Coming back to fighters, a few questions

Hey all! I’m brand new here and I’m recently coming back into playing fighting games from a two year break to play halo and call of duty, and I want to get back to a competitive level. I used to play DOA, Soul Calibur, and VF all the time, so I’m really, really new to 2D-style fighters, with SSF4 being one of my first. I have a few questions that might help me make the transition easier and prevent me from wasting time:

  • How many characters would you say I be knowledgable and able to pick up and play to win at any time? I see a lot of people talking about maining just one or two characters, which kind of seemed crazy to me because in any 3D fighter i’ve played, if you don’t know how to pick up and play all of the characters, you’re probably gonna lose out of a tournament pretty quickly.

  • How would you say I go about to choose a correct character for me to focus on primarily? In the few matches i’ve played, I used Ryu, Cammy, Evil Ryu, and I tried Yun (it was embarassing). I had little success though, but I can probably attribute that to no knowledge of the game.

-Will I have to have high knowledge on every character’s frame data, hitboxes, etc in order to succeed at this game? Or does just my own matter?

  • How does the math for being stunned work? How can you or is it required to be able to know at any point in the round how close your character is to being stunned?

  • Is this a game where “any character can win” in the right hands, or is there a defined tier structure and a small amount of characters that actually hold water? (this isn’t me asking for a tier list, just wondering if I could pick a character’s name out of a hat, get real good, and win with it anywhere at anytime against anybody)

I’m also sorry if I am wasting time by asking these without a full, thorough look around at the forums. I’m sure a lot of it is posted elsewhere, I just thought it would be easier to get all the answer condensed into one thread for me to reference as I learn this game. Thanks for you help everyone!

Welcome back.

Quick answers:

– You need to be able to play one character. Ultimately, you need to understand all of the cast (their ranges, their setups, etc.), but knowing how a character works and knowing how to actually play them are two different things. Rather than investing your time and energy into building the muscle memory necessary to land combos with every character, it’d probably be most efficient to learn your own character and their matchups. And again, learning your character’s matchups is different than being able to actually play that other character.

– Not enough info to answer this question, sorry.

– The more you know about each of your matchups, the better you’ll do. If you want to beat Joe Shmoe, a mastery of your own character might just be enough. If you want to beat, say, Daigo, you’d better have a mastery of your own character and know everything about his character as well. As such, the answer to your question depends on your definition of ‘success’.

– There’s an invisible stun meter, and when it’s full you’re dizzy. It fills while you’re getting hit, and it empties any time you’re not getting hit or blocking. Each character can take a unique amount of stun, and their attacks all deal a unique amount of stun. As far as I know, people don’t really count stun in SF4. However, as you play, you’ll become more aware of who dishes out a ton of stun, and when you’re liable to get stunned. As a general rule of thumb, if you’ve eaten a couple solid combos in a row, you’re probably on the verge.

– There are plenty of tier lists, and at this point, I’d bet that many of them are pretty similar. You can win with any character, but it’s going to take a shitload of work and talent to win with low-mid or straight low tier. Still, if I remember correctly, the first 10-15 characters are viable.

Hope that helps!

- How would you say I go about to choose a correct character for me to focus on primarily? In the few matches i’ve played, I used Ryu, Cammy, Evil Ryu, and I tried Yun (it was embarassing). I had little success though, but I can probably attribute that to no knowledge of the game.

It pretty easy to say that you’re going to have to start with the fundamentals, which means you should probably start with Ryu or Sagat, as they have a huge array of tools for different situations. After you feel comfortable enough, you should check out the character you played against that looked like they had the most interesting playstyle to fit your needs. Or hell, just pick the coolest looking character. Everything else, NDRWPNDY answered pretty well already.

Check out the Footsies Handbook (link) to gain some good 2D fundamentals. Although I’ll say, if you were serious about VF, you will probably do well.

Wow, that’s a pretty informative guide from what I skimmed. I’m definitely going to sit down tomorrow and have a complete read through it.

But yeah, I definitely do have a lot to learn about this game. I was online for a good portion of the day and I think I won…2 fights? Probably out of close to 75-100 matches. So, yeah. Anybody have an xbox live account that they can play me with and help me along? Random fights are nice, but having someone more knowledgable to help point out my mistakes would make this a lot smoother. My xbox live tag is H2o Caffum.

One more question, in tournaments, is this game regularly played with an xbox 360 or a PS3? I have to get another stick sometime soon because mine just feels like it misfires a lot, even on DOA when I gave it a shot earlier. I just don’t want to end up buying two new fightsticks when I find out I can’t use mine at a tournament whenever I enter one.

I believe most tournaments are held on PS3s, from what I’ve heard?

Depends on your scene…but I know smaller tournaments use 360’s

If you can’t afford two sticks…dual modding your stick is a nice alternative.

Haha, that may very well be above and beyond my skill or comprehension level. But I will save up for a PS3 stick then.

Either of those boards will dual mod your stick with no soldering required. Also, most scenes have a modder, or there are people on the boards here you could send your stick to to get it modded. That’d cost 90 bucks or less. You save like 40 or 50 bucks dual modding, and only have to carry around one stick.