How to stop turtling?


I’ve recently started playing SFIV online, and I constantly lose to people that turtle fullscreen, and make it impossible to get in. And on the off-chance that I do get in and knockdown, I can’t do anything on wakeup because of reversals, and so they run away and turtle again. I’m confused. I also lose to cammy players facerolling their sticks, but I’m not good enough to do anything about that yet.

tl;dr: Any tips for dealing with turtles? It seems like being boring is the best strategy for this game.


what character are you using?


I use Evil Ryu and Yang. My execution is pretty bad so I can’t pull off a lot of combos on E.Ryu.


Don’t know about Evil Ryu, but shotos do have fireballs, you can spam back and use some invincibility moves to get in. At that point bait them out. usually works for me against Guile frauds


My recommendation would be for you to start with normal Ryu. Evil Ryu only has 850 health compared to Ryu’s (and every other character’s) 1000 health, so you would have more time to adapt and change up your gameplay if you’re making mistakes and getting hit. Evil Ryu is more about getting in and hitting that [st.HP, Axe Kick, cr.MP, LK Tatsu, DP] combo and if you can’t get an opening, you’re not going to land the combo, execution skill aside. st.HP is a 5-frame startup. If you use either a cr.LP or cr.MP to link into the st.HP, the BnB you’re going to attempt now has two 1-frame links.

TL;DR Evil Ryu is a shitty starting character. Switch to Ryu (or Guile or something) instead so you can learn the fundamentals first.

Idk much about Yang, but most Yang players that beat me are really good at whiff punishing normals. Something I doubt beginners can do successfully consistently.


chip damage and just stay back, eventually they have to come forwards once you have the life lead


Thanks, I was trying not to use Ryu cause he seems easy and two-dimensional, but I might try him out.


I have no idea why people think this.

Playing an optimal Ryu takes alot of work.


I’m not saying playing Ryu at a high level is easy, I’m saying the character is basic and simple (At the low level). Ryu’s list of options is very simple, and high damage punishes are usually two or three moves. Noone plays like Daigo at 500 PP.


Ryu’s best punish is SPS, Cr. HP xx Fierce DP, which is a bit tough bc link timing…

His midscreen Cr. MK xx Ex. FB FADC Ultra 1 takes a bit of execution to pull off.

But yeah, overall Ryu’s not as execution heavy as the others.

He’s only difficult to play (at any level) because he doesn’t have any shenanigans to abuse lol, just like Guile you have to play honestly (which is the tough part when you’re dealing with online BS)


This is exactly why you should consider him. Evil Ryu’s key strength is massive damage off a cmk xx fireball FADC combo. At your level you won’t be able to exploit this so you’re just crippling yourself.

Safe Jumps, Ambigious cross-ups, Blocking/Baiting. Just because someone can wake up DP doesn’t mean you have to chill. There’s a reason why knockdowns put pressure on the person knocked down, not the other way around. Blocking a wake-up DP that isn’t FADCed means you get to shave off 40% of their health bar.


The primary reason you’re struggling with turtling is due to an inferior neutral game. I’m gonna agree on the notion of switching to Ryu for the time being, since guessing from your posts the only thing you’re getting from picking E.Ryu over regular Ryu is less stun/health.

Against a turtler, the neutral game is important. Obviously when a turtler is in full screen range with a health advantage then that’s the advantageous position. If you can’t approach a turtler properly or punish his mistakes what use is all your combos going to do?

Just some things to keep in mind. Really they apply to everyone but I think these are what can cause the turtler’s undoing.

-Stay on the ground. Most turtlers are pretty much ready for your jump-ins so try not to do that so much. If the opponent has fireballs, make sure to neutral jump or FA through them. I don’t recommend using tatsu/jumping forward unless your opponent is being very predictable.
-Learn strong punish combos. Honestly, strong but simple combos are the combos that get used the most at all levels of play in street fighter. There is literally no reason to do a fancy, difficult combo that uses 2 bars of meter over a 3 hit combo that does the same damage meterless. This is one of the reasons why Ryu is considered a good beginner character.
-Don’t be too eager. Obviously the turtler’s best weapon is the clock, but being overly agressive is what the turtler wants you to do. Constant, safe pressure is what will force them to act.
-When you get the life lead hold your ground. When the tables are turned you actually gain a massive advantage if the turtler has poor offense of his own. Don’t retreat because you don’t want to run the clock yourself you just want to force the turtler to act so you can punish, which IMO is more important.
-Remember that when you knock a turtler down don’t let them escape so easily. Don’t jump in until you get a good timing for safejumps, and learn some setups/ambiguous crossups. Don’t forget you don’t always have to jump in, practice meaty attacks, baiting reversals and even just maintaining optimal spacing.

Just keep in mind that Turtling is an effective strategy, but it’s very basic. It works really well in street fighter especially at low level because play most players don’t really understand how to approach intelligently, have little understanding of the neutral game and they get hit by wakeup DP. The neutral game is more complicated than blocking all the time so you should take advantage of that.


Turtle =/= Run Away or Zoning
If you don’t know what your opponent is doing to you, it doesn’t matter what character you pick…

Turtle = defend until your opponent makes a mistake, than punish. IE: if a ryu player likes to poke with cr.Roundhouse, block until he does cr.Roundhouse and punish for big damage like with raw ultra or fadc combo…

Run Away = Attempting to avoid contact until a specific goal is met. IE: ryu is most dangerous when he has two meters to burn on shoryu fadc. At the start of any first round, ryu players should try to avoid contact and build meter until they have reached the two meter goal. (don’t get yourself cornered pls) Another more common example is when the person with the life lead has less than a couple seconds on the clock and they don’t want to risk giving up the match so the run away.

Zoning = attempting to move your character to advantageous distances from your opponent while using your attacks to also control your opponent’s movement. IE: Sagat doesn’t want you near him so he uses tiger shots to attack you from far. When you get close he can threaten with tiger knee which on hit will place you back at tiger shot range. Each tiger shot you get hit by or block pushes you back and helps sagat keep you in the tiger shot zone where he benefits. This is more or less the idea behind full screen zoning. Any deeper and we are going into fakes and training your opponent, so I’ll stop here…

Your choice in E. Ryu is going to result in losses until you can perform his high damage combos consistently as that is what the character is built to do. After that, getting the hit and defending from being hit will be your next milestones. As for what to do on wake up, there are plenty of youtube video tutorials you can watch and the E. Ryu sub-forum should have a basic questions thread you could use (make sure to use the appropriate pinned thread.) Keep your question specific, like: After a cr. Roundhouse on Gouken, what can I do to him on wake up to mix him up safely and or keep him pressured?


Thanks for the replies guys, After people were telling me to switch to Ryu I finally caved, got a bunch of BP, and started doing easy safe jumps. I really got into SFIV from watching Sako play, so I jumped into training mode and started practicing combos, but after realising that I can’t do them online because I’m not used to the game itself my neutral game has gotten better. I’ve also started to realise why jumping is such a bad idea. i might go back to E. Ryu when I’m comfortable pulling off basic combos on other characters, but right now im sticking to Ryu and Cammy (for stress relief).


Some really good advice in this thread


I main Guile.
Evil Ryu can actually outzone him with his HCB fireballs and force Guile to go the offensive. Yang has moves that roll under projectiles.
Focusing through projectiles is a pretty good to go through turtle pokes and fireballs. If they are really set on holding down back you can literally just walk up and throw them sometimes or tic throw them.
You want to make a turtler nervous and start pressing buttons and then once they are whiffing stuff or throwing poorly times projectiles, punish. Once you have the life lead they are forced to attack you and stop turtling. So yeah, thats one option get the life lead at the start of the match then they simply cannot turtle or they lose to time out.