If I wanted to get into fighters, where would I start?


So my college started a Fighting game club not too long ago. I’ve always love fighting games, but I’ve admittedly never been good at them by any stretch of the imagination. This club that started made me want to start getting better.

Problem is, I’m not sure how to do that.

I’ve been able to understand button combinations and frame data easily, but when I try to execute them, my fingers just end up fumbling on the controller. I know HOW to do things on a stick/pad, but I can’t actually do them on the controller itself. I end up getting confused in the heat of a match and my hands just start hitting random buttons, hoping that I land a hit or two.

So here are my questions:

  • What fighting game should I start with? I’ve been told to find a fighter that’s good for beginners (Skullgirls, SFV, etc.) but also to play a fighter that you’re interested in (Which for me are fast, flashy, complex games like KI and UMvC3). Which advice should I listen to?
  • How do I get better at using HCF’s, DP’s, and so on? Do I just practice them as much as possible?
  • How do I keep my composure during a match and execute the moves that I want to without fumbling with the controller? Do I just need more confidence, or is it something else?
  • In general, where do I start if I want to improve?

  1. Play what you are more interested in.
  2. Practice.
  3. For me it was a combination of practice and getting games in…learning from my mistakes and building more confidence along the way.
  4. You are in a local community (which is great IMO), and you registered here asking good questions.


1. Play what you think is fun. These are games, so getting gud is only epiphenomenal. Having fun should be your focus. If you’re not having fun getting gud, you’re doing it wrong.
2. Go into practice mode. Do 10 in a row. If you drop 1, start the count over. Do this daily until you perfect the motion.
3. *The Great Learning

It is said that The Great Learning is the gate of elementary learning. Whenever you go to a house, first you go in through the gate. Therefore the gate is a sign that you have reached the house. Going through this gate, you enter the house and meet the host.
Learning is the gate to attainment of the Way. Therefore learning is the gate, do not think it is the house. You have to go through the gate to get to the house, which is inside, behind it.
Since learning is a gate, when you read books do not think this is the Way. This misconception has made many people remain ignorant of the Way no matter how much they study or how many words they know. Even if you can read as fluently as a commentary of an ancient, if you are unaware of the principles, you can not make the Way your own.
Nevertheless, even though this is so, it is also hard to reach the Way without learning. It is also hard to say that someone understands the Way by virtue of being learned and articulate. There are some people who naturally conform to the Way without learning how.
The Great Learning speaks of consummating knowledge and perfecting things. Consummating knowledge means knowing the principles of everything that people in the world know. Perfecting things means that when you know the principle of everything thoroughly, then you know everything and can do everything. When there is nothing more you know, there is nothing you can do either. When you do not know the principle, nothing at all comes to fruition.
In all things, uncertainty exists because of not knowing. Things stick in your mind because of being in doubt. When the principle is clarified, nothing sticks in your mind. This is called consummating knowledge and perfecting things. Since there is no longer anything sticking in your mind, all your tasks become easy to do.
For this reason, the practice of all arts is for the purpose of clearing away whats on your mind. In the beginning, you do not know anything, so paradoxically you do not have any questions on your mind and you are obstructed by that. This makes everything difficult to do.
When what you have studied leaves your mind entirely, and practice also disappears, then, when you perform whatever art you are engaged in, you accomplish the techniques easily without being inhibited by concern over what you have learned, and yet without deviating from what you have learned. This is spontaneously conforming to learning without being consciously aware of doing so.*

-Yagyu Munenori, “Hereditary Book on the Art of War”.
4. Where are you right now? Well, that’s where you start.

  1. Play what you want to play. I would play KI before UMvC3 though since it has more footsies and has a very good tutorial that teaches you a lot of notions about fighting games in general.
  2. Yes. Just go into training mode and do repeatedly any special move on both sides (very important) until you can pull them off nearly 100% of the time.
  3. Best way to gain composure to me is knowledge about the game mechanics and the available options after each move. You won’t get scared by the opponent’s pressure when you know that the game engine allows them for only a few safe choices at each moment. Learn what is safe and what is not safe; when you know that a move is easily punishable you will be able to land your combo more easily.
  4. By playing, practicing and reading? Lol that’s a weird question.


I would suggest checking out some footsie guides


Practice, practice, practice…

Execution is all about muscle memory, the more you repeat the motion the quicker and easier it becomes to perform.

Play the game you want to play, is much more enjoyable to learn a difficult game that you love than a easy one that you don’t really care about.

The hardest of them all I would say is keeping your composure during a game, I feel this is vastly enhanced by character/mechanics knowledge, when you freak out is because you don’t know what to expect or how to react to it when it happens.
Learning other characters and matchups to be able to experience first hand the strengths and weaknesses of each will make you feel more secure and relaxed as you have a set of tools at your disposal for each situation.

Watch tourneys, streams… anything that can give you a better insight on your character and ways s/he can be used effectively, it will help a lot in the long run and will save you insane amounts of time by not having to figure out everything by yourself.

Enjoy !


Start with the games that you actually want to play. KI has an amazing roster and it has an amazing tutorial that starts off with teaching you the basics of fighting games but it will eventually move on to some KI only mechanics. Having 2 fighting games help. For example, play SFV and once you are frustrated with getting combo’d repeatedly, go to KI where combos are breakable. To learn how to do specials, go to training room and do the special 20 times on one side and 20 on the other side. If you mess up once. Start over. How to keep calm? Learn individual aspects one at a time. For example, work on anti-airs. Nothing else. Go online and don’t try to win. Just try to anti-air as well as possible. Do this for multiple things you want to do. Then combine them and you should be able to do them with composure. Of course, we all have salty and hype moments. As to where to start, learn controls. Once you can control your character, you synced up with them. From there, you are the character. Losses are your fault. Feel like you lost because of the character? Probably not the character for you. Find friends and try to surpass them. Always have water with you. It helps a lot.


I would actually suggest to play whatever game is the most popular in your club, or if you are fortunate to have several games that are played a lot, to pick between them that you enjoy.

As you meet up and play with other people you will naturally feel the urge to get better and improve in whatever game you decided to pick.



I am terrible at muscle memory, so I only do 3 simple combos the entire match. I’m not very good. I’m ordering a stick soon.


Have you tried playing stick before?
It’s not for everyone and doesn’t guarantee better execution or easier muscle memory