I'm tired of sucking ass at this game. Need opinions


I know combos, I know setups, I know option selects, I know frame data and traps, but I still suck. That’s because I don’t know what to do (let’s say I’m trying to get a feel for the game with top tier like E. Ryu). Meaning, I can hit all my links and all these combos on a dummy that’s standing still in training mode, but when it comes to and actual player, I can’t just walk up to them and fierce punch into axe kick, then HK etc. I need to find a way to get in, land a hit that won’t get counter hit and is safe, and then combo that. People tell me be patient, so I block everything, barley touch any buttons, and I never land any combos. I get counter hit on everything, and I only land a couple of sweeps and a DP. Other people tell me rushdown since it’s E. Ryu, so I try focus and then canceling with forward dash. In the rare event that works, I get in and try low forward and it fails 95 percent of the time. All my jumps-ins get punished which are the way to high damaging combos for E. Ryu. I’ve tried empty jump setups, never work I’m always counter hit. I try blocking on the opponent’s wake-up, doesn’t work out for me. I’ve tried waking up with short, I get counter hit. I don’t know how to get in, what to do once I get in, what to do at full screen other than throw some fireballs, what to do on my wakeup, what to do on their wake up, and how to play footsies. I’ve been reading through the SRK forums for a year now, and I’ve found no advice that I haven’t already tried. Practice is a popular piece of advice, but what do I practice if I don’t know what to do? Is there something I’m missing when it comes to fighting games? Like a certain way I should be thinking? I know losing is a part of the game, but I feel like I’m getting nothing from it. My problem is that Street Fighter 4 is different from Third Strike, Marvel, and many other fighters. Everything feels unsafe, and the movement feels unique and different. That makes it very hard to understand what I’m doing wrong.
Checklist for what I need help with if you didn’t want to read all that (E. Ryu).

  1. What to do at the start of the match.
  2. How to get in.
  3. Safe buttons for E. Ryu.
  4. What to do once I get in.
  5. What to do on my wakeup.
  6. What to do on their wakeup.
  7. Strategies not only for E. Ryu, but for all shotos.
  8. How to play footsies.
  9. The use of forward, back, and neutral jumps.
  10. When to properly use focus attacks.

Any advice even if it doesn’t help is appreciated. I understand all the fighting game lingo so you don’t have to explain the fundamentals of fighting games to me (I don’t think I’m that scrubby). Also this is my first post on the forums, so if I’m not supposed to be posting topics like this you can ban me and delete the thread. XD I’m looking forward to see what you guys have to say about my scrub life. :smiley:


I can’t really address 90% of your questions since I don’t main E. Ryu, but I can give you a tip for the one about footsies.

“Protip: Footsies cannot be taught like combos. Takes an extreme amount of discipline, conditioning, intuition, and balls to master.” - Alex Valle

Or you could just be a scrub like me and walk back and forth in one spot to make it look like you actually know what footsies are, hahah

Scrubquotes is back!
Scrubquotes is back!

Its simple really, you arent playing the metagame. This consists of footsies and zoning to start.

^Much of this information applies to SF4. He explains zoning better than anyone IMO.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FQQCan5oo90 <- the absolute best tutorial ive seen on footsies so far.

Even though you play Evil Ryu, some topics may be useful with this tutorial on Ryu: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tcMVI-7cn04 This tutorial is out dated though but theres still some gems that are useful.

Better grab some popcorn.


To answer your checklist:

  1. What to do at the start of the match.

  2. How to get in.

  3. Safe buttons for E. Ryu.

  4. What to do once I get in.

  5. What to do on my wakeup.

  6. What to do on their wakeup.

  7. Strategies not only for E. Ryu, but for all shotos.

  8. How to play footsies.

  9. The use of forward, back, and neutral jumps.

  10. When to properly use focus attacks.

  11. Its a guessing game. Most of the time its best to be defensive.

  12. Watch the videos.

  13. cr.mk is safe. There are others, best to ask Evil Ryu players or look at the frame data.

  14. Pressure, get knock downs, go for combos, baits etc. Watch the videos.

  15. Mostly block unless you feel strongly otherwise.

  16. Mixups. Crossups are the most basic form of a mixup.

  17. Character dependent

  18. Video

  19. Limit your jumping. Try to not jump for now unless you are 100% sure itll work. Eventually youll get more intuition.

  20. When you feel like someone can throw out a non armor breaking move and you want to dash (forward or backwards) or go for a counter hit (letting go after you absorb one hit)


In the neutral part of a match you want to focus on getting to your character’s optimal range, keeping your opponent out of their optimal range and making your opponent give up space/move towards the corner, in roughly that order of importance. Watch this video, and pay attention to how the Evil Ryu always tries to stay the same distance from Sagat, approximately the range of his low forward. In general a character’s optimal range is wherever they are “safe” from the opponent because their attacks at that specific range are strong.

But remember that footsies will only happen in the first place when both players agree to play that kind of game. At low levels, online players have very little respect for their opponents and will probably throw out a lot of YOLO jump roundhouse or tatsu or whatever hoping you can’t deal. It is important before you learn footsies that you can reliably anti-air and punish random garbage hard enough that the odds are no longer in favor of your opponent taking a big risk. Once both players have established that you need a solid neutral game because shenanigans will get punished (either by whipping your opponent into shape or hitting a level of play where this is presumed) then you can play footsies.

If you’re getting counterhit or stuffed a lot remember that your opponent probably didn’t see your poke and react to it but was going to press that button whether you did anything or not. If you’re in the range of ANY of your opponents attacks, you need to respect it as an option they have and think about the strengths and weaknesses of those options. Ryu’s sweep is faster than your low forward but has pretty lengthy recovery so if he throws it out at any time you aren’t hitting a button you can (and should) punish him for it.

Most characters can play at a basic-intermediate level without jumping at all and taking that challenge is a good way to improve your fundamentals game since you have to play “honest” in order to get close.


Wow. Thanks a lot you three. I’ll try to incorporate more of this into my game and I’ll let you know how it works out.


the answer to getting better is almost always the neutral game. combos get dropped at all levels of play. no player hits everything no matter how consistent their execution is. you can minimize drops, but you will never eliminate them completely

the one thing you can carry from match to match, game to game, and even character to character are the concepts of playing a fundamentally sound neutral game


K so, 1 was very relevant in ST. I feel like it’s less so in SF4 since you have a lot more options, but the general idea should carry over.

I’ll give a few examples to illustrate my point.

ST Ryu vs Ryu

At the start of the match you have 4 options (you have more…some of them being slight variations of the following but to keep it simple I’m going to just use 4 base cases)

  • Fireball (gives parity vs fireball opener, give offensive pressure vs block)
  • Jump in (beats fireball)
  • Dragon punch (beats jump in)
  • Block (safe and/or beats Dragon Punch)

Which do you choose? If it’s Round 1 of your first time fighting an opponent and you feel confident, you might choose block because it’s safe and let’s you feel out your opponent with the underlying idea that you can outplay them as long as you don’t give them the momentum/life lead from the start. You see this happen a lot with people in round 1, or even set 1. They tone down their aggression and feel out the other person.

As you play someone, you start to notice their patterns. Patterns of play are a thing for a reason. It’s someone’s comfort zone. If I play Ryu and for most of my SF life I’ve preferred to spam fireballs well…I’m going to spam fireballs. It’s hard for people to break their patterns. They can even -CONSCIOUSLY- know, you’ve noticed they like to spam fireballs and have started to exploit it, and while they may stop the pattern for 10-15 seconds, they’re going to fall back into it because they can’t help it. This kind of things fades out the better the other player is.

You have to make educated guesses on what a person will do. Is it someone who doesn’t give a fuck and is just going to do whatever they’re comfortable with all game? Is it someone who’s going to notice that you’ve adapted to their pattern and switch gears for 10 seconds before falling back into their pattern? Is it someone who’s going to adapt to what you’re doing and try to bait you into punishing their ‘pattern’ that they are no longer using, only to go back to it when they’ve baited you enough and you’re now second guessing yourself on countering it?

So with all that in mind, here’s a scenario from the other day playing online. I’m only going to talk about the starts here.

Cammy (me) vs Ryu.

Round 1 Set 1

  • Fight!
  • We both walk backwards a bit. As soon as I see him walking backwards, I start walking towards him.
  • He throws a fireball.

Round 2 Set 1

  • Fight!
  • We both walk backwards a bit. As soon as I see him walking backwards, I do HP Spin Knuckle. He throws a fireball. Spin knuckle flies through his projectile and connects.

Round 1 Set 2

  • Fight!
  • We both walk backwards a bit. As soon as I see him walking backwards, I do HP Spin Knuckle. He throws a fireball. Spin knuckle flies through his projectile and connects.

We’ve established his pattern

Round 2 Set 2

  • Fight!
  • I don’t think Spin Knuckle is a good idea here since most people would adapt at this point. However, based on the previous 3 rounds, I think he might be dumb enough to keep the same pattern going. If he does adapt, I’ve learned something about his behavior, how he thinks, and how long it takes him to adapt.
  • Since I think it’s likely that he’s going to expect the Spin Knuckle to come, I choose to walk back and forth in place with the intent to EX Spiral Arrow him on reaction if he throws a fireball.
  • He fakes a fireball. I EX SA. He blocks. I think it’s likely he was looking to DP my Spin Knuckle, but was caught off guard by SA.

Subsequent rounds proceed just like this, trying to figure out what your opponent is thinking, and how to stay 1 step ahead of them.


I don’t play E. Ryu but I’ve played enough SF that I understand his game-plan. Here’s a very condensed and simple version.

What move to start with?
Depends on the matchup. I usually do nothing because I anticipate a jump (people are very jump-happy in SF4).

What to do in general?
Are you far away? Throw fireballs to build meter.
Are you close? Use cr. mk xx fireball to chip away and slowly pressure.
Do you have an opening? Use cr. mk xx axe kick - cr. jab xx tatsu - SRK for punishment.
Has your opponent whiffed a poke? Use sweep or cr. mk xx fireball - FADC - etc…
Is your opponent down? Use the dive kick.
Is your opponent jumping? Use fierce SRK and cr. fp

Before a match tell yourself mentally that you’re ONLY going to respond to certain situations in certain ways. Get it in your muscle memory. Then you can go further with the character.


Ahhhh the Fake Footsie. This creature can often be spotted dancing half a screen away from it’s prey.


Your thinking of things in a binary way. It seems like you want 1 good answer that will cover you for each situation. Thats not gonna happen, you will be easy to read and even if you do all the “fundamentally correct things” there are ways to squirrel around that and beat it(however unsafe those things are, people online dont really care). Everything you do in this game carries risk, even just blocking carries a risk to it. Weighing risk vs reward + knowing the options and acting quickly will get you far.

-Focus on one matchup. Trying to learn footsies against the whole cast when a lot of it is matchup dependent is a waste of time. Find an offline training partner who mains 1 person and play him for a couple hundred matches.

-Learn frame data for the your character, then for the opponents character for the matchup your learning. How can you punish anything if you dont know whats safe or not safe? How will you know to press buttons if you never know if your at advantage or if your opponent is at negative frame data?

-Learn your options. Did you know a perfectly timed meaty with a throw tech option select behind it on the opponents wake up beats wake up anything except reversal dp, and techs their throw? Did you know that at certain ranges you can walk to to someone and block on their wake up and they cannot fadc their dp on block because they are airborne and no longer grounded? A lot of this game is rock paper scissors, know your options for every situation and what beats what.

-By learning the 3rd bullet you can now start to “read” the opponent. What are his habits? Is he constantly waking up jab or tech? Then meaty throws or normals will beat that. If hes reversal happy then stand at the range where you cant get thrown and he cant dp fadc and punish. If he wake up back dashes then learn your back dash option selects. If hes mashing during your strings then know what strings are true block strings and learn how to cut your block strings short if you think the opponent is mashing. Etc etc.

-Every character has a space or zone that he can control with his normals and specials. How big or small, and how easy it is to maintain this space is character and matchup dependent. Learn this for your character and use this knowledge to control space on the screen, control your opponent to either force him into the corner or get yourself out of the corner.

A lot of this shit is intrinsic. Nobody in general is gonna take the time to spell everything out for you unless they have some vested interest in seeing you play this game for some reason. Even if everything is just given to you, you still have to take the time to practice and grind that shit into muscle memory and eye recognition. A lot of learning this game is situation recognition+trial and error. Getting put into the same situation over and over while trying out everything you can think of to become advantageous, then once you have a handle on that situation put it into your memory and move onto the next. You put in the time and effort and eventually things will just click.



Hey how’s it going dude? Here’s little bit of advice I have for you:

Frame Trap: Close Mp(-3 on block) > EX Shakunetsu Hadoken(+9 on block) (Prefer to be use on wakeup or jump-ins,if it connects combos into Ultra I and + on block if none connect.)

Crouch Lp,Crouch Lk,Crouch Lp > Senbukyaku Aka Hop Kick(-2 on block) (This one wasn’t use that much in AE 2012,because the hop kick wouldn’t connect most (if not all) of the time, but now since the hitbox has been expanded further downward it has the ability to blowup “low-profile” moves (EX. Shoto’s Cr Mk)

Evil Ryu’s FA has great range,best time to use it is when your oppoent is using a normal or a special move with long reach as a footsie tool to keep you out.

Three things you can do on your wakeup: Block,DP or teleport (if your not in the corner)

MP,Standing MK and Crouching MK are your best weapon to use as pressure and “getting the fuck off me” tools go.

Can’t think of anything else at the moment hope these helps. :slight_smile:


Thanks for the advice. I’ve seen MASSIVE and more improvement in like 4 minutes than I’ve had in the last 2 years. XD Definitely took the controlling space and match up advice well. I’m starting to see now why I was getting stuffed so many times and I’m starting to figure out what is safe and what isn’t, and it’s opening up more opportunities for big damage. And the combo and match examples really helped me out. You guys are watching the evolution of a scrubby Street Fighter into a beautiful fireball butterfly. That was a little weird…


Good to here it.


I’ve read the previous posts and they contain some good advice regarding the footsies aspect, especially the vids. It’s very important to develop your footsies skills and it’s only attainable by playing more. Good to see you have found an eye-opener, but if you still want to develop your mental state in combination with your footsies (such as adaptive learning and stop doing shit that doesn’t work but you still do it because of a mental block ) I suggest you read the Fighting Game Primer. It’s a good read and it’ll definitely help your mental state in different kinds of situations during a match.