Using Super Turbo to learn footsies, spacing, etc?

Hey guys, I’m not exactly what you’d call a noob but I am looking to improve and I thought this might help others do the same. Right now I’m focusing on seriously learning the fundamentals of Street Fighter: Footsies, Spacing, Zoning, When NOT to Push Buttons, things like that. I’m afraid I fell into the mentality of a lot of new players who started taking their game seriously when SFIV launched: I emphasized combos and execution over learning the basics, and now I want to fix that.

I’ve seen it said many times and in numerous locations that Super Street Fighter II Turbo is the best game to learn these core concepts from, so that is where I am beginning my quest (lol). I’m also open to trying out other games if anyone feels they’ll teach certain concepts better. So here are the things I’m looking to learn (of course, if you want to reply, you don’t need to answer all of these by the way!):

  1. How do you use this game to learn these concepts? In other words, what is it about ST that makes it so well-suited for teaching these concepts?

  2. Related to 1, is HD Remix also a good game for this, or should I be playing on Classic mode? Or emulate ST on my PC?

  3. Which character would you recommend I use for the learning process? If possible, give some reasons. (I principally play Ryu in every game I pick up, so should I stick with him since I hear he is a great learner’s character?)

  4. Should I be learning against other players, even if I’m getting stomped? If so, what should I be aware of after each loss? Would the CPU be acceptable for this?

  5. Would playing against other players who are ALSO trying to learn be acceptable, or should I be seeking out more experienced players for learning purposes?

I hope this can generate some discussion which will help not only myself, but other new players as well. I’m on XBL if anyone would like to add me also; I have SSFIVAE, HDR, and UMvC3, although I am TERRIBLE at Marvel :slight_smile: Thanks for reading.

  1. ST is a game that focuses primarily on the basic fundamentals of the game. For a majority of the cast, you don’t have any gimmicks, ultras, dashing, roll cancels, easy-to-do option selects (they’re difficult to pull off consistently), invulnerable dashes, or any of that stuff. It’s extremely important to rely on your sense of spacing, timing, your reactions, and your matchup strategy, to pull out a win. The better player will always win more matches than you will, and it’s quite easy to differentiate between a master of the game and the average joe.
    So without having an excess of tools at your disposal, yo’re forced to rely on your basic attacks to win the game. 6 buttons, a few special moves, 1 super that you might get if you’re doing well in a game. It’s not as hardcore as SF2: Hyper Fighting, but it’ll do the job.

  2. HD Remix is fine for this as well, be it regular or classic mode. The differences are mostly minor, and you won’t even know what they are until you get into the real meat of what makes HDR and ST function. If you plan on playing any of these games at a competitive level, then play that game. I.e., if you want to play super turbo at tournaments, your best bet is to play emulated ST on PC or HDR Classic Mode. If you want to play regular HDR at tournaments, then play HDR.

  3. You can learn the basics with anyone, but I would say if you want to stick to one character, learn Ryu. He’s been called the most perfect design of any character in fighting games, and rightfully so. His abilities, individually, are average at best, but together, he has all the tools to win any match. He will teach you how to utilize the fireballs not only in your zoning game, but in your footsies game as well. You have to train quite hard to be able to use his normals at the highest of levels, and he has no abusive tactic to pull out a few (except maybe in one or two matches).

  4. You can learn from any loss, no matter how significant or close of a game may be. You do this by watching your own replays, or paying special attention to what factor gave you win, or the loss, during a match. If you get destroyed by a pro, then you lost due to a variety of factors. It’s best to play against someone close to your level, so that you can more clearly identify which single aspect contributed the most to your match result, or at least a few aspects if you’re really in-tune with your player skill. The CPU can teach you a lot, especially since HDR makes it easy to change up the difficulty whenever you’re ready for a challenge. Depending on which version of ST you have, it can be quite ponitless, because the CPU literally cheats to beat sometimes. This includes not charging for a charged move, or reading your inputs, in order to time the perfect counter.

  5. Learn from people either at your skill level, or slightly above you. Obviously it’s better finding a superior player, since they can tone it down or change it up at will, which forces you to adapt much more quickly, and not be complacent with performing low-level strategies.

ST and HDR have ZERO bullshit in them. No flashy gimmicks, no mashing. You will certainly learn how to play “smart” Street Fighter, but try to forget some of the zoning that you may learn. Zoning is too different in IV. I’m not saying forget everything, just understand that you’ll have some adapting to do.

  1. No BS, no comeback mechanics. You can lose from one mistake. Intense zoning, spacing, and footsies.
  2. Same engine, same gameplay minus some balance tweaks.
  3. Ryu is good for a bit of everything. Cammy is good to learn footsies and rushdown.
  4. Go into training mode, become familiar with your character. Hit up player matches. Avoid the CPU, he’s just cheap and cheating most of the time.
  5. More experienced if possible, but try to play anyone who isn’t too far beneath your level.

There’s bullshit in ST, but there’s bullshit in most any fighting game. If you want a game that focuses SOLELY on proper spacing/normals, Hyper Fighting is as brutally to the point as it comes… but the reality is that while you may get an idea using most iterations of Street Fighter 2, it’s best to just play the game you’re trying to get better at to improve at the spacing/footsies required. Frankly, using other games as a basis for your framework sounds great on paper… but the reality is that you’re losing sight of the fact that you’re still straying off the path you’re going to have to come back to anyway, in that you still have to learn to play the game you were using “ST/HDR” to improve at in the first place. The time you spent away is likely going to have discrepancies with what you learn from other games in the first place. There’s absolutely no getting around that, despite how others might flaunt the merits of playing their old shit.

Best advice is to just play the game you want to improve at to get better at it. Using other folks’ games to improve might seem cool, but it’s in bad taste with anyone who doesn’t play shit on paper.

yes, BS mechanics, Balrog’s super is proof of it

Can I learn the same things from 3s?

I wouldn’t recommend 3S for such things. Parrying changes a lot of the footsie dynamic. But I’m a hater.

Seriously though, I don’t really much buy into the notion of learning a game in order to play another different game. While the SF2 series is far closer to pure fundamentals than anything new, I would just practice whatever game you’re trying to learn.

Like the mod said, 3s is such a vastly different game from a traditional SF game, it’s more akin to a 2d version of Tekken. A lot of the fundamentals are made moot by the parrying system.

Trouble Brewing makes a good point though. You can learn the fundamentals of your specific game, by just playing the game, and keeping the fundamentals in mind. However, if you’re in a funk, it’s not a bad idea to change games just to pick up on new strategies, playstyles, and an overall approach as to how to play fighting games in a different light.

tl;dr You can learn fundamentals by focusing your training regime on the fundamentals, despite whatever game you play.

To the opening, make sure you remember to learn the “didn’t read” portion of your forum fundamentals!

Yes, Ryu is easy to begin with, n always new tactics to learn in all skill levels (basic, medium, advanced, pro)

Fundamentals differ a lot between fighters. Eg applying the fundamentals of SF to Guilty Gear would not be a wise idea. Also SNK games have 3 different jumps, requiring their own fundamentals as well.

Still even at SNK there is a big difference between say KOF and Samurai Spirits games. Fundamentals dont help much if the opponents use specials that deplete half the life bar.

Regarding fundamentals in Capcom games I’d opt for Vampire Savior instead. More difficult and faster than SF, it requires more skill.

Learn the basics but at the same time do not treat all characters the same.

The use of distance and normals is completely different in Vampire Savior. Also, the speed makes it very different in a lot of ways, anti-airing among them. You can not react to fast jumps there, while in SF2 jumping forward only happens in specific situations and match-ups. Pressure in VS depends on chains and fast jumps for high-low mix-ups, while in ST it usually depends on chip damage, throws, invulnerable moves and baits. Hyper Fighting would be your main choice, but, unfortunately, the game is dead offline and plagued by turbos and macros online.

While it’s true that people with SFII experience usually have a better grasp of the fundamentals of a SF game, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend learning SFII with the hope of applying those same skills to SFIV. You’d probably be better off just trying to learn it from SFIV itself. SFIV has a slightly different fundamental skillset. Stuff like Focus Attacks and dashing don’t apply to SFII, and these two mechanics have a significant impact on footsie and zoning techniques. Also, SFII is not really good for teaching you when not to push buttons in an SFIV game. The block stun in SFII is high enough to support true blockstrings, and counter-hits and throw breaks don’t exist. There is also less of an emphasis on hit-confirms in SFII, and the high pushback means there’s not much benefit (as the defender) in trying to score “abare” damage. Basically there’s not really that much of an urge to press buttons while under pressure compared to SFIV, where pushback and blockstun is low and crouch-teching is necessary for effective defense.

SFII is not likely to teach you about the spacing required in SFIV either because the characters are quite different. What it can teach you though is why you want to attain a desired spacing or position on-screen, and how to get it through (basic) footsies and zoning. This is crucial in SFII because the characters generally have fewer options than in SFIV.

And finally, some characters in SFIV can simply ignore fundamentals (C.Viper for example) so you really need to supplement your game against them with matchup knowledge.

If you want to learn fundamentals, learn it within the game you want to play.

e.g. If you’re looking to improve footsies to apply to SF4, learn Ryu or Chun. The most you learn from playing other fighting games is how to play those games. The only universal tactic you can gain is how to read people across multiple fighting games.

Ok, fine. Let’s say 'Rog’s super, Ken’s fierce DP and super recovery, and of course Akuma. But that’s nothing in the grande scope of things.

I want to say I have a pretty solid understanding of footsies, zoning, spacing and patience…and I’ve learned it purely on sf4

A lot of great responses in here, thank you all for your input. I’ve just seen it said so many times that ST is the best tool for learning fundamentals that I just started to think there must be something to it.

So it sounds like the consensus is to stick with SFIV for the fundamentals; no problems with that advice at all since I always come back to IV anyway :slight_smile: To further the conversation, would certain other tools be considered part of IV’s “fundamentals”? illiterate mentioned Focus Attacks and crouch teching, so I’m wondering if these are considered a part of IV’s fundamentals. I would imagine so, but please, offer your insights.

I’m really glad I started this thread, I feel like I’m learning a lot and discussion is always good.

While you may argue that it’s not the best for learning spacing etc in other games I think ST is a great tool for learning:

  • reaction times (especially in regards to anti-airs and counter pokes)
  • proper execution of specials

In SF4 everything is slowed down so much that you don’t need to be as consistently on your toes as far as reactions go in many situations. Unlike in SF4 in ST there are very few situations where absolutely nothing is happening (against an exceptionally turtly Honda or Blanka maybe, but I haven’t played against many of those on GGPO). This also helps your execution in a sense too because you have to react faster to jump-ins, I’ve gone from being rather slow with reaction DPs due to starting on SF4 to being pretty fast after playing ST.

As for the second point, I’m sure I don’t need to inform anyone here about SF4 input shortcuts. In ST, to get a DP or low forward fireball or whatever, you must do it exactly. If you find yourself practicing DP FADC Ultra in training mode and getting all sorts of crazy inputs, ST can help with that. In SF4 unless you constantly have good execution on your mind you WILL find yourself getting lazy with the special moves.

I’m terrible at ST myself but I love playing it because it’s a big challenge just to do what you take for granted in 4.

Whatever you do, just play the game or games you like, Annihilationscape. I actually do feel it’s in bad taste to tell someone “Oh hey this game is great for your fundamentals”, because frankly I’d rather you play something because you genuinely enjoy it and want to make the investment. I’m sure you wouldn’t want someone to date you so it would make them better at dating someone else, or w/e. It’s kind of hard to articulate a parallel, but just… don’t be “that guy” about this. Play what you love, you’ll get better at it.