SSF4:AE2012: Best characters if you can't link/FADC

I’m going to start by giving some of my background, but as its a big wall of text, if you don’t wish to read it just skip to the TLDR part.

So I used to play SF4 and then later SSF4, spent hours practicing in the training room every day and many games playing other people online. However, despite all my practice, I could never come close to consistently doing even 2 frame links and the easier FADC combos that were core components of my main at the time, Cammy. As such, despite all my games and hours of practice, I never made it out of “scrub” tier.

Later I would get into Starcraft 2 and, both having horrifically bad APM, and no previous competitive RTS experience, I would start off for my first 300 or so ladder games scrub (bronze) tier there as well. I used numerous APM “improvement” programs and spent hours in practice, but no matter what I did my APM stayed abyssmally low which handicapped me against players with better reaction times and more precise timings. Eventually, however, I learned the system, found the units that required the least amount of APM to be successful with, and began to move through the ranks till I was beating diamonds and, though never quite making masters class, was a very solid player at the game, even inspite of having an APM that was a good 1/4 that of most of my opponents.

That brings me to now. I stayed away from AE do the the whole Yun/Yang/Fei imbalance controversy, but with the recent patch supposedly finally making the game fairly balanced again I want to get back into the game. My initial instinct was to go back to my old main Cammy but it seems to me that would be like if I had continued to try to use the high APM units in SC2, I would have been stuck in scrub tier forever as I’m just physically incapable of consistently performing links, FADCs, or high APM precise micro. People told me you get links through hours of practice, I didn’t, people told me your APM increases through playing ladder games, nearly 1k ladder games later mine hasn’t, I think its clear no amount of practice is going to get me to be able to perform Cammy’s bread n butter combos which all require links. As such I come to you all with the question:

TLDR: For some one who can’t link or FADC with any consistency, which characters give me the best chance to be successful.

Or to put it another way, which characters require the least amount of use of links or FADCing to play at a high level?

I’m not particularly great at performing 360 motions, and horrifically bad at performing 720 motions, but I can pull off pretty much everything else (even tiger knee canon strikes), I just seem to physically lack the quickness of finger and the preciseness of timing that links and FADC necessitate.

Any and all suggestions are greatly appreciated!

To answer your question I would save charge characters in general. I personally play balrog and FADC with him is almost useless, and you definitely don’t have to be able to do links to play him. Hes a very solid characters with some good normals. So I would say balrog is a good choice, but I really do recommend working on your execution so you can really enjoy playing all of the games characters. There are other characters of course, and I don’t know if you have issues with charge motions but guile and balrog definitely dont require links or fadc to play pretty well. And seriously, just keep working at it, I used to think it was impossible now it’s as easy as pie.

quote=“DanTheTimid, post: 6267253, member: 7636”]I just seem to physically lack the quickness of finger and the preciseness of timing that links and FADC necessitate.


I mean no offence, only trying to help. but if you picked up a saxophone tomorrow and couldn;t play miles davis perfectly. would you say you just dont have the physical lung capacity to play that instrument?

practice man. noone has the quickness of finger or timing when they first start this game. thats what practice and experience provides in bucketloads.

play the character you like the most. the one you think will eb most fun to use and practice like hell and enjoy yourself. muscle memory is a crazy thing. everyone has it.

Uhm, you need to be able to link and/or fadc with almost every character in the game.

Seriously, FADC is an important tool to have and even tho it might seem “useless” to some characters at first glance, its not. The balrog player up there said he never uses FADC but did you know can FADC after a dash punch to make it safe or go for a grab/jab mix up? Balrog has links too necessary for frame trapping and hitting strong combos.

Learn Ryu. He needs linking and FADCing. Playing him will teach you those fundamentals and many more.

I had the same problem when I started out. Picked up Chun li cause no one could block her overhead on line. You won’t be able to play this game at a high level if you don’t learn links.

I’d like to think that FADC is a fundamental skill you should learn. Avoiding it will not assist in the development of your skills.

Keep it simple, and as many have stated, someone like Ryu is a good place to start. Hadouken> MP+MK> Dash motion. Rinse and repeat.

don’t pick characters based on the fact that you’re too lazy to learn fundamentals. most people who have been playing SF for a long time will tell you very few people actually have any natural skill at execution. the vast majority just practice a lot. if you have two normally functioning arms and hands, you can learn links and FADC’s.

First off, thank you to everyone who has responded so far. Based on what I’ve heard so far seems like I may have to seriously look into Balrog. Never been a huge fan of charge characters, but I can execute charge moves, and if Balrog is truly less reliant on links and FADCs then most it may be worth getting over my distaste for charge characters in order to have a better chance of success.

I would like to clarify something based on a few of the responses I’ve gotten. I’m not looking for characters who have zero links or zero uses for FADCing, I understand both are core elements of the SF4 engine and then I’m never going to completely escape them. What I’m asking for is simply which characters rely on them less heavily, which can deal good damage with shorter cancel based combos, or even pure target combos, ones that don’t rely as much as others on FADCing to set up their ultra or FADCing to make their moves safe, that sort of thing.

I’m also not going to say for 100% that its impossible I could ever pull off links or FADC with consistency, after what Tim Tebow has done of late, I’ll believe anything is possible. What I would like to add though is that I did spend quite a lot of time not just playing online, but in the training room just trying to execute links back when I played before AE. I believe I had a few weeks span where I had made it a point to try to get in at least 1 hour every day of just sitting in the training room trying to execute one of Cammy’s links or her FADC into ultra. Despite all that, I never saw any improvement at all. Her 2 frame Links continued to come out like once out of every 10 or so tries and my FADCing efforts weren’t much better. When you put that kind of time and energy into something over several weeks you really need to see some sort of results to motivate you to continue further, especially when its for a game and when you have very little free time to be spending. So while I’m not going to say there’s no way I’ll consider doing another daily link training regime, its a pretty hard sell for me at this point. I’ve been there, done that, and came away with nothing to show for the efforts. This time around I’d kind of just like to acknowledge what I’m incapable of and try to use a character who gives me my best chance of success in spite of my physical limitations.

you can make all the excuses you want, but practicing in training mode is part of learning the game. It’s hard to give people advice when they aren’t willing to learn

Balrog does require links as much as any other character. If you merely cancel his jabs into each other you won’t be able to cancel into specials.

There are fewer links to learn, but you’ll still be using them all the time.

Flowchart Ken needs neither FADC nor Links. Slide/Ball/Electricity spamming Blanka doesn’t need any of those either.
Honestly, if you’re dodging even the most basic execution borders, you won’t become any good at this game ever anyways,
so you might as well just pick whomever you like and randomly spam out specials. That’s what it will come down to.

P.S. Or try Gouken


you can do some stuff with these characters without links. by the time you are getting ok at that stuff, links won’t seem impossible anymore.

Everyone’s right that everyone has to practice, but some people are inherently more coordinated than others. OP said that after playing SC2 for many hours he had 1/4th the APM of other players his level—that probably means has a natural aptitude quite different from the average player.

DanTheTimid, from your post it sounds like you want to be considered a midlevel player (if you just wanted a challenge you wouldn’t care which character you played with). In that case, why play a game which has a huge execution requirement? You presumably have other talents which you used to make up for your APM deficiency in starcraft. Wouldn’t games like chess/go/poker/magic/warhammer/whatever suit you better? I don’t know much about other games, but chess in particular can be played at a variety of speeds, and there is a huge on- and off-line scene and tons of learning material.

Alternately, have you considered a different fighting game? For instance, most people seem to think Tekken has a lower execution barrier than SF4.

Why Gouken if I might ask Vulpes? I’m assuming that was some sort of sarcastic remark or joke, but if it was a legitimate suggestion as to a character known for a low number of links I’d definitely want to look into him.

Also, a look through balrogs combo page did show a few combos that only requires cancels, no links, which was promising to me considering Cammy neither did, nor now does, have any of those on her combo pages.

Definitely have to look into guile and bison as well then, Entrerix, thanks for the suggestions!

As for GreyQ, thank you very much for the comments and support. Actually I do love Chess, Go, Poker, and Magic (never played warhammer) and have had pretty good success with all such games, I just happen to like to play many games (my most recent obsession obviously being Starcraft 2 which I put almost 1k games into and thus untold hours into). But you do make a good point, and honestly I’ve never played tekken, perhaps I will look into that if you truly believe its likely a better fit for my skill set in fighting game.

Thanks again for all comments and advice regardless everyone!

Like I said when I first responded, your best bet is to work on your execution with time. All of these people telling you you have to learn to FADC aren’t answering your question. I promise that if you play this game enough links and FADC’s will become easy, but I understood you just wanted an answer to your question. Technically, most characters have link their normals into their special moves. This includes balrog. So you cant just input c.lp, c.lp, headbutt, if you have to time when you input the 2nd c.lp cancelled into headbutt. I promise you though that balrog is the best character you can play without links and FADCing, followed by guile in my opinion. Bison relies more on scissor kick FADC to do combos and apply pressure. Guile needs to FADC on wakeup flash kicks to keep them safe (wake up FK FADC is easier than mid combo). Balrog typically is wasting meter when he FADC’s except the rare time when you want to go for a throw mixup or you miss place the range on your dash punch. You should continue to work on your execution because I promise it’s possible, it just really does takes lots of hours (It took me over 200+ hours of sf4 before I could FADC consistenetly because it was my first serious fighter I played). Good luck to you working towards becoming better at this game.

It was a legitimate suggestion. He has no BnB at all and his basic Ultra Setup doesn’t come from some FADC but from Backthrow. He deals truckloads of damage with everything so you dont have to hit much. Just try to not get knocked down.

i wanna say honda but you gotta link standing hk after his hp hhs

if you cant link or fadc, then why do you care if the character can play at a high level?

What about T.hawk? I don’t recall seeing anything link/fadc heavy with him. Plus him being a grappler means most of the game revolves around 360/720 buffer and mindfucking your opponent anyway.

As many people over here, I don’t understand your way of thinking, and I’d even say that your “problem” is not a problem, but just a psychological limit.
FADC comes with time, and training.

It is normal to feel that it’s difficult at the beginning, but if you’re not willing to put any effort into it, I’d rather tell you to consider playing another fighting game which would be more convenient for your playstyle (how about Blazblue in which you mostly rely on Target Combos, or even a 3D fighter with Soul Calibur V coming soon)

Anyway the street fighter IV timeline for learning FADC is always the following:

  1. “OMG WTF I’m able to shoryuken with 100 % success!”
  2. “Man I’m soo godlike, I can ultra whenever I want”
  3. “Target comboooos!” (note: with Ken’s improved target MP HP, you might consider playing him!)
  4. “Okay I’m godlike now, let’s see on Youtube how real players play and copy them”
  5. “OMG what is this FADC thing? Man it’s too much, you need to be japanese to be able to do this stuff -____-”
  6. Train train train train train train trainnnnnnnn
  7. “I’m God. I can FADC whenever I want”

Try to figure out at what point you are here :smiley:

Back in the time I learnt FADC (ie. in Vanilla SF4, with my old main Ken), I spent hours in training mode getting frustrated because I couldn’t understand this timing.
I remember the first day I could pull out one in fight conditions. I remember it was against a Guile on Xbox Live. I also remember I felt like I was Daigo at this time, I wanted a nobel prize for being able to FADC. So just for this sensation, take your time and learn.

My personal FADC training advice would be to take Ken, and to try the LP Shoryuken FADC Ultra 1. The timng is not strict at all, so if you can FADC you can basically ultra. Once you’ve learnt this one, you can FADC whatever you want in the game. Just remember it takes time. If thousands of SF IV players can do that, why couldn’t you do it?

Otherwise, without being aggressive at all, don’t take that as an insult, but I personnally think that saying “Okay I can’t do that, so I will never be able to do it” is stupid. If you practice any kind of sport you’d understand this doesn’t mean anything, skill level rises with time and training.

Keep it up, it takes time (and courage ^^) to dive in Street Fighter IV, but once you’re in… It’s godlike.
Being motivated is the key. As an example, I personnally have a very competitive nature and this is what motivated me. My level climbed dramatically when I happened to meet (out of total randomness) one of France’s top players. Watching him playing, and raping me, made me think “cm’on, why is he so godlike? Let’s train and reach his level!”. Thanks to him I spent countless hours playing and now I’m not getting raped anymore. I just loose to him, next step being to finally be able to win =)