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Street Fighter 4 Strategy – The Power of Small Adjustments to Your Game – Part 1

When most players try to improve, they often ask other players what they think they need to improve. It seems like most of these players are trying to figure out if there’s a combo they aren’t doing, a move they don’t know how to counter properly, or something really specific they don’t know yet. The problem is that it is usually not that simple. There are a lot of little things that go into your game that, if done right, add up to more wins in the long run. It’s these little tweaks to your game that are often overlooked that can provide that extra push you need sometimes in a close match. Here are some examples of little things that can be done:

  1. Double tap your buttons as much as possible

    In 3rd Strike, almost all of the players with the best execution double-pressed their buttons. This made it easier to make links, as well as almost all combos and taps. The reason for the double tap is simple. If you press the button twice in quick succession, you have twice the chance that your link or combination will connect. The same move you would use if you were at a Blackjack table. Now when you scrape your fingers, do it so that the middle finger is in front of the index. You should now press the buttons in rapid succession with your middle finger pressing the button a fraction of a second before your index finger. In Street Fighter 4, I almost always try to double-tap all my links and lock chains. The only time I don’t is when I’m hitting three shots in quick succession. This means that I have a higher hit percentage on my links and combos, which means I have a higher win percentage. Let’s say you were 90% accurate on your combos, but once you started double-tapping, you were now 95% accurate. Over the course of 20 games, that extra 5% would give you an extra profit, in theory. Of course, in the real world it may take more or less time to win a game with your added precision, but you get the idea.

  2. Building the maximum amount of meter possible

    As I got better at 3rd Strike, I started noticing little opportunities to build more meters than I normally would. Playing a character like Urien, where his entire game is based on him having a meter, I started to make sure that he was using each opening to build as much meter as possible. For example, if you knock someone down in the corner and they don’t roll, how many strong and fierce standing can you get out before they get up and which or both build more meters? Another situation is after hitting them with D + FP -> Entry. Do you just run across the screen? Do you make a dash and then a partitioned Headbutt? Or you do F + MP, Headbutt (credit to Emphy) to cross the screen and be in your opponent’s face right when they get up. The last option generates the most meter and that extra meter that you get every time you are in that situation adds up. How many times have you been in a situation where you wished you had just one or two more movements of the subway? How would you change your game if you had that meter you need most often? Once you realize how much meter has been missing, you always want to make sure you take advantage of every meter building situation. An example from Street Fighter 4 is what Balrog does after hitting his Ultra. The Ultra hits them so high and Balrog recovers so fast that you have time to make a few moves. I see many Balrogs just walking or running forward after hitting the Ultra, rather than thinking about how they can use these extra few seconds to build a little more meter than they would have done otherwise. Other Balrogs will make a special move to close the distance, like FK Dash Upper. This generates 20 EX meter points according to the data in the table. The Turnaround Punch, however, accumulates 30 points. This is a 50% increase. Thanks to Ronstoppable for bringing that to my attention. The beauty of this is that against many characters, you can do two Turnaround Punches and then a meaty Dash Straight jab. This is 100 total EX meter points (30 Turnaround Punch + 30 Turnaround Punch + 40 Blocked Dash Straight), or a 300% increase. That’s a huge increase when you think about the total number of games you will win due to the extra meter you built.

Stay tuned for the second part of this series that premieres on Sunday. In the meantime, think about this next time you play and see if you can get into the habit of making these small adjustments to your game and creating more.

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