[SSF4] If you can't combo into your Ultra, should you use it at all?

At the moment I’m still new enough to fighting games that, for the most part, my combos just aren’t there when I need them. Basic cancels are getting there, and I can combo into a super when I need to (though it’s usually a waste because I can’t hit confirm for shit yet) but the proper combos are just something I’m gonna need to practice a lot, lot more before I’m comfortable with them

So, for example, I can’t yet pull off at all Ryu’s dragon punch into FADC into Metsu Hadouken - and thus I don’t really have any way to combo into Metsu Hadouken at all (I’m sure there are other ways of comboing into it, but unless they’re much, much simpler they’re not gonna be much use yet). I can execute the actual Metsu Hadouken move on its own though with no problems.

When I go online and I see that Ultra bar filling up (and because I’m mostly getting my ass beat, it tends to go completely full every match) I feel I should be using it. It feels like a waste if I don’t use it, like I’m missing a big part of the game and a big advantage I could be grabbing. However, when I do use it, all I can do is throw the move out on its own and hope to catch the enemy napping. Sometimes I do…it’s surprising how often people get so aggressive when they’re winning that they stop expecting any counter offensive at all…but a lot of the time they just dodge or block easily and then punish me hard during the long recovery time.

I find it most frustrating when the opponent is giving me free Ultra, and I feel like I should be using it to punish them but can’t - e.g. an enemy Ryu spamming hadoukens at me while I Focus Attack Dash through them and jump over them. I can see the mistake they’re making, and even exploit it a bit…but I can’t follow through.

**So yeah, my question is - as a beginner, still learning the fundamentals, should I just ignore Ultras altogether until I’ve worked out a combo? Or is it worth at least trying to throw them out? **

(Please don’t just post ‘practice the combos in the Training Room’ - trust me, I spend a lot more time in the Training Room than I do online, probably 30-40 minutes of practice a day + more time watching youtube vids and reading guides. It’s still going to take me a long time the learn the more difficult combos, and in the meantime I want to at least not get completely creamed in every match online)

In the corner you can do ultra off of an ex tatsu, probably the easiest ultra combo Ryu has.

You might as well hold off on the FADC ultra for now, it isn’t going to be a big deal transitioning from simply shoryuken to shoryuken>FADC>ultra once you have it down.

Ryu can turn anything into an Ultra. The simplest one is: counter a jump in with light Dragon Punch then hit them with the Ultra as they’re falling down. Or simply choose his Dragon Punch ultra and use it against jump-ins.

A few really good players ( not many) use Ryu’s DP ultra very well.

Yes and no, but mostly yes.

If you have to choose between not using your ultra at all and feeling bound to using it when your bar fills then STOP USING YOUR ULTRA… FOR NOW.
Beginners make the mistake of thinking that just because it is there that you have to use it, when in reality deciding to use a resource just so that you don’t die with it is a huge handicap that better players will eat you alive for.

If you don’t learn that lesson of self control sooner rather than later, all that will change once you learn to combo into your ultra is that your itching to use your ultra will lead you to throwing out punishable and predictable moves that combo into ultra instead of just throwing out punishable and predictable raw Ultras.

when you are learning your combos, learn a combo that ends in an ultra. Ultras are a big factor in this game damage wise and taking a big weapon out of the game can cost you matches.

To answer your title question; yes, you should use it. For instance; I can’t combo into blanka’s ultra, instead, I use it for chip damage purposes.

Ex Tatsu on the corner
LP Dragon Punch anti-air
Air to air medium Punch

You have a lot of ways to get it off without FADC, and all of them are pretty easy execution-wise.

Even if it were true un-combable ones (like Orochi Breaker), there will be a situation where they just went flying with a whiffed DP and you can just ultra their asses as they fall down.

Uses for Ryu’s ultra that don’t involve FADC:

[list][]AA lp SRK -> U1
]EX Fireball -> U1 in the corner
[]EX tatsu -> U1 in the corner
]air to air j.mp -> U1
[]Raw punishing blocked uppercuts and supers
]Punishing teleports
[]Punishing fireballs on reaction (If you trade with their fireball, cancel into hk tatsu for a combo!)
]Weird ass raw anti-air
[]Followup after a focus crumple
]Combo after a jump-in j.hk that you know is going to hit[/list]

You should never, ever, do an ultra move “just because.” They’re usually slow and have a big “don’t get hit by this” ultra flash. Ryu’s U1 is so slow, if the opponent does a meaty jab they can actually recover from their attack and be safe. They can even do their own ultra through your ultra on reaction after the flash and not even take chip damage! So reversal ultras honestly suck. They beat a few things, but unless you’re doing it on a solid read on a specific option of your opponent, just don’t even try it. Honestly wakeup DP is way better than wakeup ultra. Not that I’m recommending mashing wakeup DP.

You need to practice one combo at a time. If you really want to learn DP FADC, then learn DP FADC! You just need to break it down into the component parts:

[list][]The uppercut
]The Focus cancel
[]The dash
]The ultra[/list]

You should practice doing an uppercut, and then doing the focus cancel only. Don’t cancel into a dash at all. This is just to get used to the motion. If you can do this without a problem, move on to the dash

When you get to the dash, there are two important things. First of all, I highly recommend holding down the focus attack buttons while you dash. If you release a focus attack, it’s because you let go of the buttons. Secondly, you can actually buffer the dash’s input before the focus cancel even comes out. So you can do a single smooth motion of :f:,:d:,:df:,:f:,:f:. Just get comfortable with doing the focus attack and then dashing. Practice this from both sides.

If you can do the focus dash cancel, then you’re almost there. There are three things to worry about with the input for the Ultra itself here.

First of all, if you do the ultra too quickly, you’ll only get one hit and they’ll bounce out. If you do the ultra too slowly, then they’ll hit the ground before the ultra comes out. But you have a lot of time to do the ultra. The timing is relatively lenient, so don’t panic when you get there. Doing the ultra too early is unlikely.

Second thing to consider is the ultra’s actual input. Turn on the input display. If you are getting an EX SRK, you are probably not performing the last :f: command in the :d:,:df:,:df,:d:,:df:,:df command. Or you’re not hitting all three buttons at the same time, but that’s less likely and can be determined easily from the input display (if all three punches are on the same line). Like before, the biggest thing is to remember that you have a lot of time here. Most people get excited and hit the buttons before they finish the motion, but the way to have the best success is to take your time with the :qcf: motions. If you do it too slowly, you can always speed it up.

Third thing is that if you hit an opponent’s limb from far away, you might be able to FADC, but they might be too far away for the ultra to juggle. This is normally not a problem outside of extreme cases (DP’ing Dhalsim’s limbs, etcetera). You can also have weird situations where your inputs get crossed up during the dash if you move faster than they do, but don’t worry about that. It’s very rare for Ryu, moreso a problem for Adon and Seth.

The best way to train FADC in my opinion is to set the dummy at All Block and then just DP -> FADC -> DP -> FADC -> ad nauseum all day long until it becomes automatic. Do it until you can do it 20 times in a row from both sides, then include the Ultra. You can get it in one day, one hour of training.

First of all, 30-40 minutes of practice a day is no where near enough. Ignore the online battle and practice only until you become able to hit the basic combos like dp-fadc-U1 whenever you like. When that starts, you will start to pull off the more complicated combos in time again with practice.

Open his trials and do all, over and over and over again. That’s the only way.

The Ultra’s just a tool. Just because it does more damage does not make it a more valuable tool than crouching medium kick. The main thing to learn is when to use your tools and I will say this -

**Two players of similar skill - the player who spends all day practising FADC into Ultra will lose to the player who try’s to improve their ground footsie based game EVERY day of the week. **

You see it all the time, guy’s that are able to do fancy FADC and 1 frame links yet their offence involves jumping around like a loon and pressing buttons. It’s like spending all day at the driving range learning to smash 300 meter drives and not actually being able to putt.

Learn the footsie hand book and you’ll become a better player regardless of combo’s.

only a minority can do that move 20 times in a row. sometimes it works, others it doesnt. Even the simplest moves may not work sometimes.
I practice the Makoto fukiage/tsurugi/U2 for months. Some days it works the first try, others the tenth.

besides, in online matches other factors influence the match.

but from what I see, most beginners have left the game already and only the players who know the basics remained and do the same things all over again (block, shoryuken, tatsu etc).
time to teach them a lesson!


I don’t play Ryu in SF4 and I don’t even rememer the last time that I’ve picked him, but I would be severely disappointed in myself if I put in AE right now and couldn’t do SRK FADC Ultra 20 times in a row. If I didn’t play the game for six month and I couldn’t do SRK FADC Ultra 20 times in a row in 1-5 attempts I would still be disappointed.
That is not something that you should think works some days and doesn’t work on other days, it works everyday and if it doesn’t work everyday for you then you need to practice it more.

At first learn what the ultra can punish by itself. For example if you’re stocked with a full ultra with Ryu you should learn when and where you can use it.

Hold onto ultra. That mentality you suggest is common amongst beginners, and they tend to need the need to throw it out near the end of the round. I myself don’t use ultra very often regardless if I can combo into it or not. That’s not to say I won’t use it if I get the chance, I just won’t concern myself with using it if there isn’t the opportunity.

Just because its the case for you, doesn’t mean it applies for everyone else… If you can’t do a simple motion 20 times in a row, you’re either not practising it enough or practising it incorrectly, most likely a combination of both.

Please stop posting advice in the newbie dojo. Thanks,

nah, as long as people read or reply to my posts and I do to theirs in a civilized manner and according to the forum rules, I wont. Besides, I am doing it out of good intentions.

more practice leads to better execution, but not perfect execution. Sure I reached a better level than two years ago but really there is a limit to everything.
I am not that young anymore to start afresh and adapt my reflexes to the game. have to try twice as hard now.

It is the easiest thing in the game. and yes. works everyday as mentioned. If you cant do it 20 times in a row, you are just not good. You have plenty of time doing the ultra motion, its so easy, dont rush it. Try to do Yans ultra combo, after 2nd rekka hit FADC U1, THERE you have to be fast.


Congratulations, you’ve encountered a key flaw with this game, that 4 versions on, still hasn’t been properly addressed. Some characters have virtually no way to land it against a serious opponent. Nice huh?

I am not that good with that type of cancel moves. same problem with Garou AB cancel.
I fare better when there is no need to press buttons inbetween for a cancel, eg like it happens in Last Blade 2. there of course other problems appear.