I'm a super noob. Question

Hello. I started playing Ultra Street Fighter 4 seriously last Aug 1 and this is my first month and I still suck. I use Ryu and I can do fireball or dp consistently but I lack tactics or proper punish. Couple of questions.

A) how long did it take you to be good at this amazing game? How many hours do you play?

B) When you train, do you do training mode for 30 mins then the rest online?

C) is 2 hours good for training optimal or should I add more hours? (Currently working 8 your job)

D) I get destroyed a lot even though I play a month. Is that normal or am I just stupid for this game?

I really wanted to be a tourney level player one day most especially on SF V. Do I have a chance? Can I beat B level ranked in Ultra one day? Please help me. I love this game though

If you’re starting from scratch, you’ve got a long road ahead of you. I was able to consistently do basic stuff after about a year of playing, but it took me almost two and a half year before I can say I genuinely understood what was going on in matches, and I’m still learning new things about how to apply those strategic concepts every time I play. I dunno how fast or slow that is compared to most people, it’s quite possible I understood these things very late, but that was my experience with learning fighting games. Don’t be discouraged by this, though, because the rewards are worth it.

And, yes, you will get destroyed for the first few months. People will jump in on you because your anti-airs are bad, abuse online tactics that are hard to react to because of lag, mash DP through your blockstrings and wake-up ultra you in the face. That’s just how it is. You will improve, however. Whenever you lose, think about why you lost, and think about what you could have done differently, then try to apply that.

I have no idea about practice routines though, so someone else will have to answer that. If I’m in training mode (which I’m not terribly fond of), I tend to just practice simple combos and setups until I get bored, which is usually within 30 minutes.

Not specific to SFIV but here goes:

a) It varies, playing with knowledgeable people in person and getting feedback with help you grow the fastest.

b) It depends, what are you practicing? If you are comfortable with things a 30 min warm up makes perfect sense. If you are working on set-ups, execution, etc. it’ll probably take a lot longer than that. Some days I’ll be in training mode for a couple hours and not even bother playing matches.

c) It’s less about practicing for a certain amount of time and more about practicing intelligently.

d) This is normal

Watch your replays, use them to see why you lose, practice correcting those behavours = get better.

Thanks for the replies. One of my weakness is I lack tactics. Heck all I do is throw fireball and try to block as much as possible.

I am still learning on how to punish after I block an attack or how to set up ryu in the begi of the match. Do I throw fireball? Do I rush in? Do I turrle?

That depends on the matchup. SFIV doesn’t help in that there are 40+ of them to learn in some level.

It’s really hard to get into it at this stage, but hopefully you stick around for SFV. Lot’s of people will be playing it so you can learn as the game develops, that’s what happened to me with SFIV so it really wasn’t much of a grinding chore trying to catch up (obviously I spent time in training mode and I enjoy that a lot).

My two pieces of advice for your ryu is:

  1. Anti air. Ideally with a DP, but you can use cr.hp* as well. Every time you block a jump in ask yourself why you didn’t antiair it. A lot in fighting games isn’t reaction, but predicting. In time you’ll notice a lot of ranges or “queues” that makes people jump.

Learn to do DPs from a crouching position.

  • Fun fact: whenever you antiair with cr.hp or another move that doesn’t cause a knockdown, you’ll notice 8 out of 10 people will always do the exact same thing when they recover. The vast majority of online players like to focus after that or backdash, it’s amazing. This is kinda related to the “queues” point above.
  1. Learn to live and die by Ryu’s cr.mk. Most beginners throw fireballs at 3/4 or fullscreen and that’s usually ineffective. You should be playing a lot at cr.mk range and then using hp fireballs to poke when your cr.mk won’t reach.

When you’re playing, imagine yourself as a huge wall and don’t let your opponent push you. Really, Ryu’s cr.mk is pretty good and you should abuse it a lot. You don’t even have to cancel it into fireball, just throw it out there to hold that ground.

It’s important that at some point in the future you learn to walk forward and do cr.mk xx hadouken (not get a dp instead).

And, in general, try to find someone to play with. If you fight someone who you think is good, no harm in msging them and asking if they can give you some advice or voice chat for a bit in training. This would be a lot more productive than spending X hours in training doing whatever you’re doing.

typically most Ryu players try to zone their foe, until they have them were they want them then go in. ryu’s go to strategy is crouching MK into fireball. This pressures the foe pushing them back and creates space. Even if they block, getting enough of these in will push your foe into a bad spot near the corner. Also can’t forget the ol’ tried and true fireball/DP zoning. But depending on your foes tendencies you may want to switch it up. I.E if you see your foe is the defensive type that blocks often, start off aggressive and go for throws.

And like the others have said, it’ll take time and a few losses before you can even begin to compete at a competitive level. Just make sure you practice smart and learn from your losses. And compete a local events and tournaments if you can get to them. Local play within the FGC is where you’ll get the best training.

My sempais, how do I practice smart? Watching replays and correcting my mistakes?

In a lot of ways, yes. Look at why you lost and that practice against that. Are people jumping your fireballs and landing jump ins? Then record the dummy jumping in over your fireball and work on spacing and anti-airs. Losing in footsies to certain pokes? Record the computer doing those pokes and learn the counter pokes to beat them. Set up the computer to do wake-up DPs and practice blocking and landing a solid punish.

People new to fighting games usually make the mistake of thinking that practicing combos is super important, when really you can win matches without using combos at all. When teaching new people games my friends and I would often use one poke or one special exclusively and kept hitting them with it until they adapted and made us stop. That helps people curb the scrubby mentality of people thinking things are cheap or OP by teaching them how to counter things against a living breathing opponent. This is why I say playing with someone next to you that knows the game is most important.

In fighting games, this is essentially your textbook.


I really like your attitude. Humble, motivated, and willing to learn. Keep following these guy’s advice and trying and you’ll get better in no time.

You know, James Chen says that a lot too but I really disagree with the mentality. First, there some instances where dragon punch anti-airs would miss due to the jump’s trajectory, and crouching normals might be too slow/lacking in priority to anti-air. Then there are the cases where players might be jumping from far away where if they stick out a limb, you’ll anti-air them but if they had jumped in with nothing, you will miss. Because of this risk, it’s sometimes better not to anti-air and block instead.

I wouldn’t really call that disagreeing with it. You asked yourself why and answered. :wink: It’s always good to learn/know your options and how to use them.

It’s usually better to train yourself to anti-air reliably, and then identify the situations where you shouldn’t attempt to AA.

I don’t think this is a good idea since as a new player you don’t even know what to look for. The best way is to find someone that can guide you. I swear to god the time I improve the most was when I found a friend and we’d voice chat and play for hours every day. He has since then stopped and I mindlessly play ranked/endless now and I’m 100% sure my skill plateaued at that time.

Alternatively, maybe dabble with Dudley and follow this channel videos:


The guy (Thirtyfour) put a lot of content out there and went as far as designing a tutorial for you to learn dudley. I think, besides playing someone while chatting, focusing on one specific thing during matches is the best way to improve.

I dunno if switching to Dudley at this point is your best option though. I’d think about it.

I removed the mindset of focusing on winning only and instead on each game, my goal is to be consistent on not doing my bad habits (I.e not using AA too much). It makes the game more fun and I’m learning the game bit by bit.

I still lose but at least I can beat some B rank on one,round only (hehe it’s nothing but its something for me). I just need to play have fun and level up.

My psn is mchiefing so if you see me on rank matches, thats easy win for you haha. Im loving this game regardless and I will play this for life (im preparing for SF V too)

Are you saying you play one round matches? Don’t do that, you’re compromising the game and your own learning process. Most people don’t look for that if they are playing random matches and don’t notice until the round is over. The standard is 2/3, you’re cheating yourself by doing that because meter management is part of the strategy of the game and people may be making decisions based on conserving that meter.

No. What I meant is that on a normal ranked match, I beat them on one round but the opponent beat me on the whole match together

Carry on then, even small victories are victories.

Gotta another question, sempais. When you were starting, do you take a day off on playing Street Figthter to take a break?

Of course dude, lol. You’re not a professional gamer and this isn’t a job. As soon as you stop enjoying yourself just go do something else with your time.

I kid you not that when I take time off I even get better in a lot of stuff. I think it gives you a bit of perspective or time for you brain to wire stuff properly, like learning an instrument or a language.

Anybody can learn to play fighting games. as long as they are dedicated to it and practice, anyone can get good. But fighting games isnt for everyone. My advice to you sir, is even if you get completely rekt online, dont be discouraged. Ive been playing fighting games for awhile now but I always get completely destroyed online.