Fighter Types?

Hi there! Since this is my first post here, let me just make a small introduction. I’m Slykor, I’m from Portugal and I’m currently, with some other friends developing a 2D fighting game for PC (Windows, Linux and Mac) on the Unity engine.
In my personal status I’m not experienced with fighters but I always loved to see people play them, I never had a big chance to play fighters but when I had the chance, I had tons of fun, I also love seeing the different features and fighters in fighting games, I remember being younger and playing Tekken 4 on the PS2 with my friend, tons of fun. And now I found this website, which seems to have a pretty solid commmunity and is focused on fighting games, just what I was looking for!

So basically, I wanted to ask how are fighters in various fighting games labeled? What do you label and how do you describe a ranged character? What’s the given name for a very quick character?

I made a bit of searching and found a little guideline on some archetypes on the GameFaqs website but I wanted to see what your replies are and if you agree with this, what can you add and what’s wrong or right.

*"Rushdown: A character that closes distance and attacks quickly, applying pressure on their foe immediately. A lot of their combos and specials end in knocking the opponent away, allowing for more “hit and run” tactics. The idea is to move in, hit hard, and hit fast. Rushdowns tend to be the fastest characters in a fighting game, but they also tend to have the lowest defense. Filia is a rushdown character here, as is Chipp Zanuff from Guilty Gear.

Grappler: The “heavy” characters in fighting games, grapplers are completely short-range fighters. A lot of their most powerful moves are grabs, hence the nickname, that will hurt when successful, but only hit if the opponent is right in front of them (this hurts grapplers when the single player mode boss turns out to be a giant moster that can’t be grabbed). Grapplers deal heavy damage and tend to not take as much, but they also tend to be slow, making dodging more difficult. Cerebella is a grappler here, as is Potenkin of Guilty Gear and Zangeif of Street Fighter.

Zoning (this is the definitions I’m the least sure about): Zoning characters play from a long range, using projectile attacks to do damage without actually risking an opponent getting in close. If an opponent tries to move into a zoning character, they will begin to fire of projectiles that, if they don’t at least hit will allow them time to move away or counter. Their long range skills also allows them to chip away from a distance. I think it’s Mike Z that plays their zoning character Peacock in the Friday Night Fights videos pretty well.

Pet: A pet character acts more like two characters controlled by one player. One main character does the more direct commands and is the one whose health actually matters, while the pet moves via special inputs and can attack together with the main fighter. My orchestrating the attacks, the player can string longer combos (the character has time to recover while the pet’s attacking) or attack from multiple heights and/or sides to get past their defense. Pure pet characters, like Carl Clover from BlazBlue, are completely focused around their pets and they are out constantly. Others, like Ms. Fortune and Eddie from Guilty Gear, borrow from other archetypes and can summon or dismiss (or lose) their pet.

Counter: In lots of fighting games, some sort of advancing guard or push back is built in to force away an attacking opponent while you’re blocking. Counter characters focus on that, but also do more damage. They have special inputs that cause them to take a stance for a few frames, and if hit in that stance will perform a move that punishes the attacker. Because their natural weakness are long-range characters, they will also sometimes have moves to make it a close-quarters fight. Baiken of Guilty Gear, for example, has a special project that will pull opponents to her.

Juggler: Jugglers specialize in knocking their opponents in the air and then using combos to keep them there. While in the air, the opponent can’t block, interrupt or recover as well, and therefore can’t fight back. Jugglers tend to be difficult to use and don’t do as much damage, but the idea is that if they’re to busy trying (and failing) to recover, they can’t fight back. Alice and later Uriko from the Bloody Roar series are jugglers. With the infinite combo breaking system in Skullgirls, however, I don’t think it’s likely they’ll put one in."*

Thanks for reading!

I would say those definitions are pretty accurate. It seems the person who wrote all that is a Guilty Gear fan boy.

A very quick character can be called a “Pixie” character. Usually this is a female character with quick movement options. Like Cammy in Street Fighter.

The perfect example of a zoning character would be Dhalsim in Street Fighter. Or Cable in Marvel vs. Capcom 2.

I’d like to add to this: the main strength of a zoner isn’t necessarily just their ability to keep their opponents away and chip them out. It’s also important to remember their ability to shut down the options of their opponent, and can often frustrate their opponents into taking risks that gives the zoner an opening to punish the opponent. This is just as important as the long-range attacks themselves, and often where a huge portion of the damage a zoner does comes from.

Two great examples to look at are probably Dhalsim and O.Sagat from SSF2:Turbo, both because they’re very good at it, but also because they also have somewhat different styles of zoning. Dhalsim has answers to pretty much any situation in the game, and will usually slowly and methodically stop whatever you try to do and patiently grind you down in a long game. O.Sagat, on the other hand, has a very fast and oppressive fireball game that can pressure you almost anywhere on the screen, combined with very damaging anti-air options that punish you hard when you finally crack and decide to take the risk to jump at him.

Or SF4 Deejay, whose long-range attack (fireball) is actually quite good, but his buttons suck so he doesn’t have much to back it up. The backup is what forces opponents to be respectful. It’s the reason Sagat does so well against Zangief in SF4, too - not so much the fireball game, but because his tools for punishing Gief’s disrespect are the best for the task, much moreso than shotos’ like Ryu or Akuma.

what about charge characters. You can add that to the fighter type list.

Charge is a control method, not a character archetype. It does influence how your character plays to some degree, but it doesn’t dictate it. Look at how differently the charge characters in SF2 play to see an example of that.
Also, it’s completely possible for a character to have both charge specials and motion specials(see almost all versions of Chun-Li barring her SF2 version).