How to improve defense?


#1

I’m trying to main Gouken, I know he’s not high tier, but I just really like this character.
I’m pretty good at execution of his techs, but still lose a lot, when asked for advice, I usually hear; work on your defense. So my question is;
How do I improve my defensive skills?
I have unlocked all achievements and roughly 400 hours of gameplay, so its not that I don’t play the game enough… any help or advice is welcom.
Thanks


#2

Well, which part of your defense do you think needs work?


#3

your ability to unlock achievements and the hours youve put into the game are meaningless(unless you actually practice important things). this isnt an RPG

Obviously blocking
using focus attacks to parry and dash away
zoning can be used in a defensive way
etc
really, what it comes down to is learning the matchup and knowing what the other character likes to do and how to block or counter it. that means losing a lot until you get the hang of it. you can also find material to read on the character specific forums

since youre trying to learn the matchups, dont play the cpu because the cpu doesnt play to the matchup anyway


#4

Stating the achievement and hour comment, wasn’t intended to show off or anything. I thought it would prevent simple comments like play more or put more hours in the game (true, it would improve my game, but not my specific problem) and I know it’s not an rpg.
As for training I use to do best of 3 against every character CPU on hardest, your saying this will not help?

As for ilitirit ; Well, which part of your defense do you think needs work? That’s the problem, I don’t know exactly were to begin or what to improve, perhaps my biggest problem is that I play to offensive!?! And maybe I should focus more…

Does anyone have a training method of improving defensive skills?

Thanks both for the replies!


#5

No, because the computer does not have a gameplan, and does not use combos. For instance, you will not learn the dangers of getting hit by just one c.lp from Balrog.

I’d say the main things to a good defense would be when to
not throw out certain moves, when to use certain moves to anti-air or attack, and the various tick throw setups a character has.


#6

Start watching your replays and try to figure out why you’re losing.

Ask yourself questions like:
Are you losing health when you’re attacking or when you’re being rushed down?
Are you losing health on the ground or in the air? Where is your opponent attacking from?
Are you losing to throws?
Do you keep getting reversaled on your opponent’s wakeup or during block strings?
etc etc

There may be lots of reasons you’re losing, but try to identify the biggest problems first and then work on that.

eg. If you find that you keep losing to jump-ins from certain ranges then setup a scenario like that in training mode and try to figure out your best defensive options. Maybe cr.hp, or EX tatsu, or jump back hk, or parry, or focus etc.

If you still don’t know, record a match and post it in your character’s forums and ask there for help. Or you can even try asking one of your regular opponents what your biggest problems are.


#7

practice defending against:block strings/tick throws/cross ups.


#8

Typical problems with defense:

  1. Getting counterhit
    If you’re getting counterhit there may be several reasons. You may be doing a laggy move that whiffs where the opponent can punish. This includes throwing fireballs that are spaced perfect for a jump-in combo on reaction. If this is a problem work on your spacing. It’s also possible you have bad habits and are being baited. Watch your replays and see if you can easily predict, just from watching, when you will do a certain move.
    You may also be pushing buttons when you shouldn’t. Maybe you always try to jab out of blockstun and are being frame trapped. Maybe you have a habit of hitting cr.lk at certain spacing in footsies. Focus on not hitting a button without a reason. Don’t hit buttons just to be doing something.

  2. Improper blocking
    This is typically a case of not blocking jump-ins or overheads high and low attacks low. If this is a problem for you then go into training and record something to test it. For instance, pick your character against Ryu. Set the computer Ryu to do cr.lp, cr.lp, cr.lk a few times then cr.lp, cr.lp, f+mp overhead. Set it to playback. Without counting the strings, try to block the overhead on reaction. Then set Ryu to j.hk, cr.lk a few times then j.hk, f+mp. It’s also important to be able to block hazanshu on reaction or Dudley’s high/low games.
    Improperly blocking crossups is a problem also. You need to focus on the spacing of the jump and through experience be able to recognize a crossup from a fake crossup. In the end though, it may be a 50/50 mixup where you have to guess. Try and avoid getting hit with an untechable knockdown.
    Improperly defending against left/right reset mixups requires knowing the character you are playing against. You need to know what leads to a reset as well as what their options are in the reset. From there you have to try and guess based on your opponent’s habits. Again, this is typically a 50/50 or worse mixup where you just have to guess. Try and avoid the reset setups.

  3. Being punished for unsafe moves.
    This is a case of being overly aggresive. Against a player who does not know the matchup, you may get away with playing unsafe. But against someone who knows the matchup, they will probably know how to punish unsafe moves. Know what moves you have are safe and under what circumstances. For instance, DJ’s lk sobat kick is safe from the right range against most of the cast. However, a Guile player who knows the matchup will flash kick you to punish it 100% of the time. Preventing this requires matchup knowledge as well as the ability to adapt your play style based on your opponent’s ability to punish.

  4. Not teching throws.
    This is a two step process. A) learn to crouch option-select tech during block strings. B) Learn to stand tech in anticipation of a throw instead of crouch teching so you don’t get punished for crouch teching.


#9

Practicing not pushing buttons is the hardest thing you will ever learn


#10

This is also helping me out as well sooo thanks ;D


#11

This is some good advice guys. Thanks I’ll also take it into consideration :slight_smile:


#12

^off-topic but I like your avatar


#13

Thanks! I found I on google so it was probably someone else’s at one time or another so I shouldn’t get credit for it lol. I like yours a lot too :slight_smile:


#14

If you guys want to practice defense, try going online and when you join a match, don’t even worry about hitting them. Just block and try to tech as many throws as you can, see how your opponent reacts to that.


#15

if you want to improve your defense, download vampire savior, the euro rom version, and jump on ggpo.

ima bee all over the fucking place and I guarantee your defense will improve.


#16

Simple method to improve defense:

Learn to block (this means to not press buttons)

Learn to tech (this means learn to anticipate throws, they usually come after having blocked alot)

Learn to outspace your opponent (this means to use/abuse the walkbackwards and backdash mechanics as much as possible without cornering yourself)

The last one can be hard to grasp for certain players. Basically you back up alot and get your opponent to walk into your moves, then do something offensive like forward dash or jumpin to gain more real-estate at your backside and repeat the process until your opponent is dead. Walking under there jumpins is Also a good way to get more real estate behind you so that you can start walking backwards more.

This us why sf4 is so turtly, defensive movement on this game is very good.

And last but not least, as I already eluded to having good defense is a 2 part thing:

Having good upclose defense against frame traps and throws.

Having good defense from a range against people trying to get close. It’s much easier to have a good ranged defense than a good close defense, so start there.

-dime


#17

Try playing on endless battle and use no attacks whatsoever (not even throws, except to tech an apponent’s throw). Make your goal to try and lose by time out rather than by knockout. Consider it a win if you lose by time out. Your turtling skills are sure to improve. Also when you do start playing normally again, remember the turtle’s golden rule “when you have the life lead, do nothing”…


#18

If you use focus attack as a defence constantly your opponent is just going to break through it as they know whats comming.


#19

I had 1 question. How does a counter attack play into a defensive scheme too? I know it sounds like a dumb question, but the biggest problem I have is knowing when I should start to attack after an opponent has done a move. I find too often when I face an opponent, they’ll perform a move, and when I think it’s safe to start an attack, I’ll get punished.

Case in point, I played a Sagat player who did a cr.HK which connected before I did a cr.LK (which I was like WTF?) and then he threw a tiger knee then tiger uppercut before I could even pull off a move.

Anyone could help me figure this out?


#20

Basic defense is blocking, techning throws, etc.

Advance defense is knowing how defend yourself in certain situations, which takes experience.

For example, let’s say Chun-Li has you in the corner and is pressuring you. She’s close, and seems to be using st.jab, cr.short pressure which could go into a tick throw. She also has other options. She could OS LL which can lead you a lot of damage or stun. Or she can setup a ch st roundhouse, which could lead to a nasty combo.

In this situation you now have a 50/50 guess. Let’s say if you teched their throw 3 times because they tried the same setup, they may use this opportunity to try an anti-tech counterhit. But if you block it, then you’re fine. But let’s say the are now using an option select to use against you in case you block or tech. In this case you probably could use one option to get out of it, and that’s to neutral jump, but there are risk involved, because they could be using this situation to bait you into a situation where you have to jump, and this resets their pressure, or gives them free damage.

Overall you just have to have good innate judgement to have good defense, and this comes from knowing your opponent’s habits. What is often the case is for those with bad defense is that they don’t think about the situation, and only think about the pressure and how to escape it. Sometime this impatience and antsy behavior can cost you, because you may press a button and this is exactly what your opponent may want. Counthits are strong in SSFIV, and you don’t want to be hit by them.

blocking is the first part, and while it’s not everything, a lot of players have terrible blocking. Blocking could prevent you from taking unnecessary damage. And while it may not stop the pressure you can sometimes punish if certain moves are blocked. Again this goes for knowing situations, and knowing what moves can be punished on block or even their punishments.

Working on your punishment game is also huge in defense. And another habit people have is fast get ups after knockdowns. A lot of the times getting up fast can work against you, as your opponent may be wanting this to setup a mixup. So learning matchups and situations is how your defense improves. And also find tuning your reactions in case your opponent tries to get away with taking big risk. Make sure you punish them anytime you can punish, tech throws when they can be teched, and block things that you can see enough to block.