PSA- Are you a terrible player?

Ok, so online play in sf4 is balls. No, this isn’t the typical online rage thread where I tell you a few stories about rage quits, or lag, or PPs, or talk about how much I would win if I were playing offline. I’m specifically reffering to the terrible habits that the majority of the online player base has developed. I play online with the intention of leveling my game and getting better, but maybe 70% of the matches are a complete waste of time. So, i thought to myself, “why do people play like this?” After giving it some thought, it hit me. Maybe the guys I’m fighting don’t know that they are doing things that immediately identify them as terrible players.

So with this thread, with as little trolling as possible, I’d like for us to be able to talk about some things that you see that jump out in the opening moments of a fight to tell you that the guy you’re up against dosen’t know what he is doing.I’m not the best player, but as someone who aspires to get better while using online as an aide, I’d like to do my part to help everyone get better as a whole.

I’ll cover a few general things myself that are dead giveaways. The first thing i pick up on, and what I’m going to focus on, is what the other player does if they get knocked down.

I usually walk right over to them and apply some meaty low short pressure. If the low short connects, i go into a combo, rinse and repeat. If it connects the second time, it tells me I’m more than likely fighting a bad player. Why you ask?

I Hate Throws

I didn’t know myself at first, but after consulting some replays, I found out the other guy is usually doing one of two things. He is either-

A) waking up with a neutral jump, or
B) waking up with a throw.

What’s so bad about that? Wake up neutral jump doesn’t involve blocking. In. Any. Way. It doesn’t actually beat anything either. It may escape a meaty throw for a moment, but just about every character can respond to the neutral jump with an anti air. And that’s after they finish with the throw whiff animation. Unless you are fighting a command grab character, plus a read, it is a terrible option.

Wake up throw is slightly less risky, but it still sacrifices that low block, and throws have 20 frames of recovery on whiff. It usually only beats poorly timed meaties and that’s if the other character is within range. It’s a relatively high risk option that most good players will pick up on and exploit.

On top of those two points, both of those options scream fear of pressure. You are basically telling the other player that you have a severe problem with throws, and you are willing to do anything to escape them.

The next thing I pick up on when I get a KD is a repeat of an unsafe tactic

I’m not talking about DPs. But anyway, about those DPs…

I’m sure we have all had our experiences with mashing, but we have to face facts. Mashing exists at every level of the game. You can go on youtube right now and find replays of just about every tournament winner in the lifespan of SF4 mashing if their character has something they can mash. Meter, no meter, whatever. Fuck it.

So what can you find out about mashing if everyone does it? You have to look at when they mash, and then what they do after that DP hits or is blocked. There’s actually a lot of thought about risk reward behind most good players waking up with something. However, there is one rule of thumb that is the difference between a terrible player and a decent player. Players that have a clue won’t do high risk shit every time.

This applies to more than just DP type characters as well, but since we are already talking DPs, we’ll stay with those since those characters don’t usually have multiple options to cover. When I get that KD, and i go up for meaty pressure and i get SRKed, you know what I do on my next KD. That’s right, more meaty pressure. You have to really convince me by doing it twice. The third time I usually go for a delay meaty. If that third meterless DP flies out, I know two things. First in our hypothetical fight, you’re really easy to knock down. Second, you give no fucks. Depending on what else has gone down with your offensive approach, you just told me you DP at any given moment, and will more than likely wake up with an ultra as soon as its available.

So if you find yourself doing something stupidly easy to punish like DPs, or something thats -1 billion on block, like a Gouken EX tatsu, or attacks with huge recovery times, it may be time to reevaluate that defensive game plan and involve some blocking. The risky business may win you a few fights against people that have no idea how to actually apply pressure, but its just not possible to be consistent with that style of play. That brings me to my next point.

XBL offense

  1. jump/safe on block special
  2. jab, jab, attempt throw/poke cancelled into special
  3. lazy cross up
  4. repeat step 1

The way that my opponent applies pressure also says a lot about their game. In and of itself, the above game plan isn’t the worst. But what happens when the other player anti airs, and has an idea about throw teching. Now I’m not gonna say you have to develop a world class ground game, but some variation would be helpful. Anyway I’ll stick to my current theme of what happens on KDs.

For me, the biggest tell when I’m defending is if the other player never applies grounded meaty pressure should they manage a KD. To me, it says that you’re afraid of reversals if you don’t. If you are afraid of reversals then I know you aren’t to confident in your offense. I’ll just sit on down back and crouch tech like a fucking champ. I know you’re not going to risk a frame trap for fear of what could happen. At that point, i’m defensively confident. I understand, some characters can do some nasty stuff in the air with left right mix ups and provide natural avoidance to DPs, but if your character cant do all of that, you need to find out if the other guy has any holes in his game, and check him with meaties form time to time.

Also, when you take to the air on a knockdown, you let me know for 35+ frames whats about to happen. I know all i need to do is watch left/right, and eyeball safe jumps vs non safe jumps. Thats fairly simple to defend compared to if you are standing right next to me. Will you block, throw, counter hit set up, meaty, delay meaty, overhead, whiff punish a crouch tech, back dash? I dunno, it’s a lot to think about if you’re laying on your back.

The lazy ass cross up is also shockingly easy to avoid. Many characters can just dash out from under it if it isnt meaty, and if it is meaty, the better players will know how to auto correct, and tag you anyway. So mix in a safe jump here and there.

TL;DR-stop playing like ass and try to get better

Outside of the few general bases that I have attempted to cover, there are several character specific red flags that I’m certain many of you have. (sliding bison, wheel kick roll in abel etc.) Let’s get them out there so i can maybe get 1/2 my matches to not be a game of guess my bad habit.

You mean tldr don’t play online. There is a reason a lot of those tactics develop, cause doing anything else usually fails.

nah, theres shit to be learned. like actual value.

theres a bunch of people ive run into from here who do a bunch a random bs that has little to do with lag or the usual online reasoning. just straight up bad habits that im sure they continue to pull online or off. and usually revolving around a total lack of system knowledge

more to the point, the shit is bad, and it dosent have to be

I feel disconnected from the game when I play online. It’s hard for me to describe. I see things happen on the screen that I didn’t intend to do. The lack of responsiveness causes me to not even try to anti-air. Akuma feels like he weighs 500 pounds most of the time. It’s nonsense.

I played on multiple green bar connections tonight that caused wakeup teleport to equal wakeup SRK. It doesn’t happen offline.

I am convinced that playing online makes me worse. Significantly worse.

It doesn’t even feel like I am playing SF4 when I play online. It’s a completely different game.

the point you missed: lag makes all this bullshit work and lag prevents the normal punishing from working

online is a different game, one you can take some things away from into the offline experience, but not something you can really use reliably to level up

also people will try to play you with 2 bars and i am tired of the lobby reporting them as 3 bars

i will end you if you’re reading this, stop that

my intent was to leave it open so everyone else would be able to comment.

maybe speak to a specific online tactic-

and i disagree with your point of not being able to use online reliably. you can. you just have to know what to take, and what to leave.

IMO you should also play offline whenever possible, but ive seen far too many players get a lot better mostly form just playing online matches mixed with a few offline gatherings for online to just be dismissed

i should probably change that statement, you CAN level up online, but you level up like 3x faster offline.


Geez I am a terrible player, pretty much listed my Juri flowchart

I am working on a new one though

Haven’t played in a while, so I’m probably ass now.

The two things that I tend take notice the most of at the start of a match are

  1. People that jump in at the start of a match. Really? I play Seth. Why do people do dumb stuff like that let me start stuff for free.

  2. People that jump back at the start of the match, pushing themselves into the corner.

I usually look at my replays and find that a lot of the stuff my opponent got away with wouldn’t have worked had they been siting next to me. Mashing is notoriously one of those things you cannot hear and cannot make the assumption your opponent is doing it on wake up because they are not sitting next to you. This leads to wake up ultras and DPs. I love losing 500 of my vitality to a wake up ultra because I tried to cr.LK my opponent or did as much as stand next to him on wake up (grapplers)

I play people offline who do the same shit, it’s about people in general not just online players.

Do the people you play offline with play online alot? If not, than they just suck.

I’ve gotten a lot better since I stopped playing online and I’m playing way less as well.

Everything you do is delayed, things that are punishable go unpunished unless it’s something you can punish with a special at reversal timing which is piss easy online as the reversal window is HUGE. Punishing things with 1-2 frames leniency (for example Dee Jay’s double rolling sobat) with a normal is not easy online because everything is delayed, the timing you use to punish things online is not the same as offline and that really throws me off.

Every time I play online it feels like I’m unlearning the game bit by bit. On top of that, I live in the UK where the Internet is generally utter shite. Playing offline on a CRT screen makes me a happy boy. :slight_smile:

Edit: Sorry, I just realised I was kind of off-topic. A tip for playing online: If you have a character has a good jump back attack, do it after you’ve teched their first throw and they get desperate for the unsafe crossup. Do it a lot! It doesn’t matter if you get cornered because your opponent will most likely not even pressure you properly which means you get a free escape. After that you can enjoy some rage mail about being a “pussy” or “cheap”.

my only gripe with online play is the delay making things much harder to punish/react to. this is mainly stuff like full screen specials etc. However, I hate people who think they can tell you how to play and send you rage mail letting you know (after losing) what you’re doing wrong, especially when you can tell they suck.

You can learn a lot by playing online even if you have to dumb your game down to compensate for lag as long as you know your options and continue to practice the hard stuff in training mode. How else are you going to learn the matchups? You’re never going to meet enough people locally to cover all the bases.

…but can you learn the matchup if you are not playing on a local connection?

Haha, and of course the mind fuck of it is as well, a bad player would wake up DP three times in a row… but so would a high level player.

You know. Mind games and shit.

I have been playing only online matches for two years.
Ive always heard the generic “its laggy” “it sucks” “its not pro”.
You can learn huge ammounts with online only play.

I wonder just how many of my links drop because of this generic “online” low quality delay people talk about.
I get half my links to work in online matches. I get most of my AAs to work.

I’ve told myself “Id be pretty damn decent if I could get my links down” better lol.
I wonder just how different it is.

I’m very satisfied with online play. You can talk to your oponent with headphones in endless battles just as easily as you can in real life.

Ill have to look into some non online matches X_x. and see whats up.