The Definative Guide to no Competition

I noticed a bit of discussion around the place about computer only play and I’d been thinking about this my self, so I thought it might be a good idea to put our heads together and come up with a definative guide on how to get the most out of no competition.

I my self have no competition in my area and have spent many years playng the computer, but I still don’t think I have a way to get the most I possibly can out of it. I know I’m not the only one, there are a lot of other pople too who are in the same situation.

So what are your ideas and opinions? I’ll wait till I get some replies before I jump into anything, just to get some conversation rolling.

I’ll probably edit this post if we gather enough information to help people out, but we’ll wait and see.

No competition for a game means that you will be (at best) mediocre at said game, regardless of how much you play the computer. I have no local comp for SS Tenka, I can beat the computer down on the highest difficulty level, and I have no doubts that I would get ruined by anyone who’d been able to practice against real people.

Hmm, dificulty is what I was going to bring up. Most people say to play on the hardest difficulty, but I’m not so sure it’s the best way to go. From what I’ve experienced, although level 8 is the hardest, it doesn’t emulate a human oponent very well. Humans can’t beat out every poke you throw at them and steal your commands (yes, it steals your commands…you input a move and it executes it it’s self). I actually find lower difficulties better as it gives atleast a little room to mess around with it.

This is the kind of reason I want to discuss it, I feel there must be some way to at least benefit from the computer.

There are diamonds in the rough ofcourse… When you check out Popobo in the cvs2 forums, he got FAR in some tourneys, and he was some state country kid which noone ever heard of, and he has noone to play…

Hsien Chang was one too…

The only thing you could is just watch alot of vids, and trying to make some sort of game out of that… I did it that way too and it did get me far to this day… but I had to adjust millions of things to get this far (I couldnt even tech normally and shit… you get lazy against AI over time).

Indeed. You can’t bait the CPU, you can’t play mind games, etc. Also, even on level 8, CPU will have patterns; learn the CPU’s patterns and you’re good to go.

I almost never play CPU. I spend most of my time in training mode, learning the moves’ properties, what can be comboed into what, which moves have good priority, which moves have good range, trying to improve my execution, trying to improve my reflexes (hit confirm and such), etc. Some things I like to do on training mode:

*Set the dummy guard to random. Great way to train hit confirm.

*Set the dummy to guard everything. That’s how I learned how to link s.HP after Makoto’s Karakusa (useful for training other grab set-ups as well).

*Set the dummy to CPU and set the difficulty to whatever suits your needs. Good for practicing combo set-ups after you’ve learned your character’s combos. Also useful for training parry (set the difficulty to 8 stars then try to parry everything the CPU throws at you).

Of course, those things aren’t going to make anybody a tournament winner, but they’ll help you improve execution, learn combos and set-ups, when and how to land them, and so forth.
I think that’s half way into becoming a good player, the other half would be learning the mental aspect of fighting games (baiting, anticipating opponent’s moves, mind games, etc) and one can only learn that by playing good human players.

There’s pretty much no way to get good without competition. Even if you can learn a lot of new things by playing alone, you will only learn new EFFECTIVE, PRACTICAL things by playing alone IF you know that it would likely be effective and practical on a real person, and even then, the only way to know for absolutely sure if it’s a good tactic is to use it on real people. Playing alone lets you come up with neat ideas or great theories, and it can help you build your chops, but there’s not really any way for you to get good by playing alone.

Where does online play fit into this, surely that gets rid of the no competition complaint? I may have absolutely no competition in my entire country let alone my area but I’ll always hop online over playing against the AI any day. I guess I just don’t see why anyone would feel forced to play against the CPU when nearly every fighter now has some form of online play.

I have 2 friends who are about the same skill level as I am, they are about the only comp I have where I live. Everytime one of us learns something new, ups his ability, etc. it pushes the rest of us to learn new shit, and take our a game a bit further… we’re workin on teaching 3s to a another friend of ours just to add a liiiitle bit more comp.

Are we tournament level, I really doubt it, but we get better everyday, hopefully sometime soon we’ll be able to test our ability in high level… maybe ECCXI if we can find a ride.


By the way, excellent avatar Demon Dash
"I’ll rip out your optics!"

lecturing for 3S a lot, i come across this subject more often than not. so i guess i should shed some light on the myths of playing against the CPU.

many players say CPU sucks. but they all look at it in the wrong perspective. obviously, there’s no way one can compare the CPU to a human player, because AI and and a human are two distinct things. i’ve been playing 3S since its release, and i could probably say that i’ve played the CPU much more than i have played humans. that isn’t to say that i don’t have humans to play with (granted, i don’t have a scene as big as TX/NY/CA), but the general idea is that competition around my area is very limited.

concerning the CPU, i feel that it is definitely worth the investment. of course, you will never be able to incorporate your mind games into it. however, the CPU is extremely helpful in enabling you to practice your execution. your ability to recognize openings will greatly increase, and in turn your reflexes will as well. if you look at the CPU with that perspective/mindset, then playing the CPU is invaluable to helping your game.

of course, playing the CPU alone will not make you better. but the internet is your friend. watching videos will greatly expand what you learn about the game.

so i’m all for it! :rock:

First of all, you must have a super fast connection and you have to play only people who have super fast connections as well in order to keep the lag to a minimum. Otherwise you’ll be simply wasting your time. I remember lots of occasions when I would play online and I would do well but then I would play offline and my timing was all messed up.
Second, you have to find good players. Playing XBL scrubs is even worse than playing CPU IMO.

If you have absolutely no offline competition, XBL can be a good way to improve your game. If you do have offline competition I’d say stick with offline and don’t bother playing online.

Another thread about no competition:

First of all, you must have a super fast connection and you have to play only people who have super fast connections as well in order to keep the lag to a minimum. Otherwise you’ll be simply wasting your time.

The thing is that so many people play X-box live that it usually doesn’t take that long to find a passable connection.

Besides, even finding one good connection is more fun that playing against the CPU.

A friend of mine got good at parrying from playing the CPU all the time. I was his first real competition and we were pretty much even in that first meeting, even though I had way more human experience than he did.

He might be an exception to the rule though.

If you have no comp get XBL. Playing the CPU must be hella boring, especially 3rd Strikes sorry excuse for a CPU.

Well I live in Germany and the competition is pretty bad, actually if you were to count ALL the people who play 3s you probably wouldn’t come over 250. In my city I only have one person to play against.:sad: I just spend a lot of time playing against cpu on highest difficulty in training mode, or just plain train execution which for me gets boring after 30 mins. Also watching videos can be quite helpfull, I have over 25 gigs of 3s matchmovies and combomovies.

Makoto36: Its boring to do yea, but when you keep winning from the cpu with not even one round lost, it does show you that you’re solid and all (to a certain extent)… I have done it for 2 years or so aswell… But keep playing, you’ll find people to play against sooner or later =)

And if you REALLY want competition… come to tourneys in Belgium, and here in Holland we have monthly ranking battles with about 30-40 people or so competing…

my advice…

-get your execution to the highest possible level (ideally 100%).

-playing the computer is really just a way to pass time and is probably the most inefficient use of your time. sure you’re playing against someTHING (not someone), but you’ll usually start to develop bad habits more than anything that a human opponent would crush.

-watch the newest possible match vids and try to understand WHY players do what they’re doing in certain circumstances. once you start to see how top players think, you’ll become better. if you’re just watching for setups/gimmicks you can x-copy, you’re not watching the vids properly IMO.

-travel to big tournaments and soak up all the casual play/advice/tips you can get. i got pummelled at evo2k3 (didn’t know how to fight against RC’s at all) before i began to get a lot better.


My suggestions:

  • Playing the CPU isn’t as bad as most ppl say it is. I play the CPU more so than humans as well. What i do is go into the options menu, set 2P = CPU, enter Versus mode, make VS matches 3 out of 5 rounds battles, and adjust the difficulty accordingly. I find 8 stars a bit unrealistic, so i don’t really set it that high too often, unless i really want to test myself. Right now i play 5-6 stars, since i’m still “learning.” The only real “chore” from this is having to choose an opponent from the 2P controller…other than that, i actually find this as a fun way of playing the game by yourself.

  • Watch lots of match videos. Sometimes i tend to study their moves and intentions and try to emulate a combo i seen. Probably the most helpful thing you can do for yourself if you don’t have competition.

  • Buy the SFAC Bradygames guide. Other than forums and FAQs, it’ll help you understand the game alot more.

  • For fun: Unlock everything in 3S and play around with the new stuff…(Gill, Extra Options, and the rest of the System Direction pages). I don’t do this much, but if you really get good (and feeling super bored), change the life/round settings in Extra Options to handicap yourself. Give yourself lower life settings, etc. [Just play around with those settings only if you really want to challenge your skills]. I wouldn’t really recommend this too much though…haha

Get an Xbox and xbox live. Playing with a little lag isn’t perfect but it’s a thousand times more fun than playing against the PC.

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