On Being A Funknewbious Fighter


I’ve been a long time fan of fighting games but I’m not very good at any of them. I basically collect the games and leave them on my shelf. The last game I really really played was (Night Warriors: Darkstalkers Revenge for the Sega Saturn.) No more of that. I want to get good at least a couple of them so I’m not wasting my money. I manage to put down a good 40 minutes to an hour practice on SSF4 AE and I am horrid, horrible, insufficient, inconsistent, lacking, and I have no skills. So I’m asking what are some strategies people here use to train?
My first problem is consistency in moves. -> Training mode and working out the moves I can Shoryuken from one side of the stage to the other but not perfectly and not in a pinch.
Second problem: emotional mashing. How do I defeat the urge to TAPTAPTAP just to get a move out? What do the pros do?
Third problem: Timing issues. I don’t know the timing for any of these strange combos I have seen posts that criticize games for presenting a combo that only works in the corner but doesn’t clue you in. Seems Tough,
Fourth problem: Lingo, Jargon, Slang… I heard people saying weird things about a BlazBlue match at EVO and I have no idea what’s a 6P or 2H or whatever number-letter combination means. Can anyone point me to an online glossary or something?
Thanks for reading I hope it wasn’t too long.


I’m pretty new to competitive play, myself. Here’s my advice.

For your first problem: Practice, practice, practice. Execution takes time. Go through the challenge mode (or whatever it’s called in SSFIV) with a character and do them all. If you get stuck, look it up on YouTube or, you know, ask. Practice until you can do the moves and combos easily and consistently. It’s just going to take time.

Second problem: I’m not really sure what “emotional mashing” is. Just work on your execution, I suppose. You’ll get more comfortable as you get more proficient.

Third problem: Yeah, this is a hard one. I look things up on YouTube, personally. I also record matches where someone has performed a move or combo that I want to learn how to do. SRK has a wiki for SSFIV. It doesn’t seem to list combo information but it does have move info and frame data: http://wiki.shoryuken.com/Super_Street_Fighter_IV_AE

Fourth problem: http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Appendix:Glossary_of_fighting_games

I’ve also written a short tutorial on Facebook that tries to bridge the gap between a casual player (someone familiar with special moves, chain combos, etc.) and competitive play. It defines a bunch of the jargon you’ll see when trying to become a better player. I’ll send you a link in a PM.


I still have some consistency issues myself - they’re similar to yours, in fact. Namely, I can “spam” DPs in training mode all I want, but trying to do them under real circumstances is not reliable. The method I’ve been using is twofold: #1) In training mode, don’t just ‘loop’ the DP motion. Do a DP. Walk back and forth. Crouch block, then do a DP from there. That helps ‘loosen up’ the muscle memory. #2) Practice vs the CPU; DP them every chance you can get. DP on wakeup. DP after blocking a normal. DP jumps, whatever. It doesn’t matter if you get blocked, if you whiff entirely, or whatever. The idea is practice doing a DP in that situation, so you’re comfortable doing them in those situations. Just remember that that’s training and not how you should actually USE a DP.

Emotional mashing you just have to fight by being rational and thinking at all times. Don’t let the lizard brain take over.

Can’t help you with combo timing issues - those are going to be game specific generally, but if you’re playing a game with a non-terrible challenge mode, they should demo the combo for you.

As for the lingo from the BB Finals, you just need to know that BB uses “Numeric notation”, so if you glance down at your numeric keypad, you’ll see:

So 6B is “hold forwards and push B”. 4A is “Hold backwards and push A”. 2C is ‘Hold down and push C’. 236D is a “fireball motion” with D. Etc. The A/B/C/D in Blazblue is just what the buttons are called. (Also, note that for numeric notation, you always assume you’re facing right, even if you’re not, so 6A is always FORWARD plus A, even if you’re facing left.)


Thanks for the guidance! I will be studying these links and the other FAQ’s floating around. Maybe I’ll start a blog about being a total scrub in SSF4, or KOFXIII, or P4A, or SC5…


I’d check it out.


I’ve been doing combos for a long time and I’ve never used that number notation…that shit is harder than the one I use.


About temptation to mash buttons and problems with doing srk in normal match i think you play only with random people online. You try to win at all cost and you are uptight. I know that from my very own experience :wink:

Idea practice, practice, practice should be principle that will help you but it can also start to destroy you tbh. When you too hard and you start making even bigger mistakes then starting next match with another random person is worst you can do. If you play with friend sitting next to you its always good idea to take break every 10 matches for example (I do that when i play FT50 for example :wink: ) so you can calm your mind, think about gameplan etc.

So basically its the same principle when you want to build your body. You need to practice but when you start overdoing you will destroy your muscle tissue instead of building it :wink:


It’s mostly used in games where buttons are named A/B/C/D or something. Because it gets kinda confusing to write “Crouching C” as c.C or something. It technically also has the advantage of being ‘multilingual’ in that in theory 6B is clear to anyone, but “towards B” is only clear to people who understand what “towards” means. In practice though, it’s really only because of the confusion around button names.


to help timing on combos make sure you are playing on a low lag monitor, If you are playing online and add monitor lag to the already present network lag, what you see onscreen happened a 1/2 second ago, and makes timing combos, blocking mix-ups, and other thing way too hard.


I have been in the same situation. What I have found to be the best is find someone that you can practice with on a regular basis to help you.


Instead of making a new thread I’ll just add more noobishness to this thread. Recently I’ve decided not to train on an octagon gate and went back to square. I figure I’m so bad that changing the gate won’t make me magically better… besides square seems to be the standard. It does kind of suck though I feel like all the time I spent on octagon has been wasted. I’m curious to know what joystick users think of the different gates.


That’s nearly the same as asking people which joystick they prefer. You’re going to have different camps come out and talk about how their Sanwa JLF or better, or why the Seimitsus LS-32s are better, or LS-56, or their Wico360s are superior, or they prefer HAPPs for some unknown reason.

Your best bet is to just stick with what you feel comfortable with, whether that’s an octo-gate, square-gate, circle-gate, American parts, Japanese parts, Korean parts, Australian parts, whatever. Pick whatever setup that works best for you.

Personally I just try to adapt to whatever’s popular, since I’m extremely sensitive to controller layout changes affecting my execution severely. Even though I prefer the Seimitsu 56, the Sanwa JLF is more prevalent, so that’s what I’m adapted to currently. I prefer Seimitsu buttons over Sanwa, but they hardly make a difference.


different gates on jap sticks make a very minor difference. less than people expect. if you can’t execute on one gate, switching to the other won’t yield much, if any improvement.

your best bet imo (lol at eltrouble using the same wording) is to learn square. its generally the standard. Even then, the adjustment once you’re good at jap sticks is easy. I play on square 99% of the time; the octagon just takes a couple matches to adjust and I’m fine.


Thanks guys. I think I’ll do what eltrouble said he does and adapt to the most popular sticks and learn that square gate. Besides I’m tired of buying a different gate with every stick. :smiley:


I would stick with square. I use the octagon and it means that I can only use my stick at tournies and I can’t meet at arcades.

Also, youtube videos will help big time, but it’s just gonna take time to get good. I don’t know anyone at a high levels who hasn’t put in hundreds of hours of play. And I know many, many who are average at best, who have also put in hundreds of hours of play.

You have to love the game first. That’s what will keep you coming back after all of the beat downs.

One advice I do have is 1) block. And learn to option select throw tech first. 2). Don’t mash. It’s a really bad habit. Go zen. When attack, attack, but only once. If you’re mashing attack it’s just leaving you open and unable to respond.


Which game are you trying to get good at?

I never played a Dark Stalkers game before. But in general you learn a combo and your considered a grand master at the game. If you lose just copy the grandmaster who beat you so you can reclaim being called grandmaster again.

I know right, so simple its complicated.


Right now I’m mostly on SSF4 AE. I’m trying to get some fundamentals down with Ryu before I start using other characters.


Darkstalkers has characters with like 4 hit BNB’s, unless you’re doing the Sako infinite nobody cares about your combos. :expressionless:


I went from square (hated it) to oct (liked it) to circle (loved it!) then played on a square and found that I could do things better on square (srk’s, tiger knee) so I am back to square and am happy about it.


I play Darkstalkers on GGPO sometimes, but there are few players and most of them are of high level. No point playing when you are going to lose 100 games in a row and not follow precisely any grand strategy particular to the character and just play the way you like. Occasionaly few players of my level or lower lever turn up but I have to wait for hours till that happens. Really this is a problem with any older game online. On newer fighters you have the one extreme, playing random online matches due to the multitude of players. But here you know everyone and everything by heart and things are harder for newcomers.

Regarding your problems, I am in the same position. I play just the basics regarding SF4. I was used to games that had counters, reversals, guard cancels, parry etc. That focus attack totally disorientates me. I could improve on that game too but after reaching a certain level I knew those where my limits. So interest shifted to older fighters and I became even worse at SFIV. I am back at the level when I first bought the game…

Emotional mashing occurs to me too. It usually happens when I try to make difficult moves. Since you mentioned Darkstalkers, often I tap the buttons for a DI combo and it doesnt work. Due to the stress mainly but also for other reasons, eg I am hit while I press the buttons for the special, online lag etc. Best way is to play when you are fresh. If you are tired hands become slower and when stress kicks in its even worse. I feel like my hand weights a ton and cant perform even a DP. If that happens, better resort to simpler moves, till you feel ready and focused to do the combo right. Even in the next match. Even the greatest players can not be that precise for very long. This takes its toll. I remember the recent VS finals where the players had sweat all over them from the heat but also from the difficult and precise combos. they looked exhausted.

Timing is something different, depending on which character you choose. Others have easier timings for combos, others harder. Even if you lack in timing, you can find the character thats suitable for you.

full DI combos are very difficult also. SFIV requires precision, Darkstalkers requires precision and speed.