SPACING and footsies


Hey guys, so I read a bit about footsies but I think SPACING is sometimes not EMPHASIZED enough for noobs like me to get it.

So, just to throw it out, i have a few questions. I play bison, so i hope you can provide some bison specific advice, but i also posted it here in the newbie section because I think alot of people could benefit from this.

1. It seems to me one factor for correct spacing depends on what kind of character you are fighting, right? Fighting zangief requires different spacing than fighting fireball characters, which requires different spacing from fighting short range melee characters like balrog and abel, etc.

Is there a general agreed upon space you should maintain (read: if you haven’t scored a knockdown yet, ie at the beginning of a match) for certain kinds of characters? Can someone shed some light on this?

**2. A second factor I think for spacing and footsies is that your spacing should also depend on the range of your opponent’s normals, right? ** If you aren’t getting rushed down, you should always try to stay just outside of their max range poke right? and then if they whiff a poke try to punish with your own normal?

  1. Finally… when you actually space, I was thinking of this as an example:

If you start at 5:24, Andre dashes forward when Chris (ryu) jumps backward, and then when ryu walks forward, andre walks backward, constantly maintaining a certain medium range from ryu, and then punishes a whiffed poke with scissor kick.

Do you think this is a pretty typical instance of footsies and generally is the kind of application of spacing in (melee) footsies you should be doing?

  1. What other things can you think of regarding the importance of spacing in footsies? What about spacing for projectile characters (even though i don’t play them)


Footsies is having a good understanding of not only your own normal’s range but also a good understanding of what your opponent is capable of and what options you can do to get in on them.

Spacing, or rather that area of engagement, will differ per character match up but not even just per match up, it’ll differ based on situations such as how much super meter or ultra meter one has. As for a general agreed space, that will be different as well again not only on match up but also super/ultra status. Reading up on match up threads and a bunch of trial and error is gonna answer this for you. That beginning moment where the game goes “Round x, FIGHT” is gonna be very tense as you have all the weapons in your arsenal (not counting the super meter) but so does your opponent as well. It’s absolute neutral in terms of what could actually happen

Spacing is not only just being in a safe area but also how long you’re in a dangerous area. It’s one thing to be at a distance where you’re safe enough to kick, it’s another thing if your opponent dances around your range, you throw a kick thinking it’s safe and poof, there goes half your life.

But yeah, not sure if I did a good job explaining that. >.>; But yeah, an example of good spacing would be in the video you posted. It’s just a matter of how much tomfoolery that is gonna happen in a situation like that. That is what footsies is: deception really. D:


This is a complex topic and I don’t play Bison, but I’ll try to give simple, generic answers.

It’s completely dependent on the characters and situations.

You’ll often see two players continually adjusting their spacing because the one’s safe region is the other one’s unsafe region. The different areas are usually referred to as zones (offensive, defensive and neutral). Using attacks to force the player into a certain region is called zoning. Zones can also change mid-match depending on whether the players have EX or Ultra meter.

So basically, you have to know the matchup to know the best spacing for a certain situation.

It depends. You might decide you want to rush down, so then you’d want to get in the range where you can do damage with normals or jumpins. Also, if they whiff a poke it might be bait, so you should be careful of trying to punish every poke. This is what footsies is about.

Footsies generally means using normal attacks (usually as bait) or the threat thereof to setup a situation where you can damage your opponent using a separate attack. That’s what separates it from random pokes and stuff like zoning. What Andre is doing in that situation isn’t really a footsie technique. He’s just maintaining good spacing.

Spacing with charge characters is particularly complex because if your opponent knows what your best spacing is, he can move out of it so that it forces you to adjust. Now if you move forward to adjust, it means you’ve lost vertical and horizontal charge and he can capitalize on that in various ways. Top players are capable of doing this against any char. That’s how players like Daigo when it’s (relatively) safe to throw fireballs.

The best spacing for projectile characters depends mostly on your recovery speed and what your gameplan is. Usually you want to stay in the area where you can perform an AA if they attack, or you want to stay out of the region where they can punish with special/super/ultra move.


Yet this cheesy SF2 video remains relevant to this day

Watch This.