Taking steps backwards

Need some real advice here. I’ve even playing street fighter since THDR and I’ve always been in love with it. That being said, I’m about to be done with it, as I’ve lost sight of any goals I once had. I’ve been playing SFIV since release and play probably 1-3 hours a day of 2012 nowadays. The problem is that I haven’t seen any improvement in my overall skill. I usually range around 300-800pp. Maybe I have a skewed view on things or something, but this seems ABSOLUTELY ATROCIOUS. I’ve switched mains around a few times, usually ending up back with sagat, and no luck. I just can’t get to that next level. I spend time in training mode, learning matchups, watching replays, etc. I’m just now sure where to go from here. Why carry on if I don’t see any progress? Thoughts? Tips? Ideas for improving my game? Need some help here guys…

EDIT: Switch from Sagat to someone a little more mobile.

This topics should have a video be mandatory. That’s the easiest way to see what the issues are honestly.

There’s a lot of generic tips, learn the matchups, practice combos, improve your footsies, but at these levels generally all these things need work - its time to really hammer out which is the most pressing and start on that instead of meandering around without a focus.

load up that camera!

Alright, I’ll see what I can do as far as a camera is concerned.

Stick to one character, you’ll progress far more as a player, and in your specific game, if you can focus your efforts on learning one character, through and through, as well as all of their matchups.

Analyze your own matches by checking out the replay section. And when I mean analyze, I mean don’t just watch it for fun, really take this opportunity to analyze every little thing that you or your opponent does. Try to identify the things you did RIGHT, as well as the things you did wrong, to get a better idea of your status as a player. It’s important to analyze both your wins and your losses, with special attention given to your losses, because they can both give you a picture as to your strengths and weaknesses as a player.

Once you figured those things out, come up with a gameplan to improve your weaknesses. Your goal is to be a well-rounded player, so that you’re able to use a wide variety of skills, playstyles, tools and tricks, to beat your opponent, regardless of how THEY play or the character that they play. Then take each practice session, and focus on one thing at a time. It could range from learning how to punish your opponent’s unsafe or whiffed moves, or doing your basic combos, practicing your ultra combo setups, identifying the ranges you should be in during any given matchup, learning how to utilize a variety of anti-airs, etc etc.

Playing the game, and training, are two completely different things. You could mindlessly play the game for several hours a day, but you’re going to get a LOT more out of it if you train with a specific purpose in mind as you play.

Since you’re judging your ability by pp, I’m assuming you focus on ranked a lot. I would suggest from personal experience that you focus on endless battles so you can face the same opponents for a number matches. This has helped me a lot in learning specific matchups and also in developing my ability to notice patterns in someone’s game.

In my opinion, facing the same character 20+ times in a row is about a million times more beneficial than just reading about the matchup. After I started focusing about half my time in endless I began doing far better in ranked matches. I’ve only been playing for a few months and my pp is around 3,000 currently, so I think that clearly you must be approaching this in some fundamentally flawed way to be at 800 pp after years of playing.

Try some offline sessions with your local scene

Find local comp.

Awesome advice guys, I really appreciate it. And like I said, I’ll try to get some matches up on YouTube.

Wow, that’s really impressive—the OP is probably on one side of the curve, but your progress still seems exceptional to me. I’ve been playing for some months now and am nowhere near as good. Did you play fighting games before SSF4? Do you think it’s just natural ability or do you have a special training routine? I guess how long you practice matters too, so you could have just put a ton of hours into your few months.

I’ve been playing since AE was released pretty much every day for 1-3 hours or so. I’d never played fighting games before, but the one thing I will say is that I’ve played the guitar seriously for about 13 years and I’m very used to practicing hard or “woodshedding” as musicians call it.

Honestly though I didn’t know that was considered abnormal. Perhaps the fact that I’ve only been playing 1 character has helped. I literally don’t know a single BnB of any character but Balrog.

Just my two cents bc im new to Fighting Games, but I agree with PowersofTen. First fighting game for me was super and I hovered around 3,500pp with Abel, in 2012 now above or below 2800ish with viper. Im currently just an online warrior and I am willing to bet if I went to a local arcade or something I would get destroyed. What this means though however, is that based on the tons of people I have played online, 300-800pp cannot be your real skill cap at all! Most of the people around that range don’t seem to be aware of a lot of the basic information that one can find on sites like SRK here. With some vids, we will probably see that there is just some fundamental difficulties with the SF4 engine that you are struggling with. Don’t give up!

So just finished playing for the night. Went 7-23 in my last 30 fights. Pretty salty right now. Honestly, I really don’t think I’m that bad. I really don’t. I can shoryu - FADC - Ultra every time (even in ranked), I can do vipers fierce feint fierce, I have a lot of trials done, I really don’t think execution is my issue. Whatever. I’m sick of this shit. Vids on the way.

Being able to execute Ultra combos, viper feints, and most of the trials (many of which are useless), doesn’t mean you’ll win matches. The opponent isn’t interested in seeing whether or not you can execute combos, in fact his job is quite the opposite, to stop you so that you won’t be able to land these opportunities for combos. Stick with the fundamentals of trying to understand spacing, dominating your zone, figuring out the ideal ranges for both you and your opponent, and learning how to shut down their options while maximizing your own. This isn’t something that the trial mode, or to some extent training mode, is going to teach you.
First and foremost, SF is a game about controlling space. This is why it’s often compared to chess at higher levels.

Aye. No matter what sickness you can pull off against a non moving target it doesn’t mean anything if you can’t do it in a match. I think most of us could score a 3,000 point game if there was no opposing team, but no one’ll be scribing my name next to Jordon’s.

Also no amount of skill can change the game. If Daigo sticks out a move against a wake up ultra, he’s gonna eat a wake up ultra - no particular quality of his will suddenly make it not hit. What I mean is if you’re losing, there’s gotta be a reason; muse on it awhile. Not saying you can’t get salty[I know I do!], but try to have the right frame of mind going into this.

Alright guys, vids are up, here’s the link. Let it rip.


Sorry for the shitty quality, phone camera was my only option…

I don’t know too much about Ryu, but some ideas:

  • A lot of jumping for no good reason; lots of whiffed jump-in attempts (bad spacing) and jump-in attempts that got you anti-aired. Try not to jump in if the opponent is just standing there, ready to anti-air you for it. When you do land a jump-in, try to do a more damaging combo.
  • You sweep a lot, and it seems like sweep is your only footsie tool. I don’t know Ryu that well, but try more cr.mk xx Fireball, cr.mp, and whatever else Ryu’s good pokes are other than sweep. Further, you seemed to get really predictable with your sweeps; late in the first game, your opponent was focusing your sweeps because you were doing it so much.
  • It seems like you’re not sure whether you want to zone or not; you back off to full screen, throw a single fireball, and then jump forward. If you want to keep the opponent out, keep him out, but don’t back off only to immediately try to get back in again.
  • Bad punishes; Ken whiffs a DP right in front of you and you just sweep, try even just F+HP -> DP or something for better damage. There are much better punish combos than sweep. Hell, if you have Ultra, even just do raw ultra.
  • It seems like, because you sweep a lot, you value getting a hard knockdown. So when you do get a hard knockdown, apply some wakeup pressure; don’t just let them get up for free. If you expect a wakeup DP, walk up and block (which you did a bit in the second match), but otherwise, go for a mixup or meaty pressure. If you don’t use the wakeup game to your advantage, the benefit of the hard knockdown is lost.

I’m going to cover a few points, going from the most important critical points to the least:

[]Stop jumping so much. Try to stay grounded. A jump is a risky move, but offers high rewards if you do it at the right time. Your jump ins are constantly getting anti-aired. Jumping is NOT attacking, its making a risk. Just simply walk forward if you want to gain some ground. In fact, I would suggest training yourself by NEVER jumping in a match. Obviously in a real match you would jump sometimes, but for the time being, you have to learn to control and dominate your zone without resorting to just aggressive tactics. You also have a tendency to sometimes jump on their wakeup, with really bad timing, so you eat a reversal. Your cross-up timing is WAY off, you press the kick button so early that you don’t actually end up hitting your opponent, and you eat free damage.
]You play as if your only attack buttons are LP and HK. Whenever you’re at mid to close range, all you do is crouch-block, and throw out random HKs. It worked for you some of the time, but it’s not a reliable “footsies” strategy at mid-to-higher levels. It’s a slow attack that’s punishable on whiff, and can be jumped over to land a damaging combo. Learn to use your cr.forward, it’s Ryu’s best poke. It’s fast, has good reach, and you can cancel it into your fireball. Do try and get into the habit of cancelling cr.forward xx fireball. This should also be your most basic punish. There are times when the opponent would do something stupid, like a random dragon punch, and your only punish is a cr.RH. Do a cr.forward xx fireball, or EX fireball, it’s more damage, and gains you more meter. Also you tried to do cr.jab, cr.jab, cr.roundhouse a lot…you’re mis-timing it, no idea why you’re doing it.
[]You don’t use your fireball effectively. One of Ryu’s greatest tools is his fireball, and you have to learn how to use it to control the pace of the match, as well as in your footsies game to land some damage here and there. Don’t try to spam it out recklessly, anybody with half a brain knows how to punish spammed fireballs.
]During the Dudley match, you threw a fireball on his wakeup. Never do this to a Dudley with an ultra, you’re just asking for a free punish. Dudley has ways around your fireball, so unless you intend to use it at close-mid range during footsies, I suggest you avoid it. Stick with your cr.forward, and anti-airs.
This stuff you won’t learn how to do in trials. You landed one good DP x FADC x Ultra1, and that was an excellent punish. However, your basic execution is lacking, and you need to work on that. Notice how even though you performed most of the trials, and you’re able to do things in training mode, you didn’t do a single one of those things during an actual match. This is primarily because you’re placing WAY WAY WAY too much emphasis on combos, and not on the basics of how to play street fighter properly. Anyone can hit a training dummy in training mode, because you’re in a controlled environment, and you know what the other guy is going to do. This is not true in a match, where you have to EARN the right to land those combos, and when they come, you have to be able to do it instinctively through trained muscle memory, which all comes with practice.

Thanks for the advice. I’ll be working on this stuff and I’ll be back with results.

cr.jab -> sweep works btw… :e