What's the usual expectations of newbies in Challenge Mode?


Okay, before you all freak out at this question, lemme explain. I’ve recently picked up SSF4:AE and am now going into this assuming that nothing is the way I see it. Meaning anything I think might be the case needs to be verified with other FGers who’ve been playing this longer before I can say “this is certain”.

In this case, I don’t know what others on this board usually expect from newbies in regards to Challenge Mode - i.e. how many Challenges do you expect NORMAL FG newbies to be able to clear? Because I believe my highest has been Challenge 11 (rarely 12) with Juri. I have a hard time with her Challenge 12, despite having cleared it prior, so it doesn’t really “count” per se.

Is that… good? Or is it poor? What’s your guys’ take on this?


Challenges should be seen as exercises to improve execution and to understand your character’s options.

There are challenges I probably couldn’t do on my first time with my main. It doesn’t matter because they’re not useful combos in matches. It can be useful to learn them so I can extrapolate on what’s possible, but it’s not really important.


I’m not sure I quite clearly understand what you just said. Exercises to improve one’s execution? But how does one even get an idea of where their execution level is at, anyways? Is there even a way to get that tested? It’s really nagging at me to know where I stand in terms of execution, because it could help me understand JUST exactly what it is I need to work on, both execution and mental transmission (i.e. unconscious brain signals AKA muscle memory) wise.


Well, there’s no standard test of fighting game execution that I know of. It would be a crock anyway.

There’s only one type of execution that matters, and that’s if you can consistently do the things you want to in matches. If you drop combos in games, your execution needs work. If you get jabbed out of counterhit/throw setups, you need more work. If you can’t make fuzzy guard j.mp setups work, you should practice them in training.

I think you’re too worried about being compared to other players for having bad execution. The point of practicing execution is to be able to accomplish your gameplan. If you can, you have good enough execution. If you can’t, you don’t.

Don’t worry about absolute ratings, just consider how you would best benefit your gameplay with the time you have. It might be to practice safe jumps or crossup setups. It might be to practice combos, like fuhajin charge -> ultra in the corner.

If you can do everything you want to in a match, that is the definition of perfect execution.

You could have perfect execution and be awful at the game if you make bad gameplay choices (wakeup uppercut every time, not punishing unsafe attacks, jumping five times in a row and getting anti-aired every time). The real goal of practicing execution is to not be held back by what your hands can do.

A guile player doesn’t need to know how to do an uppercut motion. He needs to know how to do flash kick FADC back U2. Execution skill in a general sense doesn’t matter.


You’re looking at challenge mode the wrong way, like online points new players look at it as a way to judge their skills, which is kind of what Capcom want you to think it is, but its not really that at all.
Most trial mode combos are harder and do either less damage or just slightly more damage than easier combos.
All you’re testing by doing trial mode combos is whether or not you can do trial mode combos. Look at actual Juri match videos or combo videos or go to the Juri forums and then go into training mode, but don’t use trial mode as any kind of measure of how well you will do.
Execution is only one part of the game there are a lot of people who have excellent execution and can’t get a win to save their lives. Most new players are button mashers so there is no expectation on execution for new players all you need is the willingness to practice.


I think you’re getting WAY way too advanced on me, pal. C’mon, I don’t know all your uber highlvl pro lingo, dude. Don’t go passing it off on me like I can remember what’s written in the stickies when I don’t read them every day like I do the Bible (which I don’t read that at all either, so kinda irrelevant).

I’m not worried about being compared, I’m worried about knowing how to work on what problems I already AM facing and wanted to know if challenges were a good way to see if I’m doing better than most of the newbies you guys deal with.

I’m not talking about stuff like perfect execution. I am already aware my execution is nowhere near perfect or even good - my concern is that it may not even be mediocre or poor, but rather non-existent. Without knowing how I stand in terms of being able to pull stuff out, I can’t really move forward because I lack knowledge to know what to do next.

Okay, while I know what a FADC is (a week ago you would’ve caught me with a blank expression going “huh? whazzat?”), I have never really pulled one off before, nor have I even been able to work it into a combo, since, well, I still have problems with regular special execution.

And FYI, I don’t play charge chars like Guile, because of timing issues in regards to not knowing how long I must hold back or down in order to qualify for using the Forward+Punch or the Up+Kick for those moves (not to mention worries that I might lose control over the stick and it might slide down-back/forward or I might hit up-forward/up-back which to the game doesn’t count as “Up”).


Yet I thought improving one’s execution went hand in hand with helping one know what combos were “feasible”. I mean, if one can’t reliably pull off midair QCBs or DPs or stuff like that, how can I even BEGIN to progress into the realm of combos?

Also, I want to help other newbies like myself - but I’m afraid to sound like an idiot, get corrected by people who know what they’re going on about and then get stared at by said newbies with some kind of gaze that reads quite clearly “What an idiot”. It makes ME feel stupid, and further discourages me from helping newbies again (part of why I don’t try to offer advice in the first place is because I really don’t know anything about whatever it is I might be replying to, so I come off as an arrogant n00b who thinks he knows everything, which is not what I want to come off as).

If anything, I know that before I can help others or even face others I need to fix my own problems, but without knowing where I am in terms of “problem damage”, how do I know what to fix first?


I don’t understand what you’re asking for. Can you do your BnBs or can’t you? If you can’t, practice them. If you can, you should probably practice them anyway.

Nobody gets better at executing by asking about it on a forum. Grind that shit out. Do drills of practicing special moves, from both sides. Once you can do that, do combos, from both sides. Every day, for a half hour at least. For as long as it takes for you to be confident that you can do everything you need to in a match.

You should be looking at the Juri character subforums and looking for useful combos there, and then practicing those. These are way more important than challenge mode combos because they’re actually things you want to do in a game.

Edit: If you want to learn technical info, I suggest looking up Sirlin’s Tutorials for SF2, OneHandedTerror’s guide to frame data, and reading the entirety of Sonic-Hurricane’s footsie handbook.


We’re not talking BnB problems here - we’re talking basic special move execution shit. Like, on a regular basis, even in panic situations (which I’ve been told shouldn’t be occurring to begin with).

I was told a good number to shoot for was 10 special moves without dropping, on each move. So far, I’ve only hit 6 consistently without dropping. I’m not practicing now because I’m not going to have a stick for use at home until this Wednesday, and the SRK League Arcade Bar would be closed by the time I got there.

And I picked Juri as my main because I can’t stand Ryu/Ken/Akuma/whatever-Shotos-are-in-this game. I’ve played Juri so much now, that if I switch to Ryu/Ken/Akuma it feels like I went from boxers back to diapers, figuratively speaking. It feels seriously uncomfortable and degrading, and just doesn’t feel natural.

I’d play either one of you two if you guys had PSN, but so far I haven’t really had any offers - and netplay’s been throwing me the silent types or the arrogant elitist types (thank god I’ve had only one instance of the latter, but it scared me to the point that I don’t reach out to anyone on PSN anymore, but just go to the SRK League Arcade for my human interaction now). Besides, I believe Shinobi has a beginner video feed, but I lack a capture card to give him an idea of where things are with my netplay (not even sure if my computer would support a capture card in the first place - the only monitors I have are all VGA, and I’ve never used a capture card before, so I have no idea how it works).


No they are not

Wanting to help is great but the best thing you can do if you want to help later is not screw up your credibilty now. Don’t help unless you are absolutely sure you know what you are talking about.until the stalk threads watch streams and pick up new information anywhere you can. If you’re still learning terminology you’ve still got a while before you should atart giving information to new players

Use the old method of execution training for special moves 10 in a row for each special from both sides. That’s IN A ROW; any time you miss one the count goes back to zero. It may piss you off for a while but it will solve your execution problem in no time AND DON’T CHEAT ON THE COUNT.


That’s what I’ve been doing. Every time the count hits zero though, I lose some morale and after a while of failures before hitting 10, I just give up. It’s mad stressful, man. I’ll plug 'er in now, see what I can do. If you have PSN, mine is in my siggy, but if you don’t… tough luck. You won’t hear back from me until I’m done (I use direct net, no routers/wireless/etc.) and I won’t have any material to show for my practice.


What controller are you using?

Also I can play you right now but I reserve the right to complain about lag. MagmaFisher on PSN.


I’ve taught a lot of people of to play Street Fighter in person and this is by far the step between masher and beginner that more people quit on than any other step in learning.
I usually stand over people while they are doing this due to the high chance that they will quit if I don’t, but once you get past it the real learning and fun can begin.
Basically put it the simplest test i’ve ever been able to find for whether someone is dedicated to learning fighting games or not.
If you can do one you can do ten, just pay close attention to what your hands are doing each time and the one that breaks your count will feel wrong, figure out why it felt wrong (too fast, too slow, missed direction) and correct from there.


I’ve been playing this game for a month or so, not every day but maybe 1-3 hours per day 5 times a week, and I don’t think I’ve gotten past challenge 11 with Juri or Cammy (the characters that I’ve played the most). I got no problems with executing specials, supers and ultras like you do (?), but I have no idea how to “link” normals together to actually execute the combos in the challenge mode.
I’m not sure how the game expects me to press the buttons, since I’m usually pressing them too fast and it ends up in the game not registering half of my moves.
I’m using a mad catz fightpad which as awful buttons (coming from mechanical pads and keyboards makes it a huge downgrade) which might fuck up some of my executions, but I feel like I should be at least able to do some of the challenge combos.

We’re probably more or less on the same level, and I think most of the beginners are. (assuming they haven’t played similar games before)

edit: I find it a bit weird that a game like SSFIV:AE, which requires such precise execution and timing, doesn’t tell you HOW to actually do different moves and combos by linking normals to specials/supers/whatever.


Yo when I first started execution stuff I was aiming for 50 in a row even if I took 1 hour to do. Just cause its more satisfying than only 10 or 25. Just aim high and keep at it. I’ll add you on PSN too. Mine is divinedrum. Let’s play.


The easiest way to figure out the timing is to just watch the video of someone else doing trial mode. All of the trials modes for every major fighting game are on youtube.
Most people who play fighting games don’t even read the command list, anyone who won’t even look up moves definitely isn’t going to sit and read an explanation on frame data and why certain moves link to each other.

Just checking, Do you understand why moves link together?


I do. I know just by reading some of the challenges that if done properly, a cr.MK can chain into a Pinwheel (Juri talk here because that’s my main). Right now the problem is that the Pinwheel isn’t coming out. I’d rather wait until I get my stick to make an opinion (or until my mom gets here so she can snap a pic of me holding my controller - to give you an idea of how I normally have to work with stuff).

Also, another reason I play Juri is because all her specials use Kick (the ones that matter to me at my level, anyways) - with the way my pad’s set up, my hand has more freedom on the Kick buttons (especially the HK) than it does the Punch buttons (HP and LP+MP+HP macro is on L1 and L2, respectively, whilst HK and LK+MK+HK are on R1+R2).

P.S. I now have a picture to more or less describe how I do things with my PS3 pad. Granted, it’s not a pic of a PS3 pad, but the overall grip should suffice.


I also think I use a wineglass grip with a stick, although A)I don’t have a stick in front of me, and B)I haven’t a list of all the grips in front of me with pictures.

But I think more or less, after fighting Magma, I have some terminology homework to do. I mean, I only got SSF4:AE last week, and I’ve never really dedicated to any one game I’ve ever played, no matter the genre (hell, I don’t dedicate my heart to anything that I do - I just do it until I’m bored and then I go back to sleep, listen to music/walk, or just read the news.


Here’s the thing though - I don’t quit cold turkey. I get back in there and try to do it, but it just keeps degrading my spirit and morale when I consistently get failures. And that’s just from left facing right.


Yes, that’s something I’ve done, but it doesn’t help that much. And besides, most are using arcade sticks which makes everything look completely different.
I think it’s for the best that I find out how to do simple combos myself, without relying too much on others. Just gotta keep on training!

I’m mainly coming from SoulCalibur here where there is barely any juggling (compared to other games), and things like frames and “links” are very easy and obvious compared to Street Fighter.
And no, I don’t think I understand why say, move A does link together with move B, but move A doesn’t link together with move C. How are you supposed to know? What kind of logic do you have to have in order to learn stuff like that on your own? Watching videos don’t help your personal execution problems that much.

Hehe, that’s also one of the reasons why I’m playing her and Cammy, it’s so uncomfortable to use LP+MP+HP for example.


theres really no magic formula to this. just go in training mode and keep doing it over and over until you can get it consistently. Do the motions very very slowly, focusing only on accuracy and NOTHING ELSE (at first, you dont even really have to care if the move actually activates)

so if youre on a stick and the motion is QCF+K:
hold down, slowly goto down forward, slowly goto forward then kick. make sure you hit everything 100% at a very slow speed then move on to slightly faster.

I recently switched mains to Akuma from Chun Li. Akuma has a lot more combos, one of the ways I memorized some of his combos is exactly by doing this. I went so slow that the moves didnt come out at first, just to make sure my muscle memory had a solid foundation first.


No, not watching for what their hands are doing, watching for the timing and distance on the moves.

It would probably be easier to link a video than explaining this, especially since from my posts you might notice I went to sleep sometime after 5:00am last night.but whatever.
[S]Links aren’t cancels you have a brief window after a move connects to link the next move if the startup frames for that move are,[/S] nope not happening today.

You don’t control links, there is a specific timing to them, you have to do the next move right after the previous move has ended, do the next move to soon and you’ll still be in the recovery frames of the previous move and nothing will come out, do the move too slow and it won’t combo. If you can do move A and you can do move B but you can’t link move A to move B, the problem is most likely your timing not execution, especially if both moves are normals.

<Facepalm> Wait, you do know that SF4 won’t let you canel specials from chains (usually) right? If you don’t link the normals before the special the special won’t come out.


I think both me and CrimsonCujo are playing on pads. The d-pad I use sometimes feels a bit flimsy at times, and it might not register every input correctly, but I won’t blame the controller for any mistakes.

I’m not totally sure if I understand what you’re saying, “won’t let you cancel specials from chains” you mean after I’ve used some normals for example and then a special then I can’t cancel the special anymore? I don’t know anything for sure, just the basic things that I’ve learned by playing and by reading some guides.
When do I know if a combination of moves has “linked” together, do they all have to be in a combo? (using the in-game term combo which you can see how many hits you did to your opponent)

Training training training traaaaaaaaaaining modeeeeee!