The "flow" of 3d fighters

I’m trying to get back into them since I’ve been gone so long, espec soulcal.

Would I just learn a dude and go from there? Like in general though what do you do to go about learning one of these? I don’t really get them on a mindgame level. I’ve been told that the goal is to make your opponent mis react so you can do your offense but without footsies how do you even do that? When I play it’s just random punishes> combo. It all feels random and or really common sense, if that makes sense to you. It was like learning a language with 2d is it different with 3d?

A lot of it seems to be movement, since the footsie game is well, ass or nonexistant. Move in, punch a few times, if hit great, go combo a lot or mix em up and if not back off and prepare for an attack/ change your angle. If on block you better hope your string is fast with some advantage or includes a parry bait or something.

I seemed to get tekken 4 ok but then again tekken 4 is odd.

It’s more like fighting vs a weird mindgame-y chess game I guess. Whenever I see sf I have to try to read the purpose behind the attack and “translate it” to english, with Tekken or something my attacks are… Attacks. I watch the opponent, watch their movement and how they are blocking and try to take advantage of whatever i can in between their punches and blocking. I never really played at a “high competitive level” though I fought my dad in T4 a lot and apparently we were using top tiers not knowing about it (jin, fox, law).

go to forums->top 10 moves->spam those moves->win

3D fighters are really, really heavy on knowing how to whiff punish and knowing your frame data. Also, in terms of Tekken, there’s a shitton of “red herring” moves that are just not very good. If this match has no footsies then I don’t know what it is…

3d footsies are still there, they are just implemented differently because of the difference in planes and movement options. The same way that certain normals and specials in 2d FGs are applied in ways to chip away dmg and create openings/setups, are the same ways that the “top 10 moves” in 3d games are applied.

Be aware though, you will need to know a lot more about your opponent and their character when playing 3d FGs in comparison. Thanks to the vastly larger movelist(with a lot of useful, but not necessarily good moves) there are a lot more tricks that can come into play, and defense is a lot more robust than simply “block” and “break throw”.

if by “soulcal” you mean Soul Calibur, your goal is to maintain your character’s optimal spacing, where your attacks are faster, stronger, safer, or kill step better in comparison to your opponent at that distance. Also, control your stage position as to limit your opponent’s options and increase your risk/reward. Control both of these with movement when you get the chance, pushback moves, and knockdown moves that send them in the direction you want.

At a distance, choose between a long ranged move and running in and mixing up. Stop their movement with a step-killing move or duck under their step-killing move (often a high) and punish. Step their mids (usually steppable to one side) and whiff punish. If they’re standing still and guarding, your go-to option is usually to throw them, as most lows in SCIV suck. At range, advantage counts for little, as they can step-guard or back dash-guard to safety. Use the advantage instead to adjust your spacing. Think about the types of danger zones that extend outward from your opponent, based on each move he has. The more you know your opponent (character and playstyle), the more accurate your conception of his danger zones is. If your character has longer danger zones, place them inside your danger zones, but outside theirs. I say danger zones because they’re different depending on their properties. Each character has a specific step-killing range, mixup range, punishment range, and go-to-footsie-poke-move range. There’s also the ranges of their evasive attacks to consider as well. They don’t have access to these moves if they’re not close enough, or else they’ll whiff and you can punish them for big damage. You can get them to whiff by hanging around at tip range and leaving the danger zone before your opponent can react. To stop them from doing the same to you, space so that their escape is cut off. To clarify, characters with shorter zones are balanced so that their zone is more threatening, so being inside a longer ranged character’s danger zone is still good positioning as long as they’re in the short ranged character’s danger zone too. A lot of this will apply to any fighting game (especially 3D FGs tho), but in SCIV it’s actually reasonable for players to be able to control these subtle differences in danger zones due to scale of the ranges and comparatively slow movement (that’s right, slow movement means more depth!).

Once you land a hit, you have to ask yourself a few questions in order to determine what your options are: Am I at frame advantage? How many frames? Does the difference in our character’s speeds change whether or not I really have the initiative despite being at frame advantage? At this range, what moves will hit? How fast are my opponent’s moves at this range? The answers to these questions will tell you what attacks beat what. In a 3D game, however, you also need to ask a few more questions. What crouching moves do they have access to? Can they sidestep my move in time? If I try to cover backdashing with a ranged move, will my move be too slow to beat a fast interrupt? What options can their parry/counter cover? How can I punish a jumping attack? Is it worth it to make use of my advantage frames or sacrifice it for better positioning? Should I try to cover multiple options or go for risky specific counter for big damage? Or should I avoid making a decision that could be wrong by resetting the situation back to footsies even though I’m at advantage? You must first know all of these things for any situation if you want to correctly evaluate them. Note: at disadvantage, the questions are reversed.

Then, you consider what your opponent will do. Consider their perception of the answers to those questions, based on the metagame or their past actions. Think about how you’re actions are being noted (or whether they’re being noted at all) and adjust accordingly. Make your danger zones look small and then strike when they try to escape. Make your danger zone look big when they’re actually small to make your opponent feel limited. Art of war, etc. Basically the same idea as in other FGs.

I hope that answered your question regarding not only what you need to learn, but the flow of the 3D fighting game, as well.

actually this made a lot of sense.
im a nightmare player so i know spacing is important. if they get in too close im done unless i can knock them away.

Did someone say footsies?

A friend described it to me as largely taking turns. You gotta know when it’s your turn to attack, and turn to defend. The biggest scrub mistake people make in 3d fighters is attacking at disadvantage unforced.

That’s probably how you should start out, but if you never attack when it isn’t your “turn,” you’re vulnerable to more of the opponent’s movelist, as you aren’t limiting their options at all. -2 might as well be -6 if you play too defensively. There’s also other options when at disadvantage that seem more like offense than defense, even though it’s your turn to defend.

I guess any option at disadvantage could be considered defensive, though. You’ll probably need to have some evading property or speed in your moves to “defend” against a portion of their offensive options.

The more you know about frames and how spacing and differing character speeds affect who is really at advantage, the less it feels like you’re taking turns.

It’s not an absolute, I agree. It’s a general rule. If a move has evasive properties, it’s sometimes worthwhile to use at disadvantage if it’s high reward and you anticipate something. For example, at low -'s with Asuka, if I expect a low, I’ll use her d+3+4 kick which can start a combo.