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SF4 Guide: Using the training room

If you are learning Street Fighter, you will be in the training mode a lot. The training mode allows you to practice combo's, anti-airs, the range of your moves and way more. However, what is the best way to use the training room?

Setting up the perfect training room

Before you start, you want to change a few of the settings. Press Start and go to 'Training Options'. The 'Action' is usually Stand, but you can select other things if you want to practice this. The guard should be on Auto Block. This means the dummy won't block, but if you hit him with a move, he will start blocking. This means that you have to actually hit a combo for it to do damage, and makes sure you don't think you hit the combo, while in fact you didn't, but the dummy just didn't block. It's very important to put it on auto block! I put Quick Stand on random, because you won't know what opponent's in real games do. I usually have Counter Hit off, but if you want to practice Counter Hit combo's, turn it on. Stun should be normal, and the S.C. Gauge (Super Meter) and Revenge Gauge (Ultra Meter) on Refill. This will give you a full meter, but if you use an EX move or Super, the meter will drain and slowly refill. If you put it on Infinite, you won't know how much Meter you used, etc. Refill is the best option. Attack Data and Input Display should be on! This will show what inputs you have (and you can see if you input a move incorrectly), and how much damage, stun and hits your combo does. Now you're all set-up, let the training begin!

Most combo's require muscle memory. Muscle memory is gained by executing a combo so many times that your brain can execute it without thinking which buttons to press. This means you have to practice the combo a lot, and training mode is perfect for this. The way I practice combo's, is by dividing them into smaller parts. Let's take a rather advanced Ryu combo: cr.mk > EX fireball > FADC > Ultra 1.

Now we will divide the combo, we take cr.mk > EX fireball as part one. EX fireball FADC (into nothing for now) is part two, then a focus attack into Ultra 1 is part three. Part one seems very simple, but do it a couple of times to get the muscle memory. Now move on to part two, it is a bit harder, but doable after enough practice. Part three is pretty simple as well. So after practicing all three parts individually, it's time to put them together. There we have the full combo! Make sure you hit the combo 10 times consecutively, for the muscle memory.

Now the combo is in your muscle memory, and you can execute it fairly well, but you've never hit it on an actual opponent. The training dummy won't even block! So to practice this, you can go to Arcade Mode and play against an easy or medium NPC. The NPC is very easy to beat, but he moves around, so you can practice the combo on a moving opponent. This is significantly harder than a training dummy!

If you feel comfortable, take the combo to a ranked match!

Practice Punishes

Imagine this: Both you and your opponent are near death, and the opponent (who plays Ryu), sweeps (cr.hk) but you block the sweep. You know you can punish this, so you do some jabs, but they miss. They don't reach! Now your opponent will do a shoryuken and hit your jabs, and you lose the game. Frustating!

Well, this won't happen anymore, because we are going to practice punishes in training mode. The way to set this up, is to pick your character, and the dummy as the one you want to practice punishes against. In this example, the dummy will be Ryu, let's say we play Balrog. Now that you are in training mode, press Start and choose 'Training Options', now set the 'Action' to 'Record'. Exit the menu and you see you have 10 seconds to record the dummy's movement. What you want to do is input sweep and then hold back for a second or two (IMPORTANT TO HOLD BACK, OTHERWISE THE DUMMY WON'T BLOCK), and then press start again. Go back to training options and set 'Action' to 'Playback'. The dummy will now execute the recorder movement the whole time. Get in range, and block the sweep. Now you punish! Just try some stuff out, and see what works! It took me about a minute to find out that I can nearly do anything that reached. Sweep will work, but even the Ultra will work. That's 491 damage, almost half a life bar for most of the cast, just because the opponent decides to sweep.

To find the best punish, you can use Frame Data to find the negative frames on block and the startup frames of your moves, but I'll make a tutorial on how to use Frame Data later, just try what works for now!

Practice Anti-Airs

I've said this before, but Anti-Airs can be, and will be, the difference between winning and losing. So you feel the need to improve your anti-airs? Just hop into training mode! The way to practice anti-airs, is to Record the Dummy with a jump in attack. Now the best way to practice is to record multiple jumps. Do jumps where you perform a jumping medium kick, jumps with you perform a tatsu, but also empty jumps. Make it switch off a little so you have to pay attention when anti-airing!

Try Stuff!

You can literally do anything in training mode and you'll improve! I usually try some random stuff out, and I discover lots of stuff by doing this! Just move around doing random stuff, and you might hit a combo you didn't know even existed! Play around a little, it is fun!


Street Fighter IV | Fighting Games


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