Hello, welcome to the world of fighting games. Key to getting better: play A LOT. There’s no replacement for practice and there’s no better practice than repetition. The boards here in the specific fighting game section can also help you along.
Best way to get better is to practice in training mode and against real people. Ignore fighting characters in arcade mode as you might accidentally miss a combo and get killed whereas you can literally just spam a special move or Ultra and the opponent will walk into it (because it’s designed to). This won’t happen in a real match and will give you bad habits.
Training Mode: Be able to perform every move you want on command 100%. This is the foundation of combos. Work on combos until you can get them consistently. Work on various combos off of various situations. Learn how your character interacts with other characters (hard to do if you’re new, but you can use the record/playback function or just watch high level matches).
Arcade Mode: Ignore this mode to learn how to play. Only use it as a tool to teach you how to perform a combo under pressure from a moving opponent and how to react to certain things that the opponent might do (i.e. random ultra, random dragon punch, jump ins, etc.).
Real Opponents: Number 1 rule: Learn how to anti-air. People will say this time and time again, but it’s beyond fundamental. If you can anti-air 100% of jumpins (I’ll give you a pass if you can’t antiair certain dive kicks or VERY tricky specials), then you’re probably better than 70% of the entire nation. Learn how to read what the opponent wants to do, even if you can’t react to it or figure out how to deal with it. The way people lose is that they become predictable. But being predictable is only a fault if your opponent is able to pick up on your predictability. Also, learn “the flow of the match.” Know when to attack and when to defend. Learn how to get in and how to stay away. Winning isn’t really important in the beginning. In fact, winning will probably stagnate growth as you’ll focus more on doing things to win than doing the best thing that will work in the most situations. For example, let’s say that I’m going against a Ryu. We both have a pixel left and I get a knockdown. If it’s someone I know that can’t autocorrect DP, I can just do a simple crossup and beat him. But why should I develop that bad habit? I can still win since I have knockdown and I don’t have to develop a habit that could potentially lose me a tournament down the road.
It sounds like you are brand new to fighting games, well for starters: welcome!
For starters: playing against the CPU is hard and it sucks - in the end it can only help you remember your moves, not how to beat other people. Don’t worry about fighting other people JUST YET, for now just fool around in arcade/training mode until you find a character you can remember all the moves for, and feel pretty confident in what buttons do what normal move.
While you’re doing this I recommend a few videos, a lot about being good at fighting games is RECOGNIZING a situation, and REACTING to it appropriately. This means the only real way to get good at a fighting game is to actually get in there and fight until you’ve seen everything. In order to continue getting better you must realize you’ll never see everything.
This video covers terminology such as “cross-up”, “meaty”, but sadly not “pringles”. If you are new to fighting games start with this one - it uses SF2 to explain but these terms are timeless.
Next up is VesperArcade’s wonderful series of tutorials for those who are new to SF4. It starts of very basic and ends up getting kind of intermediate near the end - but it’s all split up into easy to digest videos.
If you’re more inclined to read some information a really good resource is SoniceHurricane.net’s Footsie Handbook. It is a really well written article explaining what footsies are, how to best use your character in setting up space with normals, and really lays the foundation of a lot of 2D Tournament Fighter games. http://sonichurricane.com/?page_id=1702
The things you’ll want to learn for a new character are usually:
What are their normals?
1a. Are any of these normals good for anti-airitng attacking opponents out of the air?
What are their specials?
What is my max punish combo? (If someone whiffs a big uppercut in front of you and you have all the time in the world to get a combo, what easy and damaging combo can you get out. This can be as little as cr.:hp: xx :hp:Criminal Upper if you’re Cody)
What are my weaknesses? (It’s important to know what you cannot do. If you find out that you have no invincible special moves, then you know you should just concentrate on blocking the correct direction when getting up off the ground)
And it helps to find someone that is around your skill-level, that also wants to learn and train Street Fighter with you. Set up a weekly “tournament” between you and your friend, keep track of how many wins you get each week - track the wins for a few months. If you have someone there training with you it can only get better, faster.
It’s not so much that I am brand spankin’ new to fighters but just that I just want to get better. I’ve been playing fighters all my life but was never any good. In some instances, I would often button mash and would get lucky. Now that I have an arcade stick, SFIV:AE, xbox 360 and such, I actually wanna be very good at this game.
In that sense, I haven’t been new to fighters since I mashed buttons in Virtua Fighter at a pizza parlor when I was 9.
Whether or not you’ve actually played fighting games is irrelevant. If you don’t know the first thing about the underlying mechanics you’re basically starting at the lowest possible level.
I’d highly suggest you watch the videos GordonsBeard linked because they’ll move you toward where you want to be a million times faster than jumping into the game and working by trial and error. In fact, the latter approach would probably lead to you giving up in short order.
The SFIV and SSFIV AI is not the. Cheapest one out there but it is not. One of the better ones ether. Some of the characters are exceptionally annoying. No matter how you look at it. Given there habits during a match. In time you will get use to it but. They will be rather annoying. During your first few times threw.
Such as E. Honda and his ability to. Seemingly command throw you whenever. The game feels like it as well as. Some of its other habits with him. There are a few other characters like that. Which tend to make arcade mode. Far harder then it really should be. Until you get use to there eccentricities.
I was not talking about the over all difficulty. Rather habits a few select characters have. That can make them a bit more annoying. Then they should be. It is true that the over all experience is not as. Uneven as it once was but. There are still a few characters. That can be frustrating to people new to the game. Which is why I mentioned. E. Honda as one such character.