"Unable to play. Search again?" - The SF4 Online Venting/Suggestion Thread

I thought it would be a good idea to have a thread with stories of online frustration.

Let me start.

So I was playing today against a Chun, a pretty decent one at that. The first 2 rounds were very close and it came down to the last round. We both had a pixel worth of life left, basically cone hit from anything would end the round. So Chun kikokens and I wait till’ the last moment to triangle jump over it then ex messiah her for the win. (Chip damage) I get a lag spike as i jump and it does not recognize my mk input. I just get a huge jump, like a “please come hit me” kind of jump. So it was a free st.mk for Chun. I lost. I know it happens, and I was not angry about that.

Now I go to play another match online in championship mode, with the mentality that I need to redeem myself. No matter where I went I got the message “Unable to play. Search again?”. After the 15th time, I said no, no I would not. Now I’m off to kill a kitten.


/---------------------------------------------------[Suggestions to improve SF4’s netcode]------------------------------------------------------------/


  • The ability to “avoid” a player when they show up on your list as “Unable to play.” or “Room is full.” would help.

We have all been there before. A player shows up on your list with a solid connection and you attempt to join and you get an error message. Upon refreshing the same name pops up with 2 others. And the cycle starts… This fix would streamline the matchmaking system.

  • Lobbies

This is a no brainer. It is a true joy to play some Street Fighter with some friends online, especially when you all can see the same match that is currently going on, and have the satisfaction of winning and keeping your spot in “quarter” matches. Quarter matches are the closest we are going to get to an arcade experience without actually going to the arcade.

  • Ping/Bar System

This was always something that bugged me, the bar system for lag. What does a green bar actually mean? It’s pretty damn subjective if you ask me. A “good” connection to me is GGPO-like. But to Capcom, it might be ~10-20 frames of lag. Sometimes green connections don’t feel like green connections. (Very redundant I know, but you get the picture) The bar system is as useful as the windchill factor on the news. I say, take the guesswork out of the bars and place actual #'s for the ping. STHDR did this, and their netcode is godlike.

  • The ability to enable a preference to “only show results in my region”.

Let’s face it, we all want to play the Japanese and get really good. But playing a person from Japan on a 1 bar connection won’t really get you that far. We can go further to ask, why not just omit the 1 and 2 bar connections? Who plays SF4 online and says “You know what? I want to feel like I’m just suggesting my character to do something and watch them eat a foot/fireball/fist to the face.” ?

  • The ability to choose to just spectate matches.

I dunno, when I’m eating i like to be entertained. Who wants to get grease on their beautiful TE? Not me. So why not watch some flowchart Kens and runaway Akumas while eating for entertainment?

  • Uniform features.

Ok, I get it. There is no logical reason as to why the Ps3 does not have the ability to show inputs and the Xbox 360 does not have the ability to see those silly comments. Enough with the “my console has this and yours doesn’t” shit. It’s pointless.

  • The Ability To Save Any Replay

Does this really need an explanation?




Happens to me every time I play online…

Happens to me aswell, it seemed to get worse after they released the championship mode patch

I spend more time searching for a game than actually playing.

Same for me, so I decided creating lobby instead of searching.

do yourself a favor and only leave everything on “Any” and switch to just “English” to get more search results.

online is almost shite…i can find matches but its usually 2-3 bars at best

  1. Start an arcade game with your preference set to Player/Ranked/Championship, whichever you prefer. Set it to best of 7 rounds, easiest difficulty.

  2. Pick a character with a lot of vitality, like Zangief or Sagat.

  3. Put down your joystick and go do something else, like browse SRK.

Its like making a lobby, except when someone comes you get the “A NEW WARRIOR…” to bring your attention back to the game. On easy the computer just takes casual hits at you (some characters just walk back and forth, afraid to attack :rofl: ) and with a high vitality character, it’ll take them a little while to kill you. And in best of 7, the CPU will need to beat you for 4 rounds.

I’ve found that there are some people that I just cannot connect to in a search, but we get matched up through the arcade mode.

Likewise. In general I don’t mind too much, but it is annoying when the list brings up the same player 2-3 times at once that you know you can’t connect to, and when you come back an hour later he still comes up in your list.

Yes, I hate that. Sometimes I really wonder if there are only 3 people playing online aside from me.

Well in my case it sometimes just brings up the same guy, three times. For example:


You also have to consider that the game can’t match up two people who are both searching. There could be 10 people online, but if you are all searching no results will come up.

If you make a lobby or use arcade mode, then people can find you or the game will link you up with someone else in Arcade Mode.

Its much easier to “find” matches by letting the matches find you.

I host games now not because it always took so long to find a game, sometimes it did, but I started hosting games so I would not hear the stupid ass IN-DE-STRUCTIBLE theme for 3+ minutes…

I’ve kinda lost my patience with SF4 online. It takes like 3 seconds to search for a list of only 3 people. If you fail to connect(which takes a while to confirm), the list dies and you have to search again, which takes another 3 seconds. I just play arcade mode and accept challenges now.

Blazblue is better than SF4 when it comes to finding games. It brings a list of 10 or so people. Searching for the list is much faster, and connecting to them is also faster. They also have a search parameter for searching for gamers thats around your area. I’m not quite sure if it filters just countries or if they narrow it even further. With competition, hopefully Cacpcom steps up and takes what is good with their game and also copy what other games have to offer.

I can’t find games at all, I have no choice but to create them, which also incidentally means I don’t get any practice starting on 2p side.

Can someone confirm how the matchmaking works online?

I’m pretty sure this is valid:

Search -> Lobby
Search -> Arcade
Arcade -> Arcade

I’m not sure about:

Lobby -> Lobby
Lobby -> Arcade

I’m thinking no, but I’m not sure. Anyone know for sure?

SF4 match making sucks, UNABLE TO PLAY, UNABLE TO PLAY.

how come its faster to get a 5v5 game of halo organized than a 1v1 game of sf4 online??

there should be like a feature similar to warcraft 3 where u press search and it automatically finds a suitable opponent for you WITHOUT a lobby and goes straight to character select screen. this is assuming if you press the search button you ARE ready (no need for a lobby).

I totally agree with this. Much easier to find a match this way. Also, as the host, you will know the connection quality right away.

I’ve completely stopped playing on my PS3 after I got the PC version, for some reason it seems to work so much better connection wise. So far I’ve had one single instance of the “Unable to play.” message and overall the latency of the players are a lot better. Before I could only get up to green if I played someone in the same city as myself and living in Sweden, trust me that’s a big issue.

also, a lot of people don’t have their network settings properly configured like the NATs and stuff too.