Timing Links?

I’ve been playing SF4 since it came out on and off; but I still have a lot of trouble timing the links. I feel that sometimes I just do the motion in a spastic movement and it comes out right; but I can’t do it on command its usually luck of the draw. Any help?

Training mode, training mode, challenge mode, training mode…did I mention training mode?

Don’t be spastic. It takes two button presses to do a link - not four, not twentyseven. Two. Practice getting the links down where nothing you press is superfluous. Take the same approach to combos.

Play HDR, that’ll show you what hard links are. This is what I have been doing. Check out the thread.

But, it really is just all about practice. Go into training mode and just try the link over and over. If it comes out but, doesn’t combo you’re hitting it too late. If it doesn’t come out you’re hitting it too early.

Are you playing on a pad or a stick? Having all 6 buttons right in front of you with a stick definitely makes them easier.

Training mode, challenge mode. Well, what Scheater5 said. Training mode is your best buddy on SFIV, followed by challenge mode to get down the more complex combos. Sit in training mode until you get the combo down so it’s like second nature, you should be able to rely on execution without doing ‘spastic’ movements.

yeah guess I’m gonna live in training mode then.

I’m playing on my MvC2 TE stick.

For me, it helped alot to have a training mode where I could see the button inputs - I got alot of skills with Input Data on in SFIV that apply to other games. I found out that I was doing alot of things I didn’t realize I was doing. Might help you to do the same - I don’t think MvC2 has input data, but HDremix might. And of course IV does.

Training mode… pick a character and practice their links till it’s second nature.

I’ve always been horrible at linking. There was a period of 2 days when I was hitting links enough to help me clear over 3/4 of the hard trials. Someone I played told me to not watch my character’s animation and it worked… but only for a couple of days. So that’s my only suggestion since it worked temporarily for me.

I can at least now do some basic links occasionally. My most consistent ones (not saying much) are Blanka’s Jumping HK -> Back + MK -> Back + LP xx Blanka Ball (xx Super) and Balrog’s Jumping HK -> HK -> LP -> EX Upper -> cr. LP -> cr. LP xx Headbutt -> Ultra. I find some characters like most shotos to link easier… at least a basic link like cr. lp -> cr. mp. I personally feel helpless when it comes to linking consistently. I’ve read up on tips and watched every “tutorial” video under the sun… but I just can’t get it down. Maybe it’s because I’m main-less. Different frame data for different moves might be throwing my timing off in general.

After playing for a long ass time I still occasionally mess up my links but there are some things that help make them easier. Take Balrog’s dash upper loop for example after you do the upper and first cr. jab I found that if you pause for a split second in between jabs it’s easier to hit the link. First time I tried that I pulled off 3 uppers in the loop. That was a turning point in links for me haha. There are others like Cammy who has a link that takes like 1 whole second it looks like the opponent has time to srk or something but are sadly denied. So yeah practice a lot and look to see if the link happens fast or slow that’ll make it a lot easier.

This is a suggestion way out of left field, but if you don’t know how to read music then continue to the next paragraph. I like to think of 16th notes as way to mark the way I should be pressing buttons. So cr. LK -> cr. LP -> cr. HP -> EX Hurr. Kick would be 1 e + a 2 but you wait that 16th beat of the + and press the HP on the ‘a’. So it’s 1(lk) e(lp) _ a(HP) 2(EX Hurr. Kick).

For those of you who can’t read music, just try getting a rhythm down. Go “1 2 3” while you do the combo and get the right groove. I can’t say how long to wait in between links to get that groove since it’s different for every combo and character, but, like everyone else has said, just learn to love training mode and practice practice practice your links until you have the rhythm down like the drummer for Led Zeppelin.

@lithiummethoxide - I’m a musician, and I do the same thing. The only problem is that you have to make sure in the heat of battle you don’t up the “tempo” in your head.

Haha for sure Scheater5. It’s also tough getting a basic tempo to begin with. Sometimes I just wind up saying “1 2 3” to try and get my links out. Also, Kelter Skelter’s suggestion is good. I just bought SSF2THDR over the weekend and practiced some links with Ken for almost an hour. I went back to SF4 and as soon as i entered training mode it felt like I had whole days in between moves to link them together. It’s a little pricey at 1200 points but the game in general will make you a better player. That game is much more dependent on footsies and fundamentals.

Obviously practice is most important. However, a couple little tricks:

1.) Use plinking or double tapping as much as possible. If you don’t know how to plink: http://www.shoryuken.com/entry.php?b=346
2.) It seems like links can be timed by hitting the next button when the yellow hitsparks from the first move disappear. I am not totally sure about this…but I’m pretty sure.
3.) At the same time, don’t try to get your timing from your onscreen character doing the moves. Joystick inputs/button taps do not really sync up with whats on screen. I usually fuck up my links when I start tapping buttons and then look at whats going on on the screen and try to adjust my timing to that.

++points for mariodoods post

All I have to say is that links are anything BUT natural, there is no rhythm that translates from move to move or character to character, you just have to make it a thing through practice. My suggestion is to practice practice practice but remember to stop and let it sink in. You’ll get better in 2 hours of taking a 5 minute break every 20 instead of 2 hours straight.

Definitely learn to plink. It makes 1 frames literally twice as easy.

Links definitely aren’t natural, however it’s entirely based on rhythm, if you were doing a single 1-frame link by itself, the timing of your button presses should be like a simple musical beat. As the frame-link window gets larger, your “simple musical beat” has a bit more leniency in that you can be out of time a bit and it still works.