Learn Footsies to Make Your Ground Game Not Suck


The last chapter covers the x-factor which makes everything run smoothly: Randomness.

Street Fighter Footsies Handbook, Chapter 10

You need randomness to throw your opponents off track so they can’t tell what you’re trying to bait. Without it, your whole gameplan becomes dry and your intentions become predictable.


great articles!! gotta read up


Good stuff Maj I’ve been reading these when I get the time, some of it doesn’t make sense at first but the more I read and play the more I start to get it.

Also, don’t mean to bother you, but for quick reference you probably should put all the links on the front page :sweat:


I’ll try to add a page containing links to all the articles soon, but until then you can just click on the Strategy category.


Shoto Whiff s.LK Secrets Revealed!

Ever wonder why Ryu, Ken, and Akuma players throw out [media=youtube]lOk_6mkwu9c]random light kicks during tense matches? I’ve seen this question come up on several forums and thought i’d try my hand at explaining it. In fact, the underlying concept of misdirection is actually what [url=http://sonichurricane.com/?p=1334[/media] was about.

Whiffing s.LK is a fake, but it’s not meant to bait jumps. Nobody’s going to jump at you because you’re whiffing s.LK; that would be ridiculous. What causes opponents to jump are the fireball patterns you set to manipulate them. They jump because they think a fireball is coming.

Now here’s the key. They’re only going to jump if they feel pressured on the ground. You’ll never make this happen by standing around. You have to throw those fireballs - enough of them to get in their head. It’s risky but you won’t get anywhere without following through on your gameplan.

But even on your best day, you’re going to guess wrong sometimes. You’re going to stop throwing fireballs expecting them to jump, and they won’t jump, and you’ll end up standing around looking indecisive. That lets them off the hook mentally. It gives them a chance to take a breath and regain composure. Obviously you don’t want that.

That’s where whiffing s.LK comes in. It makes you look like you’re doing something even when you’re doing nothing. It doesn’t maintain real momentum the way throwing a fireball would, but it does sustain psychological momentum in those spots where you think throwing a fireball might get you killed.

Make sense?


Maybe it’s not just about psychological pressure, there you are waiting to punish a fireball, then you hear your opponent tapping a button and Ryu doing some other thing that’s not standing, your untrained senses may just force you to jump. 90% of shotos players don’t simply press lk, they do Qcf+LK so it has the chance to trick your peripheral vision.

Good articles, congrats.


That is psychological though. Not like that s.LK represents any real threat to you whatsoever. I mean, even Daigo likes to whiff s.LK in that situation. Japanese arcades have linked cabinets so they don’t even see each other’s hands or hear the buttons. Though you’re probably right, i bet those tactics are more effective when you’re playing right next to someone.


so why is it LK? wouldn’t a Lp be safer? Larger range of motion? anyway seems worth a nomination


Yeah, s.LK looks like you’re doing more which makes it look more threatening. This is a relatively minor thing in the grand scheme. You don’t have to do it. I mean, it never makes a huge difference. Sometimes it makes no difference at all. But a lot of players do it anyway - partly because they buy into “every little bit counts” and partly because they’re mimicking players they learned from.

Anyway i wrote another article in the footsies series, this time as a tactical overview on projectiles.

Street Fighter Footsies Handbook, Supplement A

It’s more abstract than previous installments, but it was too big of a concept to leave out and too big of a concept to cover in one article. In the future i’ll try to come back to fireball footsies with a different approach.


Nice article!


But when playing a character like Vega, people always try to jump over your pokes, knowing that, even if you recover in time, your only option is to block, which is bad for Vega. So why not whiff a cr.lp, which on startup looks exactly the same as cr.mp, to bait a jump, then air to air the opponent?



The point of Maj writing these great articles in the first place is to look at very specific situations. While in the context of the Shoto fireball game, this article can be applied to any character as long as the context is understood.

To put it simply, understand the idea behind the article and apply it in a way that works for you.

Maj, never stop with these please.


In reference to such simple practices of distraction (and not grander plans of deceit and/or disguise of true intent), I really liked a description I read in a thread last year of “[throwing] out a ton of ‘useless’ moves during footsies” as “simply [jacking] up the signal to noise ratio.”


Nice quote, but it’s kinda backwards isn’t it? Random moves would be noise in that metaphor. I like the idea though.

Since i wrote so many articles about footsies, i thought i should write one about avoiding them entirely.

Street Fighter Footsies Handbook, Supplement B

This one’s basically about blocking, because sometimes it’s the best thing to do. There’s also some stuff about crazy rushdown, which is always fun to do and watch, but you’re gonna get your heart broken sometimes.


Finally got around to putting together a Footsies Handbook index. Still working on the last article.


Street Fighter Footsies Handbook, Epilogue

The motivational chapter? Um, yeah …



When are you getting your PhD in this stuff? I want to come to your graduation and take pics with your parents.



My zoning game is weak so this really helped out, thanks :tup:


You Sir, are a God amongst men. Thank you for imparting your knowledge on us mere mortals to make us less scrubby.


With the Footsies Handbook completed, i finally have the opportunity to explore various topics which i feel are important to becoming a solid all-around Street Fighter player. Right at the top of that list is the ability to land difficult throws in clutch situations.

I think the best way to teach yourself that particular skillset is by forcing yourself to pick up a dedicated grappler character. You’d be amazed how much you can learn from using Zangief for two weeks. These are things that come up all the time with basically every character, but not consistently enough to force you to learn them.

However, if you make Zangief or Abel your main character for just two weeks, you’ll pick up all of that stuff along with a whole new way of looking at fighting games. So read through this article, give Gief/Abel/T.Hawk/Hugo/Raiden a try, and let me know what you think: Grappler Training