Third Strike to USFIV


I’m transitioning from SF3 Third Strike to USFIV and I’ve been pretty consistently getting demolished. This game and its fundamentals are so different from 3S and I get put in many situations where I think “How come my reversal got stuffed by a jab?” “How did he grab me from so far?” “How come my lp/lk didn’t stuff his grab?” “How do I escape pressure situations?” “What am I supposed to do against focus attacks?” “Am I incapable of anti-airing everything, or am just mistiming my srk/c. hp?” “how do I get in on my opponent?”

I’m maining sakura… Please help this is ludicrously frustrating I don’t remember learning 3S to be this difficult and I can win matches in that game with some degree of consistency. Does USFIV have a steeper learning curve?


Play the same footsies game, like you would in 3S. This version of SF is more based on footsies and control so play your ground game, just be conscious that you can’t parry and drop big combos, you need to bait punish and control the space.

Throw range is damn near double the range as in 3S. To give you an example… If you tick throw in 3S with someone like Ken, cLK, cLK, throw will whiff assuming you don’t walk forward first. cLK, cLP, throw will land with room to spare in USF4 so try to get used to that range. You can’t really use cLP or cLK to stuff a throw. You can only really use it to keep the guy from the range where he could throw you. Instead, stay crouching and hit cLK+cLP to do a crouch throw tech. You can also SRK the guy if you know he is going for cLK, cLP, throw. Drop the SRK on him right after the cLP.

Just doing a move and getting the message reversal doesn’t mean your move will win. I’d need an example to really confirm or deny what had happened but if you’re going to do a reversal, try to keep it to something like a SRK (which typically don’t have the same invincibility as in 3S but still have some - LP SRK type moves aren’t god tier like in 3S)

Escaping pressure is such a hard thing to talk about without knowing specifics. Typically, be patient. Wait for the opening, back dash OR wait a second (to make sure he isn’t baiting with a frame trap) and poke them out. But the best advice I can give is be patient. As you play more you will learn typical ranges and block strings different characters will do and you will know where your opening is.

Certain moves will break focus. For example, a tatsu will shatter focus. It just straight up breaks it and cannot be absorbed. People try to use FA kinda like a parry but it doesn’t do the same thing as a parry from 3S. If you jump in and someone reacts by charging a focus, just mash a SRK as soon as you land, it should work.

You can AA with SRK just fine. Different shotos will have different versions to use for AA (ex, Ken uses MP SRK, Akuma uses HP SRK) you need to land them deep if you want to win clean though, try to AA so you’re still on the ground frames of the SRK when it lands, aim for it to land on frame 3 or 4 of the start up but remember this game has probably the worst SRKs out of all SF games so you need it deep. cHP works fine as well but only from certain ranges with shotos. You need this one much earlier than you would need a SRK so you’ll need to play with the timing of both. Set up a dummy in training mode and have it jump forward and back doing HK and just do dat footsies wiggle and practice AAing with SRK and cHP.

Getting in on an opponent is also very situational. Again, play your footsies game and look for a hard knockdown. A throw is great but whiff punishing with a sweep is just as good. Dash in behind it and start your mix up game. If you’re playing a shoto, aside from Akuma, you almost never need to jump aside from a cross up on their knockdown so keep sticking to those 3S fundamentals bro.

Good luck


OP it’s like you were driving a Lambo and then decided you wanted to drive a Hyundai instead.

Basically SF4 is the antithesis of 3s. The most important thing you need to know about SF4 in general is that Jab>>>>>>All. I’m not kidding either.


Yeah, to be honest I’m a bit confused as well. If you stick to mostly the same game plan as you would in 3S, you should dominate most people in SF4. Just get your combos, block/poke strings down and then play that ground game. Bitches don’t even know about your cMK, Super buffer


I play urien and ken , but since ken’s gameplay applies more here I’ll lay out my basic gameplan and you tell me if it applies:

This goes universally: build meter, zone my opponent with good high priority normals (cr forward, cr strong, st strong, st roundhouse) like if I’m fighting Alex I’m throwing out standing strong and low forward to catch a slash elbow, while buffering srks to catch stomps… When I’ve got enough meter I’ll start pressuring for knockdown and go for mixups to hit confirm into super, and that’s the basic gameplan right there

What i wasn’t really understanding with ultra was that a dude could score a knockdown with a sweep, focus attack, combo etc and then just get in my face and spam jabs and shorts on wakeup, and I can’t build meter whiffing normals so that’s another thing off the table


Okay, basic gameplan seems fine. Do that shit up, bro.

You’re going to build meter with specials normally. Meter isn’t as important in this game is it is in 3S. This game isn’t like cMK, Super > Everything. With Ken, you need meter preferably for FADC Ultra (2 bars) or EX Tatsu (1 bar - good damage and leads to a mix up, I think you’re +1 or +2 when it ends) or EX SRK (1 bar - great for punishes, you only need something simple like sHK, EX SRK. Enjoy taking off 30% of the dude’s life bar… no joke)

People online are going to jump a lot because they don’t understand footsies or space control, be conscious of this. People will also mash jab a lot because they don’t know any better. Just block those and see above… wait for your opening, back dash to make room or poke them out to make room and continue your footsies.

I bet your biggest problem is you’re trying to approach these matches in a smart way. Stop doing that, play more stupid. Keep it basic. Do your footsies and zoning just like you normally would, get that knockdown and then go crazy on them with mix ups. When your mix up stops working or your block strings push you out of effective range, go back to footsies. Slow and steady man, don’t rush it while you’re learning. A lot of the guys you’re going to play are going to hand you the win on a silver platter, just watch for their jump ins and expect random SRK mashing.


Alright, this is some of the best advice I’ve gotten since picking up the game … Thanks man I appreciate it, I’ll try to hang in there now lol I was starting to get really frustrated losing to things I feel like I shouldn’t have


Its because you are a scrubble bubble just like 3S. No Ken crutch an Urien glitch Aegis shennanigans here my friend. You gotta learn those footsies and block for your life.


Glitch Aegis shenanigans? Ken crutch? Wut