Not as much zoning with normals?

My main game is 3s and I’m trying my best to learn this game.

I have noticed a few things while watching videos of KOF and the zoning practices caught me.

Is it just me or does KOF require you to use your specials more than your normals to zone your opponent out?
Coming from a 3S stand point - I am very used to using my crouching strongs and forwards, and yet this seems to not be the case with KOF.

If this is all true, then my stick will be receiving a WHOLE LOT OF WIGGLING. Something else may get a bit jealous from all this. :confused:

Thanks guys! (oh. btw - there is no community here in Hawaii that I can seem to find so if anyone wants to play some laggy kof with me hit me up!)
Hopefully the patch will fix all the lag though.

I’d say you feel that way because of an unfamiliarity with the series. Normals actually play a huge part in zoning. The same way you would use cr.MK in 3S you’d use a cr.C or st.C/D. Jabs are fantastic anti-airs that stop short hops and allow you to maintain pressure, and there’s a lot of sweeps that are special cancellable making them great pokes even if they’re blocked.

Some characters do rely on specials for spacing like King, but they can still use footsies to control space.

Also, people might think there is a lot of rushdown with hops. But as with a player hopping forward, a player could hop backwards and use a horizontal attack to counter a forward hop. So there are hop footsies to pay mind to. Zoning is a bit more proactive than in other more traditional, grounded fighting games such as SF. But yeah, what makes you win in KOF is more about normals and movement.

Thanks guys. Ill make sure to give a better look at some matches when I watch them.

It also seems like offense is the way to go. Should I really be trying to focus on gaining an offensive game or can I win off of just zoning the fuck out of my opponents as opposed to 3s. (Sorry for the lack of better terms)

For me, I suggest being flexible. Have a strong neutral game to make sure nothing gets by you and then press the advantage when you get a knockdown and limit the opponent’s options. If the opponent is going too wild and is willing to make many, unnecessary risks to get in on you during the neutral game, feel free to let them keep making mistakes and keep punishing them until either they die or change their game plan.

Push when you could and pull back when necessary.