I'm having a hard time with this game


Hey guys. I was wondering if you folks could offer some advice. I’ve been playing fighting game since Street Fighter 2, but not until SF4 did I get serious about learning how to actually play. SF5 is such a good fundamentals based game and I really like it, but I’m having a hard time. I know that the legitimacy of online play is arguable and an argument can be made that “points don’t matter…” but if it’s any indication of where I’m at, I fluctuate between 900-1600 league points. I can’t seem to get past that level. Some days I would win 3-4 out of 5 matches that I would play, some days I would accumulate losses of up to 10 in a row. I don’t even know where to begin, but below is a list of things that I think I’m doing wrong but I don’t know how to correct. I know it’s hard to answer them without any visuals, but I have yet to get around uploading matches online. I also know that strategies are on a case by case basis and dependent on characters, matchups, and opponents. Also, I don’t have friends who play fighting games.

  1. Stopping an offensive character/player/playstyle.
  2. Practicing fundamentals: footsies, anti airs, blocking, combos.
  3. Knowing what to do when to do it: When to defend, when to start an attacking, when to start playing footsies.
  4. How to get better at reading an opponent.

Thanks everyone!

  1. Offensive playstyles always have risks, but the aggro player is depending on rushing you down so much that you can’t exploit them. For instance, many aggressive players have to jump in or dash up to you. This is where jab becomes your best friend. It’ll blow up grabs, it’ll interrupt dashing, it’ll even stop jump ins.

  2. Training mode is what I’ve used to combo practicing, but it doesn’t really matter unless you get used to implementing your combos in PvP. You can record the training bot to jump in at you so you can figure out which button is the best for AA. Find something you’re stuggling with and use the training bot to practice it. If you’re having issues punishing whiffs, make the bot whiff a special and figure out the optimal way to punish it.

  3. This is really dependent on the character you’re playing. Some are meant to zone all game, some are meant to rush down the opponent. Most matches start off with playing footsies. It’s during this time that you test your opponent. Throw out some safe pokes and projectiles, testing their ability to anti-air, etc. You get a feel for how they like to play and what buttons they like to push. Once you’ve figured this out, you can make your move.

  4. If you’re on PC, you add me on Steam and I’d love to go a few rounds. I myself am only around 1600 LP, so I’m not a pro or anything.
    Steam: Sub Zero Calories


I’m a super noob. I still am not very good at Street Fighter but I find that my nerves do me in more than anything. When I smoke a bowl and relax I usually start to win. If I’m uptight and stressing I lose. Anyway I would definitely say use “The Lab” to your advantage. For example, my boy Necalli has a BnB combo that I learned by practicing over and over. The first day I could barely do it. The second day I could do the first part reliably. Now today I can do it facing right to left at will. All that’s left is to be able to do it facing left going right and then from there it will be pulling it off within a match. It should be easier then though because it will be committed to muscle memory. Learning to play the game whether with an arcade stick or your joypad is like learning to play an instrument. The combos are music. Go slow first then learn to speed it up. Play the first part then learn the second part then string them together for the full combo. Good luck mate.

Edit: BTW spend hours in the lab…


Generally speaking, stopping an offensive character or playstyle involves breaking his control over the match. Like @dailyasian said, they’ll likely be very mobile, jumping in on you, fishing for CC’s, dashing about and trying to get you off balance. A good example of this is blockstrings, which an offensive character would use in order to fish for CC’s thereby gaining momentum and control of the match.

To stop that, you’ll need to find pockets of space to break their momentum using footsies and well placed throws. Offensive characters (in balanced games) often have risks associated with their offense, for instance Gouki will almost always have low life to compensate for the amount of tools/spacing options his moveset has. You break their momentum with footsies, keeping them out until YOU want to go in. Make them play by your rules. Establishing good defense makes your opponent respect your defense and be more cautious moving forward.

Of course, to successfully do this you’re going to need to practice fundamentals. Practicing reactions to jump ins, knowing when your opponent’s jump in is safe (meaning no matter what you cannot punish), knowing some estimation of frame data on common blockstrings, and reading their flow of offense. Once you get that down, all 4 of your questions will be answered.

Basically: Improve defense + reactions to opponents offense = stop opponents offense. Hope that helps.