How do you know if a game just isn't for you?

A couple of months ago I decided that I would try to seriously learn SF4 after a few years of just spectating the game on streams. I’ve been practicing around 4-8 hours, 3 to 4 times a week for several months as work and my personal life allow. But now I’m beginning to think that perhaps the game just doesn’t mesh with how I think and play? Before Street Fighter the games I mainly played were all air-dash games like MvC, BB, etc. My main problem is that everything in Street Fighter feels so random to me. Let me explain.

In Street Fighter I eat raw ultras, supers, wakeup ultras, and DPs all day. I can understand WHY someone might throw one of those out, but I can’t recognize that the player is likely to do it until after a few matches. I just can’t get it into my brain that “Okay this person is going to shoryuken and I’ve got it spaced well enough so it will whiff… oh okay they shoryuken’d again now let me punish… oh I just got hit with ANOTHER shoryuken.” To give an example of why I am having an issue with this thought process, let me compare to MvC3. If Doom randomly supers it is usually to chip or to give himself a short break to process the situation and assess how to handle it. If he randomly team supers with Ammy it is to set up a mixup situation. If Storm randomly supers it is to try to snipe an assist. But in Street Fighter it seems more like “I’m in a risky situation so I’m just going to gamble it all and just do it.” I don’t know why but this kind of risky all-in gameplay seems very new to me and is much more prevalent in SF than the other games I’ve played. Then there are also a few side things that frustrate me like trying to anti-air and it ends up trading but because my character (Chun) has low health I end up in an unfavorable situation where I lost more life than the opponent. Or that I will have combo’d into Ultra but then I get a stun and so the opponent falls out and what would have killed had the entire combo connected, did not. And then I end up losing.

I seem to have reached a plateau where I can’t get beyond average unless I overcome this. I’ve been stuck trying to figure out how to get past this for about a month now. I’m beginning to think that perhaps the way that I think and approach game just doesn’t mesh and that I won’t ever “get it.” So part of my question is when do you all make the decision “This game isn’t for me” and move on? When do you decide that this is something you can overcome and buckle down?

Sorry if the post seems whiny xD

Soo… this looks like a problem with the system and the casual mentality.
The system because it actually supports mashing, input leniency and big reversal windows basically invite you to mash srk on wakeup.
Casual mentality because: since it reaches way more players than previous games (sf alpha, 3S, MvC2) through online gaming, the amount of players that dont want to invest time into the deeper layers of the game grows too.
Resulting in a lot of players whom you simply cant “read” since they themself dont even know what they’re going to do next. Trick is actually to use the first round (in online play) to analyse what type of player you’re facing.
Bait wakeup srks with whiffed normals / throws from a safe distance, yet close enough to pressure them into uppercuting. Then punish accordingly, best would be to punish while they’re still in the air, since ground recovery on srk is ridiculously short.

I dont think there something that “just isnt for you”.
If you like the game and enjoy it. You put time in it. You may have to abandon previous experiences because of a new system/mentality, yet you can still get good at it.

It’s all up to you.

Dat online.

I think most people here will agree with me, when I say

your performance in Ranked online is not indicative of anything.

Take a look at the system itself. One singular match- not an extended set- not even a tournament set (first-to-two-wins). Just one match.

Adaptation takes time. Anybody can be “killed by random” but give them a couple of more games and things aren’t so bewildering then.

I would suggest to play 1v1 Endless rooms. Join them or create your own.
Long sets are much, much more beneficial to your growth.

Or better yet, find someone on Facebook, join a few groups, and get offline. A long set offline will level you up very quickly.

As for the game-

Do you like the game?
Do you like a character in the game?
Do you “get hype” over it?
Are there moments that put a smile on your face? Do you celebrate every time a plan comes to fruition?

You should love the game- you should have an emotional stake in the game to play it. So when you spend long hours in the lab, or analyzing matches, deconstructing “random” situations and using them for your own benefit, it’s justified because you’re working towards getting better at a game you love to play, instead of just being bored and stagnating.

You know a game isn’t for you when you’re not getting any enjoyment out of playing it. That is the simplest and most direct answer to your question.

Take breaks from the game and come back. You don’t see the patterns now but over time you will. Best way to think of random srks is think of them the same way you think of Helm Breaker from Dante/Virgil. They have them so they will use them. Bait and punish

There are ways around the randomness. Between meaties vs slow reversals/ultras, safejumps, un-reversable cross ups, baiting, and chained normals to hitconfirm you can get around the randomness and put the game into a “I will win with footsies and if i get a KD i will maximize my expectation value of damage given minus damage take”

It just takes some research and reads on your opponent. Also making sure to not drop combos and hitting your punishes before the recover is important.

I would post some vids but i dont have it on pc but let me know if i need to elaborate.

Also chun isnt the best char for wakeup pressure and her anti airing is kind of lackluster so it may be just the character you dont like. try some other ones out. But you can always try to air throw or focus backdash to deal with or get away from jump ins and resume neutral

Thanks for the feedback everyone! It’s been helpful reading it. I suppose I’ll stick with it for a little while longer.

And yeah I am looking into other characters but unfortunately my stick broke not too long ago and I don’t have the money to get a new one (plus I don’t feel like buying a new one and then needing to get a next-gen one a few months later). So I’ve been stuck on pad which is limiting my ability to play around with other characters. I do think that I sort of have a “type” when it comes to characters. When Ultra drops I’ll be testing out Chun, Rose, Poison, Elena, and (the randomly different one) Viper. All females which amuses me xD In b4 obligatory Poison “Har de har” joke.

what stick do you have? you might not need to buy a new one you can just replace the parts that are broken.

I don’t think there’s ever a game that just “isn’t for you”, or that you’re just incapable of understanding. The fact that you care enough about SF4 to try and improve probably means you like it.

Get out of the netplay mentality and start playing longer sets with people so that you can appreciate the game for what it is. And I think Rose would be a much better match for you, as she’s a spacing-oriented character with safe pressure and solid oki, kind of like Buri. Her damage sucks, but you won’t get randomed out nearly as often.

Exactly what I came in here to say.

This really. I’ve come to the conclusion that sf4 isn’t my game, and knowing that, I can concentrate on games I DO feel that way about (3S and GG) rather than wasting my time trying to be amazing at a game I don’t like as much.

But having said that OP, picking a low tier character like Chun just makes the game harder (I should know, I’ve been playing Oni for awhile now despite having better win records with Bison and Guile, my other mains.) Especoally if you’re starting out, I might recommend finding a character with the same game plan but who’s maybe a bit better.

That’s part of the problem for me. There are two things that ultimately determine how much fun I am having in the game.

  1. Winning. I like winning. It’s fun.
  2. Playing a character I like. I guess it could be described as “character loyalty” but even if I like the mechanics of a game… if I don’t connect with a character then I just don’t enjoy it. For me Chun is that character in SF4. Although I am going to be playing around more when Ultra comes out.

I also suppose that those two things kind of oppose each other. I would enjoy more wins if I sacrificed playing my favorite character. But that’s a different discussion for a different thread.

One thing that might be helpful is finding some tool to download videos from youtube (I like a program called Livestreamer and a Greasemonkey script called “Download Youtube videos as MP4”), and grab some matches from Infiltration, Valmaster and Nuki.

I say this because Chun is a very spacing-reliant character and by downloading those videos to your hard drive you can watch the stuff they do on slo-mo, advance frame by frame and pause and rewind easily, so you can go situation by situation, ask yourself what might you do and see what the best Chuns on the planet do. It’s also helpful that they play totally different styles as far as poke usage and general activity levels go. (The slo-mo is especially important for dissecting wtf Infiltration is even doing with his 9000 buttons/second super ADHD style play) Watching these can show some answers to things that you might not have known.

Also, if you’re playing online, you really, really need to be aware that there are people who simply do not think. They do the randomest bullshit you’ve ever seen, you can punish them three times in a row for doing the exact same mistake three times in a row, and the goon just will not learn. He will do that same stupid thing the fifth time. And the sixth. And so on. Until your hair goes gray. And you need to acknowledge that and not even try to teach him to respect anything because he won’t.

Against those kinds of people you really need to develop a plan for dealing with idiots. And it won’t be very fun, at least it wasn’t for me. You just do things like stay downback, upclose press a couple jabs and stop. They’ll fly into the air, and you can land some nice and fat punish combo - make sure that combo is something you won’t drop btw, because the mashed DP WILL come. You block a fullscreen tatsu? the DP WILL come. And so on. You have to have that or you will lose to idiots.

For actually learning how to play the game against people with a brain, small 2-3 player Endless Lobbies are the shit. Until you’re actually high level, Ranked won’t be worth anything. Go there to test how bullshit-proof you are and hone your anti-idiot measures, otherwise avoid like the plague.

Starting to feel like this, i’ve tried so much and nothing’s working. I feel like my reactions just arent good enough. Someone whiffs a shoryuken and they could probably get 2 more in before i punish. Feel like I should just give up…

when you don’t have fun.

LOTS of people like winning but show strong character loyalty. This was traditionally considered the Japanese approach to character choice. Don’t let preachy pricks make you reconsider playing the character you love.

The moment i discovered 3S takes no skill to play, i learned it wasn’t for me.

Then the answer is simple. Never fight another human.
If you can’t accept failure as an aspect of fighting games you have no reason to be playing fighting games.
If you continue down the path of fighting games learn to enjoy every fight win, lose or draw.

A lot of that is probably because your brain gets bogged down in an endless cycle of “what should I do?”. I’d check the Improving reaction speeds article in my signature - it’s a common pitfall. Check out the James Chen video and Airdash Academy Ep.1 from the beginning of the info packet in my sig as well - they line out a great way to learning the genre, and it’s a way that really helps you build appropriate reactions to different situations.

Also remember that this is not an easy genre - improvement can sometimes be and often is slow. Take your time. Make small improvements here and there. You’re able to punish a whiffed DP now? You’re better than you were now. A slow buildup of capability will eventually make a competent player, but it takes practice and dedication.

Lol you’re overcomplicating this a lot. It’s really simple really: do you enjoy playing the game and find yourself starving for more? Does sf4 make you hungry or not?