Process of learning a match up?

For the SF4 series… What things do I do in training mode to find the best distances and counters for a match-up?

Set dummy to do a certain normal move, or special move, or a setup, and find ways to beat it. It could be something as simple as finding a way to beat out their most heavily used pokes in footsies, or finding out at which ranges their special moves are unsafe, if at all, or practice commonly used setups to figure out how to beat them (El Fuerte’s mixups on wake-up, Ibuki’s kunai vortex, etc etc.

Trial and error.

So, go to a character sub-forum, learn every character’s mix ups, best pokes, and wake up options and just grinding training mode till i know everything? I should have known SF4 was a grinding game

That, or just play the matchup against live opponents over and over again, and try different things. This is my preferred method of learning, I hate training mode. But since you asked about what you can do specifically in training room, I offered specific advice.

It’s not a grinding game, per say. It can be if that’s how you learn best. It’s definitely not an easy game to learn, in fact it has one of the steepest learning curves out of any game genre besides RTS.

You’re not going to learn everything in a forum, it will get you started, but ultimately you’ll have to be self-motivated to improve your skills as a player, and with certain characters. It’s a lengthy process. If you want to feel like an instant hero in the span of a week, go play COD. If you want to continue the lengthy process of improving your skills, and being rewarded for it by wins and tournaments results, then continue on with fighting games.

It’s like learning to play a musical instrument. In the beginning, you can’t do a damn thing right, and you’ll have to study basic theory. Things like how to play a certain note, how to hold and use the instrument, how to read music sheets, etc etc. But the more you practice, the better you get, and the deeper the rabbit hole goes.

^Totally agree with that post. Go online and start playing. Reading theory and watching videos is not going to get you anywhere. Start learning the basics of footsies and using your normals to their maximum potential (what counters a jump-in, etc). Also, you can take note of 1 basic combo for each situation and try utilizing that in a match.

If you don’t enjoy learning the numbers and theorycrafting side of fighting games, then don’t. Just go online/go to locals and play out the matchups and with time you’ll figure out what punishes what and what to avoid doing. You don’t have to know everything about a matchup to win, you just need to know more than your opponent. You’ll get way farther that way than if you just grind out the numbers. If you never fight a real person and just try to memorize all the information, you’ll typically just crack under the pressure and all that knowledge just goes out the window.

Definitely mix the two options though if you don’t mind learning the real meat of the game.