How to develop better footsies?


I have been trying to level up my game and the one thing that I cannot really seem to improve on is footsies. I have a good concept on what game to run after a knock down but really controlling space and keeping the ground that I gain is a real problem especially at the beginning of a match. Most of the time the only way I get my game started is just on an unsafe move from the opponent. Is it just a matter of experience or are there ways to improve on your footsies? Any good explanations or video links that people have come across?


A) Read this: sonic hurricane dot com ? Footsies Handbook
B) Yes, it is years and years of experience and just playing the game and reading the player and having on point reaction time. It’s hard to teach beyond that guide. Just play a lot.

A good way to develop footsies I found is start off having a “go to button” (with Urien in 3rd Strike I found this to be HP), and as soon as you see a whiff, hit that button, don’t try and factor in other situational whiff punishes, start with a single button and develop the ability to see a whiff in the same way you see a jump without actively having to look for it.


The tips and comments from colorful euphemism are what i would follow

good post


Play footsie oriented characters, then go back to whoever you play with.

Also ce nailed it.


What CE said was spot on. Read that massive guide on Sonic Hurricane, but don’t try to do everything at once. Try to implement it step by step. Learn the reach of your character’s normals, and to walk in and out max poke range.


I think the best way for me personally was spending a bit of time playing around with my characters Normals. For example, my character was Cammy, who has terrible footsies, but she still has some options. And by playing around I found my best tools were standing medium kick and standing roundhouse (far version only!!!) and so those are my basic normals I use in footsies. Most characters have a button you can use for the majority of it, like Ryus crouching medium kick.


Along with CE’s info, try not jumping while practicing your footsies. Learn to commit to the ground normals and to stick your position.


This is what I wanted to say, but it got too verbous and I just gave up. Don’t overwhelm yourself because “footsies” describes many different, difficult concepts.


Great post


Thanks for all the great advice everybody!


IIRC, I read someone post in a similiar topic:

“play super turbo, that game is all footsies”

I don’t know if this is true or not though, i never played it seriously.


if you have spare cash you can pay justin wong to help you out:

"[SFIV Lessons
I can provide the help you need to improve your game, character development, combo development, strategy development, how to look for baits and human habits, footsie development, and tips to withstand a tournament atmosphere.

Private Lessons (1 on 1)

thought i’d just throw that option out there. but seriously, i wonder if he’s had any takers…


It’s kinda true. For most characters you don’t need anymore than 2in1s to start playing the game, so you can focus on the mindgames right from the start.


defensive footsies: consider that when you are walking back, you are in a position to block an enemy’s attack. they have to follow you to stay within range to attack you at max range with their pokes. characters with longer pokes have a distinct advantage in defensive footsies.

when they walk forward, this is a major moment when they are vulnerable to attack because they cannot block as they walk forward.

they may jump in on you instead, if so, learn how to anti air properly or space out so they whiff their air attack to force them to advance on foot.

consider that if you are constantly walking back and hitting them, and anti airing them, you will eventually be pushed back into the corner. this is why knockdowns are important in footsies. if you can knock them down, you can begin an offensive from the wakeup game. this way you will not be pushed into the corner.

offensive footsies: if you are on the offensive, you need to bait their attacks as they think you are vulnerable when you walk forward, and punish accordingly. if they try to jump at you, anti air and force them on the ground. try to walk them into the corner, and take advantage of it (you need to learn how to apply corner pressure with your character from here)

just some ideas. the above describes footsies without fireballs. you need to learn how to deal with fireballs too.

btw i noticed your picture is of Guy. if you play him, Guy’s normals and footspeed make it difficult for him to be on the offensive during footsies. imo, at the moment he is mostly of a defensive player on the footsies side until you can find an opening to attack in close range.


If you’re playing S/SFIV, then don’t forget that Focus Attacks also play a big role in footsies and are unique to this version of SF.


One thing I think is read but not really understood by players just introduced to footsies is the sheer range at which it can be applied. Especially baiting and counter pokes.

Online is usually a continuous stream of specials and patterns that are difficult to punish with the few frames of lag common to a normal connection (SS4 at least) so it is rare to find someone that will actually play the footsie game. I was in an endless lobby last night and a Hakan player was steamrolling people, he beat my Dan (arguably my strongest character) who lacks any sort of long range poke. His standing medium kick is decent but lacks range and doesn’t beat focus attacks, which the Hakan player was applying very effectively, at all ranges, he also liked to use his longer range normals from outside of their “effective” range. And he was using, effectively, Ultra 2…

Taking this knowledge to my next match with him I decide to use Adon, who I’ve not used much in the past few months but I was counting on my read of my opponent to outweigh any rustiness I had. Far standing hard kick to deal with his FA and as a long range counter poke to his whiffed normal, crouching medium punch and standing medium kick at mid distance, 3 frames normal up close, Rising Jaguar/ throw mix ups, and Jaguar Tooth shenanigans to bait Ultra 2.

The first round saw me slaughtering him, I punished nearly ever long range poke with standing hk on reaction, mid range standing hk stuffed his FAs, once he started canceling them with a back dash Jaguar Kicks were the answer. He took the next round, I took the final round to win the match.

This turned out to be more long winded than I expected with other details not essential to the initial point. Basically, an important consideration in footsies often overlooked is that the effective range of a move isn’t limited to the range indicated by its animation rather a combination of the animations of BOTH players’ animations…

And once you get to that point you will realize that the animation isn’t actually important, it is the hitbox data. That’s when things get REALLY deep. Your character’s hit/hurt box, frame data versus your opponent’s.


play chun or bison in ssf4 helped me improve my footsie game or play someone who is really good at them


This is only true at the highest levels of play. You still have to figure out a shitload of shenninigans before you even get to playing footsies in this game.

Games that are more pure footsies are Alpha 2 or Alpha 3.


the way i teach my friends the super basic rundown of footsies is having them play a couple games of just using normals.
they’ll quickly realize that they dont NEED flashy combos or specials to win.


play them old street fighter games… the lack of ex moves and FADC makes you use normals all the time