I need help when it comes to fighters

Hello, my name is Lamar. I’ve been playing fighters with my friends for quite a bit now.

Fighting games I’ve played:
Street Fighter 2 and sometimes 3 (Not too often to be honest, plus I hate SF4 "^^)
Guilty Gear Accent Core and other versions
Melty Blood
Akatsuki Blitzkampf
King of Fighters series (Mostly 11 and lately a bit of 12)
Rumble Fish
Arcana Heart

You guys probably get the point, but anyhow

I have trouble in fighting games and I’m not completely sure why. I’ve asked my friends and get alot of the same tips. “Go in training and learn combos.” I do that, however, I still have trouble fighting someone else. Anyhow, I learned recently that I don’t know when to attack. Can anyone help me figure out my problem when I’m playing fighting games?

Try watching youtube videos. You’ll get a better understanding why people do certain things in situations. Plus one of the biggest thing you need to learn is to understand your opponent.

Play solidly and work from the best tactics downwards, meaning use the best as your default to bait viable counters and then hesitate or mixup to bait and out predict their stupid bs. Watch out for character habits, if someone always does a srk after a certain interval or situation, try to set up for that situation and then block in anticipation.

If you keep tick throwing someone, and they start to catch on, you can do a tick, back dash to bait their throw and then do a super or super confirm - this is viable in 3S, dunno how much in IV. Thats conditioning, another thing you learn from habits.

Come up with thousands of ways to approach different situations. Dash under jump ins and cmk on the other side on first sight of their appearence, mixup in direct accordance with how well your opponent deals with the ‘best’ options and work down from there to prevent yourself from being predictable.

There are so many uses for every move, seriously, but start with the most damaging combos and basic mixups first, and then creatively weasel from there when predictability is something you suspect an opponent is catching on.

I like this about SF alot.


I have watched videos before and to be honest, it hasn’t helped me much plus, I have a hard time reading my opponent usually and/or figuring out what to do against my opponent even if I know what they’re about to do.

@Captain Falcon

I do know some of that, however, most of this really applies with Street Fighter and it’s not one of the biggest things we play to be honest (though we do play crossover games often enough), anyhow, I have a general problem in fighting games, you know?

Basically you need to learn what beats what.

You can’t do anything until you know when you can attack and when you can’t.

There are various ways to do this, but I recommend just playing the game and focusing entirely on looking for openings and seeing if you can exploit them.

Learn this before combos:
-What attacks of their’s can I block and then punish?

-What attacks of their’s can I beat with an attack of my own, and when it is viable to do this?(for example, some air attacks beat other air attacks clean depending on when you start them relative to each other)

-What attacks do I have that are punishable if they block them?(don’t do these if you think they will block)

-At what range can I punish them for doing something slow?(like throwing a fireball)

-If my opponent isn’t doing anything, how do I start an offensive?

Once you know where the openings are, execution becomes the next thing you need to learn, along with reading the opponent.

Also helps to discuss with live opponents or play a little theory fighter. Thankfully, some of the games are available on GGPO so go on one of the IRC Channels, meet some fellow players, and play a few rounds. If they’re helpful enough, they can help point stuff out for you. Also don’t be afraid to ask general questions, as annoying as it may be to some people, never hurts to ask I figure. A lot of these games play differently and have different feels, so like it was mentioned earlier, one mindset might not carry over perfectly over to the next game.

Siberian, what Pryde and C.Falcon are saying is true. Looking at the games you play based on that list, and based on the fact that you all don’t play SF as a main…I’d say your main problem is the metagame. And if you don’t know what that is, in a nutshell metagame is what you’ll be doing when you or your opponent isn’t performing a combo. That’s where knowledge of normals, character matchups etc. come into play.

Pryde’s suggestion of watching YT vids is very good. You can see other players’ metagame, and how they adapt to their opponents - and how they make their opponents adapt to them. C.Falcon’s suggestion is a good one too. You MUST learn basics before you learn advanced anything – this should go without saying. It’s possible, however, to have played fighting games for X amount of years and not have basics down. This can range from doing a simple jump-in combo into a special or a command for a super. Or, in your case, not knowing when to attack, or how/when to do a combo against a human opponent.

My advice for you is to get in A LOT of match experience, but only after mastering the basics in whatever game you’re playing. You need to establish basics first, then though situations and so many matches, things will hopefully start to fall into place. Why am I telling you to master the basics? Because Melty Blood, Rumble Fish, and Akatsuki Blitzkampf play ENTIRELY DIFFERENT from Guilty Gear, KoF and Street Fighter. Although fighting game experience carries over, every fighting game has its own set of basics to its system.

I didn’t include Arcana Heart in my example because it’s in it’s own level of awesome (shameless bias)

EDIT: Phoenix already said a little of what I was going to say lol

Your problem is probably that you don’t know the basics. Things like spacing, sweet spots, zoning, safe moves vs. unsafe moves and so on.

Start painting wicket fences and waxing cars. Worked for this kid I know.

http://www.combovideos.com/ heres where i used to go

Seriously, don’t worry about combos right off the bat. Start from the basics, what works in what situations. From there figure out how to turn that into more damage. This is most people’s problem when they start trying to get good is that they get hung up on hitting big combos rather than playing the game.

its all strategy thats the way i look at it

just find a group of people to constantly play with and ask questions. theres IRC channels for most of the games too so just log in and be friendly and not too demanding (some people find it annoying)



you’re welcome.

i use to be in the same boat

just start with basics… movement,blocking, SIMPLE combos, etc.

 when you play a fighter you want to be as fluid as possible.  be like water. 

its just about OPTIONS and being one step ahead of your opponent.

 also play to your strenghts. if you don't like doing combos then play a brawler(zangief,Raiden, astaroth)     and if you like to put pressure on people alot then play fast characters(cammy,taki, etc.)

Note: I am a new player also, so do not take my advice as if I were a pro. But help is help.

Step 1. Learn the basics (Play to learn):

Step 2. Practice, Practice, Practice…

Step 3. Play To Win:

Also, Justin Wong once said (I think in I Got Next but I could be wrong) “Fighting games are 65% execution…” Seriously get your execution down and apply it to the game, then mindgames and the meta game will come naturally.

Here is a good motto to follow (which I came up with :), and all top player’s in every sport use, and is the entire basis of Sirlin’s “Playing To Win”):
“Learn, Practice, and Apply.”

Edit: Also NEVER stop learning. Even when you master something you can always keep learning about it. Ex. you may be able to consistently execute the Kara demon in 3s, but there so much more than just the inputs.


Yeah, you’re probably right about that. Though, still, I wouldn’t compare Akatsuki too much with those games. Melty Blood and Rumble Fish do base alot on combos more, but Akatsuki is more bread and butter.


No worries, I don’t really start out with the basics right away and such. Though, you are right however, I always have trouble with figuring out how to play the game while playing it.


I actually know how to block, however, I never know when to stop blocking to punish for some reason. You’re probably right though about the basic combos though.


Thanks for setting it up for me like that, I guess I’ll try these methods but I’m still a bit, what’s the word… I can’t put it XD

By the way, thank you all for helping me out like this ^^ The more help the merrier and thanks again.

You need to get someone to play with that’s willing to learn with you, or set up a dummy in training mode that can come at you over and over in a position that you’re weak against until you figure out how to conquer it. You have to start from the ground up, meaning you need to know every single move, how many frames that move takes, the hit boxes of that move, where on the screen while doing certain things you have advantage and are vulnerable, and you definitely need to practice!

Learn what your normal attacks do. Too many people (beginners especially) overlook the value of a simple cr.MK for Ryu in SF or a 6B poke for a CH with Rachel in BB.

Once you learn what moves can be used as pokes, sweeps, overheads, crossups, AAs, etc., you can move on to learning what moves combo into others, and how to set up and finish those combos. You can go into training and mash out something like 2B 5B 5B 5CDC 236B 632146C 66 j.B j.C dj j.B j.C 236A, but if you don’t know *why *that combo works the way it does, you’re not going to get far.

Good luck :tup:

Combos do very very little for you until you get good enough to actually land them. I typically don’t fully learn my complete set of BnBs (for games where they differ between characters a lot like BB) until I’ve played the game long enough to understand my character in every other way and instead opt for generics.

Zoning and the like is far, far more important. As Pryde says, check out match videos if you have trouble with it. It really does help. Check out match videos and learn your character well.