Who is the best character to start with?


Not the best character in the game, or the easiest to win with. I need to learn the game, and I need to figure out what character to main so I can work on learning fundamentals and get good.

I hear that even though Ryu is basic, he’s not good for beginners. I got pushed into Balrog, and I learned a bit from him, but I’m not sure he’s the right choice either. Guy and Rolento, I’m into, but they’re very hard to win with.

I’ve been playing fighting games since SF2, I just never managed to get good. Can anyone tell me who the heck in USFIV I should start with as a main?

Everybody tells me to just pick who I like and stick with them, but I don’t like losing yet and learn nothing from it. since I can’t win a single match even against the AI, I don’t “like” any character. So I’m pretty much open to whoever is going to help me learn the fundamentals the quickest.


who ever told you Ryu isn’t good for beginners lied to you. Learn Ryu AND whatever character appeals to you. Playing a character you like will keep you interested, playing Ryu not only let’s you experiment with every playstyle, but learning Ryu means you will be able to play not only every capcom fighter ever made, but almost every fighting game because about every game has a character based on him.Your big problem is you are too worried about winning, relax. You will suck for a long time and thats OK. We all did once we decided to take it seriously. Right now you should play to learn, not to win. Best things you can do now is read this
and watch this

Then spend some time watching the rest of the street fighter videos from James Chen
James Chen has the amazing ability to take complex and abstract fighting game subject and make it easy to understand


I don’t think there is a character in USF4 that will automatically give you wins from the jump.

Also…no matter what character someone decides to choose for you, you are going to have to accept that you will likely lose the majority of games when you start losing.

To get good in this game…you have to learn from your wins and losses no matter who you decide to main.

If you can’t deal with that…then I say you should find some other game to be good at.


I’m having issues with Ryu. Characters that rely on FADC -> ultra aren’t really possible for me right now due to skill limitations. If I go into training mode, I can do the first two perfectly. Then, it’s 1/10 facing right and 2/10 facing left. Doesn’t Ryu need that to do good damage? Because without that I was told I’m not supposed to play him because I’m doing it wrong and won’t learn anything.

Is there anyone who doesn’t require super high execution to win, and relies more on judgment and fundamentals?


You can always try Guile, he’s not execution heavy but rewards good judgement and fundamentals.


FADC -> Sonic Hurricane is really hard. That one, I don’t even fathom. Can I get by without that? And with Ryu, can I get by without FADC -> Metsu Hado? Or should I drop him if I can’t get that.


You don’t need FADC ultra with any character when you’re starting out. It’s very useful to be able to do it, don’t get me wrong, but there are far more important things to learn than FADC ultra. Good spacing, judgement and basic, meterless combos are far more important when you’re starting out. The rest of the stuff will come to you as you get more familiar with the game.
I know a lot of people do claim that “you can’t play Ryu without fadc ultra lolol”, but that’s really only true for intermediate players and upwards. You’ll get a lot of wins with Ryu on lower levels if you just keep it simple and play more solid than your opponents.

And yes, Ryu is a good starter. However, Guile and Balrog are, in my opinion, probably the best starting characters. They’re pretty much all normals, and learning how to use normals effectively is one of the most important aspects of the game. Once you get that down, you’ll be more proficient with pretty much every character in the cast.


So, if I can’t figure out Balrog, and he’s one of the best starters, do I have any hope? Four years with boxer and I haven’t really gotten any better. Like, be honest. Should I quit?


Quit? Why? If you enjoy the game, there’s no sense in quitting, regardless of how good/bad you are at the game.
The painful part of getting better, however, involves losing. Quite a bit of it, actually. In addition, you need to be able to identify why you’re losing to make any progress.
So, how well do you understand the basics of the game? Like, are your anti-airs solid? Can you do simple punishes and hit confirms? Is your spacing any good? Do you understand how to open people up?

It could be that Balrog just doesn’t suit you. I remember learning quite a bit about spacing and anti-airing by playing him as a new player, but I can’t play him for shit nowadays.


Maybe try Cody? I always found him to be pretty easy to pickup.


Over these last 4 years, how many hours do you think you’ve spent on the game?

If you reall have been playing the game for 4 years and can’t win or haven’t gotten any better, I’m sorry to say but you’re truly hopeless… lol

I’ve been playing SF since SFII in 91 and I used to be decent at those games back then, but when I returned to FGs in 2009 with SFIV I was a disaster and I kept losing pretty much to everybody online.

It all changed when I started using Blanka. Blanka is relatively easy to start, doesn’t require complicated combos or good execution to win on low to mid level and back then, had two important resources for a beginner to score cheap wins: Horizontal Balls were safe against Ryu and Ken (the most common chars online) and Ultra 1 did 600 damage for that “clutch” comeback… lol

As you already experienced, losing constantly and losing badly isn’t the best incentive for a beginner, so I had to do whatever was necessary to win back then.

Now I’d like to believe that I’ve learned a few things and got a little more technical on my playstyle, but I had to start somewhere, and that “somewhere” was a cheap bastard.


Well, I tend to be defensive with boxer and get jumped in on or locked down, or I just use my normals and work on spacing and then I get worked because I mostly play against an Oni who went to Evo and made it about four rounds in. His friends dominate me as well.

I would quit because I’ve always felt that not everyone is made for everything, and after a certain point, things you aren’t good at aren’t worth the time since you won’t GET good.

I actually like Cody, I just forget about the knife, don’t know how to hold onto it, and I have no idea how to space with him.

I quit for months at a time, then I come back for some casuals or I spend a few weeks trying to drill combos and fundamentals against the CPU, or I go into an online game and get double perfected. I guess I don’t put in as much time as I should. I play too many other games, do too many other things, and work every night. I guess I don’t have the time to put into this to be where I think I should be. But you’re right, I probably don’t put in enough time, and personally, I don’t feel I have the time.


Guile’s FADC ultra isn’t very necessary. He does most of his damage off pokes,anti-air, and chip.


Aw man, I don’t even know how FADC into Ultra works with charge characters. As BigOlePappy said, Guile doesn’t rely on it to deal damage. Gonna be throwing out a lot of Sonic Booms, that’s for sure. Aside from that, Guile has Flash Kick, which is a great move, and really good normals. Jumping straight into advanced stuff like FADC -> Sonic Hurricane is probably the wrong way to approach this, because you’re jumping straight past the fundamentals. The same probably goes for Ryu. Work on the basics first and that should allow the advanced stuff to come more naturally when you do approach it.

Here’s a video I saw posted elsewhere in the Newbie forums: it’s from Matt Sciar’s Beyond Technical series, and it shows him winning a match with Ryu using just cr. HP, cr. MK, cr. HK, throws, and Hadoukens. He does a Hurricane Kick and a Shoryuken occasionally, but the point of the match is that he relied on the most basic tools (not even using EX moves) and won while his opponent chucked out a ton of stuff and lost. Smart use of limited tools is stronger than clumsy use of every tool. The match starts at 10:29, but the whole video is worth a watch. A lot of basics in it that carry over to the whole of the character roster.

Beyond Technical is a cool series, I haven’t watched all of it but the videos I have seen are pretty great.


That’s why you should play Blanka! :lol:

I also play a lot less than I’d like/should, that’s mainly because I’m married, work a lot, watch too many TV Shows and movies, read books and play a lot of other games, I was even a trophy hunter on PS3 for a while.

But every once in a while I get to play a few online matches and score some cheap wins.

Now that Ultra is out I’m trying to learn Decapre and it’s been a lot of fun, a lot more fun than playing Blanka… being able to do cr.MK xx Hands using slide is really helpful


In my honest opinion, Cody is one of the best characters to start with to learn the game, he doesn’t really teach any bad habits and teaches you all the good ones. Even though he uses a dirty playstyle, his gameplay is one of the most honest of all characters. By playing Cody you’ll learn how to properly block, anti-air, how to deal with pressure, how to apply pressure. Using different normals effectively. Recognizing patterns in people their offense as you’ll only have one change to use a reversal, his EX Zonk to blast through their untrue blockstrings. How to perform links, he has loads of them and you can make them as challenging as you want. You want really easy links, he has those as well as really really difficult ones. Teaches you how to buffer specials from normals during neutral.

Downside is he doesn’t have a dragon punch motion, which alot of characters actually have, so when you wnat to learn another character you’ll be missing that aspect but overall Cody is a really realy solid character to learn street fighter with.

*If you decide to play Cody, forget about the knife really, it is only usefull in a few matchups and overall more trouble than it is worth.

I began with Ibuki…and had little succes and didn’t even know the basic fundamentals until i switched to Cody, i learned the game with him and i’m glad i did, however he is extremely difficult to use effectively at higher levels because he is so lineair and lacks low hitconfirms. So you sometimes have to get really creative or have to make hard solid reads to turn the tide.

However, having said that, the majority of characters are good characters to learn the game with. I personally think the best characters to learn with are ones that are not grapplers, charge character, or characters with a unorthodox playstyle(Guy, Viper, El Fuerte etc). Everyone else is fine really.


How can you even AA with Cody, though? His tornado is way too slow to do on reaction, and I find I misspace with the qcf+HK. He seems to have really bad range.


Cody’s normals like back.mp, far hk, far/close/crouching hp are all good anti airs. Anti airs don’t always have to be special moves. He can also use cr.mk to slide under some jump in attempts.


The problem here sounds like they’re at a level where you’re not going to get anything out of playing against them, simply because they’re so much better than you. Try to find a practice partner closer to your level, it’s going to help a lot both in terms of fun and improvement.

His best anti-airs are:

  • b.mp: One of the best anti-air normals in the game, beats almost anything cleanly if timed properly
  • HK ruffian: fairly slow and trades a lot, but can be comboed afterwards in a lot of circumstances, and covers quite a bit of the screen
  • c.mk: has a tremendously low profile, and will beat a lot of jump-ins. It can also go under them, setting up a throw or a combo when they land.
  • far HP: covers a lot of the area b.mp doesn’t cover. Not the best, but definitely useful.

Overall though, I agree with LockM. Cody is also a really good starter, and a really fun character to play. He’s got some of the easiest combos in the cast, but has access to some very damaging, very difficult ones as well. His offense is incredibly fun once you get rolling, his normals are great, and his character design is amazing. His only problems are his bad walkspeed and mediocre/bad reversals, but that’s something you can work around. And it’s worth it.


I’ve done a bit of training with him, and I enjoy him. I’m still trying to figure out how to FADC -> Ultra with Ryu, but some local boys are helping me. I’ll probably stick with Ryu and Cody for now, until I get a feel for things. And today, I taught myself the timing for c.LP xx c.MP for both. It’s the same! So there’s that.

Thanks for the help, guys. I’m still a shitty scrub, but I’ll keep pushing and try to get marginally better.