Shoot me straight


Hey everyone, great site.

I’m looking for an honest answer before I start sinking my time into learning a game.

I’ve really gotten an itch to try and start playing fighting games competitively but I’m a complete noob. Wife surprised me with an Xbox One a few months back and I decided to give Killer Instinct a whirl since I played it back in the arcade days and it was a load of fun. I spent the last couple days watching youtube vids and reading stickies and my this is a complex genre of games. My main concern is I can only seriously dedicate around an hour to and hour and a half week nights to playing and a little more on weekends. I am curious to know if you guys feel that is adequate time to become a competitive player? I really would love to become a part of this community and play at a high level. Also, I happened to have a Tekken 6 wireless fightstick for PS3 would I be better off picking up Street Fighter for PS3 and using the fight stick from day one? Or is it ok to focus on playing Killer Instinct with a controller while I’m learning the nuances of the game and characters with an intention of moving to a fight stick? I have no problem dropping money on a decent fight stick just don’t want to rush out yet and buy one until I determine which game I should focus on.

Also, I haven’t really found guides on HOW to practice. My currently plan is to spend around 45 mins a night in the dojo with a character learning blocking, basic moves, anti air, etc. They apply it vs AI opponents first with a plan to move on to online play. Would love to meet some sparring partners as well.

Thanks for reading!


Once you get basic controls, execution, etc out of the way, Stop playing AI, at least for “strategy” purposes. People do not play like AI, and it might give you bad habits for later.

As for which game you play and with which controller, I would say use a pad for any fighting games at first, so you get a feel for how the game plays instead of awkwardly playing against your controller. I switched to stick after 6 months of playing on pad, and it doesn’t take that long, maybe a week or two, to get to a decent level of execution.

When practicing: (Disclaimer: SFIV player, know nothing about competitive KI)

I usually practice BnB combos for my character, go play online, and if I find situations that I’m unfamiliar with, then I go into training mode and recreate them so I can learn how to counter them.

I also use training mode to get used to new characters, try out moves, etc.


AFAIK you don’t have to be a tourney player to be a part of the community, so welcome.

KI is a great game for starting out with fighting games IMO, because it’s free. Good Luck!


That’s for the reply and encouragement. I’ve already decided to skip A I. Last night after a half hour in practice I went online with the intent to focus on blocking and anti air. After 10 matches I already noticed an improvement.


All I ever do in any fighting game is simply learn the moves and combos of a character. Besides that you have to be smart enough to be able to learn from anyone you verse online. All there is to it.


Thanks for the advice. I’m currently building a training program for myself. Just starting with one character. I also plan to move to a fight stick in the next 60 days or so.

I find myself not blocking as well as I should yet. I’ve had success with footsies and chipping. I do tend to get a bit excited and mash when I’m getting comboed or dishing one out.


Start small. Find some nice basic normal into special links/cancels (ie crouching pokes into fireballs etc), only a couple of moves long, and build on them as you get more confident and consistent. Likewise, make sure you’re confident doing short combos from jump ins and crossups and confident with changing direction before going on to bigger things.

When it comes to sitting on the receiving end, in the beginning don’t focus too hard on answering the combo. Just watch your opponent, looking for overheads etc and get into the practice of just blocking at the right level. No point looking into counters when the back of your head is still eating up axe kicks. KI is a little different due to its shadow counters and c-c-c-combo breakers and all that stuff, but as a general rule, learning to play the waiting game will serve you well in fighting games.


Thanks for the advice. I had a few matches last night that I won simply because I took advantage of a low sweep and pokes. However I became aggressive and pushed the fight once I saw I could control the pace of play which made me sloppy. My blocking and AA definitely needs improvement. I need to find some sparring partners to simulate situations for me.


If you’re gonna use a fight stick, don’t heavily invest your time in playing on a game pad now. When you get to a stick, you’ll be practically starting from square one (depending on your ability to use one), so don’t get used to playing one way when you want to play another way, or you’ll mess yourself up.


I would suggest as an occasional thing to look at and study videos online. as you study high ranking videos you’ll see players approaching the game in a way you may not have thought of. they way you naturally act in a situation will be different from the way someone else reacts. Helps a lot in rounding out your game.

To be honest, if your goal is to get #1 at Evo in KI next year… it’s probably not going to happen since guys at the very top of Evo tournaments literally get paid to sit and play video games all day, and are probably putting in 8+ hours a day, and have been doing so for many years now. Also, feel free to pick up 1 or 2 other fighting games (I’d say street fighter since the movesets are more similar to KI than tekken). The top at huge tournaments are guys who make their names in Street Fighter like j.wong, etc. Dem bachelors got the time married folk don’t.

BUT, if your goal is to just get better and better then you should be able to do well if you practice smartly. keep an eye out for local offline tournaments in your area for sure, which is the type of thing SRK was built for in the first place. All you guys who are playing KI are getting a huge leg up on future competition, since most ppl still aren’t doing the $400 price tag. There will be more and more players as the X1 price continues to drop, and all the months you’re putting in now will probably pay off good later on.


45 minutes is plenty, maybe even too much…

All you have to do is play people. Get to a weekly or montly, play, ask questions and (THE MOST IMPORTANT THING OF ALL) study your losses. Every time you lose, go to the lab and work specifically on that or those losses. If you didn’t AA a jump in. Spend your 45 minutes learning to AA in that match up. If you got blown up on wake up, spend your time learning to block the set ups you got hit with. If you find that you’re opponents aren’t scared to do things because your damage isn’t high enough, learn the optimized combos. As you play people and learn from your losses, you automatically get better. You’ll know you reached a high level when you look at your matches, see that you didn’t make any execution mistakes and lost. At that point, your opponent is simply beating you on a mental level. You don’t really need to practice in training mode at that point (unless its to test spacing or mix ups) you’ll be practicing theory fighter and figuring out tricks to help you open up your opponent…

As for online (above still applies,) its not very good for practicing vs people in person, but if its all you got…