Charge Characters? Best starters?!

So, I’ve been doing me best to get better at fighting games, and I have recently gotten myself an arcade stick, because I’m willing to invest time and play street fighter competitively. I basically have been using a lot of Ryu and Yun, and I’m still trying to not to panic mash, and my execution is bad during heated matches due to fear of defeat. I heard from a friend of mine that Charge characters like Balrog can teach you to be more defensive and play better. Are they the best starters? Thanks :slight_smile:

Charge characters are generally considered to be easier characters to execute with, with strong normal attacks, at the expense of not being able to do their special moves whenever they want.

If you’re completely new to the concept of charging, I’d start off with Blanka and Honda. Once you get familiar with basic charging principles, then you can move onto all the others.

But if you want to learn to be defensive, you can do it with any character that you like. You just have to make an effort not to be so mindlessly aggressive, and learn to play more patient, don’t jump, build up a stronger ground game, and learn good defense to counter both jump-attacks, as well as what to do when you get knocked down.

Thanks man, I’ve been watching youtube videos and training in training mode like no tomorrow. My progress is sorta slow to be honest, but I’ll start training to be defensive.

Sounds good. I wish you good luck.

As far as defensive play goes, it’s more of a mind set. Initially when you start playing fighting games, you just want to hit a lot of random buttons and do a lot of jumping. Defensive play is literally the exact opposite. You have to slow down, really think about why you’re doing your attacks, play more reactive to what your opponent is doing, and just play solid and lame. It’s all about controlling space, controlling momentum, and capitalizing on your opponent’s mistakes. These are all fairly high concepts, but if you practice it now, you’ll get better over time.

you should stick to your character and try to learn defense. changing to another character won’t bring you what you seek I think. it’s more a thing in your head then anything else.

otherwise, the easiest and probably best charge character is balrog. but picking him up will might lead you into a nother dark path: abusing gimmicks and thinking you can relay on them because unacknowledged players ain’t punish them.

everyone will have different opinions on which characters to use. just try them all. if you want to learn defensive play picking a charge character probably won’t make much difference.

even using a solid character like balrog might teach bad habits i.e. mashing jab a lot which will actually get you blown up when doing it with other characters.

I’ve beaten the arcade with E.Honda and it was specially easy using the head ram/command throw combination. Using Blanka seems like playing a game of chess but what do I know, I am a total newbie lol



Charge characters can be better to start with, but they can also be a horrible choice. If you try to rely on their special moves only, you’ll be overly defensive and too predictable. Charge characters traditionally have really good normals. Charge characters often have great anti-air normals which means you don’t have to focus on learning how to anti-air DP. That lets you get to the ‘meat’ of the game, aka footsies, more quickly.

Being more defensive in itself isn’t an asset against good players. You have to be reactive and punish your opponent for doing what they do.

Don’t equate not giving away games (not jumping, not doing many reversals) with being defensive. You can be aggressive without being overly risky.

If you want to improve your defense try out Honda. Most of the time when you use Honda and have the life lead you play defensive to pressure the opponent into action. His style of play is good for learning how to deal with many of the shoto scrubs in a general way as many of his skills do not help him with fireball spam. You have to find the gaps in their play and hit them hard when they are open to them.

I’d probably say grapplers are a better choice. I’m not being biased as a Hawk loyalist, but I think you’d have a better learning experience with normals, spacing, meter management, etc. with somebody like Gief or T. Hawk. Not to mention their execution is easier.

Honda is probably the best middle-ground choice though.

The problem is that the pace of the game while playing a grappler is really hard to adjust to. Especially the bad matchups, like Chun, where you start feeling like you’re working three times as hard and they just get to do stuff.

Gief has hard execution, lots of 1 frames in his best combos. You can do jabs instead of’s but you lose a lot from the mixup.

Ryu is always a solid choice to start. Everybody knows the matchup, meaning you can’t get away with BS. He has good offense, good pokes, and combos that aren’t 1 frames. Chun Li or Rose would also be a great starting character because of their reliance on their excellent normals.

I use Hawk over Gief due to mobility reasons, and the fact he has an uppercut, but yeah — they do have bad match ups, but every character does. It all boils down to match up experience, and no matter what character you choose, you’re going to have to learn options against the entire roster. After using Hawk for awhile, the only real matchs ups I have trouble with consistently are Vega, Blanka, Cody, most Cammys, and that’s about it. Not saying I’m godlike, I’m far from it, but the execution on a grappler isn’t difficult and there’s far less to practice in that respect than a character like Chun-Li or Rose, IMO.

And I’m a lazy player lol. But to each their own, man.

Charge characters are hard to start with because you don’t have all of your options in every situation.
For example: Ryu can DP out of a bad block string, but if you’re Guile and they intermittenly throw an overhead into a blockstring, you lose your flash kick.
Just remember that when thinking this way. They’re easier to be flashy in training mode with, I think (I play charge characters so I think they are), but in terms of a match, they’re harder to master at that higher level.

Overheads aren’t really a threat, since the damage potential is extremely low. Also, if you have good reactions and/or anticipate the overhead, you can simply flash kick the overhead. Plus, since you’re unable to just mash out a reversal DP whenever you get in trouble, you have to rely on simply reacting to your opponent and keeping your defense up.

That’s true, but I was getting at something a bit different. Mind you, I don’t play SF4, but in ST I’ve had times where my opponent (Ryu especially) would throw an obvious overhead right before I have enough charge, so I either eat that linked to a sweep and get mixed up or block high and deal with the loss. It’s possible to use the charge time against people - though this is super advanced and I don’t encounter it often. I don’t know what the timings in SF4 would be like or if that strategy would be even viable. As for the reversal DP, I’m used to that being an “option” if necessary in my time with Cammy (Super Turbo, again). I’m ignorant to tactics and techniques used in SF4.
The point - in those situations that I see the overhead early enough, I can react with DP most of the time if I have a motion-character, whereas I don’t always have charge to counter with a charge character.

I’m primarily an ST player as well. Overheads are really only scary in Ryu’s situation, since he’s able to link pretty much anything he wants afterwards for anywhere from 20%-50% health.

Cammy can ALWAYS reversal DP, since hers has so much horizontal range and both push her away at the same distance, I’m sure every good Cammy player will always go for the DP if their opponent is in range.

Charge times has always been abused by good players. In ST, this means charge characters are prone to being tick thrown, since you have no reliable reversal after a safe jump over than a throw. Even then, a good opponent who knows the max range on their throw can put you into indefinite loops (Honda v. Guile).

The big issue with charge times is that decent players will know exactly when you have charge, and for which moves. For example, if I see Guile walking, I know he has no flash kick, if he walks towards me, I know he has no sonic boom, so it’s pretty easy to just throw a fireball at him. But knowing that Guile knows this, he’ll probably either attempt to commit to a jump attack, neutral jump, or block, and so I can throw a fake before throwing a fireball. Small example, but one that’s extremely important to know when fighting against charge characters.

Agreed on all points, quoted for emphasis.

Thank you everybody!!! I’m doing my best, to learn to play defensive.