What are the fundamentals?


I’ve been playing fighting games for a little while and fundamentals are one of the most talked about things on the forums and in the scene in general. I think I kinda know what people are talking about but I’m not all that sure. People have adviced me to work on my fundamentals but it’s really hard when I don’t really know what I should be practicing. What are fighting game fundamentals and how do work on them? Also, is there a particular game (preferably a current game) that would help me more in this department?


Knowing how to do special moves at will is one. Can’t ever consider yourself good until you do all the motions consistently 9.5 times out of 10(the remaining 0.5 is for occasional screw ups such as in the heat of battle). This includes charge moves!

I have a friend who plays a million fighters, yet says he can’t play charge characters & do their moves. Every time i hear that, i look at him like he’s a damn noob. As expected, he is not very good.


Fundamentals in Street Fighter boil down to a few things…

  1. Being able to use grounded normals for whiff punishing and spacing (i.e. footsies).
  2. Limiting your own jumping by having a strong footsie game.
  3. Punishing jumps.

I’m not sure what kind of fundamentals exist in all the other fighting games, but this is what you want to work on for almost any Street Fighter game. I think SSF2T is the best for learning fundamentals, though you should use it only as a reference. The fundamentals in 4 are much different.


I always thought fundamentals was code for “not playing like a dumbass”.


fundamentals = the stuff you can take away from one game and apply to another. this is typically your execution, ground game, and your ability to block incoming attacks.


its not.


Theres also the concept of buffering. That is, being able to start the motion for a move before you’re able to use it, that way it’ll be ready ASAP for when you can.

Like wake up attacks. Getting knocked down, and being able to do a shoryuken the very instant your character stands up. Or doing a fireball the moment you land after jumping, or a 360 degree piledriver.

Or instantly doing a move right after the other, like holding :d: to do an crouching uppercut with Ryu, with :d: being part of the motion for a fireball, and then simply rolling to :df: :f: after the punch to do a fireball afterwards for a small combo.

Every proficient player naturally does this stuff in one form or another in every fighter they play.


err the basic skills you need change from game to game so you need to be more specific.


I keep hearing the opposite. People talk about Justin Wong, Combofiend, Champ and a few other guys and always mention how strong they are fundamentally which allows them to be good at pretty much any game that’s being played at the moment. These guys place well in SF4, Marvel 3 and KOF and they are always praised on their fundamentals even though the games are very different.


That’s true when you are ALREADY good at the genre, not while you are learning it from the ground up.
In the noob phase you can’t differentiate yet between specific game stuff and general stuff. That’s why people who started with SF3 had trouble with basic fireball tactics in SF2 etc. etc.


That’s pretty much exactly what this thread is about. I’m asking about the fundamentals that carry over from one game to another.


Everything that isn’t character specific are fundamentals. Basic execution, reactions, reading, hitconfirming, how to work your way in, how to defend, etc.
Just look at the game you play, take your main, then pick an entirely different character and see what is left.


[]Executing your basic normals, specials, and combos.
]Understanding which of your moves to use in specific situations and ranges, and why.
[]Know your matchups
]Understand the concept of zoning
[]Learn how to block
]Learning the basics of the ground game, i.e. footsies.


I think the best way to understand it is to learn several games rather than just one, then you start seeing the similarities.


Here`s some mandatory reading.


or differences.

for KOF fundamentals, check this tutorial. it explains the difference with SF. it assumes you’ve played SFIV and can start from there.


regarding new school fighters like GG, BB, Melty etc:


for SNK titles like Last Blade, a glimpse on some differences:

for Samurai Spirits


Capcom keeps mechanisms dating from Street Fighter II, which havelittle changed since the first game: three buttons are used for punches and three for kicks (light, medium, fierce). Overhead Attacks are emerging: triggered with a fierce attack + -> generally, it can hit an opponent without jumping while he’s in low guard. Many other small attacks are emerging, but the main new feature that everyone expected, is the Super Moves. Super gauge are appearing at the bottom of the screen for each fighter. It fills up when you give shots, and once full, can be used for the famous ‘Move’. This is a special move overkill. For example, Ryu Hadouken transforms into a multiple hitting one, Ken makes a strong flaming Shoryuken, Fei Long triggers a devastating combination… Of course, there are still more combos with all these new moves, and no one will complain! Reversal attacks, aerial shots, counters, linkables Supers… Gameplay increases in technical and timing, with high speed animation: Super Street Fighter II Turbo is simply the culmination of the saga, there’s not better gameplay in the series.

Like Street, Samurai Spirits II has three power levels for the weapon attacks, and three for kicks. The light attack is performed by pressing A, medium one with B , and powerful one with A+B; for kicks, it’s C, D, and C+D. Making a powerful blow demand more precision than the touch of a button: it avoids that anyone can put on with impunity! Here you can dash forward and backward, and combine attacks with running, dodging, rolling ground, grovel; At a sword against sword fight, it is possible to disarm the opponent, by hitting A button quickly! Once disarmed, they fight with their bare hands, the blocks being more painful. The zoom allows to move away considerably from each other for long-range attacks. Haomaru has a score of twenty basic strokes and two throws, it is equivalent to the range of Ryu’s in SSF2X; about special moves, it is also approximately equal. Supers are more varied in SNK’s game: our Samurai warriors packs between one and three! The Weapon Smash Waza is also triggered when the gauge is full of Power: the coup outright destroys the opponent’s weapon! Also note, the blows are much more powerful as the rage gauge fills up, the character literally becoming crimson! On combos, there’s a good quantity available but let’s face it, it’s a less complete than SSF2X. The observation and timing are essential here, but make no mistake: the game is damn technical, and requires a reinforced learning. Samurai is much more bloody than its rival, providing a good feeling during the fights: the ultimate saber led to the adversary, if it’s ideally worn, can cut it in half or bleed to death: sexy !

Sufficiently different to offer quite distinct gaming pleasure, the two rivals succeed sublimely to captivate the player. The gameplays are excellent, the handling is perfect on both sides (with a slight advantage to Street) and the ranges of moves are great (with a slight advantage to Samurai). One is super fast and full of combos, the other one more technical and exotic, with its incredible atmosphere and sometimes extremely violent endings!

Regarding Fatal Fury Special:

Two extremely accomplished gameplays, indeed radically different. Street offers a quick start, Fatal Fury is clearly the deepest, much more technical. Attention! Capcom’s hit is no less interesting, not at all. The scope for growth is just greater in Fatal Fury. The Furies, achievable when your energy bar is low, allow to reverse desperate situations! The combos, now available in SNK’s series, catches up against its rival. Fight on two planes, they provide a certain fun to the game, but do not prove very relevant in terms of pure gameplay, except to dodge projectiles or break up. In addition, the characters have more moves in FFS: sidesteps <-<-, crouching walk, ducking, switching plan, side blow (guard -> + A)… Street sits on what is its strength: simplicity. Two different schools, two deep and exciting gameplay to master.[/details]

Real Bout Fatal Fury vs Street Fighter Alpha


Real Bout retains three game planes, as in FF3. These are used only to dodge, circumvent the opponent or can be part of a combo. The gameplay is even more complete! The D button is used to switch from one plan to another, or strike an opponent therein; recover by changing plane during a fall, or turn up when crossed up. The three other buttons are used like this: punch, kick, powerful blow. Dash, dodge and block air are part still included, and game now features reversal, counters and of course countless combos… Let’s not forget the special moves which are legion, and the Furies, available in two power levels. In each stage it is possible to perform a ‘ring out’, ie throw the opponent out of the combat zone at any time to win the round! It’s also possible to send it through the screen during a finish… If the duel against the machine is difficult because of a difficulty level set too high, VS is particularly addictive and fun. Note also the rating system at the end of each round, evaluating your performance.

Street Fighter Zero opts for sobriety, bringing nothing really new since the X. Dash, dodge, air block, counter and reversal are also there. The gameplay still uses three buttons for punches and three for kicks. Each character has rather simplistic furies compared to Real Bout ones, but those are still very effective. Note that the hitboxes and timing are significantly more precise. The special moves are the same as before, combos are numerous, and can be performed more easily than in its rival: as always with Capcom and SNK! One is destinated to a large audience and need to be easy to handle, the other is way more technical. Both games use a power gauge that fills up when using special attacks, and it will allow to execute furies when full. SFZ looks good but doesn’t take any risk on its gameplay, whereas RBFF offers a ton of good ideas and innovations, despite a more delicate handling.

Garou vs SFIII:Third Strike


[SIZE=14px]SNK made a clean sweep of past episodes of Fatal Fury. No more two game planes, no more double life bar, while gameplay has been completely redesigned. And it’s a masterpiece! The game features incredible smoothness and perfect handling. Four buttons are used, like a Kof. Dodge, Dash, Guard Breakers with A +B, but also special moves feints, Cancels, Super Special Moves (usually two or three for each character) a legion of combos and of course Break Shots, as in Real Bout series. The two other big news are the ‘Just Defended’, which consists in blocking an attack at the last second, which allows to regain some life, and enjoy a faster recovery time; the TOP System, which allows you to select a part of the lifebar during which the character can perform a special move with additional C + D, but also see his punches more powerful. The reversal are complemented by the Guard Cancel, hits must be placed in a specific tempo, and can override the opposing guard, even with special moves. Juggles, two levels of jump, attack on the grounded opponent, counter-thows, and so on… Garou: Mark of the Wolves is a wealth of technical expertise. Progressing through the game is exciting, master your favorite character can take weeks and improving provides great satisfaction. Street Fighter III 3rd Strike on the other hand, takes the foundations of the old episodes (six buttons, three levels of punches and kicks) by adding more and more combos, a finer timing, choice of Super Special before the fight,and the Parry system, which is equivalent to Garou’s Just Defended, but here you have to block in thje right timing, by pushing stick towards opponent, which is slightly more difficult. In addition, “EX” special moves can be achieved when your life bar is low, pressing two buttons simultaneously (taken back in Street Fighter 4). This allows faster and stronger attacks, giving another chance to reverse desperate situations. SNK’s masterpiece shows here a little more technical than its competitor, but it drives the point on the energy and intensity of its action, a little above SFIII.3.[/SIZE]



The best way to learn the basics in my opinion is just to play Street Fighter 2 Champion Edition or Hyper Fighting. Those two games are textbooks of a lot of the basic strategies and skills that will get you through in almost any fighting game. A lot of things like move spacing, tick throws, setups, execution, etc, can even be learned by playing the computer. And if you want to try your luck against other players, there’s always GGPO.


when should i push my advantage? when i should i play defensively?
when should i jump? in what situation can i force my opponent to jump?
where on the screen do i have an advantage?
what can i react to, what can my opponent react to?
what is a high-risk strategy, what is a low-risk strategy, when should i try either?

when you can answer all those questions you’re on your way to building some fighting game fundamentals. it really has nothing to do with execution.


Fundamentals are the really the basics and they can be applied to other fighting games not just street fighter. I believe fundamentals are spacing,hit confirming, anti airing, and learning how to block. I could say footises and whiff punishing but I believe that ties into spacing. You can and should always improve on your fundamentals


footsies, spacing, not jumping like an idiot, blocking, anti-airing are the first 5 that come to my mind