You're training a usf4 disciple from scratch: which character do you teach them first and why

title says it all
also for the given character, what to prioritize learning first and a basic training regime

Ryu or Guile.
Reason: Fundamentals.

These characters have no cheap ways to win. You either win honest or by calculated insanity.

I teach whoever they choose because that’s who they want to play. Something about that character appeals to them, so I show them what that character’s all about and see if they’re still interested after.
I cover the character’s moveset and then explain their general gameplan with a few example scenarios. Generally that’s all it takes to get someone started. They’re going to have to figure out how to truly work out playing the character through actually playing matches.

If I determine they can execute their special moves without much of a problem, then I’ll teach them 2 in 1’s. If that’s easy, then I go to basic Bnbs and so on and so forth. It all depends on what they already know or can grasp quickly. Everyone learns at a different pace and being new to SF doesn’t necessarily mean being new to video games or even fighting games, so I establish a baseline first and go from there.

Cody or Sakura

To someone learning the game from scratch, they first need to learn controls, then fundamentals, and match ups.

As far as controls go I think Cody takes the cake for overall easiest motions and controls of any character. Hold buttons or qcf. Sakura is a bit harder with dp motions.

Second, as far as fundamentals go Cody and Sakura both easily control the middle ground in footages, and have simple button press, and effective anti-airs. This way, with two buttons they can learn spacing.

You can then show them two-in-ones and Cody and Sakura both have the option to play a light fireball game so they also have the ability to learn a little about fireball wars.

These two characters are really good for beginners because of their awesome hit boxes, simple yet effective footsies and relatively high damage output. Basically, putting in a smaller amounts of effort nets the beginner a bigger reward than trying to start with Someone like Ibuki or juri.

Honestly, depends. I’m used to kof so I gravitated towards hugo, makoto and dudley the most. Decapre’s basic bnbs do good damage but eh, thought the inputs were gonna be worse to pull off.
Hugo’s just disgustingly easy to use and so fun. Makoto has some easy stuff like hp into dash punch or doing the cancel dash punch loop that is tricky but doable compared to mature’s annoyin hp into vertical slash. Basically makoto’s fun cuz speed. Imo she’s a better decapre than decapre.

dudley, I like his movement speed and his attacks especially hp and hk and he can link some juggles for decent damage and is practically safe at close range to most [not all] zangief players if careful.

And then there’s the last option, choosing the characters you want to actually use because you actually want to use them. Even deejay, in the right hands that character is an absolute monster upclose.


I’ve started playing SF4 with Ken, then when I got AE - switched to Evil Ryu
But then I realized I was nowhere near the skill level that character requires

So I switched to Fei Long and have been playing with him for several months now.

Would you recommend having both Fei and Cody as main characters?
Shotos seems so slow and sluggish to me after having experience playing as Fei

Cody has a real good learning curve in terms of combos.
You can start with easy combos (2+ frames window) and progressively learn harder combos.
Really fucking sad that this is not the case for more characters and that Cody sucks.

I let them play whoever, though I push towards Ryu or Sakura since I play them.

See what character they like and try to emphasize fundamentals and basic combos first before going into more character specific stuff or crazy setups.

When my friends wanted to learn how to play Street Fighter(They gave up the next day…) I first showed them the “shoto” toolkit and the general fundamentals behind Ryu. It goes a long way just showing them the barebones basics of the game. Fireballs, anti-airs, spacing, punishing, poking. After that I gave a brief introduction to the focus attack system and the FADC system. After we got through the brief Ryu basics I let them pick any character they wanted to, scale the character on difficulty and see if they’re willing to put in the effort to learn them. I think my friends went with Akuma/Bison/Ryu and I just went from there. P-Linking can usually wait if you just want them to play with the basics in mind.

Just cover the basics of the character they pick, and let them explore a little on their own after you give them the resources to further expand their knowledge base. It’s a lot more fun letting someone actually explore the game instead of teaching over a long period. Once they’ve got the muscle memory down to perform the basics, delve deeper into the character - match-ups, option selects, frame data, maximising damage from punishes/hit confirms. That sort of stuff.

what characters do not rely on 1FLs as much as the others. im exploring balrog and ryu. plinking isnt that difficult (used to very fast inputs from melee) and i already rely on it heavily, but 1FLs still give me tons of frustration especially when netplaying.

i did all the ultra and normal trials for both but got really aggrevated with some of the sequences they have you do. nobody actually uses half of those weidrd 1FLs, right?

1FLs are basically your access to higher damage for a lot of characters, you don’t HAVE to use them, a lot of characters have less damaging options with easier links but it’s up to you to decide if you want your damage or not. Pretty annoying online with certain characters who have double 1FL combos i.e Cody, Vega. If you’re plinking you shouldn’t be having much of an issue offline but online can really fuck up links sometimes. Generally if they’re a beginner you’ll want to keep your confirms quite easy in terms of links.

Depends on the character. Balrog? Not so much, but it’s nice to be able to plink from standing far jab into sweep. Ryu? Same thing, TBH.

Personally, I teach everyone Ryu, Guile, and T. Hawk. Ryu gives them the basics. Guile lets them focus a bit more on footsies, and teaches them charge controls. T. Hawk lets them learn what the gameplan of a grappler is. All of these characters have strong normals, to push the fact that footsies are the core of what makes Street Fighter great.

I don’t teach rushdown in SF4, because I don’t feel SF4 is a rushdown game, and would rather teach someone fundimentals that will last them a lifetime, than give them the tools to play some herp-a-derp character like Cody or Sakura. Neither of those characters play traditional Street Fighter. Will they learn frame traps? Yes. Will they learn block strings? Yes. Will they learn combos? Yes. Will they learn footsies? No, because they don’t need it that much. Will they learn to anti-air? No, because neither of these characters has a solid command anti-air (And in the case of Cody, any solid anti-air in general), as well as neither of these characters have strong defenses, and they’ll keep just rushing in, regardless of what they’re getting pegged by. Will they learn spacing? No, Cody and Sakura have easymode gap closers that make it so beginners don’t have to learn neutral game, or the range of their normals. Will they have to learn zoning? Lolno, neither of these characters have strong fireballs, or tools to control any portion of the screen that isn’t directly in front of them, or slightly in front of them.

I’ve seen it too often: Someone starts learning the game, and as soon as they learn how to do moves, they move over to a character with crutches for beginners, like Cody, Sakura, Decapre, Ibuki, Rolento, or Blanka, and it ends up killing their progression. They never truly develop as players because they either are stuck playing a character that gives you free wins against other new players by doing one dimensional pre-written block strings, setups, and combos, with a little bit of throwing out a gimmick or two, but have no idea what to do against someone who actually has enough strength to prevent them from starting their little scripted win sequence, or finds a flaw in it. If your opponent knows how to block your string, doesn’t fall for your frame trap, and doesn’t let you get knockdown, you’re forced to play Street Fighter, and the sad thing is, most people who learn one of these characters early never learn how to play Street Fighter.

Special shoutouts to Ibuki. These players normally progress a bit more than the other characters, but the same still applies: They never learn how to play defense, footsies, ect. All they know are blockstrings, setups, and combos. You can tell who these people are, because if you pick their counterpick, they won’t have any solution for it, and won’t play around their character’s weakness.

Are you crazy? Cody has some of the best anti-air options in the game. Sakura has a decent option too.

Isn’t Sakura’s crouching hp 3 frames startup with a ridiculous hitbox or some shit?

Well, what about Fei Long? Isn’t he like the pure footsies character?
I’m asking since I’m not sure if that character can reveal full potential or teach you fundamental stuff, though seeing Fuudo play says otherwise

Yeah, but she has no far options at her disposal and only has an option for deeper jump-ins outside of a really well timed Light SRK.

I thought it was Sakura’s Close HP, not Crouching HP that was 3 frames

Yeah you’re right, close standing hp.
Crouching hp is still crazy good with 4 frames of startup.

A lot of Fuudo’s game is just his incredibly sharp reactions, and the Rekka. Fei has some damn good footsies but they aren’t simple and his spacing has to be very on point. A beginner would be better off picking Ryu, because his spacing is a little more lenient with application of the fireball.