Top Tier Tips: In the Lab

Top Tier Tips is a series of bite-sized guides about improving in Street Fighter through various means. We’ll suggest some of the “best practices” used by players to improve more quickly and become tournament caliber players.

Take the first 30 minutes of any training mode session to explore some situation. 

It can be something you’ve had trouble with or a situation you don’t know much about. If you’re just going into training mode even to practice combos, work on learning something new within the first 30 minutes. The combo practice will still be there, and is a great way to wind down in training mode because the requirements are very simple success is easily defined; just completing the combo.

Although I recommend you practice situations with your main character, it doesn’t have to be. Anything that lets you explore the system mechanics is a worthwhile endeavor. If you can’t think of any, here a couple to get you started.

  • What happens when Ed’s V-Trigger and Dhalsim’s Critical Art collide?
  • Can you use Cammy’s c.MK to go under jump attacks?
  • Is Fang’s V-Skill parry-able?
  • Is there a situation where Ryu’s jumping tatsumaki senpukyaku can cross an opponent up?
  • Can you throw Dhalsim during the start of his teleport?
  • Is there a way to tell if Alex is going to do his slash elbow?
  • How does your character deal with Vega’s wall dive?
  • How can M.Bison [Dictator] make his devil’s reverse, move backward?

Still if you’re having problems thinking of a situation to explore, fire up Youtube and take the first 10 minutes looking at match videos of great players and picking one situation, and explore it. There is more than a lifetime of material to be found in these situations.

Great players look at every nook and cranny of a situation and explore different ideas until they can find results. At live practice sessions with Top Japanese players, they intentionally leave a set-up open for a single person, so when that person loses and rotates out to the next player, they can use the open set-up to test the situation they felt they lost in. This makes for instant feedback, and when you get a full grasp of the situation, you can rotate back in and test it out with the person immediately. This in turn builds muscle memory and awareness of what is going on in their play.

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