Airdash Academy has some good high level ideas of how to approach getting better at Fighting games. I’m not up to date, but the first ones I watched are really good, and now that I’ve remembered, I’ll be sure to watch the rest.
Specifically, the thing I remember is him suggesting is…
- play long sets
- pay attention to why you lose
- spend time in training mode attempting to find a solution, or watching videos of people playing those matchups looking for how other people deal with those situations
- play long sets attempting to implement what you’ve found.
- repeat step 2.
The difference between this and just watching videos and stealing cool shit is twofold, first, you’re not just learning flashy shit because it looks cool, you’re specifically getting better at the things you have trouble with, and secondly, because you have something specific goal, you’re more likely to get more out of the training mode time, and more likely to be paying attention to the matches. Note that getting videos of your matches is really helpful if you’re doing this.
Although one thing they don’t mention is you need to pay attention to root causes, not necessarily what causes you damage. Specific example, don’t pay too much attention to execution mistakes, you should always be working on your execution, but just because your last health points are lost to somebody uppercutting through a dropped combo doesn’t mean you lost because of execution, you lost 800/900 damage before that, and you failed to do enough damage to kill your opponent. Look at how you got into that situation, how you took damage, and where you missed damage (which is admittedly much harder) similarly, if you die failing to block a Cammy knockdown mixup don’t just go “Fuck Cammy, how do I block this shit” you need to look at how she got you into that situation in the first place (often the answer is “get better at anti-airing”).
Also, just talk to other players, play other people and ask questions like “what am I doing wrong?” or “what do you get away with vs me that you can’t against better players?”. Focus on what they feel they can do, not necessarily how to stop it, because you want to look up and research that yourself, there could be better answers than what they’ve seen, you might not have the reactions/execution to do what other players do, or you may have better reactions/execution and be able to do something better.
This is most helpful for defense and some neutral game stuff, getting better at opening people up and playing aggressive footsies is different, I don’t have a good methodology to suggest. Mostly I just read Maj’s footsie handbook every 6 months, and watch Valle/other old school footsie based players too much.