SSF4 learning progression. What should I be doing? Roadmap?

Hey! So long story short, I’ve tried to get into fighting games a couple of times over the past 3-4 years but I always get way ahead of myself and give up because of the sheer amount of information that I try to take in at once.

But once again, here I am trying to get halfway decent at this genre. I was just wondering what I should be studying over the next few weeks (and months). For now, I’ve picked a character that I enjoy. I’m thinking of spending at least a week in arcade mode just getting the handle of utilizing their normals and executing their specials. Watching what abilities the other characters have as well. After a week or two, I’ll spend another week trying to learn some basic combos, links, etc. What about after that? I don’t really want to study frame data, matchups, and whatnot with 2013 coming out soon.

So I guess the biggest question is that for a complete beginner, what should I be practicing and for about how long? Am I on the right track so far where I’m trying to get the handle on the basics of my character?

I would say practice all of your normals. Figure out what they do, how fast they come out, what they beat in terms of opponents moves. Once you have all that then work on execution of normal special moves. People say do 50 fireballs, if you mess up start over.

Once you are confident with your ability with basic moves then Google\youtube simple BnB (bread and butter) combos for your toon.

After you have a simple arsenal go online and see what happens to you. If you get bodied because you jump in to much write it down (or remember) and try to play your next match without jumping.

After you are comfortable with online play go to a local tournament and meet people and get your whooped.

Then just practice

If you want more advanced help look up frame data for all your moves so you know exactly what beats what

Also training mode is good. If you get stuffed by Sagat’s SRK all the time on jump ins, then record sagat doing an SRK and then replay it and jump in on him with different moves and stuff to see what beats it.

That should keep you busy for a while.

I’d say go to local casuals before a local tournament. Seriously, I made that mistake a long time ago, It’s intimidating because everyone’s out for blood, No one’s there to introduce you to anyone because they’re screaming their heads off and looking for high profile (grudge) matches and money matches. And if you can find anyone nice enough (you probably will) they can’t give you that much attention because they’re occupied with what I said previously, as well as worrying about their own placement in the tournament.

I’ve found that every tournament I’ve been to after have been fine, simply because I went to casuals and met people. Also they’ll know you’re “serious” if you go consistently. I hate to say it, but many people simply don’t care about you until you prove yourself. going to casuals and getting your butt whooped is enough for some people to show commitment, for others, they won’t say a word to you or even look at you until you beat them once.

But with the friends you do make, you’ll feel more comfortable in a tournament, and you’ll have lots more people to rely on and show you around the ropes at a tournament.

learn defence first. it’s much easier. then when you’re confident, learn how to apply pressure and force mistakes.
the biggest issue with new players is that they want to press buttons all the time. that’s fine, but you will beat most players at your level if you just learn to block and react to their mistakes.

simple stuff:

  1. how do i antiair with this character? how do i stop people from jumping at me?
  2. do i have any good pokes? can i cancel them into special moves? how do i stop people from just walking at me and pressing buttons?
  3. what do i do if i block a big move (dragon punch)? what is my highest damage combo?
  4. what is a reliable hit-confirm (bnb combo) for this character?
  5. what are my reversal options for this character? how do i get out of pressure? do i have a fast normal (3f)? bigger throw range than normal?

harder stuff:

  1. what is the best range to be in for this character? where do i usually want to be on the screen?
  2. how do i start my own pressure from mid-screen to full-screen?
  3. if i knock someone down, what am i going to do? how does my character test the waters vs. someone new?
  4. how do i train someone to act in a way that’s going to benefit my character’s playstyle? how do i force them to make mistakes? do i need to corner them?
  5. what can i react to with this character, and what do i have to just block? do i have a fast ultra that beats fireballs, etc.?