I dont understand SFV

So im certain its just me and the game still being new but im trying to wrap my head around how this game is meant to flow vs how it looks. To me the emphasis is on footsies and pokes like 3rd Strike was and that I can get. But what I dont seem to understand is how safe the game seems to be. I watch matches and see people throw out a lot of heavy pokes and it seems to me visually that they should be punishable but I guess not in the way I imagine. Even the concept of a meaty is weird to me because I dont see throwing out a move on someones wake up as being a necessarily smart thing to do as often as I see it done. Im sure its just me and how I see the game but visually it doesnt make a lot of sense how safe some of these moves are. One that stood out to me more recently is this heavy kick Alex has. It has a ton of start up and visually it looks as if you should be able to punish it for days as he recovers from the giant lunge he takes after his leg is up to make it have more range but that wasnt the case. Online I just couldnt punish in the manner that I though I should. I know a lot of it is just about playing and learning how to punish certain moves properly but I just get really caught up on the visuals and it throws me off a ton. So besides looking up frame data which I know I will have to do more of sooner rather than later does anyone else find it hard to match the visuals of the game with the flow of the game?

Whiff punishing is a bit harder in this game than in 3s for a few reasons, one reason being the extra few frames of input delay. Whiff punishing still doable but depending on your natural reaction speed you may need to adopt a bit more of a predictive style of play (Snake Eyez and PR Balrog have both stated that they find it difficult to whiff punish in SFV despite being seasoned pros, so don’t feel too bad about it).

The risk/reward involved in going for a meaty favors the attacker, ESPECIALLY with SFV’s Crush Counter system. The damage you get from punishing a whiffed reversal is much higher than the damage they would get. So no, it’s not technically “safe” to go for a meaty against a character with an invincible reversal, but it’s still a very solid choice.

Playing online introduces rollback which essentially buffs the startup of your opponent’s moves, so that could be a part of the problem. Also, the developers made a concerted effort to make heavy moves more powerful in SFV in response to the complaints of “jab fighter 4” so that could explain why the moves feel weird to you.

Meatying someone on wakeup is always a smart thing to do unless he has an invincible reversal. You prevent him from doing anything and can even catch his buttons for a high damage combo.
Alex’s st. HK is actually -4 on block, which means it is punishable by light combos. However if he doesn’t do it point blank you won’t be in range to punish with a light.

I don’t think you should get distracted by how the game looks visually. Things like frame traps are often too hard to spot by the naked eye and you can only “feel” them when you get caught by them. Even the hitboxes rarely cover exactly the movements of your characters. The best thing you could do is to look at frame data and to other sites online that display the hitboxes to try to figure out what is punishable and what is not.

@OceanMachine is right. You should stop playing by “feel” or by visual clues and start learning frame data asap. That said, I agree that it’s really annoying when you try to punish a move that looks terribly punishable, but is in fact safe, and you end up being frame traped.

This is problematic to me because if we are to rely on frame data to become better at this game then that data should be front and center. I’ve been struggling for months with SFV trying to put my finger on what I’m not getting and I think I’ve come to a similar conclusion with the OP that visually the game doesn’t make sense. Alex’s st.HK is a huge attack and I get why it’s not easy to punish but the case cannot be made with a lot of attacks in this game. This might sound silly but the fact that Rashid’s cr.HP (I think…?) baffles me how it’s -2. A vertical swing of both arms looks like it should be punished easily and yet it doesn’t. It’s safe. Fine if that’s the way the dev feels it should be but shit at least have that info somewhere.

I might sound like I’m expecting realism and I’m not. I would prefer it if the game made some sense visually so that players have a better understanding of what’s going on.

yeah its strange that such important infos are not avaiable ingame like in mkx.
instead you have to rely on theire official book/app or other community made sources.

with all the, we care about “casuals”. talk i really expected it to be ingame and of course explained so that people understand how the whole framedata system works so that they can prepare themself propperly in trainingsmode.

I agree that crucial data about the game engine should be available for free to all players like in MKX or KI. I’m glad already that this time Capcom added some sort of tutorial that explains things like the trade priority system instead of just slapping a PDF inside the game - or doing nothing at all.
That being said, these things matter less to the casual and more to the wannabe competitive player that wants to really learn how it works.

Mika’s drop kick drove me into fits when I first started the game for that very reason. It looks so damn unsafe. She literally lands belly first on the floor and gets back up yet you can’t punish it. I had to fight my natural tendencies to not hit a button there.

I generally agree with the statement. The whole game feels kind of awkward and limited due to the fact it was designed around an input buffer. This is a scientist’s game if ever there was one, because execution is as easy as it’s ever been, and the degree of variance due to your own skills is now mostly gone. You’re rarely left in a situation in this game where you block something and think… “Do I have the execution to punish this?” It is more… “I can punish this.”

The input buffer means that the game has to be catered to the concept that if something can be punished, it will be punished very consistently in most all levels of play. Due to this, this game’s frame data is very simplistic, offering few variances in move design and data, because even changing one frame could make a move go from nonpunishable, to being punished every time. On-top of that, block/hit pauses are longer than ever, giving you ample time to react to individual hits – if not for the input delay, this would make it only easier to punish things 100%.

Personally, I’ve been against the input buffer since the beginning (at least to this degree), because I think it has no place in a game with a pace like this. It makes more sense in games with long true block strings like Guilty Gear or something. I’ve already sited how GG perfected the buffer concept years ago by having it work in conjunction with Just Guards, to reward successful defense by making the ability to poke out after such defense easier. But that’s me.

In regards to Alex’s HK – yeah, I dunno what they were thinking with that. In 3S it’s really negative (I think -13?), but it makes itself safeish by pushing the opponent… pretty much all the way across the screen. Not only does this really showcase the impact of the attack, but it lends itself better to making something safe to most retaliations while also not losing either the character of the move or the ability to punish it with creative or character specific options. This as a whole is something SFV lacks, unfortunately. One of my many smaller gripes with the game.

So would anyone go as far to say that this game is just about offensive buttons? And what type of play style better fits this game? Im not a hardcore fighting game player by any means but I feel im more of a defensive minded guy. I wanna find a way in and get damage when its my turn. I lose a lot online just from people spamming buttons and me just taking a ton of chip from trying to figure out when exactly my turn is suppose to be. Dont get me wrong I love being offensive and rushing down but only when I feel its the right time. Which for me I can never really tell because of the visuals being so weird.

The R.Mika drop kick…

It blows my mind how safe that move is. Its like the game has training wheels or something. Like throwing out moves? Cool. Lets make them all safe for you.

Overall the game is not really defensive oriented as projectile zoning is nerfed, whiff punishing is not always really easy and the grey life/stun bar encourage players to keep attacking as much as possible. However what you described doesn’t look like defensive play, just like thoughtful offensive play. Learning which buttons are safe and which aren’t is just a matter of experience; as a general rule, lows are negative on block (with sweeps always being unsafe), regular heavies are negative and sometimes unsafe and the other ones vary a lot depending on the character - some like FANG or Balrog are almost always + on block, others like Ken are mostly - on everything.

R. Mika’s drop kick is safe only if charged (+2). You can very well interrupt it before it hits you or simply neutral jump/back dash when you see it coming.

R.Mika’s charged drop kick follows the same rule as Gief’s charged HP. In this game if the character has a normal they can charge up, that means its going to be plus if you block it. Not hard to remember. You just have to remember to stop it before it stops or V Reversal it if you block it.

You should pick up Chun, Cammy or Vega. They have good whiff punish and counter poking options and allow you to move in and out of the opponents offense with their strong walk speed.

Only difference is that Gief’s charged HP has armor and requires 2 hits to be countered.

Loses to lows though.

Everyone can easily stuff Mika’s charged HK with a simple jab. That thing is ridiculously telegraphed. All you have to do is hit your 3 or 4 frame normal as soon as she starts charging it. There are several ways to crush counter it too and get a full combo out of it.

Here, some examples in this video:

Yeah, that’s known. And very hard to do in a match against any but the most obvious players. The timing for the jab VARIES DEPENDING ON YOUR DISTANCE FROM MIKA.

Time it a frame to early or late and you eat the drop kick. It’s easy to do it in training mode, but in areal game where you have to be looking for jumpins and dashins and crouch fierce and slide and v trigger it’s quite hard to do.

And since jabs don’t rapid fire wiff super fast like in Oldschool streetfighter, the jab counter isn’t nearly as easy as say, stuffing blanka ball with jabs.

I don’t think it’s that hard to jab her out of the air. Mika is my main, and I avoid using the drop kick because I’m tired of getting countered so often. Even if you don’t feel like timing your counter, you can easily neutral jump and kick her while she’s still airborne.

It’s just generally a bad version of c.HP any ways. Once you get good with c.HP there isn’t much you can do with it that you can’t do faster and more safely with c.HP.

No one is saying that there arent counters for her dropkick. A move being counterable doesnt make it bad. If i had a dime for everytime my iall got stuffed id be a rich man.

I could swear that Combofiend has confirmed at some points that the 3 frames input buffer is for combos only to make links easier.

Punishing something has nothing to do with the input buffer.