The word 'Footsies' has become so abstract and meaningless


I’m sure this isn’t a popular opinion as the OGs obviously hold this particular phrase quite dearly.

As a relative newcommer to the ‘serious’ scene (but definitely not a newcommer to FGs in general, I’ve been playing them for years and years) This word is particulary irksome and I would go as far as saying counter productive.

Firstly it means too much, it quite literally covers pretty much everything one does when playing a fighting game. A lot of people think mid-range and normals when the concept is mentioned. Is it just normals, well, no. Is it always ‘mid-range’? Not really.

I struggle to see how a particular phrase has any use when it covers so many different concepts and techniques. It’s so abstract yet you hear people say things like ‘oh I learnt footsies the other day’. As if they weren’t ‘doing footsies’ before.

This gets me on to my second point, everyone thinks of something different when the word is used, most of the time 2 people in the same conversation won’t be talking about the same thing.

One very common definition is quickly moving in and out of the opponent’s poke range and then punishing their whiffed normal, this is probably what a good 75% of people think when they hear the word but on the flipside this is a very small subset of ‘footsies’ according to some, just one element.

Sonichurricane has a very interesting article on the topic of footsies and while it is an interesting read on fighting game strategy, it is a pretty massive writeup covering so many different aspects of play that the idea that this all belongs under one heading is pretty crazy and utterly bewildering for newer players.

Me personally, footsies is synonomous with influencing and baiting an opponent, nothing more, nothing less yet it comes across as such a mystical concept. I’m not saying it’s easy to implement (hell no) but just bloody understanding what people mean when they say it is a struggle for a newer player.


And your point is?

No one who knows what it means would say “oh I leaned footsies the other day.” it’s not something you learn and then you’re done with it, it’s a style that you develop over years of experience playing.

yeah, footsies covers a lot, but what else are you going to say? I just don’t see what’s so complicated about it. it certainly isn’t “abstract” or “meaningless.”


“footsies” sounds gay


Give me an example sentence where the word has some tangible use.

Saying, oh he has good footsies, you may as well say ‘he has good fighting game skills’ or ‘he is good at spacing/reading/influencing/bating…etc.’ How is such a broad phrase ever useful?


The problem is that footsies are more often then not overlooked by newcomers who simply want to pull off moves and do combos. In other words, you need an all encompassing term for these (footsies) to bring attention to it. Besides, footsies are only one aspect of the fundamentals and not all games emphasize footsies as heavily as Street Fighter.


Im tired of the term “meaty”. We use to just say “deep” but now everything is meaty.


i’m tired of hearing ‘concept match’


im tired of hearing metagame


I’m tired of hearing salty when it doesn’t apply to food or bodies of water.

@OP: imho the term has always been abstract, but that doesn’t make it meaningless (Except to people who absolutely don’t know what it is). Same with “priority”.


I hate the constant use of the word “dat”.

Fuck “vortex” too. Apparently 93% of the cast in SFIV has a “vortex”.:rolleyes:


Im sick of people saying mvc2 has more then 4 characters that can win tournaments. Ya ok Put those mid tier vs any god tier character and they will lose fucking idiots


spirit ball

i’m bringing it back


As vast a topic “footsies” is, most people will still know what you’re talking about when you mention it. If for example, someone told you they learned “footsies” or the “footsie game”, then you can surmise that they’ve learned how to effectively poke. Period.

Footsies in two words: “Effective Poking.”

Obviously there are other aspects to effectively poking then just pressing good buttons. Spacing, reactions, baiting, etc. all play into the footsies game.

But again if someone said something like “you need better footsies” then basically, you need to poke better. At least this is how I interpret footsies.


Thisman!!! What happened to deep?!!?


dude its a broad term encompassing many things. it is the use of your characters moves to gain an advantage by all that shit you said. do you just hate broad terms? is it that hard to understand? jesus dude


Yeah, the fuck is with “vortex?” If it doesn’t involve something like a black hole, then it’s kind of a silly term.

I also hate the phrase “leveling up” and “friendlies.” We have a word for the latter, called casuals, and as for the first one I have no fucking idea. You can’t just say “Yeah I did some games to improve?” It sounds so much less lame!


Been meaning to make a post like this for a looong time. Great points.

One of the more pathetic outcrops of the whole ‘footsie’ phenomenon in Street Fighter communities is how they try to take this nebulous construct and use it to evaluate (demonize) other community’s fighting games.

“Smash isn’t a fighter it doesn’t even have footsies LOLoloLoL”.

The ultimate irony is “Footsies” is one of THE most arbitrary constructs and people in this community, who have no clear conception of what it conveys, have the nerve to make fun of the Smash community for creating their own terminology.

“Smash isn’t a fighter, you make your own rules and terminology like ‘metagame’ LOLoloL”

Not trying to turn this into a Smash debate (probably will anyway) but the community needs take a reflective look at some of these sacred cows. “Footsies” is playing the fucking game, and there’s nothing highly nuanced, mystical, or hard to convey about that. When Ryu baits a poke through spacing and punishes with a sweep, sure “footsies” seems oddly appropriate to describe the behavior, but it’s no different than if he punished that poke with a Super/Ultra/Fireball or anything else not involving the character’s feet.


I still use the term “deep.” I always understood “meaty” to mean a move that’s supposed to connect while they’re in the process of getting up after a knockdown, e.g. a meaty fireball or meaty footsweep.

I think the reason footsies seems like such an abstract term these days is because, well, you got a lot of people just using it WRONG.

And yeah wtf is “metagame?” I’ve asked a few people and no one can seem to give me an answer that doesn’t consist of a lot of, “Well, um, it’s, uh…” :confused:


Footsies just sounds like baiting and punishing, which is something you would do anyway.


This is what wikipedia spittin

In simple terms, using out-of-game information, or resources, to affect one’s in-game decisions.

More can be read here