SF4 Guide: Analyzing your own gameplay

If there is one thing that is key to improving, it is knowing your mistakes and improving through them. You can do this by watching your replays, and closely analyze them.

Getting your replays

SF4 will save all your latest fights in the Replay Channel, which is located in the Online menu. When you open the Replay Channel, navigate to Battle Log in the bottom right you will see your last 30 fights. You can open them and then you'll see the whole fight. When you open the menu, you can turn the inputs and attack data on. You can also slow the gameplay down.

Analyzing the gameplay

Note: You'll be pausing the gameplay a lot (by pressing the Start button), and it is a good idea to write your mistakes down, so grab something to write them down!

Just look at every move you do. The game starts, and you jump in. Pause. Why did you jump? Did you have any reason to jump? If the opponent threw a fireball and you jumped over it, good work! Nice reaction the fireball. You were just testing your opponent? Dangerous, but a solid reason nonetheless. The opponent didn't do anything? Well now you're just giving your opponent a free anti-air! It doesn't even matter if you hit the opponent, or didn't get anti-aired, because the opponent had the possibility to anti-air you! Write this down! “Don't do random jump ins”. Well that's one point to improve on!

Unpause the gamelay and watch what happens next. Just some walking around and basic footsies, nothing interesting. Wait, you got knocked down! Pay close attention to what you do. Ouch, a wake-up shoryuken got blocked. Pause. This can lead to a HUGE punish combo. Write this down, don't wake-up with special moves unless you are sure it is going to hit!

Do this to the whole match, or even multiple matches. Now you've written down a bunch of notes, you are going to see HOW to improve them. An example of a note list could be this:

  • Didn't anti-air
  • Wake-up shoryuken
  • Didn't anti-air
  • Didn't punish special move
  • Did a fireball, enemy jumped over it
  • Got hit by random ultra
  • Didn't anti-air

As you can see, I didn't anti-air three times. This will be the main point I improve. I talked about improving your anti-airs in the training room in another guide, back to the training room! I also did a wake-up shoryuken and got punished badly for it. I will have to keep myself from doing these, this is something I can immediately change in my game, just got to pay attention to it. Other than that, I got hit by a random ultra, so I know I have to be more careful. Block more and do less. Sometimes doing less is doing more.

Getting the right mindset

When you make a list and want to improve, you got to have the right mindset. Well since you are watching your replays and definitely want to improve, you're on the good track. It is important to remember that you lost the game because the opponent outplayed you. He might have done fireball spam all day, or did random shoryukens, but it destroyed you. It is a strategy that you couldn't beat. Don't call this cheap, but see it as something to work on. I know it is hard to punish Ken's shoryuken, but this is something you can practice in the training room. If there's a lot of lag, you have to change your gameplan a little, if the opponent whiffs a shoryuken, and you try to punish but he mashes another shoryuken in between, just sweep him next time. Sure, it's a pretty bad punish, but it's better than nothing! Adjusting your gameplan is key to improving your game! You have to play differently against every player!

Street Fighter IV | Fighting Games

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