I want to be good....help


So here’s the situation: Fighting games are a new genre to me. I played Mortal Kombat 3 and Street Fighter 2 as a kid. Played Marvel SuperHeroes vs SF and Marvel vs Capcom 1 and 2 a lot in highschool.

Now I own Ult. MvC 3.

Well, all that playing gave me the illusion that I was at least somewhat good. I could beat my friends with some consistency – often 5+ times in a row. I never felt obligated to stop playing “cheap” (where ‘cheap’ is defined as any tactic that’s significantly easier to do than it is to stop/counter) and that gave me a distorted impression of my skills.

Because you see…now I play online, and I know that there’s a “better” level of skill to be playing at. Now I’ve read Sirlin’s “playing to win” and I realize that the fighting game genre has more to offer than I’ve gotten out of it thusfar. Make no mistake: I have no intention of becoming “godlike” or “pro”. But I would like to be able to hold my own against anyone “3rd lord” and under by the time I’m done.

1.) Someone interested in training/teaching/showing me the way to improve. My PS3 username is BountyHunterSAx.

2.) Actual, followable advice on how to improve.


I play Ryu, Dante, Hulk, and Sentinel.
Sentinel is the one I play with the worst style. I basically spam H / crouch H, until my opponent gets into range for a S, following which I go: S j.M H S qcf l qcf m+h. It’s a solid combo, does tons of damage, but relies on my opponent to blindly jump in and not block. This doesn’t always work. At all.

Hulk I’m better with. I’ll try to use H-grab, standing H, or air H to get a combo going (and when I’m not blocking). Follow that up with H, S, (air) M H S. At that point I’ll either use a team-combo or follow up with another qcf MH on the ground, depending. The damage, is solid, and hulk takes a lot of punishment. But, once more, this suffers from being too much of a “noob-stomper” tactic as anyone with the sense to BLOCK my hugely telegraphed H will avoid the combo every single time. And quite probably counter attack.

Dante…he’s the one I want to be good with, but am not. I practice blocking with him with signifcantly mixed results. I can’t deal with projectile spam or heavy pressure (yet). I try for l m s m qcf h --> qcf mh and have varied results with it. I feel as though learning to do either him or Ryu properly will be the key for learning to actually play the game more skillfully.

I’ve tried spending a few hours in the training room, but rarely feel as though my execution improves any in even simple things (like a shoryuken). But more painfully, when I go to a real fight, NONE of that matters as I’m beaten down by large comboes and chains instead. I have no idea what it means to “practice blocking” or how I would go about doing that.

Thank you for your consideration.



First of all, being cheap is a valuable skill. It’s not a bad thing. Playing to Win should have taught you that.

Secondly, execution takes a long ass period of time to build. “hours” in training mode will make most people here laugh at you. Try practicing for 45 minutes every day for a month, and then see if you improve.

Third, the best way to practice blocking is to play tons of matches, preferably against the same team. Learn what the character can do and the opponent’s offensive patterns. Mixups online are extremely hard to block, however. Offline marvel is a much better game.

Fourth, spamming :h: laser w/ Sentinel is not a bad strategy at the beginning if you’re far away. But focus more on air attacks with j.m, that’s where Sentinel is really cheap. You can use j.s to bring them back down into a full combo. Learn a simple fly combo, launcher j.h xx fly, j.l j.h xx unfly j.m xx double jump j.h j.s is extremely consistent.

Learning to wavedash also will open up a lot of mobility options in Marvel.


just look at the character specific threads for tips on how to use each character, they usually have whole strategies on there as well as combos and what not. It takes a long time to get “good” at fighting games. Just gotta stick with it. Finding other people to fight with is your best bet, i was lucky cause when i started a good friend of mine started at the same time so we kept each other going and practice everyday. Don’t get angry when you lose cause its gonna happen a lot, copy off the pros until you know enough to develop your own strategies and then the worlds your oyster my good man.

Good luck.

Stick with it!


1st > practice
2nd > practice
3rd > practice
4th > practice
5th > practice


If you can: Play offline.
If you have a scene, play with them.


I can’t help you over online or anything, but my general advice if you want to be good at this game is as follows:

  1. Pick characters you love, or pick characters you will learn to love because of how broken you find out they are. If you love your team you’re more willing to experiment with it, and the longer you stick it out the more synergy you will find with that team. The longer you stick it out with that team, the less you have to think about playing it, and then you can concentrate on your decisions and what the other guy is doing.

  2. Go into training mode. Go in there and grind the shit out of it. This won’t really work if you’re not interested in your team. The longer you mess about in training mode for, the more stuff you will discover about it, and the better your team will work. Look on youtube for relevant tech for your characters and try different things out.

  3. When playing online, use player match. Once you find someone at or near to your level, with a playable connection, then add them and try to get sets in whenever possible. On top of that, if you really want to get better at the game, whenever you have a solid connection with anyone better than you, keep playing them until they end the player match. Don’t look at it like you’re losing lots, look at it like you’re learning lots, because you are and there’s no reason to get angry about that. You’re playing with someone using tactics better than yours, so you have to adapt. You’re playing someone who knows their characters better than you do, so you’re gaining matchup knowledge. And you’re getting comfortable fighting an uphill battle everytime, which gives you better resolve and eventually makes you more patient, which is the key to learning Marvel.

I had never played Marvel apart from a little dabble with it week one with MvC3 and then again the week before Ultimate came out. Since November I’ve focused on this game, trying to catch up to everyone else and I’ve become a player capable of competing with anyone in the UK (this is while maintaining a full time relationship with my GF and completing the final year of my degree).

It’s all about having the patience and drive to get to that point though, because it’s a long and slow journey upon a salt trodden road. Good luck!


While that is true, it should be:
1st > practise
2nd > practise
3rd > practise
4th > practise
5th > practise


Edit again lol:
Well at least in England that would be true, dunno about the US.

Final edit I swear:
And yeah the obvious one is, if you can, find a local offline scene and try your best to become a part of it. That alone is a huge factor. Then you’ve got a reason to practise more, people to come together and play with and see who is better, and on top of that a collective of people to travel and attend tournaments with.


Practise is a verb as in I practise Marvel, practice is a noun as in Marvel practice


Not to derail the thread or anything, but that there is confusing lol. Would the distinctions not have to be;

I own a dental practice
I need to practise my dental skills


either work… i didn’t find my explanation that confusing but thanks for clearing it up for others… better not get any more off topic though eh? :wink:


Firstly - thanks for all the responses. Except the “practice x6” one. Yes, I know I’ve got to practice to improve - but there’s a vast difference between “practicing” and “wasting time futzing around.” The mere fact that I’m posting on here asking for help shows that I’m willing and able to practice. I don’t need that patronized back at me :).

So, I only half agree with you there. Being willing to play ‘cheap’ . . . or playing to win, that is a valuable skill. But doing so against players that aren’t particularly good often proves self-defeating in terms of long term growth. Say my opponents cannot deal with sentinel spam because they’re newbies who don’t care to learn. One of two things will happen: either I will keep winning, and learn nothing about how to play well or we’ll stop playing the game because they’re sick of losing to a “cheap” tactic that they couldn’t be assed to learn how to beat.
Neither of these scenarios means that I advance as a player or get any better. Hours and hours of playtime will result in minimal to no growth of my skills. That’s why I mentioned that I won, but I won via cheap play rather than solid play.

That makes sense :). I doubt I’m gonna stick at it with anything quite so regimented, but I can definitely try to throw another 10-20 hours at it. Certainly for a BnB combo.

So I’m not certain why offline would be different than online. At least personally, I’ve yet to experience delay or lag when playing. Is this much worse in general or is there some other reason?

Thanks, will try to pick this up next time I practice.

What’s wavedashing?

Hmm. So, I like the sound of this advice overall - and definitely the first part I’d do. But honestly, I don’t feel as though I gain pretty much anything out of playing with someone who’s “out of my league” better than me. Just a little better, sure, I may pick stuff up. But if I play against a pro, I’m gonna get pwn’d so hard it won’t matter WHAT I do, nor am I in a place to truly even understand the tactics I was destroyed by.
At least, that’s how it is in games like Go or Chess; but if fighting games are a different animal altogether, than let me know.

I don’t…or do I? I’m a med student in washington,dc / greater DC area. Is there a scene?



Well you can perform a dash in a few ways. The first way is by inputting :f::f:, a second way is by performing a command dash, which is when you input :atk::atk: to get a dash.

Anytime you perform a dash (with most characters) you can cancel the dash by using a crouching or jumping (and technically normals, specials, hypers, XF etc but that’s pointless lol). So to dash faster across the screen lots of characters, instead of doing dash, dash, dash, dash, you can do :atk::atk:then:d:, :atk::atk:then:d:, :atk::atk:then:d: etc. This allows you to repeatedly dash forwards. You can also do this backwards by doing :b:+:atk::atk:then:db:, :b:+:atk::atk:then:db:, :b:+:atk::atk:then:db: etc.

There’s other ways but for now that’s a good enough start.

Well if someone is completely on another level, then yeah it’s likely to be counter-productive lol. But if you’re able to try and learn anything then it’s worth sticking around and trying to get as much out of it as possible. Just gotta judge yourself about their strengths.


You can find local players via the Regional Matchmaking section of the forum, but other than that I’m not sure ^_^’


You’re correct, however, remember that there are time where spamming Sent’s s.h > c.h is a viable strategy. For example, are you really going to try and rush down Tron/Haggar if they’re without a good beam assist? Of course you aren’t, since you can make them come to you, and make them play on your terms with s.h/c.h (lasers). Against Dante with Hulk you’re most likely going to attempt to harass Dante with gamma wave + a projectile assist to force him to warp to you, which leaves him wide open to your powerful and “cheap” standing heavy. Why? Because Dante’s missiles won’t reach or over prioritize gamma wave, and air play can (hopefully) either be dodged or dealt with via assist.

Sure, there are other times where you’ll use the less “cheap” method of call Sent drones and Gamma Charge the opponent and use the hitstun from the drones to get in a hi/low hit. This method however, is not always viable. In short, play to win AND learn to kill two birds with one stone.


If you’re worried about your execution, stay away from Dante. His (proper) combos are a lot more difficult than most of the cast. I recommend trying his significantly easier to play brother Vergil instead.


You have to lose a lot, get frustrated, slow down and realize why you’re losing, transform the reason why you’re losing into a reason you’re winning then rinse and repeat with another reason why you’re losing.

Pro’s didn’t get good overnight. They’re pro because the continue through the bullshit no matter how many times they were knocked down. A lot of these guys have also been playing for years, so don’t count yourself out too soon.


Split-second counters to certain things become a lot more practical without lag. Like jump air throw against some jumps, blocking Vergil’s Rapid Slash, punishing certain assists, blocking foot dives, etcetera.

Once you have your combos spot on and you recognize certain openings in your opponent’s patterns, minor lag becomes much more noticeable. Blocking certain mixups without blindly guessing is also a big deal. Two frames of lag can make the difference between a block and a dead incoming character.


First, being cheap is a given, lots of my friends doesnt face me on marvel because I’m really “Cheap” playing (Sword loops wih Vergil, Frank level 5 and Wesker XFC3)… But I dont care, I just go practice and play. If they want to learn, it’s okay, but always play at 100% and tell them what are you doing, if they don’t want, well, they lose it…

  1. Get the bible (Strategy Guide) first and foremost as it is an excellent primer to all things MAHVEL (link below). It may be easier to find this at your local game store than online, but still, I would say you can learn a lot from the guide and is basically a necessity.

http://www.amazon.com/MARVEL-CAPCOM-SIGNATURE-VIDEO-ACCESSORIES/dp/B004NPPPS0/ref=sr_1_11?s=videogames&ie=UTF8&qid=1341912551&sr=1-11&keywords=ultimate marvel vs capcom 3 guide

  1. Watch online games where the commentators explain what is happening so you can get an idea as to what people are doing. A big chunk of getting good is just filling out your knowledge about the game and understanding what can be done. Frame Advantage Dot Come usually allows you to see matches organized by character so you can see matches of characters you want to learn. It’s one of the best ways to learn.

  2. Remove the word “cheap” from your vocabulary as it will only hold you back. If you want to be good, you play to win. The only phrase you should think is “this tactic is effective against this person X% of the time in this situation and is either safe or punishable on block.”

  3. Objectively assess your natural execution ability. No matter what people tell you, your natural execution ability (meaning what you can learn in a reasonable amount of time) is probably going to be the biggest determinant regarding how good you get. Yes, you need to practice (a lot) to get your stuff good and be consistent but if you’re practicing a combo for 2 weeks and not hitting it in training mode at least 90%~95% of the time, chances are it is beyond what you can do in a reasonable amount of time unless you really devote excessive amounts of time every day to it. That’s the brutal cold truth and it sucks. Nothing makes me more bitter when I practice a combo for an extended period of time and I can’t hit it while someone can learn the same combo in a day or two and hit it flawlessly.

I don’t mean to discourage you but just forewarn you that going beyond what your natural ability takes a time frame measured in years (akin to someone become really good at the piano or something like that). Most good players have been developing these skills over 2 decades at a time when they were young enough that their bodies actually could develop around the requirements of fighting games. Many of the characters in Marvel (i.e. Dante, C.Viper, Chun Li etc.) are designed around players who have execution skills well beyond that of the average (or even good) player so you are best just avoiding them unless you know you have really good execution or are a masochist.

  1. Fighting games are decided in frames and any bit of lag greatly influences your ability to play. Thus, most people look at online as a means for seeing what people do rather than the standard for determining how good someone is. I’ll tell you right now, doing Dr. Doom combos online without a good connection seems like the hardest thing on Earth, but offline line, it’s actually pretty reasonable. Also, blocking becomes leagues harder when you have to predict as opposed to react. Many people will think that they are good because of how they do online, but it’s only until you play long sets offline can you really gauge someone’s skill. Also, the transition from online to offline can be just as rough so beware.

  2. Find good friends who help you out, keep your salt levels to a minimum and that you can do the same for them. Fighting games are hard enough as is, but they are straight up unbearable if you are salty (angry, frustrated, bitter, etc.). Make sure you have friends who can keep you positive and help you learn. It’s a lot easier to learn something with a clear mind as opposed to one clouded by anger and you’ll be more likely to practice when in a good mood as opposed to when you want to smash your controller through the T.V.

  3. Smart practicing usually goes like this:

a) Figuring out what the problem is (Am I doing enough damage with this combo? why am I having trouble with this character? What’s the best incoming character setup I can do?)
b) Trying ideas to solve the problem (Learning a more damaging combo, figuring out the best way to punish something, figuring out a mixup)
c) Testing it in matches (How consistently can you hit it, what is the likely hood of me punishing a move, how easy is this mix-up to convert into a dead character)
d) Rinse and repeat

More often than not, you’ll be held back by hanging on to strategy that isn’t good but you “like.” Maybe it was the first tactic that let you win a couple of matches or it is flashy. However, if it doesn’t cut it in the ring the vast majority of the time, the faster you get rid of it, the better. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thought I had something really good to find that it was just not practical in a match or wasn’t nearly as effective as I thought. I forget who said it but the cliche quote is, “Your more hampered by the inability to throw out bad ideas than an inability to come up with good ideas.”

Good luck!

Maximillian brought me here: the umvc3 road 2 evo 2013