USF4 - specific grapplers pros/cons


Hello friends, long time lurker (loong before even registering) has finally decided to start a thread.

I’m still on the fence with picking usf4 as a main, but I already decided I wanted to learn the grappler archetype.

The problem is I try to decide which one to pick, the choice is: Gief, Thawk, Hugo, Hakan.

Also, don’t get me wrong, I’m not asking for tier lists (I assume Gief would be on top of it), rather I would like to know the character specific strenghts / weaknesses.

I like mobile, footsie heavy character with solid normals, I also always highly value versatility (the leath weak matchups), when it comes to the playstyle, so any recommendations based on that criterias would be greatly appreciated.

<my scrub observations>

For example while I love Thawk as a character, I’m not fond of his “spire” specials, which seems spammy and “scrubby” (no offence intended). I love Hugo design, and his moves are really fun, but he seems extremely slow and limited. Hakan is imo all about the grease sheningans, which I find creepy :wink:


I will greatly appreciate every advice about the characters.


Did you consider Abel as well? Fuerte is kinda a grapler too.

Both are a bit off the usual archetype but if you want nervosity/mobility they are your best bet. They are really subpar regarding footsies compared to zangief though - but he is a beast in this domain so …


nah, they are both off my list as more of the mixup then pure.


-Worst walkspeed & horizontal jump distance, and his hurtbox extends behind him when using certain jump attacks so he struggles with fireballs
-Standing strong & fierce are interesting in footsies but that’s all he really has in that regard, barring standing and crouching forward and jab
-Clap lets you get a lot of pressure after a knockdown, or if the opponent is committed to blocking
-Clap has a lot of potential for option selects, heavy has extremely few recovery frames and a large amount of hitstun
-Can force pure 50/50s more easily than other grapplers with EX Backbreaker and Ultra 2 blowing through many DPs but will also catch backdashes
-Has a more difficult time against characters with grounded reversals, like Cody and Rose, as he’ll have to read the reversal specifically
-Struggles the most against strong zoning characters like Guile and Poison. It’s difficult to nullify fireballs with clap and hop through slow ones with his universal overhead
-Needs to get in on his opponent before he can even play the game, essentially, but it hurts him more than other grapplers to do so
-Is arguably the scariest grappler, except for maybe Hakan, once he’s in because of his extremely high damage and ability to cover multiple options at the same time
-Half circle back kick command grab leads to more damage than any other non-Ultra grab, barring maybe the twins or Fei’s command grab
-Builds a lot of meter when he gets a combo
-Punishes mistakes extremely hard, about 400 meterless, a knockdown, and a full bar if you can punish with heavy clap
-Has a unique reversal from the corner in EX Backbreaker since it’s invincible until he’s quite a bit in the air, but you give up positioning
-Some normals are unusable or have very niche uses, such as crouching fierce or crouching roundhouse, because they’re extremely slow on startup and get very little on hit
-Biggest potato


Gief is the Ryu of grapplers. Learn him then move on to the other Characters.