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Argnoth 09-09-2010 01:06 PM

Beginner's Guide To Super Street Fighter IV
Hey Everyone,

Since I've been the go-to guy for people wanting to get started or get better at Street Fighter in the Evil Avatar IRC channel, I've been compiling a list of links to articles and videos to get people started. Don't expect a lot of content here outside of the links, but there will be plenty of content inside of said links :D. I'll add more as I find useful things, and for you old folks who think you're pros, I suggest coming back to basics often. You can never have too strong of a foundation. By the way, most of these videos are part one of a series, I'm only going to link part one in this blog as it is usually AMAZINGLY OBVIOUS how to click on part 2 or part 3.

So here goes! Bear in mind work in progress!!

Table of Contents

Part 1 - Getting Started
  1. Where do I start?
  2. Fight Pad or Fight Stick?
  3. Which Fight Pad or Fight Stick Should I Buy?
  4. The Basics

More to come!

Argnoth 09-09-2010 01:07 PM

Where Do I Start?

Go grab yourself a character and step into easy (or very easy) arcade mode and start banging away on the controller. Get a feel for how quickly the game moves and how your controller works. Fighting games have no tutorial level, it might get difficult at first. Don’t get frustrated if you lose the first or second match or can’t make it past your Rival Battle, all you’re doing here is feeling the game out.

Now that you’ve got a good feeling for the flow of the game it is time to LEARN!

But, What Character Should I Pick?

Easy answer is Ryu, or ANYONE BUT DAN. If you learn Ryu you learn every facet of the game. However, for a more in-depth analysis check out this guide on Shoryuken.com

Okay I have terms and a Character now, how do I use them?

Well the easiest way is to first try to learn how the game actually works. Check out this video series that explains how 2d fighters and SSF4 works:

SSF4 Based 2d Fighters Guide - three videos, watch them all.

Now that you have a good idea of what Street Fighter is, let us go a little more in depth with your particular character. So here is a great Character-specific guide:

I Play Winner's SSF4 Strategy Guide

Pick your character and then they dissect every move for you. They will mention all of the normal moves, all the specials, and even a few set-ups to get your devastating super and ultra moves to connect. Essentially what you want out of this guide is a few go-to moves, what the specials are best used for, what they are NOT to be used for, and why.

Argnoth 09-09-2010 01:08 PM

Should I stick with the pad or get an arcade stick?

GREAT QUESTION and one that should be addressed as early as possible. Here’s the deal: we all learn differently and work with different items in our own unique manner, so what works for Person A won’t work for Person B. If you have no experience playing SSFIV, or any other 2D fighter, I recommend initially jumping in with the normal gamepad of the system you are using (360 or PS3). While there is no problem with sticking to the default controls of a system you have to understand that execution is really strict on fighting games, and an analog stick (like the PS3 or 360 one) is not precise. I also shouldn’t have to mention how poor the 360 D-Pad is either. So if you decide after your initial outing that you do want to play this game I suggest making another investment by either picking up a Fight Pad or picking up an Arcade Stick.

Fight Pad


Arcade Stick


Before you panic over the thought of a Fight Pad vs an Arcade stick, realize that this is called an investment for a reason. Once you've purchased the Arcade Stick you will be using this on any fighting games you buy here after. Fighting games like Street Fighter have tremendous depth that is easy to learn but a lifetime to master. Imagine the first time you played chess. Chess’ rules are easy enough, but getting the strategies down takes a lifetime. Then, imagine playing chess with a cast on both of your arms. That would be playing with the 360 controller or playing with the analog stick on the PS3.

Personal preference would dictate whether to go for a Fight Pad or an Arcade Stick. I suggest that if you have never played a fighting game to go ahead and bite the bullet and get an Arcade Stick, if you learn on the source material, you are building a strong foundation. Also you won’t have to worry about some sort of custom button configuration, you’ll always have your punches on top and kicks on bottom(this applies to Fight Pads too).

Simply put, most fighting game fans over the years have found Arcade Sticks to be the superior control method. The stick itself is generally considered to be more precise and fluid than any d-pad. Having access to six (or eight) buttons on the control panel (no shoulder buttons for awkward timing) is also extremely useful for many advanced techniques in many games, especially Street Fighter.

That being said, when most players first switch to a stick from a pad, they find their execution suffers in the short-term (I can't do fireballs, or I can't do that move from the right side). This is totally and completely normal! It takes most people a few weeks of practice to get used to playing on a stick.

Argnoth 09-09-2010 01:09 PM

Which Stick or Pad Should I Buy?

For Pads

If you decide to use a pad, I recommend getting a MadCatz SF4/SSF4 Fight Pad.

Like this!


They are sturdy, tournament legal (not wireless), and have all six of the action buttons right on the face. They far outpace the 360 or PS3 d-pad, and are better than any analog stick will ever be.

I would NOT recommend however using the 360 controller or the PS3 analog stick. Most tournaments also do not allow wireless controllers either (SOME allow a dualshock 3 or six-axis but few will allow this), so if you decide to attend a tournament at some point, bear in mind that if you use a wireless pad or stick you will likely not be able to use the precious instrument you have become accustomed to.

For Sticks

There are basically three price ranges sticks come in: around $50, $60-$130, and $150+.

Around $50

Get the Mad Catz SE Or The Tekken 6 Wireless Stick (note that wireless sticks are not usually tournament legal, so if you ever go to a tournament this stick would be wasted money)

Like This one!


In the $50 range, you first need to understand that these sticks do not have real arcade parts in them, they use knock off parts. If you want an entry level stick, or aren’t sure how serious you are about fighting games as a hobby, they are good options. This is especially true if you decide that you do not enjoy playing any type of fighting game, you won't feel like you have blown your load on a $100 + dollar stick.

Why the Mad Catz SE? It’s very easy to mod. If you ever decide you want to move on to real arcade hardware, Sanwa and Seimitsu parts more or less drop right in.

Around $100

The around $100 range generally features sticks with arcade parts, full or partial. The big sticks to look out for here are from Mad Catz and Hori.

Like this one!


Mad Catz offers the TE, TE Round 2, and TE - S stick, which feature a Sanwa stick and buttons, in the official Street Fighter Cabinet layout. Hori offers the Real Arcade Pro (HRAP) line, which also comes in a few flavors. Normal HRAPs have a Sanwa stick, but have Hori (read: knockoff) buttons. HRAP SAs are full Sanwa, stick and buttons. HRAP SEs are full Seimitsu. Both the Mad Catz and Hori sticks are easily modded with other parts, so those Hori parts in the HRAP3 line can be easily replaced. The HRAP and TE lines also have slightly different button layouts.

To be honest, you can’t really go wrong with any of them. However, there are certain specialty mods (dual console modding) that are much easier to do on the TE than the Xbox 360 HRAP line.


The $150+ range is generally reserved for custom builders. Building a stick yourself or paying someone else to build it for you.

Like this one!


Sticks in this price range are for people who aren’t satisfied with off-the-shelf sticks, or want to have something unique. If you are just getting started in the arcade stick world, these might be more than you want to pay for. They are worth every penny though!

Sanwa? Seimitsu? HAPP? What are you talking about?

Sanwa and Seimitsu are the two largest producers of Japanese arcade hardware. Which should you get? Ideally, try both out and decide which you prefer. If that isn’t an option for you, just get a stick with Sanwa parts. The Madcatz TE stick is full Sanwa stick and buttons and most of the Hori Real Arcade Pro (HRAP) line has a Sanwa stick at minimum. Seimitsu parts also have a lot of fans, but really, you can’t go wrong with Sanwa.

HAPP is an American arcade part manufacturer, their buttons and sticks take much more effort to engage and require an enormous amount of internal real estate, so you don't see many arcade sticks for home usage using these parts.

Argnoth 09-09-2010 01:09 PM

The Basics

What do all the icons on the UI mean?


What is my Super Bar?

The blue horizontal meter on each side of the bottom of the screen is your Super Meter. This meter increases whenever the character performs a Special Move, hits with or is hit by a Normal Attack, or has the opponent block or blocks an opponent's attack. The amount the meter increases is determined by the move and whether it misses (Specials only), hits, or is blocked. When a move hits or is blocked, the character that performed the move gains more meter then the character that was hit or blocked. This meter can be spent on EX Specials, Focus Cancels, and Super Moves.

What is a Super Move?

After you've filled all four EX bars in your Super Meter you can perform a Super Move. A Super Move is a powerful attack that costs 100% of the Super Meter to perform.

What are EX Specials?

Completing a Special Move motion by pressing two punch or kick buttons instead of one changes the properties of the move. Some moves gain armor, some moves hit more times, some moves have less recovery time, etc.. This uses up one bar (25%) of your super meter. All special moves that do not require a 3 button input, have an ex version. (EX Focus/Focus Cancels, EX Tanden Drive and a few other EX moves in the game require two EX stocks).

What is my Ultra Meter? What does that do?

The Ultra Meter is the circular meter on the outside of each Super Meter. This meter increases whenever the character takes damage or absorbs an attack. The amount the meter increases is determined by the amount of damage taken or absorbed in a 1:1 ratio. Therefore, if the character has taken or absorbed a combined 50% damage, the Ultra Meter will be 50% full. When the meter is at least 50% full, the character can perform their Ultra Attack and then the meter is depleted. The Ultra Attack does more damage the fuller the Ultra Meter is when it is performed.

An Ultra Attack is a powerful attack that can only be performed when the Ultra Meter is at least 50% full.

Okay, I’ve learned a few things...but how do I apply them?

Once again I'm going to link you back to iPlay Winners guide: PICK A CHARACTER AND PRACTICE! We have a rather large community of dedicated SSFIV players, feel free to grab one of them and ASK QUESTIONS!!! There are NO stupid questions.

I think I’ve got the character down but when I go to look up combos I see stuff like s.HP xx L.Tatsu H.DP, Footsies, Zoning, etc.....what does it all mean?

Glossary of Street Fighter Terms

You might hear things and wonder what the person is talking about terms like "footsies" and "zoning" might be foreign terms to you, and if so, you are not alone! This is one of the reasons you are here though, I wouldn't say to try to digest this glossary all at once, but when you come across something you don't know take a look here so you don't get lost. Eventually you'll be using the jargon like a pro.

Argnoth 09-09-2010 01:10 PM

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Argnoth 09-09-2010 01:17 PM

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trent0090 07-06-2011 02:17 PM

Just wanted to say thank you. It looks like fighting games are getting more attention now because of Street Fighter again. By the way have you played the Guilty Gear/BlazBlue games?

guitaryf 08-16-2011 01:52 AM

Very glad to see this thread, let me know how a lot of knowledge.

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blackzc 08-03-2014 09:16 PM

When i was 15 i was major pwnzored by some random person on a SF2turbo cab when it was curent who said (i dont even know what i did) ive stopped taking SF to seriously and just play SF2 on SNES, owning the CPU characters and pretending im still good at SF.

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