Learn Footsies to Make Your Ground Game Not Suck


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


*The easiest person to play footsies against is that intermediate player who hasnt quite given up on footsies, but doesnt play footsies to win. He doesnt move around much, he doesnt keep track of long-term patterns, and he plays almost exclusively on a reactionary level. Hes not trying to get you to do anything specific; hes simply reacting to where youre standing. He doesnt think his footsies are good enough to help him win whole matches. Hes being lazy.

Playing footsies with that casual mindset is the mental equivalent of being backed into a permanent corner. If youre hesitant and uncertain, then your wins will come from luck and your losses will be inexorably fitting.*

This describes me to an absolute “T”

I just don’t really know how to move beyond this level. I feel like I never use footsies, don’t have any kind of gameplan or way to ‘outsmart’ the other guy because I don’t even keep track of my own ‘long term patterns’. Thanks for the footsies handbook. I have a lot of work to do on this. My wins for the most part come from luck…getting wins that come from strategy and gameplan is the pandora’s box that I’m looking for to get out me out of the intermediate category.


Threads like these are the reason that I’m steadily falling in love with the SRK community. The dedication here is overwhelming. I’ve been casually playing fighting games for years now, and it’s honestly mindblowing to see just how deep the thought process for things that are almost instinctive really is. I’ve never taken into account how big concepts like these are even though I play SFIV almost everyday. Thanks for the articles Maj. I haven’t gone through them all yet, but I’m already becoming a better player for taking the time to read through.


At a certain point, i think everyone starts getting a little self-conscious about how their matches “look” and whether they convey a level of expertise. Though nowadays with match videos everywhere, a lot of people actually begin by mimicking certain players right off the bat.

Anyway, Mariodood brought up an interesting question about what you should when you attempt to bait an uppercut and your opponent doesn’t go for it. Obviously that stutter step is going to interrupt the flow of the match and probably kill whatever momentum you might’ve built up to that point.

So i wrote an article about that subject because i think it’s important to keep your mind on the big picture, even if that means sacrificing momentum or sometimes ending up with “ugly” matches: Sustaining and Surrendering Momentum

Now that i think about it, it’s funny how often you hear professional basketball players talking about grinding out “ugly wins.” That concept totally applies to Street Fighter as well, and it’s just as important to find ways to win those games too.


Hmm, one addition I might have added to the rushdown guide balance between difficulty getting in versus willingness to give up momentum. If your character has alot of trouble getting in but can really take the match with one chance, it is more advantageous to bait dp’s/reversals less frequently. Likewise, if your character has little trouble getting in and starting a rushdown, there should be more willingness to play defensive and bait out supers ect.

In your example with the neutral jump, if I was playing thawk in ST and that situation arose, I would likely neutral jump and go for the win, getting in again would be difficult to impossible. If I was playing chun li, I would play more conservative and block, pressuring with my gameplan would be very feasible to reestablish later in the game.

Perhaps that was out of the scope of the article, or it was painfully obvoius to any veteran player, even subconscious at this point, but I do feel alot of newer players might apply the advice too broadly.


anyone have notable matchups with ugly, awkward moments? chun vs blanka can get brutally indecisive when i play lol

blanka doesn’t want to do anything frame disadvantaged and i don’t want to walk into a blanka ball or river run. i dont want to throw fireball so he can ex ball through it. i want to bait a jump but he doesn’t do anything and i got nothin cuz he’s still on downback. i block a blanka ball but fail a frame perfect punish etc etc


blocking river runs and balls is actually A LOT easier offline and chun’s fb recovers pretty fast, blanka shouldn’t be able to hit you much with ex ball unless you get predictable. He has to anticipate it to punish, just vary your patterns.


Hey guys!

I don’t know where to ask this to get a answer, so I’ll ask here…
Where can I find a plinking thread??
Thanks in advanced!


Right here.


Maj? You okay with me translating the article into german?




The momentum one? Sure, i guess.

Send me a link when you’re done, yeah? And if you don’t mind, email me the final draft too please.


No, I meant the Footsie handbook.

EDIT: Just did a sample of chapter 1. If there’s anything wrong with it, let me know and I’ll change it right away. Translation is currently stalled, in case you don’t want that series to be translated.



Oh okay, yeah sure go ahead. Thanks for clearing it with me first.

I can’t really double-check your work because SF slang is murder on online translators but i trust you.


Great, thanks! I’ll give you the credit you deserve. I hope more and more people around the world get to read your works. The only reason I’m doing this anyway is because your stuff inspires me a lot.
I’ll be sure to send you an email once its done.


Thought i’d take a shot at writing an article about performing in the clutch, but it’s more of a mentality thing than anything else. Obviously every character has a different objective they’re trying to achieve on the path to victory, so it’s difficult to talk about this in practical terms. Nevertheless, i think every player learns to be clutch the same way - by testing their boundaries in those kinds of situations.

Can You Play Without Taking Damage?

It’s also tricky because i think everyone knows what they’re supposed to do and how they’re supposed to approach the situation, but turning applying those principles is the tricky part. I really think “tricky” is the right word because playing in the clutch isn’t “difficult” once you know how it feels. Some people truly enjoy living in those moments and it’s not that hard to stay focused if you’re not dreading it or trying to escape the pressure.

Anyway, i’ll try to write about something more concrete next Saturday.


One factor I don’t think you covered. An earlier post mentioned expected value (not by you) vs variance.

I’m going to mention what I call “Effective value”

A blocked fireball- when at full health, the value of that blocked fireball isn’t necessarily very high (talking about the damage here, not any positional play)

When the opponent has two pixels of life, that blocked fireball is effectively a half damage move. You can adjust your play if the opponent is low on life, a blocked fireball can be as effective, and hella less risky, then a combo.

A second point- team games. In KOF98, my strategy would change heavily based on the round and situation.

Rules: You gain life back after every life, that life is based on the timer. If I was behind, my goal was to win the round without taking damage, and if I would, to win it is quick as possible. I know if I finished it quick, I’d get about 20% life back, so I’d take a few risks at the start of the round, if the opponent didn’t have meter. At the ends of rounds, I’d play it real safe, as I’m not going to get much life back, and a win by time out and a win by life was the same- so taking away the opponent’s lifebar was not a priority, avoiding getting hit was.

Conversely, if I was ahead, my goal was to avoid lifebar loss, and extend the round. If I won, I was up 2 characters to 0, and round 3 my goal would be to take life off again. If I lose, I take life off, and I can make the guy come to me round 3, and I knew my rushdown sucked compared to my turtling, so I wanted to turtle. KOF98 in that regard was really turtle friendly, though it was easy to bust mediocre turtles.

Last characters, the goal was to take out their character. I would also burn meter freely to take out a character easily at anytime, because ultimately, a character’s damage potential is infinite, until they are dead. Your goal is to reduce that probability to 0. Meter is great for comeback, in KOF- meter (in the form of CD counters) is great for stopping comebacks as well.

That’s an example of how effective value of damage can change during a match- it’s an extreme case, and doesn’t really apply to Street Fighter- but it would apply to team games such as CvS2- to a much lesser degree.

One problem was this was such a boring way of playing, that the local community gave up on the game quickly.


Well, specifics change based on how the game handles super meter and round format vs team format, but the point of the article remains the same. Either way you can get something done by staying alive and the ability to be productive in that situation goes back to mental clarity.

In CvS2, even if you have no life whatsoever, you can still build meter and run down the clock as much as possible to reduce the amount of vitality they regain in the next round. Plus you can always force them to use meter to kill you.

Or you can throw caution to the wind and try to make a comeback. Obviously that’s not the safest gameplan but anything’s better than getting scared and throwing away the round.