Tekken Player Coming To Street Fighter

Okay, SFV looks too good not to play so I picked up USFIV on PS3. I am quite good at Tekken, but I have never even really touched SF before. Like, I am a complete noob, couldn’t get any n00bier if my life depended on it. I have seen a whole punch of videos and read quite a few things. Figure I will start with Ryu because that seems to be the general go to “new player” character. My question I guess is, where do I start? Do I need to know all the combos or should I start studying match ups? If it matters, my execution on stick is proficient. Don’t have a problem with qcfs or dragon punches. Just a little lost on where to begin.

Since I have no idea about where you stand, I’ll try to give some general advice:

  • learn to anti-air. Probably the most important thing to start out with, since you can get (and avoid) a lot of easy damage from that
  • Learn 2-3 easy meterless combos. You usually don’t need more than that to start out. Expand that repertoire when you’ve got a feel for the basic combos
  • Learn to use normals to control space. This is pretty hard to explain without knowing how well you understand the neutral game, however. One thing I can mention is that unlike Tekken, a lot of moves recover really fast, so whiff punishment works very differently. I can expand a bit on this if you’d like.
  • Learn some basic mix-ups. High/low, crossup/non-crossup, throw/frametrap, etc. Safe pressure is also a good thing to know.

I think the more important thing to learn coming from Tekken is learning how fundamentals in a 2D fighter that uses links and cancels instead of canned strings works (such as focusing more on controlling space, over raw frame data application).

I’ve never played Tekken outside of arcades about 8 years ago, but d3v’s right on your focus being on controlling space in a 2d plane. I wish I remember the name of that old series of videos that went over fundamentals in SFII.

You want to think about forcing your opponent to react in a way that is favorable to you, and being able to anticipate that decision so it is reactable to you, obviously similar to all fighters. In Ryu’s case, you want to throw fireballs. Fireballs will damage the enemy on hit, chip them on block, and will also give you meter. (Meter usage/generation/control is also an important thing to learn in SF4) Your opponent will want to avoid these outcomes and close distance with you, and the most basic way to do that is to jump forward and attack with a jumping normal. Now Ryu has an uppercut that will counter your opponent’s jump in, typically the using strong (MP) uppercut. So your main way of controlling space is with your horizontal fireball, and preventing the enemy from moving forward in the air with your uppercut. The thing you want to work on is learning the spacing where you can successfully anticipate and react to a jump in and positioning yourself in and around that space to convince your opponent that you won’t be able to counter his attempt to get in. (If srk is too hard to execute at first, use cr.HP. Move on to srk though because it gets you thinking farther ahead because you need to buffer a motion in order to counter a jump in)

The idea of ‘controlling a position where you have more options than your opponent and wait for them to make a mistake’ is the basis for most of the fighters in this game. Working on these concepts moved me so much farther ahead than worrying about combos or setups or any of that. Also, learn to block and crouch tech in this game. SF4 is very generous to defensive players because chip is relatively little damage off specials and you can’t get guard crushed outside of lvl 3 focus attack. Just blocking players out online will cause most of them to make stupid mistakes that you can anticipate. It’s also kind of important to learn as many characters as you can. The game is very matchup based, and learning how a character thinks is really helpful when you’re trying to beat them with your main character. This is good advice for whenever a new game comes out, and learning characters like Ryu, Chun Li and Dictator can give you a bit of a concept as to how they function in the big scheme of things so you’ll have someone to move to when you start with SFV.