Immensely frustrated against "scrubs"


Hi guys. I’ve been playing SF4 since the first day of it’s release. But honestly I just feel like packing it in, reason being is that I’m tired of playing crap players and losing.
I call them crap players, but they beat me. They choose Ken, Ryu or Akuma, perform random DPs, no hit confirms in combos, random sweeps, the lot.
This is really frustrating for me, because I go away and watch top player videos, I read articles, I hit the training room like a fucking train etc. When I play more clued-up players, it’s a lot of fun, and I often win more because I’m able to guess what my opponent is doing, you know they actually have a strategy.

So what I’m asking is basically how do I deal with opponents who are impossible to read?


Drastically toning down the aggression works for me. OR after a long time you see through the apparent randomness and see a pattern, after months of online play I’ve come up with a few archetypes for subpar (as in worse than me) shotos.


The same thing with all other opponents. You find the optional range for your attacls and punish whiffed moves. If these “scrubs” are throwing out random things then they should be easy enough to punish accordingly.

Either way you are losing because you are playing badly… not because they are.


Yeah… I can punish easily as Balrog, but lower tier characters like Sakura where my defensive options are not that great I can’t keep them off me.

Okay, fair enough. But stuff like not hit confirming Akuma’s BnB really throws me off. When he goes for the tatsumaki and I block it, I go to punish and i just get dp’d.

Another thing is that I find when I play players like this, I begin to fight in a certain way to beat them; then when I go up against better players my strategy’s a mess.


Well the best way is to step back and see what u r doing wrong or what u feel you can improve on. I read a lot about how to beat scrubs and how to deal with scrubs and I will respond this post as I have in past; who is the scrub calling scrubs because this scrub cannot beat other scrubs.

Real talk: you have to go to the training room and map out a basic attack move set that will work well with everyone. IE if you play with Ryu then you attack would be jumping mk,, or if you are Ken then you would do a jumping mk, cr.hp~DP. Basically know your character bread/butter and work on different character match up that will help you to know what beats what.

If they are doing nothing but random stuff then let them come to you and be on the defensive Vs offensive. IE they jump at you and if you are right underneath them then do cr.fp.

Know your move sets, know your character and know your match ups.

EDIT: add me so we can go over some stuff that I am sure itll boost your game up.


Does it make any sense to try to read players who have no idea what they are going to do themselves? You’ll just mindfuck yourself.

I think for players like that, you need to dumb yourself down. Just develop a flowchart where you don’t give your opponent anything, but don’t worry too much about trying to decipher their tendencies. Sometimes you can lap your opponent and try to beat strategies they aren’t even aware of, and their scrubby reactions end up beating your answer to a more skilled players reactions.


Laughinghyena beat me to it. This is all you really need to think about, this happened to me when I first started playing. I figured just because I understood higher level stuff I should be able to beat anyone that did not. I spent the next 2 weeks losing to random DP. As long as you learn something in a match, be it against Alex Valle or a random shoto scrub you are better off. That is the way I try to look at it and I get less frustrated when I lose matches that “I should of won”


You have to realize that you can’t mind game these people. Also it may be you have a very streamlined play style so although you can compete with decent players, when you try to fight pure chaos like a DP masher, you get owned.

This same thing used to happen to me back in the day and got me so mad until I realized it was my own damn fault. I main Viper and I had all her goofy mix up mind game antics down but those scrub Kens would just kick my ass. It was even worse playing with a character with low life.:slight_smile: I had to realize that these people WERE incredibly easy to beat… but not if I didn’t change my strategy. I was even playing a character who has one of the most brutal punish combos and couldn’t kick the habit.

It’s really about that first 10-20 seconds of the first round, look at what they are doing. If you block a DP make it HURT when he comes down. If you know you are fighting a “scrub” play to beat exactly what he is scrubbing you with. If you have him on the ropes at 100 health left and he’s on the ground don’t you DARE play wake-up games with him because you should know there is a 9/10 chance he will wake-up ultra and if that hits you you better believe you are gonna feel like crap.:slight_smile:

The point is that you can’t get mad, and you have to realize that it’s YOU who is giving into the “cheap” tactics. Once you get the hang of it these people will become combo practice for you.


If you are consistently losing to random/unsafe shit, then you yourself are playing unsafe. Focus on your defense and really watch for whiffed DP’s/long-recovery-moves. Chances are if they’re still mashing out moves, they’re still jumping in too. Focus on your defense game and punish those jump ins.


If you’re playing online, don’t give your opponent any respect. Expect the worst. Play patiently and you will be able to beat them no problem. Just don’t do unsafe stuff (unsafe in this case being anything that could be DP’d.) Don’t use fancy frame traps and shit unless it’s DP-proof. The most DP-proof move you have is holding downback. This powerful move allows you to follow up with any of your favourite combos too. Simply put, if they are a scrub, they will spend more time attacking wildly and less time blocking. So you should spend more time blocking and punishing.

For lower-tier or rarer characters, learning the basic matchup helps - at least find out what the main punishable moves for each character are. For example, as a Chun player, it is good to know that Honda (fairly rare in online play) can have his HP, MP and LP headbutts all punished with ultra. Simple, basic matchup knowledge which didn’t involve anything “high-level” - but against a scrubby Honda, once you get ultra, just sit at full screen and wait for the inevitable headbutt. Free ultra. That’s just one small example, of course - but it doesn’t end there. Think of all the new players who have no idea what to do against “scrubby random Blankas” because they don’t know that lots of his moves are mad punishable even on hit. Learning fancy shit and crazy mixups and hella footsies don’t mean anything against someone like that unless you know how to punish his balls.


You gotta dumb it down for the crappy players. As said above, don’t bother with mind games they don’t know they should be fearing them or mix ups. Solid basic play wins the day bro. When I play my Akuma vs someone I think is going to mash it out, I play him like Ryu mostly… Poke once or twice in footsies range and then STOP! They will jump, AA them and when they come down, block… they’ll probably mash an uppercut. As also said above, watch on their wake up… they will probably SRK as well there. Block it and make them pay like they never paid before. This won’t make them stop (not in my experience) but it will be free 300+ damage for you if you punish them right.

For the sweeps, if you see a pattern, use the FA. Just hold it until they drop the sweep and punish them real hard. Test them also when you get up close for their level of mashiness. For instance, if I knock someone down and do a cross up on their wake up, I start usually with jab, jab, block… wait to see if they are mashing. If they are, punish… if not you can slowly become more and more liberal with your mix ups and pressure strings.

Take it nice and slow. Nothing fancy. Fireballs when safe (more than half screen) if you have them, poke when they get close once or twice, use a very easy and reliable AA when the inevitible jump comes. Just don’t try anything fancy… they’re too dumb to fall for it.


Yeah, guess I just need to learn Sakura more.


You cant predict the actions of someone without a plan. Stick to defend an punish tactics because thats what works against scrubs. Its better to play more experienced people since playing scrubs makes you lazy. Also xbl kids LOVE to jump in so learn your characters AA and you’ll get so much easy damage.


To beat a flowchart:

  1. Learn best punish combos for your different ranges
  2. Learn how to follow up a knockdown
  3. Learn how to block
  4. Thats it, thats all you have to do is stand there. I don’t even AA bad players anymore, I want them to come to me, because chasing them around is a bad idea, sit on your life lead if you have one, they’ll jump in with a srk and you get a free punish. Don’t do ANYTHING if they get near you until they make a mistake, just because they miss a sweep doesn’t mean they aren’t mashing on srk.

You shouldn’t be having trouble with these guys. They are horrible. And if they tatsu, don’t block it. For fucks sake if you have time ultra that shit, special it, normal it or duck down and sweep them before they land. Its best not to be put into a 50/50 if you can avoid it, but chances are you know which 50 they’ll be selecting so these players are basically free. Good luck.


I used to have this same exact problem! I realized that all you really need to do is be more patient. Either identify something the noobie doesn’t know how to counter and abuse the fuck out of it, or just block. If they’re doing random shit all the time you’ll just be able to block it and punish them big time. Don’t do anything risky, just pick apart their flawed game with good defense. Keep in mind that using mind games on someone who isn’t really thinking about their moves doesn’t work. Just play basic and solid, and save the tricks for stronger players.

That is my strategy at least. Good luck man!


Turtle and punish accordingly. It’s as simple as that for those players.


anybody can beat a scrub first to ten, they just happen to take the first win. especially when you play online


Go into training mode and start recording the things people do online that you are having trouble punishing and start practicing. If they are mashing while you are doing a combo, try leaving a hole in the combo and block so that you can punish them with an even more damaging combo when they do a reversal srk.


Let them come to you, they’ll do something dumb, and you can punish it.


first off, you’re not better. hard to swallow, but they’re beating you. you’re doing what a lot of people do when they’re at a learning stage. you’re trying to play the match-up way too much and not the person. big mistake. you have to realize that once your opponent isn’t so good you don’t try to ready them or play mind games. blocking usually does wonders. also basic fundamentals. how are they sweeping you w/ random sweeps?