Should I train against the CPU?


I’m a bloody noob and don’t know anything about SF4. Nothing that isn’t apparent at the very first sight of the game.
I think I’d feel more comfortable playing against the CPU first. It also allows me to play a lot more, because I can just keep playing whereas in online play I’ll have to look for a new opponent after each match, go through character select and all that stuff. It’s pretty annoying only to get beat to a pulp again.

I still need to try out all the characters and find one that feels comfortable. Learn which button does what. Don’t even mention pulling off combos and special moves when I need to.
Would you generally advise against playing vs. the CPU, so as to not pick up any bad habits? Playing against the CPU a lot makes you adapt to the patterns the CPU uses a lot, but it might not even help a lot against what players do…


If you are brand new then yeah, the CPU isn’t a bad training opponent. You gotta learn how to do all your moves, and how to confirm from a little poke, into a good combo - the CPU is perfect for these kind of applications. What the CPU will not be able to teach you is how to play mindgames, or how to defend yourself against a real opponent.

The CPU will be easily exploited, and you might pick up bad habits (like mashing Shoryukens on wakeup), but until you get comfortable enough to throw a fireball 100/100 times, none of this really matters.

I’d really recommend trying to find a friend who’s around the same skill level as you, as playing a real opponent is just much more fun and rewarding - not to mention more worthwhile. But don’t feel bad about playing the CPU for a while, there is a lot of stuff to take in at first.


After playing a bit against the CPU I think maybe I should really only do it until I have memorized all the commands and can execute them somewhat decently.

I played as Ibuki, after a while I met Honda. He always comes charging at me, when I block he flips out of range for any counterattack. Even if he does his sumo slam, where he flies on top of me and crashes down, he can still block my counterattack after I block his move. No fair - when I do any attack that gets block I immediately eat a counterattack.
Well, I was trying not to jump in and attack him, because I thought any decent player would just hit me out of the air. Turns out the AI allows me to jump in and hit him repeatedly, which would probably only get me killed in a real match.

Still I am puzzled as to how I should have beat him without exploiting the AI. If I walk towards him he’ll do his sudden charge and no way in hell I can block that in time. I mean do other people have the reaction times to just see the move coming, block it and then continue? It’s so fast. How do I get near him?


Lol you don’t need to know frame data, you just have to have an idea of what the frame data on every move is. [playing by feel in other words]
Just watch closely to what the cpu does and act accordingly but remember to keep in mind the tools that your character has at their disposal. [specific normals, special moves, ect.] Eventually you start learning what moves are punishable on block. For example: CPU ryu does a crouching roundhouse kick right in front of you very close, you automatically know that " Oh! that moves super unsafe from being blocked at that range, then you punish with a combo. Ahh hard to explain if i’m not online with you showing you what i mean on the mic. Lol



if you want CPU opponents that anti air you till doomsday try Ryu, Guy, Seth, Balrog on vs mode and highest difficulty. they will show you why jumping is such a bad idea, and besides some random shoryuken here and there I believe CPU Hardest Ryu plays better than 70% of Ryu you will meet online


CPU opponents cant FADC or absorb attacks, so it will make a difference. Some CPU characters like C.Viper are very lame.
I’d suggest rather training mode where you can set the CPU to do specific moves or even record them yourself.

I’d only play against the CPU for offensive strategies, but regarding defense I’d stay away.


practice against the CPU to create an uncontrolled environment to get comfortable with combos.



if you want to better your general fighting (that is, beating your opponent via instances), it’s not a bad idea – so long as 1) you’re new to the game and 2) you remember that everyone isn’t going to fight the same as the CPU. once you’ve gotten good enough to straight slaughter the weak players, it’s no longer good IMO. the comp doesn’t fight hungrily enough. as far as fighting goes, you eventually want to get up to the point where you have no wasted time. every action you take should be to fulfill your goal and it should be immediate, instantaneous, and coordinated with your opponent and whatever he’s doing.

if you’re asking if this will make you a much stronger player, not exactly. what makes most players dangerous is a combination of their ability to triumph in instances combined with the amount of damage they do in each instance. by playing the CPU, you’re not working on the second part.


CPU’s are good for getting basic ideas of character, but they don’t teach you the intricate character knowledge needed to compete at a high level.

They also block EVERYTHING, meaning some of your nasty set ups won’t work on them as they will block correctly, even if most human players can’t.


well yeah a CPU is a good lesson, but actual players are the best way to gain experience because this is where you learn more intermediate strategies


cpu is invaluable for learning to punish on reaction and getting all your combos, hit confirms, whatever down while still being under some kind of pressure and trying to hit a moving target.

to answer your question: absolutely.
any bad habits you develop will be because you’re trying specifically to beat the ai. when you feel you’re abusing some kind of fault in the ai, recognize that and switch up how you’re approaching things. try winning in different ways. make objectives for yourself and follow them through.

then when you play other people you can focus much more on the mental aspect and much less on inputs and mechanics.


Everything you can learn from playing the CPU you can learn from real players. I would stop playing the CPU once you start getting comfortable with general execution.


I don’t like playing against the computer. It cheats with it’s 0.000000000000001 second reaction time. Actually, I’m just jealous.

Easier modes on the computer wouldn’t be horrible for hit confirming but the easier modes won’t block a whole lot to begin with. I’m more a fan of just jumping into a match with a person. Leave your ego at the door and have some fun!


I’d like to ask a question about this as well. Since Seth (the boss) is designed to leave very few openings, would it be a good idea to train your punishing skills against him?


Thanks for all the answers. Now that I played a bit more, I’ll share some thoughts on training against the CPU.

First off, I’d recommend to set the AI level to hardest. It only really makes a difference in the first few fights I think, but playing on the easier levels might lead you to believe that some things work great, when really they don’t, just because the AI let’s itself get hit just like that.

It’s also good, as someone mentioned, to practice combos in an environment different from the training room. It’s one thing to pull off a combo 30 times in a row against a training dummy that only stands still, but it’s more difficult to land the same combo on a target that hits back and moves around and such. Of course you can set the training dummy to CPU and it’ll do stuff but the nice thing about arcade mode is that you’ll face random characters and don’t have to switch to different ones manually. Then on the other hand, at least 70% of all players online seem to play Ryu and the other shoto characters almost exclusively, so you might as well keep practicing against them.

The AI has only a few patterns and it can’t adjust if you find out it’s weaknesses. For example I was fighting Sakura and she would always jump or shououken exactly the moment I jumped. It’s superhuman reaction time, but it got very predictable and I could use that against her. That’s what I mentioned in my first post about bad habits. If I fought CPU Sakura too much I’d get into a habit of expecting her to do one of these when I jump, but a human wouldn’t do it, or would at least adjust if they got punished for doing something.


I have problems with the fighting mechanics of SF4 too. So trying out matches with the computer has benefited me when I go against my friends.

But yes, the inhuman reaction times make this too frustrating at times T___T


Just try to avoid developing any bad habits. In SSFIV, the CPU is *very *prone to using wake-up Ultras and just as prone to being hit by them. Play against the CPU too long as a beginner and you run the risk of adapting your play style to that kind of nonsense. At best, the CPU will help you learn the “controls,” but it probably won’t help you learn the “game.”