Is there a (recent) "Picking Your First Fighting Game" guide?


Hi guys! My name’s Lily. I’ve been a long time Smash player (Started playing Melee in 2005 before going on hiatus in 2010) and recently decided to try to pick up a traditional fighter or two. The problem is choosing which one.

Most of the things’d I’ve read have either said “Go with what you enjoy the most” or “Just stick with Street Fighter 4.” The problem with these answers for me is that I currently don’t have a game I enjoy the most, as I’m completely new to this side of the genre, and most games seem like things I’d enjoy if I put time into them. Also, I don’t want to spend too much time learning USF4, just to find out that there’s another game I’d enjoy way more.

So what I’m asking for is a quick list pros and cons to each of the current popular fighting games, what makes them stand out, etc… I’d say what specifically I’m looking for, but I’m still not quite sure what that is =/


picking up sf4 at first will help because it will teach you core fundamentals that transfer to other 2d fighters. but more practical advice would be to play whichever game your friends are playing. the reason being that you will get better practice that way and be able to receive feedback and ask any questions about the game mechanics. characters will feel very stiff at first compared to the movement-heavy characters in in the smash series but eventually you will settle in. i personally enjoy KOF13 more than any other fighting game but there isn’t much of a community for it.


Oh wow. I’m in a similar situation, although I’ve had dicey amounts of experience in numerous fighters from the getgo. I ended up buying a few fighters.

Trust me, you won’t learn anything from SF4 if you’ve played SSB that long. I played for nearly the same amount of time as you if not more, and half of that time was the slower Brawl version. You are going to catch hell in sf4. It’s read-heavy, it’s motionless in comparison to Melee, the special moves don’t transition like ssb and you can’t roll, you can’t spot-dodge, jump variation is tipsy, etc.

You’re better off moving to an advanced fighter and taking a slow path from there. And this is coming from someone who did the same. I’m not saying give up on SF4, as you might like it. But the number of differences are humungous.

KOF is somewhat notorious for it’s advanced mechanics. From my point of view it simply has more options. I don’t care for anyone but Kula and maybe Athena, but the movesets I find in the game are rather engrossing. Check out some tournament videos and you’ll see what I mean. You’ll need some fast hands and a PC for the Steam Edition if you want any community though.

Blazblue Chrono Phantasma is the latest iteration of Blazblue, it came out a few years ago but it still has a tournament scene in full. I tried to pick it up one time, mostly offline toying around with Kokonoe and finishing her challenges, fighting the computers (the game has fascinating A.I., which you’ll love), and going through tutorials. This game really does it’s best to teach you, and seriously the A.I. is definitive of what I call a ‘challenge’. Not as in how hard they are(well that too definitely), but how they read what you did last time and implement that knowledge later, making each round unique. BB’s pretty famous for it, actually. Also, their challenge mode helps you to realize the game’s potential. I call this one balanced, but again I didn’t play much online. I like the special moves and characters a lot. As someone who’s been messing with Nintendo’s since youth(likely just as you have?) the character designs are something I find appealing. Their fighting styles are ridiculous, and awesome. Special moves come around quickly but normals are just as important.

I recently got into Arcana Heart 3 Love Max. I wouldn’t recommend it if you aren’t otaku enough (it’s an all-female anime-esque fighter), but the game is fast and really free-moving. The homing attack(I call it flight) is what really sets it apart. The community is scarce, but not as bad as PSN’s KOF by a longshot. Again, this game can get hard if you’re a newbie. Still, it’s a balanced fighter if you know what you’re doing. Trouble is learning to know what you’re doing. lol

I don’t know anything about the other games in this era ( as in, the last Tekken I played was 6 and I was alone on PSP and I didn’t play against anyone but two or three times on PS3), I believe Tekken community will move to Tekken 7 soon, and I have no idea what the Mortal Kombat scene is like nor the DC games or the Soul Calibur games, I would highly suggest you ask and check every nook and cranny!

But speaking honestly, this is a terrible time to be moving into fighters. You’ve got communities disappearing and others getting ready to transition over to something else, and then there’s “vanilla players”. Unless you’re planning on getting a PS4/XB1, your best bet would actually be usf4 in terms of community, which brings me back to the first sentence in this paragraph.

Love Max is the last fighter to come out, actually. It’s region-locked, so people are still looking for other players desperately, making matchmaking somewhat easy, but it also has a “vanilla” version, as in the original Arcana Heart 3, with people being hesitant to get it.


Every FG has your features and talk about every pro and con can be exhaustive but to short we can split FG in two categories: 2D and 3D. After you experience both categories you’ll have a general perspective about those worlds inside of the FG. Some current 2D FG beyond SF series are Mortal Kombat, Injustice, Killer Instinct, Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3, etc., and about 3D you can play Tekken Tag Tournament 2, Dead or Alive 5, Soulcalibur V, Virtual Fighter V Final Showdown, etc.


Most of the people I already know are obsessed with Smash 4 (which I’m personally not a fan of), so I’m going to need to meet new people no matter what I choose =/

I have a decent PC, but I’ve been trying to mainly play on PS3 for what I can, since my processor is getting a bit old, and may poop out on me at any moment :c

I’ll look more into Blazblue. One of my friends told me it was similar to Guilty Gear (not like I know much about Guilty Gear though, I just played it because of Bridget c: ), but I’m not sure if that’s true.

I wouldn’t really call myself an otaku (this coming someone with Yui as her profile picture and has senpai in her name), but I like anime style graphics so Arcana Heart may be up my alley, but a lack of community seems like a bit of a turn off :c

Speaking of all-female fighters, I picked up Skullgirls last week ($5 flash sale!) so I tried playing that, but when I tried to go online I couldn’t find any (unranked) matches, did I just get unlucky or is that game fairly dead on PS3 as well?


The only shred of excitement I find is in A. Charizard standalone and B. Mewtwo DLC, and it’s not enough for me to buy anything less than “Black Friday Equipment”.

That’s a good decision, PCs can get confusing. I actually had already bought a Mac when I first bought KOF13 for 6$(gotta love Steam deals), I had completely forgotten Windows-priority, so I had to give it to my brother! Thankfully he’s crazy about KOF. So it made a good going-to-college gift. I already had the PS3 version anyway. lol

…I also played GG because of Bridget. OTL Jam too, though. Did you fight Potemkin? He’s crazy right? Dat anti-air grab that goes halfway across the screen. o___o Err, yeah it’s a bit similar. I personally prefer Blazblue movesets and characters over Guilty Gear’s.

If you know the latest anime I’d call you otaku enough, I guess. haha Well I say that, but the very first time I went online I ended up playing for five hours straight. That was ‘the Room that got me back into fighters’. lol I’ve had a day or two where I couldn’t find anyone, but if you have friends and invite them they’re happy to play. I’m one of them. I would at least wait for a price drop though, if you’re not convinced.

I think luck will play a factor no matter what game you play. I’ve spent fifteen minutes looking for someone to fight on sf4 of all things, every online mode has it’s “dead zone”, in my opinion. But yeah, unfortunately the less popular the game the less people you find online. The best way to go about this is to find friends beforehand. Just like with friend codes on Nintendo, just racking up friends on PSN can lead to invites, which leads to a stock of people to play at any time.


If you have a Smash background I’d definitely recommend trying KOF13 (Steam Edition if you want to play online, console or Steam version if you can play with people offline). The way movement works in that game feels very familiar for someone coming from a Smash background - you can get from A to B really fast, the aggression is built around short hop pressure (which any character can do), there’s rolls to avoid stuff, run mechanic instead of having to dash repeatedly. Out of most traditional fighting games I’d say it’s the best for a Smasher.

People tell you the game’s execution is hard. It is and it is not. The really high end combos can be really hard, but what beginner needs those? Doing the basic stuff in KOF is actually pretty easy, you can combo buttons into each other more or less by just pressing them because they cancel into each other, then just cancel them into specials and cancel those into each other and suddenly bam, this combo’s already pretty long? The game asks that you inputs are clean and pretty fast, but you don’t have to be a metronome. If you can do a move, you can incorporate it into a combo pretty much.

Like, with Mr. Karate I could learn:
low jab, light kick, fireball. Then when I learn new moves I can progressively extend this:
low jab, light kick, seriesofpunchesmove, fireball.
low jab, light kick, seriesofpunches, dragon punch~shorten, fireball
low jab, light kick, seriesofpunches, dragon punch~shorten, super.

Each is progressively more difficult than the next, but the game’s combo system means you can often build the more basic combos bit by bit until you’re ready to try the actually long stuff.


So far it hasn’t even been confirmed if he’s real DLC, or just a bonus for people who have both versions of the game (making him a $40-$200 DLC, to people who only planned on buying the Wii U version…)

I only played through Bridget’s story, so if Potemkin was in that then yep =/

Is SnK still considered recent ._.? Pretty sure that’s the most recent anime I’ve watched… I’ll wait to see if the price drops soon then, or if I suddenly get an influx of money, and then pick it up.

Oh yeah, one of my friends gave me a copy of UMvC3 and a (pretty bad) fightstick a while back, but I always feel bad whenever I play a game that has content that there is no way for me to possibly get anymore, even if they’re bad :c


Hey @LilySenpai‌, anyone who says anything other than Street Fighter 2 is, well, not telling you the truth. If you want to learn the basics that will carry over to ANY fighting game (including Smash and such) just play Street Fighter 2. Seriously, it’s like the Bible of fighting games, and you can emulate it on anything pretty much, including your phone.

You may ask why, and the simple answer is this: There are no other subsystems in the game. Footsies, combos, specials, etc, if you play pretty much any SF2 game, you’ll learn all that even just playing arcade mode. Subsystems detract from your ability to learn the basics. Your footsies don’t have to be as good if you can catch someone with an Ultra.

SF4, BlazBlue, Marvel, etc…the basics of pretty much EVERY fighting game ever created are based on SF2.

If anything, Guilty Gear and BlazBlue are amazing games, those are the games IMO anyone should spend the most time on, BUT SF2 will help you learn the basics of those and many other fighters. Playing SF2 is kind of like doing the most work in the least amount of time.


So I just looked into KoF and realized that this was the game me and my dad used to play in the arcade when we were forced to go to Chuck E. Cheese for a birthday, so I’m getting a bit nostalgic about it right now c:


For anyone not familiar with competitive SSB Melee, you would have to understand the fundamentals to even compete in that game. The guy didn’t say he was new to games, just that Smash was the last thing he played competitively.

And while that might not sound outstanding, it requires use of fundamentals and is therefore a legit fighting game. At high end gameplay it gets really technical (wave-dashing and whatnot).

DoctaMario’s advice is still true though. Though my buddy was just a spammer, and I was only in 3rd grade, I still think I learned jump-ins faster than math homework.

@LilyKouhai Damn, well until I see the moveset I may as well sit my hype somewhere else anyway.

Okay then, and it will probably drop on ebay first. xD Yeah SnK is somewhat recent. My younger bro hates that abbrev because it’s getting more attention than KOF.

KOF feels really natural with a fightstick, you only need to have spent a few times in an arcade to get used to playing it with one, imho.


As far as Melee is concerned, you had technical players with their wavedashing and fancy shtuffs, then you had Jigglypuff players like me who spent all game just spacing with back airs (well, until I learned all of that fancy shtuff after deciding to learn Ice Climbers). And she by the way =p

I’m debating just buying KoFXIII for the PC now, though I’m probably just going to use my keyboard since I got really comfortable to the keybinds I use, and as I said before, my current stick is pretty bad =p


If you have a good keyboard playing on keyboard is just fine.


I had a feeling, sorry about that. I blame internet etiquette.

If you can figure out where you want your keys…it’s a lot better than a cheap arcade stick. Although there is a driver for 6-axis PS3 controller, if you’re interested.


You can play a whole load of fighting games with GGPO including the almighty SF2.
Other than that I’d recommend USF4 since you will never run out of people to play with.
Since you seem to enjoy KOF, that’s a fine choice, too.

I couldn’t see myself playing fighters on a keyboard though. These arcade joystick buttons are just too much fun to hit :smiley:


If you have a ps3 you misght want to take Guilty gear Xrd that is coming at the end of the year, the game will be fresh, lot of people will begin like you. And there are high hopes that will be a long term played game.


SF2 is the bible for 2D FG. For 3D Bible, I’d say VF2 or VF3tb

but regarding SF4 fundamentals carrying over to other FG if SF4 is your first FG…well maybe in SF5 or SFxTekken. SF4 engine can be very deceiving if you want to migrate to SF2 later on. But if you played SF2 first, you can migrate to SF4 relatively easier. Still it feels much different.