played with that for a while even though I knew that SSF4 was going to come out soon. This time I was more serious about the fighting games. I worked at it… learning the Tatsu, and even the Shoryuken. Here and there you pick up something new, something new every time you fight or just play around. I started on the controller though, and started pretty slowly… I played for a couple weeks straight and then I just got bored so I played a bit less (because my Xbox Live ran out). I kept playing though still, and then yeah… I got more familiar with everything… not to the extent of knowing all the game mechanics, but I worked on my execution. I went from Hadouken to Shinku Hadouken, then Metsu Hadouken. I was pretty proud that I could do an ultra.

When I’m downstairs I played Street fighter 4 and when I’m upstairs I’m playing Street Fighter 3.
I was so hyped about EVO also, it was the first EVO I watched.

Anyways, NOT my life story.

IT IS NEVER TOO LATE TO START. I started late on guitar and piano ;( but it’s okay, as long as you have the passion.

We’re all still young inside… and it’s true… because my dad is still a boy sometimes.

ACK SECOND DOUBLE POST… Sorry again ;(… Shoryuken is pretty laggy ever since Daigo won. I blame him!

I don’t think there was a specific age where I just “started”. Most of my friends and I have been playing video games (which includes fighting games) ever since we could pick up a controller.

This shouldn’t keep you from doing what you want though; some people just have a natural affinity for things that require precise timing like this and could pick it up in an instant, and others still are fast learners. Here’s a list of people that started their illustrious careers at odd ages: 11 Famous People Who Were in the Completely Wrong Career at Age 30 -

Good luck with your new stick!

I started learning to play competitively at the age of 12 with Soul Calibur 2 and I still don’t think myself good. At all. I keep up with all the games I’m interested in and I never quit out on them (if I have the means to play them at optimum efficiency). Even though I know I’m not good at all the games I play, I always try to learn the ones I really like and my lack of skill never stops me from just having a good time at events like Evo. Much like Bobo72a said, don’t let things like the ‘leg-up’ certain players have on these types of games intimidate you from doing something you want to do. Evo is always a good time if you are really into the scene, as are other tournaments.

I started playing with SF2 on the SNES when I was a kid but I never really knew what I was doing although I did learn how to do Guile’s jump fierce, stand fierce, sonic boom, backhand combo from a games magazine :lol:

I always played Street Fighter and a bunch of other fighters on emulators for years vs CPU but never really understood what was going on until HDR and SF4 came out (they came out on the same day in Europe, we got HDR mad late ¬_¬), then with the power of online I finally got to play against human opponents and realized my stupid CPU tactics won’t work and then I decided I should actually learn how to play.


I started playing fighting games around 4 years old
I started to really play fighting games around 19 years old

My bro used to have to take me to local arcades when I was like 7 'cause no one else to stay home with me. Played some SF2 but never really any good. He used to bring me to play SF2 on SNES at cousins house every Friday night for a while and I never really learned anything. Then I got SF2 for my SNES when I was like in middleschool and just had my friends over and had Hadouken and Sonic Boom spamming matches all day. Didn’t play fighting games at all from highschool through college because I had a social life. Started playing again when SF4 came out when I was like 24 or 25 'cause of nostalgia. Got into MvC2 and sucked worse than SF4. Now just playing SSF4 and BB.

I started taking SF seriously a little while after HF came out on XBLA.

Back when SFII was out on arcade, it was, what, '92? So I was about 5-6, when I began playing, I picked Chun Li because, well, as a girl, I wanted to pick a girl. So I got good with her, began beating more and more people, like people more than twice my age with her, eventually, I began getting death threats from neighborhood people, so I hid far away, and just rented the games from my local Blockbuster.

I started playing and learning the basics of Street Fighter and other fighting games when I was about 6-7. I mastered the basic techniques, and kicked a ton of ass in the Arcade–to the point where many would line up and constantly run to get change for a dollar every time I won.

That was back then, though. I started playing seriously and understanding the match-up’s, anti-airs, tic-throws and other stuff this yr. Before I began playing HD Remix towards the end of '09, I had an 12 yr hiatus from Street Fighter 2. I played the Alpha/Crossover games casually, though, then went on to Vanilla 4.

I was at EVO this year and had the time of my life there. Not because I did well in the tournament (went 1-2) but because the matches were so hype and the people were so cool. I started playing fighting games when SF4 came out. I was 28, I’m 30 now. Taking up Street Fighter has been one of the most rewarding things I’ve done and I really don’t even consider myself a tournament player yet. You get a lot out more out of Street Fighter than just some battle points on Xbox Live. You get to become a part of something larger than yourself when you go to your first tournament. Win or lose, you were part of it. That’s what is great about it.

i started in 06 just cause i saw a friend play it at a tourney. those days mvc2, 3rd strike cvs2 were the games to play. i’ve seen the Virginia gaming scene change almost overnight when sf4 released. tournies will motivate you, you meet more people and the experience is different than any other game genre. i was 19 when i first started to play seriously. still playing to this day.

Yo SkeetTron, I’m in the same boat as you after watching evo I pretty much knew I had to play SSFIV. I didn’t even know what FADC was or any of the terminology they were using, but for some reason I was hooked and I couldn’t stop watching.

I just got the game yesterday and I’ve been stalking the fk out of these forums for tips and tutorials. I know it will take a lot of time and work to even get decent in this game, but I am willing to put in that dedication and time to get better.

I just ordered my TE stick today, hopefully I will be able to get it by the end of the week.

I’m 19 btw.

13, that was back in 1993.

That said, the local tournament scene for SF over here only really got together with SFIV (outside of small arcade tournaments back in the day) and that’s when I started actively competing. That said, IMO you’re never too old to start as long as you enjoy the game and/or the competition.

I would say that you are at a somewhat decent age to start playing competitively. You have a resource in SRK and youtube. Back then, no one would share information because arcades were shady as hell back then. Not everyone had the net back then either. You spent quarters to lose many times before you won back then. You are older so you’re more focused too. When you were in your preteens/teen i’m pretty sure life was pretty much dictated by outside factors for you (momma won’t let you play games, and such) and combine that with the attention span of kids, you most likely wouldn’t have the focus you have now.

So don’t worry. Just have fun. My biggest piece of advice to you is to PRACTICE EFFICIENTLY. Watch your battle log losses. Figure out why you lost.

Thanks for the replies, everyone. My TE stick is on its way here, but of course all FedEx will tell me is that it’s somewhere between California and Massachusetts. That narrows it down to the entire country, I guess.

I’ve also been playing videogames all my life, it’s my first and longest-standing passion. I love figuring out how systems work, it’s how I got the Big Boss Emblem in MGS4, among other such things, but for some reason I never really tried to learn a fighting game. It’s actually shocking to me how much different it is from anything else I’ve done in my gaming career, but it seems like a fun challenge and the community is pretty inspiring (I’m thinking back to that TvC player at EVO who kept hugging people - they play for the love of the game, that’s what I like to see). I have more to say but I have to run right now, just wanted to say that I appreciate it.

about 2 years old for me, i became addicted and now i’m commited, i remember starting up the orignal street fighter and struggling to pull of a dragon punch, ahh good times

I started when Street Fighter II arrived at my college campus. I was 18 at the time. It was one of those situations in which you’re forced to learn quickly as there were usually 10-20 people waiting to play the only SF machine. I started to frequent other arcades so that I could play the game in less harsh conditions in order to learn and that’s were I discovered the Neo Geo and all of the SNK goodness. I’ve played almost every 2D fighter that’s been released since then to some extent. I was never that interested in the MvC series and had a really hard time with the Guilty Gear series. For me, it’s all about the journey and the love of the game.

1992, March 10th… My 10th birthday my family went to Shakey’s pizza and they got Street Fighter 2 and a Neo Geo with Fatal Fury 1/Mutation Nation/Ghost Pilots/ King of the Monsters.
I was in heaven that day. When you are a 10 year old kid you pick the most bad ass character you can find. That character for me was Blanka, and till this day he is my fave SF peep. Terry Bogard would be my fave SNK peep still till this day also :slight_smile:

I’m the same age and in the exact same situation as you thread starter (minus the power ranger and transformer figurines). I have been playing games my whole life but never got into the fighting games. I played Street fighter II when it came out but being that I never seen the arcade scene it was just a very very casual button mashing game for me that I played for fun. The necessary requirement, I believe, is being introduced to arcades when the game was out a long time ago; to build that competition and actually getting good.

I didn’t even buy SF4. I bought SSF4 a few months after it came out because I was at someones house that had it and I was getting spanked in it, hard by everyone, I might as well have closed my eyes and randomly hit buttons. The desire to get it and dominate everyone that beat me that day, was a challenge that sparked my interest of playing. Watching EVO makes me want to play even more because of how hyped the crowd is and how amped up I get just hearing the crowd and watching the game.

I bought a TE stick when I bought SSF4 because I figured if I’m going to learn this I might as well get serious. I initially wanted the SE, which is way cheaper, but reading about how you’ll end up replacing the buttons and stick eventually changed my mind. The games I usually play are RTS and FPS (fooled with MMO’s but I’m done with that), from my observance fighting games fall in the middle of RTS and FPS in required attributes. In RTS you need to think ahead to come out on top, FPS you need to have quick reaction. I have what I need to get good but I just need to get used to the media that I need to get good in.

I questioned if it was too late for me aswell. But I came to the conclusion its not. Why? because as an adult you can focus and apply yourself to actually getting good; no distractions. We come from a gaming background its not like we are like our parents trying to get good in gaming. Like someone else said SRK and the various other forums/sites weren’t available to players back then. You can learn what the pros do without actually having to meet said pros. It’s also your demeanor, when I get absolutely crushed by some players online I don’t get mad nor do I feel any emotion; I learn from wins and losses. There is also a point of diminishing returns for the top players; which is good news for us. While we improve by leaps and bounds they only make very slight improvements the more they play.

My all time favorite games are RTS, and yet even with SC2 coming out I don’t have much urge to play it over SSF4. Beta has been reopened for a week now and yet I still haven’t played because I’m focused on getting good at SSF4. I’m liking the instant satisfaction and experience from fighting games over RTS. In most RTS games each game is a tedious process of micro and macro where it takes 15-45 minutes to decide whether or not you win or lose. The instant results in fighting games is a nice change of pace. Besides you will never see a crowd as hyped at EVO’s observing a RTS game. The type of players are completely different, fighting nerds and rts nerds are night and day. The fighting scene is much more fun.

BTW if anyone on PSN wants to endless battle for training purposes come at me: WARP1GEON . I’m very much a beginner (got the game within a month ago) so keep that in mind.