Need help with training

I don’t know if this should be where I post this, so don’t flame me or eat me alive if it isn’t. Normally I ask this on the forums, but I find that Shoryuken is the place that means REAL BUSINESS for fighting games, hence I am writing this here.

I am a struggling player who just got his first tournament stick recently and am looking to step up. I have been playing SF4 since it came out, and have been using the TE stick for about 4 months (on and off though). My troubles stem from nothing specific, just the fact I keep losing to the same kind of players, and I can’t seem to progress any further.

My gamertag on Xbox Live is “West Daniel”. If you could find the courage to help me out, I would appreciate it. I can’t pay or anything, but I will help out whenever I can, like being a team member on your SSF4 team or what not. I mostly play as M.Bison, but am willing to try a number of different characters.

On that note, if this isn’t the right place for this thread, I’m sorry, I’ll delete it if you tell me how.

Everyone hits this plateau when they first start out. I presume you’re referring mostly to online play, which is always frustrating once you get into G2.

If you really want to step your game up, the best way to get substantial matchup practice in is to either play face-to-face with people in your area or organize online sessions with people in the character-specific forums or online matchmaking forums. This is really the best way to learn a specific matchup, because even if you lose, you have a relatively constant opponent to experiment against without the frustration that comes with screwing up in a Championship mode match. There’s a lot less of that “how could I lose to THAT guy?” feeling and more of an “oh, okay, I see what’s happening here and I have an idea what to do here” vibe.

Even if you get your ass beat (everybody does at first, don’t worry about losing, worry about learning), it’s always rewarding to make connections of any kind in this community. Gloryholing on PSN/Live is an excellent way to get sick of the game really fast; nothing is permanent and nothing seems to matter, and there’s often no sense of respect in either direction. It’s a much more productive (and fun!) use of your time to make a few friends rather than poring over theory-fighter only to get lagged/randomed to death by some joker on Live.

As for your character choice, Bison’s not really a bad pick for the beginner. He’s a reasonably safe offensive character with some great normals, easy links and BnBs, good EX moves and excellent mobility. The only real sticking point with Bison at the beginner level is that you really have to learn footsies and good baiting with him because he can’t easily convert his BnBs into nasty damage off 1-2 stocks the way characters like Ryu can. Bison can stay in there for a while when he gets in with his safe Knee Press pressure, but he’s gonna have to bait a fair number of Shoryukens and the like to dizzy or kill his opponent.

Certain characters, particularly strong footsie characters like Guile and Chun-Li, are really obnoxious for Bison to chase because they can shield themselves on the ground with fireballs and generally beat most of Bison’s moves in the air. Winning many of these matchups requires a lot of patience and good reflexes/mental alertness to see through their patterns, inching forward by walk-up blocking and vertical jumping, evading their fireballs, pokes, and air-to-air at just the right range, and landing a critical knockdown or combo to either get in that ass (once you’re on top of them it’s generally hard for Guile and Chun to kick you out, just watch out for reversals) or retake the lead to run the fuck away.

As for general training…you have a TE, and that’s a good start. Links always involve practice and repetition, but certain tricks are just a lot ergonomically easier on a stick like the TE.

Just remember that training to get better is always basically three things in more-or-less equal measure:

  1. Practice mode. Practice combos, practice punishment, practice poking, zoning, anti-air. Muscle memory is one of your biggest assets to cultivate, because it gives you one less urgent task to delegate to your brain in the middle of a heated match.

  2. Matchup homework. Read up on your character’s best combos and tactics, why they work, and how their tools might help or fail to help in a given matchup against a character. Watch videos after or while you’re reading this information to recognize it in action.

  3. Play the game against other people. 1 and 2 are no less important than this one, but they won’t do you any good if you don’t gain the confidence and experience to use what your hands and mind have learned in the heat of battle.

Don’t let yourself get stuck on only one of these three things, try to do at least a little bit of all of them in equal measure. You need all three of these things working together to improve, and the more you do this, the more you’ll see how these things all build off each other.

What exactly is the goal of a poke? To 1 hit the opponent when they’re out of range for your usual combos and set ups? or is there a deeper strategy involved in them?

Thanks, I am I’m kinda slow to response. Yes G2-C is precisely where I’m stuck at. Unfortunately face to face player interaction is extremely difficult in a town with less than 400 people (not a lot of people my age and most play Modern Warfare, I’m the only serious Street Fighter). My nearest competition I can go to is at least 2 hours away, and that’s not easy on gas money, etc. So basically, I have been filling my friends list with SF players I’ve met in players matches, since I’ve really stopped play Championship mode. If you can believe it, about a day or two after the DLC launched I was actually in the top long enough to get 1 replay saved.

Anyway, I will try to gather some Bison players for some perspective. I try to take my online training seriously, and have been trying to get my block strings and timing adjusted to online play. My combos work in training and during computer matches, but online the timing is off, which kills me on Bison’s cr.short x 3 xx lk. scissor kick. I’ve had people mash a shoryuken out of that a hundred times. Everything you described is 100% accurate to my experiences, but you can add Zangief and Vega to that list of trouble characters with Guile and Chun Li. A GOOD Dhalsim gives me trouble, where I can hit and wittle him to near death, but I can’t get the clean kill.

I will take your training advice though, and if you don’t mind I’ll send you a Live invite soon. And I am thinking of giving Juri a go when SSF4 comes out, I don’t know why, but lately I’ve been drawn to the evil cast, and I am a Tae Kwon Do blue belt, so I’m glad to see her in it, and look forward to maybe having a second main.

@Kelter Skelter, The best I’ve come to understand pokes, they can do what you described, but they also serve to distance yourself from your opponent, or him from you if he likes to get in close, while at the same time, do some small damage. If you watch good Vega players sometimes, that’s a really good idea of what poking can do. It’s a quick reaction move that does moderate damage, and if done enough, that damage adds up, for when you can’t get close enough to your opponent or don’t want him in on you. Like me, I use Bison’s st. forward and st. roundhouse, cause I don’t want Gief close to me at all.

Also, does anyone know if those combos in challenge mode are viable at all in regular play? I mean, I was practicing some of Honda’s and Fuerte’s hard trials and they seem unfeasable in higher level play, whereas some of the stuff I learned from Ryu, I have actually used in the midst of battle for good damage. I don’t know, some of it seems crazy, is it good at all in battle. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Butt Slam into Honda Super move online before.

You hit the nail on the head there:

Some of the combos are good and some are not.

So what kind of players are you normally losing against? Rushdowns? Trutles? Mix-up…ers? This would help a lot.


I can tell you the biggest problems I have:

  1. Turtles, which include Ryu, Chun Li, Balrog, and Dhalsim “runaways”, although I know that is sorta how Sim plays, but I can’t get in enough damage on him.
  2. Rushdowns, mostly some grapplers like Zangief and especially Abel. I can’t defend against his change of direction combos at all. And Viper seems to give me some trouble too.
  3. Vega and Seth in general, no matter the style of play.

Those three are about the worst of my troubles usually. Usually, any other problems I have “stem” out from those. I’ve been stuck in G2-C for a while, I have my good match ups, and I generally work on improving in about any match I go into, but the bad matchups usually outnumber the good.

If you need anything more specific, I can elaborate a little.

For turtles, I say you should use the move that almost nobody cares about in Dictator. Teleport, that shit will mess a guy up, easy.
For Able, Try to use dashes to help with spacing, remember that Change of Direction is useless if whiffed. Also, try to space him, Abel’s Roll can get throwed, his Wheel kick punished unless the spacing is right. And remember that random jumping can save you from a Tornado Throw (but can set you up for a Falling Sky).
For Gief, you’re screwed boy. Its not a good match-up, not a extremely bad one though.
For Vega, I’m not really sure about this match-up, but head-stomp is good I guess, Considering how much time Vega is in the Air. Also a good Sweep can punish his runaway move.

I guess you should go to the Bison Forum for more (and Better) Info