How to avoid being a "Flowchart Ken"?

I just recently started using Ken, I’ve alwyas worried about being tagged as a flowchart ken, because my counter to everything is usually a Shoryuken(Which is comboed into u2). But whenever I pick him, I get the feeling the moment I shoryuken someone’s gonna bitch and moan and call me me an srk spammer. So to counter that I’ve been trying to learn different strategies, But I always end up falling back on the forward to SRK strategy. Which becomes predictable. which costs me BP.

Long story short, What are some better ways to use ken then fall back on the the classic noob style?

Do kens trials they will give you some ideas of what you can do.

The problem isn’t necessarily into fierce shoryu, its that you’re doing things without regards to whether it will hit or not. Even if you were doing a different combo with a different character, as long as you are still playing reckless and mindlessly, you’re just as bad. Don’t worry about labels like that, just learn how to play smart. Figure out what hit confirming and zoning are, and try to implement those concepts in games to start out.

If spamming DP works, keep doing it.

In fact, if you find any move that works, keep doing it until it starts being ineffective. Don’t worry about what other people call you.

Remember though that winning by spamming the same moves over and over is usually indicative of weak opponents. Try to find better competition if people can’t beat your flowchart tactics. You’ll be forced to find other ways to win.

Generally forget the fierce SRK, if it misses it leaves you in a bad position. Jab SRK is good because it’s not in the air too long and strong SRK is good because it’s a little more effective as an anti air, but be careful because if it only hits once, it does not knock down and leaves you wide open.

Take your time when playing. Don’t panic and throw out reaction SRKs. Figure out some simple combos that are relatively safe or hard to punish on block.

Also don’t jump all the time. Too many people on SFIV jump in all the time and get anti aired.

Ken is great for pressuring opponents and is able to unleash a variety of mix-ups. Make use of block strings and kara throws. F + MK, B + MK, F + HK, EX Tatsumaki Senpukyaku and air Tatsu / EX Tatsu cross-up are some of Ken’s most useful mix-up tools to keep in mind.

Also, you won’t get good damage if you combo HP Shoryuken into Ultra 2, not to mention it leaves you vulnerable as the opponent can wake up before your Ultra animation even finishes. You might as well use Ultra 1 if you’re consistent with the HP Shoryu > FADC > Ultra execution. You’ll inflict a lot more damage and you can even get the full Ultra damage if the Shoryu connects as a Counter Hit.

A flowchart player is someone who plays without rhyme or reason, so try to apply your mind while you play. You aren’t a flowchart if you do some studying about Ken and use all of Ken’s best attacks at the right time.

See I thought they did have some sort of rhyme or reason…

e.g., Start with j. HK. Did it hit? Sweep. Did it hit? SRK. Was it blocked? jump back FB… etc…

It was always my impression that flowcharters try to shoehorn their playstyle into the match, regardless of matchup. So you will the see same style over and over instead of relying on matchup-specific techniques.

If my definition is correct, then the easiest way to not be considered a flowchart player is two-fold:

  1. you must fight someone more than once - anyone you come across on ranked will consider you a flowchart even if they eat a well-deserved fierce SRK. Unfortunately Ken players have gotten this stigma, there’s just no getting around that. If you invite them to endless (especially if they are better) and you show them you have more answers than just SRKs, you may be looked at with more respect.

  2. Visit the match-up thread and learn how to counter or punish specific situations. This will show them that you are playing their game, they are not playing yours. If you beat them at their own game using their own rules, I think that goes a long way.

*BONUS! - Good players notice other good players. But how do they know when you are a good player? (DISCLAIMER: I AM NOT A TOURNEY LEVEL PLAYER) I’ve gotten good responses by letting them know I’ve noticed a nice play style. If I fight a Ryu with tight links that plays exceptionally well I will send them a quick message to the effect of: 'Tight links, your [insert cool combo sequence move here] was good. If I would have [insert how you could have done better] if I would have avoided [insert punish here]. [if I lost] Any tips? In one message, I have recognized good playing, shown them that I think about my fights post-match and analyze my matches, as well as feeding into their ego by letting them play teacher for a message or two.

I have gotten great feedback this way, and 9 out of 10 times results in a friend request which leads to some amazing and fun endless battles. Win/Win.

my 25 cents (adjusted for inflation)

Ken is a flashy character with a lot of great combos and mixup.

Go to the Ken subforum and learn what he can do then, practice practice practice.

Also Fierce Shoryuken is a combo ender, it’s too risky to use otherwise.

Only do that in a tournament. You don’t learn anything that way.

That’s bad advice. Fierce SRK has better horizontal range and does better damage than jab SRK. If someone doesn’t punish your jab SRK they just blocked because its not in the air as long as a fierce, you got lucky, or your opponent sucks.

Im lost. So you are saying lose to learn how to win? Um… ok? Elaborate.

Not bad advice, but Im still lost. Isn’t fierce shoryuken better than jab shoryuken?

@ Killer_Bee77

Dude I was afraid of that too when I started to play Ken in super. I thought I was going to flowchart it up. But here is what I did to avoid my flowchartness (thats not a word lol).

I just stuck with the fundamentals. The most basic combo that Shotos should know. I only stuck to cr. mk xxx fireball. I only used shoryuken as an anti-air, I didn’t mash out of block strings. I played footsies alot. I played like I have been playing CVS2 for a good amount of my life lol (CvS2 is a game of fundamentals. This game will teach you everything). After you get your fundamentals down, you can learn some combos and tactics with the guy :wonder:

Also know that Ken is a rushdown character. Watch a scrub Ken/Ryu on the replay channel. They use PPP alot. They play flowchart tactics. And they are just all around bad. Do the exact opposite of them. Get in their face, do combos, feint people out, just straight up rape them lol.

Also the Ken forum is very good. No drama in there, just alot of players with great info. Learn what you need to learn there.

Hoped I helped. Semi colon closed parenthesis :wink:

How hard is it to understand? If you play against someone who always falls for the same thing, you won’t learn anything.

if you don’t lose you’re never going to see your mistakes

if you can’t identify why you lost you’re not ever going to get better

i beat a good 90+% of people i play on psn, does that help me at all? not really, it just reminds me to block and punish people who don’t learn

you can only get so good if you play shit players and think about what you could have done better - you need to lose to really point out what you could have done better

He doesn’t need to lose, he just needs fundamentals. Thats whats wrong with most online kens. They don’t want to learn the game. He does though, so he doesn’t need to lose. :slight_smile:


Ok you still don’t need to lose, its gonna happen, but you don’t need to. They’re is a way to learn the game and thats right here. :slight_smile:

I’m not saying he needs to lose, I’m saying playing against people who always fall for the same thing doesn’t teach you anything, especially fundamentals. What do you consider fundamentals anyway?

i dont know what you mean by theres still a way to learn the game and thats right here

also by “need” i meant “play better players aka you will lose a lot of games” because they are synonymous

So far the main message I got was “I should lose more often”

and the secondary message is

  1. Practice trials(currently on 13)

2: Know when a move will or will not miss, and the answer to every question is not shoryuken.

  1. If i win a match by using the same move, I learned nothing.

4:Switch back to ultra 1(for some reason I like his u2)

  1. Actually talk to other players(I dont usually say anything unless they say something first. damn shyness)

6.Focus on fundamentals.

Is that good so far?

Sort of. The outcome of the matchup has a loose correlation to learning from the match, which should be your main goal. The point me and foger were trying to make is that if you are steamrolling some guy who can’t adapt to you at all, its hard to learn from that match. Playing a more challenging opponent means you have a better opportunity to learn, but you’re also more likely to lose.

Also I was under the impression u2 is really good. Maybe I’m wrong?

Also, “fundamentals” is an umbrella term. Make sure you know what it means in the game you’re playing.

Fundamentals in SSF4 are IMO:

[*]Learning how to play footsies

[*]Knowing when to rushdown

[*]Learning when to defend and how to defend

[*]learning basic combos and block strings

[*]learning the basic engine

[*]Learning basic mixups

Thats how I learned it.

And U2 is good. Idk why people prefer U1

I meant shoryuken. lotta stuff to learn here, even past the trolls and assholes. :slight_smile:


That is basically it. Most flowchart players don’t learn Ken, Ryu, Akuma, Sagat, etc. But what you have to do is learn him. Thats basically it. Learn Ken.

You from Detroit? Dude, go to the murda michigan thread. There is a tournament that AaronS has listed on there. You’ll find it. AaronS is a cool dude (i think, never met him in person) so if you can’t find the tournament, message him.

Also i believe Mello plays Ken. He is also from Detroit. Look him up. He seems like cool people.

I don’t think it’s that you should lose but at least try to learn from your loss when you do 'cause there’s always a reason as to why you lost in the first place. At least that’s the way I see it. Then again, you can still learn something even when you win.

Practicing trials for characters you want to start learning definitely helps.

The answer to every question is not Shoryuken although some may be, depending on the whiffed move and situation. Some people would read frame data on information like this but you don’t have to. Lots of people start off by just paying attention to moves and trying things out. Usually when something looks like it can be punished by something, I will always try it out to know for sure. My friends know this 'cause I’m always doing crazy shiz. Whether it works or not, you still learn something and it makes you that much smarter / better. So if you’re not sure of something, try it out. Why not? You just can’t experiment like that in tournaments though, which is why we practice before-hand.

If you win a match by using the same move, you learn that your opponent was just a terrible player. I too learn this sometimes. I’m not that harsh though. I’d just say, “You know what? That guy just doesn’t have as much experience as I do”, lol.

Ken’s Ultra 2 is fine but Ultra 1 is just easier to combo into and it can also be used as an anti-air whereas Ultra 2 can’t. Ultra 2 travels far and fast so it may be able to punish lots of things that Ultra 1 can’t. The only way to combo into Ultra 2 (that I know of) is any combo into Hadoken > FADC > Ultra 2. For example; D + MK > Hadoken > FADC > Ultra 2. If you can master that then that’s great. Use Ultra 2 all day, lol.

Talking to other players is definitely a great idea. I do this all the time when I travel to small events, local tournaments and major tournaments. I’m always learning something new this way, even if it’s about different fighting games other than Super Street Fighter IV. I’d rather not talk about the same game all day anyway as I play many other fighters.

Focusing on fundamentals will not only help you get better with Ken but with everyone else and fighting games in general. Fundamentals are very important.

Sounds good to me so far.