EVO, the world championships of fighting games, is upon us, so what better time do to a list of 10 Fighting Game Tips. The best fighting gamers in the world will congregate at Las Vegas the weekend of July 13, 2013 to compete in some of the biggest fighting game tournaments we have ever seen. We will see you there!
What's that? You aren't going? You aren't good enough to go to EVO? Nonsense! Even the scrubbiest of fighting game newbies can get better with a little bit of practice. Just follow these 10 Fighting Game Tips and you'll be on your way to EVO in no time.
It seems like such an obvious 10 Fighting Game Tips entry being that we use the internet for just about everything else these days. If you are having trouble learning a new fighting game, check out internet resources. Someone, somewhere, has painstakingly compiled a list of frame data for every move in the game. If that’s too complicated for you, you can find any number of video tutorials on Youtube or strategy guides on GameFAQs. Try to find tutorials made by prominent professional gamers, as they tend to have the best grasp on how the game actually works.
Most people will enter their fighting game career using a default game controller and some become pros using gamepads till the end. However, there are lots of other control schemes out there. Arcade Sticks are one of the most common controllers you will find the pros using. There is also the keyboard interface and the Hit-Box stickless arcade controller for people who have issues with quarter circle motions. Whatever controller you get, make sure they aren’t wireless as wireless controllers are banned at most major e-sports events.
One of the biggest mistakes most newbies make is to spend hours and hours trying to beat the A.I. on the hardest difficulty. Wrong! A.I.s are stupid. Unlike actual fighting game play which involves mixing up the opponent and getting inside their head, A.I. opponents are much more like Mega Man bosses, following a pattern that you have to exploit the gaps in in order to win. This won’t make you a better player at all and will program in some horrible habits that you will then need to unlearn.
A lot of new players pick up a fighting game, choose the character that looks the coolest, and stick with that character forever without ever trying something new. Fighting game characters are designed to mesh with different player archetypes, and you may simply not be using the character that is right for you. Spend time in matches and training mode with every character the game has to offer. You may find that your best character is one of the lesser played underdogs.
Fighting games are more than just a genre of video game where two people beat the crap out of each other. They are a community that brings together competitors from all around the world. Use this to your advantage. Go to a tournament, even if you don’t sign-up for it. Some of the best players in the world will be there and they will be glad to give you tips to up your game. Attend training sessions and meetups and go to FGC parties. The more people you know, the more people you can train with, and the better you will get because of it.
Hit-Confirming makes our list of 10 Fighting Game Tips because it's an important skill to learn. Hit-Confirming is the art of performing a sequence of moves that can lead into a damaging combo should you connect and a safe block if you whiff. Learn this and learn it well. Most newbies simply try to hit the opponent with single attacks, but this is never a good idea. Combos will always net you higher damage than single-hits alone. So know your hit-confirms and attack with them, rather than blindly throwing out your moves at random.
Now that you know hit-confirming is a necessary skill in fighting games, it’s time to learn your first combo. Simple combos are called Bread and Butters or BnBs in fighting game lingo. They are easy to execute and easy to transition into from random hits that connect over the course of a match. They may not get you the best damage, but it’s better to get a little damage a lot of the time, then a lot of damage once in a great while.
For some reason, fighting game newbies love to jump around a lot. It’s faster than walking and jumping attacks tend to only be able to be blocked high so they think it’s the right thing to do. Unfortunately, this is as far as you can be from the truth. In every fighting game, jumping is an action you have to commit to. Many 2D fighters don’t let you block in the air. Even if you can, jumping around basically puts you on a movement path that your opponent can predict. In 3D fighters, jumping is even worse! Usually it’s only used to avoid and punish low attacks. Otherwise it’s barely used at all.
Before you start learning 99 hit combos, remember that the best offense is a good defense… that’s how the saying goes… right? Think of it this way -- even if you can’t combo well and can only hit the opponent once every so often, if your blocking is perfect you will always win the game. Always! If your opponent can’t deal damage to you then he has no hope of winning, even if you just time him out every match. So always focus on blocking first.
Finally, the best advice we can give in our list of 10 Fighting Game Tips is this: don’t button mash. Button mashing never, ever, ever, EVER, helps. Most newbies want to button mash because they think that pressing a button multiple times will make a move more likely to come out. Not true! Button mashing makes a move less likely to come out, or at least less likely to come out when you want it to. You are actually reducing your chances of hitting the button at the right time by mashing it wildly, not to mention it pretty much guarantees you won’t be able to block because you will always be throwing out random moves. Playing fighting games is a lot like playing a musical instrument. It’s all muscle memory. Just take a deep breath and hit your buttons one at a time when they need to be hit. You will be a far better player just by following this simple rule.