I don't understand this game (sf4)


I come from the 8wr/TYM forums, and I started playing late ae, shortly before ultra was announced. I don’t who to main, because I don’t fully understand the game yet.
and all the fundamentals I take from SCV Igau and MK and all the videos I’ve watched, don’t help at all.
my friend from sf4 vanilla isn’t a scrub whisperer, and I’m running out of patience.
I’m playing to get better but i feel like I’m failing to walk through walls :
I dont want this game to defeat me, before I even know which way is up. So if anyone has the time/want to show me the ropes, and help me not drop SF, I’ll most likely be turning up to more offline locals in England :smiley:
I’m on Xbox btw GT is my username


Seeing as you’ve mentioned SCV, MK9 and Injustice I’m assuming that this is your first time with a traditional 2D fighting game. Alot of things will be different from how MK9 and Injustice handle things, since those borrow more from 3D fighters.

First up, you’ll notice that the frame data is faster, you don’t really see any double digit values.

More importantly, unlike 3D fighters, MK9 and Injustice, a traditional 2D fighter does not rely on strings. On neutral, this means relying more on single pokes and learning to confirm of hits while playing footsies. In terms of pressure, it’s less “linear” (for lack of a better term) since you can’t just rely on canned strings, instead you’ll be stringing together your own block strings and figuring out how to keep yourself safe.

The important thing to remember is that traditional 2D fighters are more about controlling space (hitboxes, space on the screen) than controlling time (memorizing frame data, keeping yourself safe while doing pressure).


SCV too, is very footsie, and spacing oriented but even with that in mind learn where my furthest normals reach and when to push buttons whiff punishing on mistakes.
the char I main on SC needs the user to have decent spacing knowledge as most his moves are safe at a certain range.
I used to see SF as a 2d SC. But if this game had a lot more focus on footsies, I feel I’d be winning considerably more. So now I’m assuming I not winning/learning because there’s too much I don’t know.


Don’t feel bad bro.
I’ve been playing SF4 for almost 2 years and I don’t understand it either =P

if you want footsie oriented, pick Vega. He’s all about footsie with very little combos. Or maybe Honda. Chun Li. mostly the charged characters. with maybe Abel and Makoto. I’d mention Cody but he’s sorta combo driven too.
Oh and Dhalsim. Elena too.
But if I where you I’d pick Vega Chun Li or Elena. Easiest to learn.
But if you’re specialty is anti-air footsie then charged characters aren’t for you.
Juri, Abel, and Makoto have good anti-air normal while not being so combo driven.


I’m fairly new to the game and was struggling to do combos,specifically links, until I tried makoto.

She does a lot of damage, has the best normals in the game imo, and her combos are easy to do.

For some reason she just clicked with me, and now I’m learning other characters easier after playing her.


Which is wierd because Makoto is one of the more difficult characters to use, aside from difficult movement and spacing her links aren’t easy at all.
Her normals are absolutely amazing though and she hits like a truck. Which links are you doing exactly that makes it easy?


I just need someone to help showing the ropes is all, I’ll pick my character when I have the engine down, I don’t tend to stick with a particular character type.


Regarding good character for Footsies you don’t need to look further than Bison.


Learn/understand game 1st, pick a character 2nd.


I would say something to look out for is that throws are stupid good in SF4 compared to MK/INJ. They also have a longer range than you might think and do play a big role in the overall meta game than NRS games.


Her basic hit confirms, and the bnb’s from this video. https://youtube.com/watch?v=Fem2citvlxc&list=PLJESLE3nzmhLqhpWaDsM2b8IjDR_LRNEw&index=1

It’s possible I just suddenly got better the day I switched, but I couldn’t do any combo with a link until playing her, and I started doing the stuff in that vid almost immediately.


Ok I make it short.

There are chaincancels and there are links.
Chaincancels are easy and can be executed by just mashing, like Ryus 3x cr.lp for example.
Its for the most cases only possible with light attacks.
In this case one lightattack cancels into the next!

Links require tough timing for the button input, you normally cant mash them!! The window for the button input normaly lies between 1 and 3 frames in this game! (this is 16 - 48 ms!!!), so they require some practice, but you get the feel for them really fast.
Links do far more damage, they are possible with medium and also hard attacks!!
Certain attacks do certain hitstun and have a certain recovery! The deviation is called FRAME ADVANTAGE!!!
This is the most important thing this game is about. Understand frame advantage and you understand links and frame traps.
If you hit your opponent, and you recover faster then him, you can follow up with another attack, which even hits and comboes, if your opponent hasnt recovered yet from your first attack!

So as an example with Ryu:
Chain cancel he can do : 3x cr.lp

But if we look at a link he can do for example: cr.lp, cr.mp, cr.hk (Yes! this is a possible 3 hit combo!)

Now another very important thing. You can cancel certain normal attacks into a special move. For example cr.mk into hadouken.
But you cant cancel a normal into a special move, when it was a chained normal!!!
For example you cant follow up with anything after 3x cr.lp chained!!!
But you can cancel normal moves into special moves, when you linked into them!!!

So: cr.lp, cr.mk into hadouken IS possible!

Thats the principle behind sf4 combos. Use light attacks as fast attacks to hit your opponent. register the hit with your brain :P. Link into harder moves and cancel them into special moves. Thats called hitconfirming!!! and is very very important. If you dont hit with the first light attacks and your opponent is blocking, go for a throw.

Now more advanced stuff. Mix throws up with frame traps (look it up). Understand!! option selects!! There are several based on missing hit or blockstun or based on chaincancels or target combos with considering priority of your buttons.
Play play play. If you understand the theory you are on a good way


Maybe I should’ve been a little more specific in where i need help.
I have played fighters competetively for 3 years I know what frames are.
I’ve done home work with sf too as far as the difference between frame and links, i know what option selects are, taps charge chars etc. The thing I struggle to grasp is the game engine, what i should be doing what i should look out for, I know I shouldn’t jump, and i know spacing is important, but if spacing was as important as people stressed to me before, I would be winning and learning more, I’m feeling like I’m losing to something out of my control, and I cant improve on it because I don’t know what’s up.


Gen is sick btw! I was just messing about with him both his stances are fun i don’t find his tap moves to hard to link after HP


that was me with cody. Good reliable normals and easy confirms into combos. Cody has advanced shit but doesn’t need it to win


Learn Ryu, focus on zoning if you feel your footsies are good. Most big damage comes off of knockdowns too, maybe that’s different from what you’re used to, I dunno.


Post a video (or three if possible). Offline would be nice, but realistically, something from online with low lag levels should be fine.

We can’t magically figure out what you’re doing wrong, so if you can’t tell us, show us.


You could also go back and play Super Turbo. The game is basically all SF fundamentals with little gimmicks. If you get strong at that game, you can take those fundamentals and apply them to SF4 to a degree. However, you still have to deal with pokes doing little damage in the footsies game. You will need to learn how to maximize damage off a single poke and turn that into a combo. Otherwise, you will lose, because you can’t really survive off footsies and single pokes like the more simplistic Super Turbo.

Unfortunately, armored moves and focus attack in a way, break fundamentals like footsies and poking. If you poke wrong, you could pay big for it from eating damage off a move that soaks attacks as it comes out.

They are different games, but having strong fundamentals will still help you out. To a degree. Then, knowing the game engine and its quirks as well. Then, match up knowledge, which is probably one of the more difficult tasks in the game to get down because of how many match ups there are. Good luck.


Who are you using? Not every character is going to be winning by spacing and footsies.


I focused on Vega for quite a long time, but I started disliking him after a while. I’ve swapped chars a lot trying to find someone I like the feel of. Other chars are like Juri, Poison, Hugo, Seth, Oni, Ryu, and Gen.