SSF4AE: Some trouble getting started


Hi all,
So I’m a scrub, as you may have guessed, and I picked up SSF4 about a month or two ago and started out playing on pad. I just recently got a stick, not because I felt pressured to, but I really just felt like I would feel more in control with it than with a pad, and I’m thinking about getting into some other fighters as well.
Well I’m having some trouble with two main things: Finding a comfortable way to hold the arcade stick, and finding a main that I can really commit to, at least until I get my execution and fundamentals down solid enough that I wouldn’t feel too bad about switching to someone else.
I’ve read the FAQ on arcade sticks, and I’ve looked up a couple of different ways to hold a stick, but I’ve yet to find something that feels comfortable enough for me to even execute QCF specials without some degree of difficulty. Is this a matter of practice? Should I commit to what feels “most comfortable” and eventually it will become completely natural? Or should I keep looking for the grip that feels just right?
As for the second issue, I’ve had this problem of not really being able to commit to one single character as a main, and the reason I feel the need to do this is because I feel like I won’t effectively be able to get a good sense of game fundamentals, or “game feel” unless I have a grip on familiarity with my main.
Also I’d like to really just have one character that I can safely say I’m good at (maybe more like “decent” at…)
My problem is that I might say (for example) “Okay, I’ll main Ken because he seems pretty simple, and he’s got a pretty cool design and playstyle.” I’ll try to sit through written tutorials, videos, and practice sessions of BnBs and such, but I’ll kinda lose my patience, and think “Maybe Ken isn’t for me. I’ll main Juri becuase she’s really unique.” Of course, the cycle will repeat itself. I haven’t found a character about which I can simply say “I want to main X because he/she is just awesome.” Should I have more patience and discipline by sticking with a character even if my interest starts to fade just because I’ll never be able to commit unless I force myself to? Or is my fading interest a sign that a certain character really isn’t for me? How did you go about picking your main? Was it as simple as love at first sight, or was it a calculated and lengthy process?
Sorry for the essay, but I am a scrub in need (:


imo use Daigo grip and just get used to it. there is no “magic bullet” grip. every grip will feel awkward if you aren’t used to playing on stick. Daigo grip is the best tho. I wish I learned it.


I only started using a stick around 1 year + 1-2 months back. It’ll be weird for a while. But, you will get used to it and find it comfortable eventually. Daigo grip is the one you should try to get comfortable with from the start.

I went through a few characters in the beginning with specific goals of learning fundamentals. I knew I wasn’t in a position to make an informed decision of my superdevoted character choice at that stage, so I instead figured I’d try to work on my fundamentals. I.e. I picked a char without projectiles at first, because I was curious how to properly deal with it. Then after having played that character a bit, learning a bit, I’d want to learn how to appropriately use normals, so I went with a different char who’s more reliant on that. This way I learned the very basic ways of playing different characters (so I was more familiar when facing them later,) and the skills I were trying to develop were translatable to other characters. But, I only switched between strictly 2-3 characters until I decided on who I wanted to put more time into.

I think it’s important to limit yourself like that, because you’ll only truly accelerate development when focusing on one. I also feel that once you get to a higher level with a character, parts of it allow you to play other chars at a higher level than before more easily.

When in training mode practicing combos, one tip I’d like to give you is to, at least occasionally, not focus too much on the screen when practicing certain combos in training mode, but instead just be aware of what series of motions your hands have to perform in order to input the combo. This is because a lot of errors occur when people attempt to rely on muscle memory that isn’t as consistent as when you’re consciously calibrating it. I dunno, I found it helped me learn combos, at least, instead of freaking out with the different kinds of motions or whatnot


Thanks for the advice guys, it was really helpful
Luckily for me, the Daigo grip is actually what feels most comfortable to me so far- It’s still a bit awkward, probably just because I’ve never played with a stick before, but it’s definitely more comfortable than anything else I’ve tried, so I’ll keep using it till it becomes natural.
One really specific stupid question to add to the others that I forgot to include- When using focus attack, should I be dropping my middle finger flat so that I’m pressing strong and forward at the same time with just that one finger, or should I be shifting my fingers over so that I can press them with my index finger and thumb, or should I maybe just map focus attack to one of my extra buttons (I have an 8 button, and I don’t feel I need the PPP and KKK buttons)? Maybe just whatever feels best? I just feel like there might be one way that’s most efficient when it comes to combos that require some tight links and FADCs and stuff like that.


I personally recommend against mapping any buttons besides default. Also, the 3P and 3K buttons would be MORE awkward in the long run on a stick.

I think I use my thumb and pointer for FADCs. Honestly I recommend whatever’s comfortable, but efficiency is the key here. Palming the mk button and using a finger for mp is an alternative.

As far as your “picking a main” concern, I think everyone shifts around when they start honestly. The number one thing I can recommend though is to not switch just because you’re losing. If you want to switch to a higher tier character, fine, but then you stick it out with your new main. Character switching CAN lead to newbies not getting the fundamentals they need.

Playing Guile, Ryu, Balrog, or Fei on the side will also help your fundamentals. But only play 2 or 3 characters max.

I personally chose my main based on a couple factors. First of all, nobody was playing Seth. Secondly, I loved his offensive playstyle. Third, he had offensive tools that nobody else in the game did, and I sucked at opening people up who could throw tech, so SPD was great.

I really think picking a character you love (not just because you like winning) will help you be dedicated. For you, that might be Juri. But if you play Juri, you need to really learn the character. Keep adding new tech.


Might I ask what the Daigo grip is? I’ve always done the wineglass grip and I have issues dashing to the left on every game but marvel because you can just use the two button shortcut.



Between the ring and pinky finger? Looks odd lol but ill give it a go
at least that’s what it looks like on my phone. Picture is kind of fuzzy


Thanks again for the responses, they’ve really helped me get on the right track, but I’m back with a couple more questions
I’ve recently picked up Guile as a main, I really love the way he plays and how simple he is yet how much you can do with him
BUT I still can’t quite consistently FADC U2, so I’ve been practicing that, and the whole time I’ve been really worried about my stick, probably because I just bought it not too long ago and I would hate for all that money to go down the drain.
I wanted to ask if I should be worried about being too rough with my arcade stick- Of course I’m not tossing it around or death gripping it, or slamming the buttons in with a hammer, but could it potentially lose its resistance or something like that as a result of something like holding db too hard for too long (charge characters lol)? Or are they generally really durable (this is a Qanba Q2 Standard btw)?
One more thing- I just finished up playing some online matches, of course getting demolished because I’m new to the stick, and I still just suck, but every time I would lose getting disrespected: Opponents will just walk up and grab, lvl3 focus me in the corner, keep jRHing/crossing me up back and forth, or keep spamming some stupid punishable move like Dictator’s PC, and it’s all dumb and punishable of course, but for some reason when I go into a match, I forget everything I know and, of course, panic, and, of course, do stupid stuff like random FKs, or do nothing at all, and, of course, lose.
So not that I don’t expect to lose, but is it worth my time to practice with online matches if I’m just getting disrespected and not played for real? Is it good practice to teach me how to beat that kind of stupid stuff? Or is it just a waste of time that won’t prepare me at all for an actual match with an opponent playing me for real?


You need to keep playing until you stop panicking. It takes time :slight_smile: