Ryu vs other shotos (for noobs)



First post!
Just got into street fighter with Ultra, and I’ve been maining Ryu as I’ve heard he’s one of the best starter characters. I’m definitely still a n00b, can’t really FADC or any of that stuff, but I’m getting fairly competent when it comes to the fundamentals of the game. My question is what makes Ryu stand out from other similar characters in the game? AKA why should I stick with Ryu?
I’ve noticed Oni for instance has a very similar moveset to Ryu, all the same bread and butter combos, but he also has some additional special moves (the ground slam move, the dash/swipe move, etc.) as well as the ability to charge his fireballs. Evil Ryu can also charge his fireballs and seems to have higher damage output (but with less life?). Akuma has some tricky ultra stuff that seems especially effective on newer players like myself that don’t understand how to avoid it.
Obviously Ryu is a competitive character, but I’m wondering if I’ve reached the point where it would be beneficial for a low level player such as myself to try someone else?


Also first post!

Ryu was practically designed for players trying to get a feel of standard/zoning execution characters. He’s definitely not the best character in the cast but he’s extremely well balanced and perfect for learning the basics of the game since he’s designed to do everything but command grabs. While Akuma and Sagat fall very far from the same tree, Ryu is the prototype shoto that all of them were seemingly based on which makes transferring to a preferred main much easier if you decide to do so later on.

Learn Shoryuken->FADC->Ultra 1 (U1), option select (OS) cr.mk->Hadouken, OS cr.lk->sweep, cr.lk->cr.lp->st.lp->sweep, when to use f.mp and f.hp, proper footsies and fireball spacing, air tatsu (accurate neutral and crossup-or-not jump forward versions), safejumps and ambiguous lk-or-mk-or-hp-or-tatsu aerial approaches, THEN consider whether or not you want more from your character.

Maybe you want more offensive potential with faints, a target combo and stronger/faster Shoryukens? Bam, Ken. Maybe you want the same but instead of frame traps and faints you want an amazing aerial okizeme? Akuma. Similar to Akuma but tilted more towards Ryu-esque defensive play and great reads? Gouken. Willing to sacrifice good damage and hard knockdowns for distance and advantageous fireball wars? Sagat. Ryu with lesser defensive options but crazy damage FADC combos and a dive kick? Evil Ryu. Akuma plus Gouken plus a bag of tricks that would make Blanka blush? Oni. Better recovering projectiles and defensive options? Guile. Ryu’s strong ground footsies and “Shoryuken” plus a command grab? Fei Long.

The reason you should learn all of those previously listed techniques is to understand exactly what you’re sacrificing when transferring over to a new main, once again if you decide to do so. Ken’s fireballs only suck in comparison if you understand how strong Ryu’s are. Akuma is much worse on the defensive and instead must compensate with constant offense. Gouken’s normals are much more specialized and do not fulfill the same purposes as Ryu’s. Sagat can’t combo into a hard knockdown and doesn’t have a tatsu. Evil Ryu has less health and defensive options compared to Ryu. Oni’s quick fireballs don’t travel full screen and he can’t FADC his Shoryukens. Guile is much more limited in his offensive options. Fei Long doesn’t have a fireball.

Over time you’ll learn the pros and cons of different characters, but using a character who’s extremely well balanced in the meantime will make everything besides dive kicks and command grabs more approachable when you reach the point where you feel like you’re missing out on something, and seeing that the roster is fourty-something strong, it will most likely happen.

Good luck with your studies. Welcome to the scrub-I-mean-Ryu army!

P.S. Use U1 unless it’s bad for the matchup. You’re better off learning the nigh-infinite ways to combo into U1 over taking the rush of instant damage of raw U2 at this point.


A very helpful response, sir. Thanks
Think I’ll stick with Ryu until I’ve gotten better at those advanced techniques. The shoryuken FADC into ultra seems crazy tough to me right now, I just need to start going at it in training mode. In the mean time is a charged focus attack then a dash a good easy way of using my ultra? Right now thats probably one of my biggest weaknesses is not really having a consistent way to combo into it.
Also, option select is just holding down while pressing grab correct? with the idea that it will either tech a grab or throw out a kick?


An option select is a “joystick and button input that simultaneously functions as multiple possible actions, automatically choosing the best possible counter to several of the opponent’s options” - Sonic Hurricane. What that breaks down to is essentially doing more than one input and only having the action that works in that particular situation come out. “Holding down and pressing grab” is absolutely an option select, it’s referred to as a crouch tech, and yes, if you perform it you’ll either get a low short or a throw tech, depending on what your opponent is doing. Low forward canceled into Hadoken is also an option select, if you throw it out and it doesn’t connect with your opponent than you just get a low forward, but if it does connect than you get low forward and than a fireball. But there are countless other option selects in the game, all with their own specific situational uses.

Not having a reliable way to combo into Ultra 1 as a newer Ryu player is fairly normal, and honestly, not a bad thing. Ryu does have many, many ways to combo into Metsu Hadoken, but the fact is that most of those ways involve meter and/or a little bit of execution. If I were you, I’d just keep practicing uppercut, FADC, Ultra 1 in training mode, and as time passes you’ll find it becoming easier and more fluid; but I assure you it won’t happen over night. This is part of why Ryu is a good “all around character”, because his combos into Ultra aren’t gimmicky and crazy easy, you have to learn how to combo into it, and this in turn keeps you from relying too heavily on always going into your Ultra as a crutch, you have to earn it’s use and that forces you to play the game a bit more fundamentally. Ryu will keep you honest.

Personally, I don’t think I’ve ever gone Ultra 1 after a focus crumple, but I believe you can. An easy way to combo into Ultra 1 would be to use EX tatsu in the corner, and than immediately link into Ultra. That uses only one bar of stock and is fairly easy to execute. It is corner specific, however. Another way would be to use jumping strong as an air to air, this will cause a juggle state and the second you land execute Ultra 1 and it’ll land. This uses no meter and can be done anywhere on screen. Execution wise this is the easiest way to combo into Ultra 1 in my opinion, it just requires you to meet your opponent in the air. And one more really easy way is to anticipate a jump and do a jab SRK, you’ll land waaaay before your opponent falls out of the air and gives ample time to link into Ultra 1. You can also land a Shinku Hadoken and a Shakunetsu Hadoken if you land that early jab SRK, so it’s pretty useful, I personally get a lot of mileage out it.

Hope that helps a bit, any other questions feel free to ask. I’m no Ryu expert, but I do like to play as Ryu.


First way to learn to combo into your ultra is to get them cornered. In the corner, EX fireball or EX tatsu will juggle into ultra. Also, lk tatsu will juggle into super. Ryu has a lot better combo options when he has his opponent in the corner.


first of all get a joystick pedro :slight_smile: fadc stuff is 10x easier on a stick (as well as advanced techniques such as plinking which makes links for combos waaaay easier).

2nd beat jon a. Bad. you can take him :slight_smile: