- Jul 18, 2015
Now's as good a time as any to go into fighting games. Street Fighter V, Smash 4, KOF14, Mortal Kombat X, Tekken 7, new Blaz Blue, new Guilty Gear...There's a lot to choose from. But when I say "get into" fighting games, I don't mean treat them casually. I mean, full on serious and competitive to be the best you can be.
This thread is for that.
We have a lot of threads for the fighting game community on this forum but none are dedicated solely to (relative) newcomers of the genre.
Why fighting games?
Why Fighting Games Matter
Fighting games have long been dismissed by philistines as “button mashers”. This is, I reckon, because “speed-chess-poker-magic-the-gathering-rock-paper-scissors-fighting” is kind of a mouthful, and frankly, most of the people who think fighting games consist of mindless button-mashing never got deep enough into a fighting game to get to the speed-chess-poker-etc. part to begin with.
Learning how to beat another person in a fighting game involves understanding elements of game design, psychology, programming and basic machine input/output, human physiology, motivation, and several other serious bodies of human knowledge — and then applying them to go beat down your buddy’s virtual avatar. You must train yourself to understand complicated situations and react to them with complicated physical movements within fractions of a second. Perhaps most importantly, you must learn how to get better at something: How to absorb good behaviors and discard bad ones, how to push yourself, how to practice, how to diagnose problems and fix them. I think it’s a good thing for people to do, period. To paraphrase MMA legend Renzo Gracie, “Fighting [games] is actually the best thing a man can have in his soul.”
- Patrick Miller
Why fighting games? Because fighting games are beautiful.
Fighting game terminology and glossary
"What's a meaty?" "Frames?" "What is a link?" All answers can be found here at SRK's fighting game glossary.
What This Thread is For
Positive fighting game thread discussing mechanics, under the hood depth, strategies, mind games, psychology, and general growth as a player. Shit talking is allowed, even encouraged, but again - this is a positive thread to help each other improve, doesn't matter what game. Post your replays! Let's find someone who can deconstruct your game and help you improve! Even if you're not a beginner, I want everyone in the GAF FGC to join in so we can be the best we can be.
What This Thread Isn't For
Stream monster stuff. You can link to highly skilled players, so we can dissect what the skilled players do through match analysis, but this thread isn't about Daigo worship. It's not about news to whatever game you play. It's not about linking to streams. It's about matches, games, mechanics, and self improvement. Please stay on topic. We have other threads for the aforementioned things. And no Theory Fighter.
Fighting Game Basics
Every fighting game shares core fundamentals. It's like how every card game shares a deck of cards. Different game, same deck.
In order to tap into what makes fighting games so complex, you need to simplify. A lot of newcomers to competitive fighters stress the emphasis on flashy things like combos more than actual core game fundamentals. You may be practicing a combo to the point where you can hit it 90% of the time, but who cares if you can't even get in to apply it?
That's where fundamentals come in.
When learning a character your first priority should be what the game plan for that character is. Otherwise, you could be using them wrong, or not as effectively. Look at their character design and decide from there what your overall strategy for most matches should be.
Let's take an example: Ryu. Ryu is the basic template almost every fighting game character after Street Fighter II has been made to fight or defend against. Ryu is the Adam of the fighting game genre. What kind of character is Ryu based off his character design? He looks like he can do just about anything, can't he? A real martial artist master who could take you any way he wants. In a way, that's Ryu's game plan. Ryu is a jack of all trades.
He has a fireball to keep you out of his space.
If you try to jump in over the fireball, he can dragon punch you to keep you out.
He has a long reaching crouch kick in crouch medium kick, and he can use that to get into your space from a long range and cancel it into a hadouken for damage. Even if doesn't damage you and you block, it could still go in the player's favor because the hit will push you back into the corner while you block, which puts you in a disadvantageous situation.
His high kick goes really far and can hit you from a decent distance. Another tool to keep you out.
But he also has tools that allow him to go in and deal damage.
Playing A Fighting Game
Step 1. Start with picking your character in training mode. There's two school of thoughts on picking characters when learning a fighting game. Some think you should start with characters that help teach the game, like Ryu. Others think that the best way to get better is to have a quasi relationship or connection with that character to promote an environment to want to improve more. Both are valid. I fall in the latter camp, but learning a fundamental-oriented character is just as good.
Step 2. Learn that characters fastest moves, and try to figure out a general game plan with that character or how you think that character is supposed to be used. Learn their supers, learn their anti-airs, learn what moves they have that allows them to out of hairy situations.
Step 3. Go into Arcade mode to try what you learned in training mode to practice on a live moving opponent. Fighting AI is best for supplemental training, it isn't great for learning the actual game or how to fight actual people.
Step 4. Fight actual people. Take notes of mistakes, match up notes. Anything that troubles you make note of it.
Step 5. Review. Watch replays of losses. Take notes of what you did wrong. Did you hit a dragon punch when you tried to do a hadouken? Next time you're in training mode do twenty hadouken's on both sides to make sure you got it. Did the opponent do something you're not familiar with? Go to training mode, pick that person's character you played, and use the recording dummy to replicate the exact thing they did. Not surprisingly, replicating situations in training mode also teaches you how to play other characters. Keep working that situation they did to you until you can reliably defend against it. Situational training is a great tool to use to expand your game. Look up the best players in the world who play as your character of choice and take notes on their general strategies and how they play the character. Implement it into your game via training mode.
Step 6. Repeat.
Games and Resources
Current Fighting Game List
Fighting game resources and sites
- add yourself! Anyone can edit the document, so don't be an asshole and do something mean.
Scrub to Master and NeoGaf FGC Discord (quote to read reveal link:
If you're interested in a game, just ask! I'm sure we'll have more than enough people that can help you get the basics.
Six Button Pads and Arcade Sticks
You can play a fighting game any controller that you're comfortable with, but for those wishing for more optimization, a pad or stick dedicated to fighting games and arcade game in general is a good idea.
Two of the top two brands on the market today are Mad Catz and Hori.
FOR DEDICATED STICK/PAD ADVICE, GO VISIT MARKMAN'S ALREADY GREAT THREAD ON THE SUBJECT
But have fun too!