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The Strategy of Fighting Games

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Kam Monk

on 14 November 2014

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Transcript of The Strategy of Fighting Games

The footsies game.
You can only use:
Medium Kicks
Throws (MK)
When someone lands a hit, both players move back to the edge of the screen.
First to 3 wins!
Near Perfect Footsies.
Fighting game strategy
Attack, Block, Throw
The neutral game, footsies, and Controlling Space
Mix Up
Fighting games are like Rock Paper Scissors but with space and time involved.
In other words, it looks like...
Why picture it like that?
Think of it this way: It is way easier to block 1 out of 3 actions instead of trying guess 1 out of 30+ different ones.
This is a really broad (and overly simplistic) idea, since fighting games are in real time, reflexes/attack timing can undermine the hierarchy.
Attacks beat Throws, Throws beat Blocks, Blocks beat Attacks
Mix Up
Defined as: A strategy or technique of making one's attacks more difficult to predict. In 2D fighting games it typically involves using Low attacks, Overhead attacks, Throw attacks, and generally any assortment of attacks which require different actions from the opponent in order to defend against them.
What this looks like
Mix Up and RPS blocking
The TAs are going to make you block a Mix Up in the corner.
Mix Master Daigo
At the end of their two LPs, they're going to do a crouch HK or a jump HK.
Block 3 in a row!
Mix Up 2
One person is in the corner, they are trying to get out of the corner.
The other person is trying to keep them in the corner.
When the move is blocked, you are at (more or less) frame advantage.
The move has few start up or active frames, so it comes out quickly.
The move hurts!
The move has long range.
A move has to have
2 positive attributes
, and the
of the attributes it
doesn't have.

Frame Advantage and Frame Disadvantage
Frame Advantage: A state a player is in after attacking where they can
return back to neutral

their opponent leaves either hit stun on hit or block stun. Frame disadvantage is the opposite.

If you've ever wondered why in a fighting game, after connecting a hit, you couldn't hit them again, (or got counter hit when going for the next attack) it is probably because your move had

disadvantage, and your opponent could get back to neutral before you.
How this works.
So if you wanted to counter attack with HK, you'd have to

all the frames you were in block/hit stun,
and then
wait the startup frames (3) of HK, before
the HK would become active.
What do you do if you know you are at disadvantage?
If you know you're at frame disadvantage, a lot of the time, it's a good idea to wait for an opening, instead of counter attacking right away.
Also blocking has 0 frame startup. So as long as your in the right block zone/not getting thrown you'll block the next attack easy.
If the cornered player gets out of the corner when time ends, they win, If they're in the corner, they lose.
Three major losses
In my experience, why new fighting game players lose is 3 reasons.
1. Not
. (at all)
2. Attacking
all the time
. (or button mashing)
3. Not controlling the screen i.e.
Not playing the neutral game.
Those previous skills...
I'm teaching those skills because if you ever find yourself in a bad situation, you can
problem solve
your way out of it.
What I'm going to teach next is how to
not get into that bad situation
. However, that can be easier said then done.
faster you get back to neutral
, the
faster you can make your next decision.
: The State where your character is not committed to an action.
So with all that in mind, do you have to know
the frame data on every move?
Most of the pros don't know all the frame data of their game of choice.

Frame data is a "guideline" for how much disadvantage each move has after being blocked or hit.
The more you play the more you'll start getting a
for what moves are safe and unsafe.
This doesn't apply to every fighting game move, but it can help get an idea of the strengths and weaknesses of a move.
So if a move is
Safe and Fast
It has to be short ranged
and weak
If a move is
Powerful and Fast
It has to be unsafe and short ranged
If a move is
it has to be slow and weak
Example: Ryu's LP
Example: E. Honda's 100 Hand Slap
Example:. Ryu's crouching medium kick
It also means that your opponent's attacks have a way to be "countered".
Jaxel's theory of fighting game attacks
I'd recommend trying to find your "safe" moves first.
Quick definitions
The amount of time of frames it takes you to recover after being hit by a certain attack.
The delay before a player can perform another move after successfully blocking a move.
Basically: That "ooph" state your character is in when they get hit by an attack.
Basically: When you block and your character stays blocking. (usually shorter than hitstun)
The neutral game
The neutral game is a time in a fighting game where
neither player has the advantage or disadvantage

In this state both players are trying to get an advantage.
So basically, it's the opposite of the rock paper scissors block.
You use mix up to land hits, you RPS block to prevent hits.
Being good at neutral means you keep yourself out of bad situations, and can put yourself in good ones.
It's fighting game
preventive medicine

That's why
"How do I not get backed into a corner"
is a better mindset to be in than "How do I get out of the corner"
How to not get in the corner
To avoid the corner, you gotta play
. (despite how ridiculous it sounds.)
And you got to "block actively"
Footsies are more of a
than a
. But it is defined as: A complicated playstyle combining spacing, zoning, and pokes. Generally refers to close- to mid-range poking that revolves around baiting the opponent to throw out a poke and punishing the whiff with your own.

Active Blocking:

The fighting game equivalent of defensive driving. You always want to keep your guard up (duh) but waiting for impatient players to attack can sometimes lead to an advantage.
Why does this matter?
Story time!
Once upon a time, there was a game called Street Fighter IV. It had online play, and an influx of new Street Fighter players.

These players loved to play Ken.
Story time!
Ken was an accessible character, and he has a
really good Dragon Punch.

Like most Dragon Punches, it had few startup frames, and was invincible during that time.
Story time!
So new Ken players started making their whole game plan around this.
And it resulted in a new kind of player:

The Flowchart Ken
How to deal with "the flowchart"
Basically, if you get close to Ken, he's going to Shoryuken. So that leaves 2 of your attack options out.

Attacking will get hit because the dragon punch is invincible and throws are beat by attacks.

So what you do is
This is how
blocks beat attacks.

Ken's dragon punch puts him in the air,
in the time it takes for him to come back to the ground, he can't block.

The Strategy of Fighting Games
So, in conclusion!
There are three phases you can be in:
Offense, Defense, or Neutra

are on the offense
When on the offense:

You are trying to
mix up
your opponent. Most of the time, you are trying to be in this state as long as possible

are on the defense
When on the defense:
You are trying to keep your opponent from hitting you, and get the game back in your favor.
(or go back to neutral)

The game starts off in neutral, a point where neither player has the advantage or disadvantage.
Depending on how this goes, you either...
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