How To Teach Someone Not To Mash


Ive met this girl at an arcade, and she says she used to be really good at SF when she was in school in Mexico, and shes is not good at all. She doesnt want to practice at home, she doesnt know how to do any special moves reliably, and she just wont stop mashing buttons more than once to do a move. She plays with me because I helped her when she first came to the arcade, and she likes hanging out, so she really wants to keep playing me every week. Ive sent her videos to watch from UltraChenTV, but I doubt shell watch them. So, how can I get her to understand to not press a button 3 times for one attack to come out, and it wont make the move come out any quicker?


You don’t.

There is actually no cure for that unless the person wants to stop mashing.

It’s not even a bad idea to mash moves in most modern games, if that’s what you’re playing. The games are often A-Okay with it.


if she doesn’t want to practice, she’s going to keep mashing

mashing is a really bad idea in modern fighting games if you actually want to develop reliable execution


I have to play against her every week, and she never beats me cause Im able to pick spots well. She says she wants to get better, so its on me to teach her stuff. :S She says in other games pressing a button repeatedly works so she doesnt understand the 3 parts of every move in these games which I tried to tell her. I dont want it to get to the point where I beat her over and over again and she gets fed up finally and stops playing.


If someones does want to learn, how would you go about teaching them?

I’m finding getting the timing right on certain combos - namely EX Tatsu to U1 on Ryu, I do the tatsu with just the 1 input, but I then pump 2 or 3 QCF’s while then mash the 3 punch buttons so that it comes out quick enough. If I try and do it ‘properly’ I either throw the U1 out too late, or it doesn’t come out at all =/


Do the combo, do the tatsu, and just look at Ryu. Don’t pay attention to the whole situation, the two characters, the fight, whatever. Just watch Ryu during that EX tatsu, with the stick/dpad/whatever at neutral, watch as his feet are about to hit the floor, and then input the ultra once. You’re in the middle of a combo, seeing as the only thing that matters is doing the next move once the current move is done, only pay attention to your character finishing up the current move.


Why are you guys talking about a Ryu combo? And I said why Im having to teach her above. Kuniku.


Maybe you should read the posts.


Were not playing SF 4 though, so it doesnt really matter. Kuniku should have asked i na pm or somewhere else. Theyre not the girl Im talking about.


Not really, the topic of the thread is people moving from mashing to not mashing. The fact that somebody popped up and asked themselves is not off topic.


Ok then.


It’s really hard. You’ll have to hope she keeps her interest up- you might have to let this one go.

Stopping mashing means slowing down inputs to a snail’s pace in practice, and slowly increasing pace until you hit the bare minimum speed for moves to come out. This can be incredibly unintuitive, especially in this game, where there is no (button) buffering (hi links!), and cancels/reversals/etc. demand you input as fast as possible.

When you get hit because you were inputting too slow, or when the game eats your input because you used the wrong timing, the natural tendency is… to mash. Mash it right out.

Teaching is a funny thing- you can only really teach people who are ready to learn. If you can’t get her to watch your own hands, or slow her down at the arcade (and try to get her to “practice” there), you can only really hope that she gets resentful enough after losing repeatedly to buckle down and practice on her own. And like you said, most people don’t react that way, they just throw in the towel and walk away.

I suppose it comes down to whether she actually listens to you or not. If it’s in one ear and out the other, well, it is what it is.


If having her soul crushed as she tries her absolute hardest to win (but never does) isn’t enough to stop her from mashing then she’s stuck in the same boat as choi.

Train her to mash invuln moves and then hope for the best.

Also it depends a lot on the person’s personality, some people have the fire of competition burning brightly inside them–these people you can call out, shout in their face that they’re “more free than willy” “like the samples at costco” “an entire year’s worth of cologne ads ripped out of magazines”

These people who get heated can fall victim to the ol’ bait and switch, get them furious over legit insults then start dropping legit advice disguised as insults. Like comment on how hard they’re slamming the buttons. Tell them to switch to honda or chun-li so when they mash a button fifty thousand times at least a special move will come out.


If she likes mashing and you don’t want to crush her soul just go along with it while teaching her at the same time for a start before moving on.

•Like say “I know you love pressing buttons so ill teach some buttons that are good to press”. Show her some pokes and let her “mash” those moves.

•Tell her to mash this -insert anti air normal- when you jump at her, you get the idea.

•Then when the time is right sneak in bits of advice. “This move is great in this situation, while this move is great in that situation”

•Then when she uses a poke/AA correctly/move in the right situation, tell her that and be sure to constantly remind her what she did right so that she can attempt to improve on that or at least focus on doing it more.

•Teach her the importance of the corner being a horrible place to be in. “Don’t put baby in the corner” will get some laughs.

•Teach her about grabs and how to set them up and watch for them. Best way is to show by example and sorta make a game out of it.

“tech this throw when you see me walk up super close to you”

“block until you see me jab at you once/twice and walk forward, then tech the throw”

“block until I jump -> attack/empty jump then tech the throw”

“Now try everything I showed you against me and throw me 3 times in a row” try a bit harder but not too hard

In a way just replicate the Skull girls tutorial and make it a minigame.


there is a player in our area that comes out to sesssions. He’s been playing for 20 years and mashes EVERYTHING. If you tell him he’s mashing, he asks you what he mashed…

he’s been in our scene for 2\3 years and still can’t learn. Some people can’t be taught anything and he’s not the only person I’ve seen like this. I’ve seen other players still mash regardless if they win\lose

imo, those people aren’t very serious about the game so you’re better off not showing them shit. How hard is it not to mash? its incredibly simple but they’d rather mash and get something out on accident than try and fail 100 times in a row.


She obviously wants to learn and from you. Tell her she needs to listen to what you say or you won’t play with her. Done…


There is no cure. Every person that is new to the game will mash, I did so myself. You just have to keep playing and get rid of the habit.


With the few people that I’ve brought up from Day One scrubs, I discovered that the only way to instill the message of “quit fucking mashing” is to be a real dick about why mashing is making them lose. Play an entire game against them only using whatever your characters sweep move is. When they stand up, sweep. When they whiff a move, sweep. When you get a read on them, sweep. If they have an ounce of common sense they will eventually learn that “Those sweeps keep hitting me because i keep hitting buttons for no reason”. If they dont learn a lesson from that, there probably isnt much hope.

Bonus points if this method makes them noticably better at blocking too.


I’ve met a few people who also can’t stop mashing, even if i explain the motion carefully, slowly an precisely…they just mash the button a dozen times and the motion is all fumbled up. I’ve noticed these people, in my experience, are very impatient when holding a controller/arcadestick. They are also not used to performing quick button combination of anything longer than 2 buttons…and forget about adding a “complex” motion, somhow their minds seem to stop working haha. Don’t have an answer for you unfortunately as i wasn’t able to teach them either, however i’ve also noticed if the will to learn isn’t there than it’s a lost cause.

It’s wierd that there is this specific group of people who cannot do anything other than mash and they themselves don’t seem to grasp, cannot fathom that what other players are doing isn’t mashing but controlled inputs.So wierd.

Maybe it’s me but i’ve almost never tried to mash, even at a young age i tried play and performing moves i wanted to perform…though back then i was spamming those moves on my friends haha.

Also from the way you worded your story…maybe she’s more interested in you than SF? lol.


I was gonna say something close to that like pick balrog and just sweep her till she learns, but lets just skip the bs… She wants to learn and be the master at same time, you don’t do it in any other school so why would you not listen to what your teacher says now. Just tell her to do what you say or you kick her out of class… One and done…