What is the best way to get better with your character?

Would it be fighting your character’s toughest matchup or mirror matches? Im talking about SF4 but i think this applies for pretty much every fighting game. So which way is the best one?

play. know your normals. play. know your specials. play. know your match-ups. play. execution. play. think what you did wrong/right in a losing AND winning match. play. think about what you can do to improve. play. check forums for a few things that you might bring into your game, but don’t stay on there forever playing theory fighter. play.

Play people that are a little better than you. Think about what is difficult for you to beat and how you can beat it. Watch top level match vids of your character being played.

A main is a main.

Remember that. When I say that, this is what I mean: your main character is basically your bread-and-butter in the scene. Your go-to guy, if you will. Your best friend in the game you’re playing. This is the guy/gal you use everywhere when you’re serious. You and your main are in a relationship that’s probably one way to start with. Over time, it will be pretty even until the next rendition comes out.

The relationship starts with knowledge, as everyone else has pointed out. Knowledge only being potential power until applied, that is Deep knowledge, of your character, allows you to shift gears from Offensive to Defensive without stalling or sticking to one mode. Feeling out who the character is. Learning the normals, specials and how to use them effectively, is the training wheels of getting better with your main. Understanding how and when to use the character’s normal moves is the essential base of your game. This helps with the theory fighter and practical aspect. The practical can only be gained by doing. Training Mode does this nicely. I refer to it as **Experimentation Mode. **Here, you can practice theory and those options that I will talk about later on. To go deeper into normals, use them in situations where you would probably need a special attack i.e.

  • Using Sagat’s standing HK can be a good Anti-Air. His Forward Roundhouse can set up other options if timed well.
  • Using Ryu’s crouch HP can also do the same thing and is deemed as the most effective for the Shoto.

Watching Youtube vids can give you ideas and inspirations that you do not usually see in a match. It also gives you more options. Good vids, with better comments, are the best tutorials. Fighting against people in IRL can shed some light. Attend a casual and ask questions. There is usually a guy who is deemed “the best blah in the city” when it comes to a certain character. Networking there and in your local forum can dig out this treasured fighter. Keeping an open mind to knowledge is definitive and essential part of learning anything. How to main a character is no different.

Time is another aspect of the main-ing relationship. Knowledge can be built, over time, by doing many things and time helps the growth sufficiently. One that I heard recently is **only playing with your main. **A novel idea that could allow you to learn more about your character faster than taking on 3 and stating that you’re a Jack of All Trades. In fighting games, having a bunch of characters, that you can fight with, only works if you have a main to begin with. The main is the staple of your powers and is the founder of your roster. After mastering him, you can apply that knowledge to other characters for stronger matchups. With time, you will be able to see almost everything the character has to offer. Sadly, I said almost everything, because there will always be something missing when it comes to learning a character. Heck, 3rd Strike has been out for a decade and people are still doing a bunch of stuff that hasn’t even surfaced from it as of yet. Time can do alot for your game.

Hope this all helps you. Sorry if I roundabouted anywhere.

Thank you all three for replying, those were some good reads =D