Utterly Confused On What To Do


So I’ve been playing fighting games for a while now. I understand all the terminology and everything. Unfortunately, even though I’ve been playing these games for years (Attempting seriously, upwards of 6 I’d say), none of my friends play them. Infact, they despise them. So I’ve only ever gotten to play fighting games in arcade mode, or when they made the switch to using netplay, playing on XBOX or PS3 (I only have PS3 now). Anyway, getting to the point of this topic, I am AWFUL at EVERY fighting game I touch. My execution is crap, my footsies are crap, and I have no idea why I can never learn anything from these games to get better. I mostly figure because I have nobody to ask at all, since all of my friends laugh at me when I try to get them to play any of these games. Honestly, the only people I find myself beating are people who don’t know how to play the game themselves. I find myself literally having a 90% loss ratio against anybody else I ever play regardless of how many hours I seem to dump into these games. I’ll put on practice mode to practice executions and punishes and I can do them only so well but no consistently. I have all these problems and I have no idea where to begin with how to get better.

All of that being said, my main question is this: How the hell do I stop being a total scrub and learn how to play games? The only game I ever got decent at was P4A. I literally played that game 3-5 hours a day for months and I only got to “meh” status. My execution was still -awful-. With no friends and not a lot of means to make it out to places given my schedule and location, it’s hard to find people to practice with, so I have to resort to being an online warrior.


Also, I figure I’ll also point out my glaring flaw. I don’t know when to attack, I try to block as much as I can but when I get caught in block strings and pressure I honestly have no clue how to counter attack. Following the same point, I can never get in myself, either.


The first step to getting better for me was learning how to block and tech throws.

Learn what your opponent’s gameplan is, learn all your options to counter, and try to implement.


For how to block and tech throws I don’t have a lot of issue with. I usually don’t get blown up to flow charts or anything like that. Maybe gimmicks here and there, but I can figure those out. My biggest problem is just not being able to push buttons because I’m too scared to press anything at all.


learn how to zone and learn footsies.

There are a lot of tutorials on this, heres a tutorial on zoning (and some other fundamentals) that I like. Its meant for Super Turbo, but it applies equally to SF4 (with only a few exceptions that are obvious), and the instructions are better than most tutorials.

as for footsies, goto sonichurricane.com

Thse two concepts are the focus of every matchup, other concepts should come after it, and they are meant as a supplement.


I’m gonna sound like a douchebag for saying this, but man up and just commit to your decision.

Let’s talk about a simpler trap, the Bison scissors trap in SF4. lk scissors is +0 on block and pushes Bison out to a range where his only solid options are cr.lk xx scissors, s.mk, s.hk, or scissor kicks. However, those options are exceedingly safe and lead to the same situation. s.hk beats jumping out, s.mk beats most anything they can do on the ground (as does s.hk, but s.mk won’t whiff if they do nothing and beats Ryu cr.mk), cr.lk beats pretty much everything but will push you out on block, and scissor kicks can be punished by jumping or just hitting buttons. If you block, bison can just scissor kick you over and over and chip you to death. If you jump, s.hk hits you and you get reset into the same situation. If you hit buttons, you might get hit by s.hk. If you DP, you flat out whiff if he does nothing and can’t FADC. So what do you do? The answer is just to commit to an option and ride it out. You can’t take away scissor kick traps, you can only try to get out of them or try to avoid them. With Ryu, you have to hit cr.mk there sometimes even though it gets countered by a safe option. You have other buttons, like cr.mp and fireball and lp srk, that will help. But nothing will flat out make you comfortable. You’re going to get hit by the trap if he cycles through his options intelligently. Don’t freeze up just because your opponent makes a good read or you play into their hand once. Now, don’t be obstinate with doing stuff that your opponent proves they can punish on reaction just because you’re lazy. But being “scared to hit buttons” is just a matter of forcing yourself to either A)re-evaluate the situation and find new options or B)Picking your option and riding it out.

If you’re limiting your own options (by using insufficient combos or not using the cheap offense or whatever) then you’re putting yourself into a corner. A lot of it is just confidence. Nobody goes into SF4 being able to do 3 1 frame links in the same combo (Except Sakonoko, but forget that guy). And I don’t think things like that are realistic for players trying to get into the game. But if you don’t try to do the hard things in SF4, like play reactive and anti-air consistently, then you will never get better. And you will mess up, oh so many times trying to do the good stuff. You will mess up so many times, in clutch situations, and lose to something dumb. But if you don’t put yourself out there and really learn what’s possible in the game then you’re plateauing far before your actual skill level.

You know how you learn footsies? You hit Ryu cr.mk enough to realize the spacings it works at, what it whiff punishes, what to do when someone can whiff punish you, how to whiff cr.mk and then input a DP to stop people from just jumping over it, reacting to focus with cr.mk xx shoryuken, option selecting with super and knowing when to do it… You learn every little thing incrementally.

The important thing to note about SF4 is that every offensive string has a weakness. Either there’s a gap you can exploit or you can just ride it out and the opponent will get pushed back or you’ll tech the throw. If someone wants to do jab jab jab walk jab pressure, you can jab in between their jabs and get your own knockdown, or you can just backdash to reset the situation. Just because someone stops you from doing obvious reversals doesn’t mean you have to decided to block forever (although blocking is REALLY safe usually).