Tips for a complete, utter, babbling idiot of a newbie?

#1 Edited by chrominance (19 posts) -

I just crawled my way through Chie's story mode (or what I assume is the first half of it, anyways) and I'm honestly worried that I won't be able to finish this game, or even get anywhere near the end. My history with fighting games is pretty awful; the only move I've ever learned in any of these games was whatever the most basic fireball move is in Street Fighter 4, and I think it took me ten minutes to finally get the timing right--ONCE. Forget being able to repeat it reliably!

The first fight in story mode destroyed me; it took me three tries to eke out a win. Some fights I manage to win first try by mostly hitting the weak attack/strong attack buttons with some jumping and whatever, but some fights completely wipe me out until I figure out when to jam on the auto-combo button, though I'm not entirely convinced that the game doesn't just drop the difficulty automatically when it senses you're having problems. I'm awful at blocking--I always seem to do it too late, because I get hit multiple times and my character never seems to respond even though I think I'm hitting down and back on the D-pad. I looked up Chie's combos and I can at least do the high counter somewhat reliably, but there's one move (Rampage?) that's down-to-left and then the "red" button (circle on the Dualshock, I think?) that I've never, ever been able to pull off in combat. And that's just the first combo! Knowing when to use the different attack buttons, let alone button combos, let alone the special attacks, is really difficult when you have no time to think. Also, every single fight starts with me trying to high counter immediately, because everyone attacks instantly and if I don't counter or block right off the bat, I lose half my life bar.

Okay, enough of how awful I am. How do I get better? I've read a couple of so-called beginner tips/videos online, but I think they underestimate just how bad people can be at this sort of game--one video I saw talked about the "numbers" being a little inaccurate. Numbers? How about "how do I get this stupid combo to work reliably"? Am I missing something really basic, like a flash on the screen when I'm supposed to hit a button? Do I just need to practice for hours with each character? Or maybe I'm just no good and I'll have to resign myself to watching the story videos on YouTube? Help!

Oh, and also, should I switch back to using the left analog instead of the D-pad? I feel really awkward swiping across the pad for the circle moves and jumping/blocking feels harder too, but I can't tell if that's just because of my general lack of experience or if it actually might be easier for a noob to use the stick instead.

#2 Posted by Morbid_Coffee (954 posts) -

As simple as it sounds, the first step to learning how to play good is learn how to block. You can spend hours in training mode practicing long, 40 hit combos that do half a health bar, but if you can't hit the other guy or don't know how to hit him, then you've lost.

#3 Posted by Mesoian (1572 posts) -

Go into challenge mode. The first 10 steps give you the basic run down of each person's super moves and show you how they work. Once you get a feel for them, you should be okay to beat the story mode.

It's hard just jumping into a new character.

#4 Posted by davidwitten22 (1708 posts) -

Ok, I'm pretty bad too. I had a 16% win percentage in SSFIV (i mean i got the game a year or so after release so there werent many other noobs to play against, but still i was really really bad). The first thing I will say is play through training. Not once, not twice, but as many times as necessary. It took me a months and an eventual google search to learn how to use charge moves. The first mission is to play training and learn how to press the buttons. Then, test the characters in their challenge mode. After getting through 15 or so challenges (aka right when it starts getting hard) take the character into practice mode and try every button in every direction in every situation to figure out what they do. By doing this and playing a few games vs the AI you'll learn what characters you're comfortable with. I can't play Yosuke, or Chie, or Teddie, or Kanji. But I enjoy Yukiko, Mitsuru, Elizabeth, and Naota on varying levels so I play them.

Now, go online and be prepared to lose. A lot. If you don't know how to block a move or what your opponent did, message them and ask them. I learned that I need to sidestep around this attack that labrys does because I lost to it twice and asked how I'm supposed to block it. It's an unblockable, you have to get behind your opponent to avoid damage, then you can punish with a simple mash A combo. With Yukiko (my first and probably "real" main) I only knew a few moves to start. She throws fans, she has the A combo, and you can use your persona to mix it up. That's what I did for a while. After watching another duder play as Yukiko I realized I needed to use my agi skills more, so I started with my regular agi, got used to it, then i added agilao(or maragi? i dont know the attack names tbh). Now I'm refining what I know, plus sidestepping and learning whether i need to block high or low during peoples combos.

Am I good? Good heavens no. I'm bad. But I have a .500 win record online cause there are a lot of people playing atm that are learning, just like you an I. We have lots of lobbies here at Gb where we practice with each other, learn the moves, etc etc. If you have any interest playing this game past the story mode, read and do this. If you don't enjoy grinding to learn how to perform combos, the struggle of practicing how to position your fingers and when to time your strikes, and learning how to block (once an opponent hits you with a move and you miss that block, you're not gonna be able to recover during the combo, especially since the A combo is incredibly safe) then you're gonna have some struggles.

If you just want to play story mode and thats it, go to options and set the comp level to beginner.

#5 Posted by golguin (3832 posts) -

I died 4 times against Yu with Chie's story and I had only gone through the beginning tutorial (not her challenge mode). Later that night I went through a good portion of her challenge mode and learned some combos and a got a better feel for her character. I went through her story mode again (to show my sister) and I nearly beat everyone with a perfect. That was the result of about an hour in challenge mode and then practicing against a dummy.

I would suggest not using the dpad. I started off trying to use it on the 360 controller, but the analogue stick feels a lot better. I also recommend to keep hitting those quarter circles. It was originally a pain to get a move to come out once, but you'll eventually get the feel for it and then move on to two quarter circle moves.

Note that this is my first fighting game ever.

#6 Posted by dogman795 (109 posts) -

You can't block in the middle of most combos, once your hit, you need to endure it. You should try and anticipate the attack before it happens, look for signs that the other persona may be getting ready to do a combo, then starting blocking before they attack you.

If you're stuck in the middle of someone's combo and really need to get out, you can use Burst (circle, triangle, and square all at the same time). It interrupts the opponents combo and pushes them away, letting you have some breathing room. You can only use it when it says "BURST" under your health bar, once you use it, all that's left is the "B", which will fill up as you get hit.

And just on case you didn't know, in the command list and in challenge mode when two things are right next to each other, it means do them in very quick succession. Two things with a + between them means do them at the same time (with some face button combos they will also show the four circles with multiple ones colored, that also means same time). "Charge" means hold that direction for around 2 or 3 seconds. Lastly, the two circles on the left (pink on top, blue on bottom) are square an X. The two on the right (green and red) are triangle and circle.

Hope that all helps!

#7 Edited by Oddy4000 (94 posts) -

Don't practice for hours with each character, pick one character to be your main. Briefly try them all in training mode first, but go with which one feels the best to you. Do that character's challenge mode, as high as you can go. Go back into training mode, and set the opponent to COM and Dummy Settings AI level to 10. The computer will "try" to fight you, but you'll mostly smack the hell out of it. Do this until you feel good about yourself. Then slowly ratchet up the com's difficulty level until you feel appropriately bad about yourself. Repeat this process. After a session of training, go back into challenge mode and try to beat what you couldn't before. Wake up the next day, do that again against a different character's dummy - Half the game is knowing your character, half the game is knowing ALL the other characters and how they fight. Do that 10 more days - If you're that much of a beginner, it takes some time to develop your reflexes and real-time assessment skills. If you can beat up a level 100 dummy, you might feel comfortable enough going online. When a new character online beats the hell out of you, fight against that dummy at level 100 until you (hopefully) know how to avoid being crushed.

As far as general tips, open attacks with light attacks (which you can just spam into a good combo, in a pinch) and start throwing in the other attacks while in your combo. This becomes a safe time to use your persona's attacks. Mobility is a key factor. The jumps, dashes and recoveries let you move into/away from your enemy constantly, trying to keep them off guard. When your enemy attacks, you want to use your mobility and not be where he expects. This allows for openings when the opponent is stuck in his attack animation. The use of your special moves is dependent on where your opponent stands in relation to you. You need to learn the range of your special moves and use them when your opponent is standing there, especially if he's not blocking or as part of a combo.

I don't know what to tell you about blocking - it really only comes into play if your opponent is in an advantageous position and you are waiting for him to burn through his combo animation before you reposition yourself. Evading an opponents attack is better than blocking, as it almost always gives you an opening to get a free attack. If you get caught up in an enemy combo, you should always be ready for when the combo stops to move in a direction you think will benefit you (recovery). Try not to be predictable.

Fighting games are rough to pick up, it's a lot of slamming your head against the wall to build up skills from scratch.

**EDIT** Also, can you just turn the difficulty mode down in the options? I don't know if that only applies to arcade or not...

#8 Posted by MikkaQ (10263 posts) -

What I want to know is how to interrupt or cancel the instant death that people keep whipping out. I'll be having the final round of my life about to get my first online win and twice now I've been denied by an instant kill. They really shouldn't have put a method to punish the successful in there. Especially one that's so easy to pull off, seriously down, down, down, then B+Y? That's a little cheap.

#9 Posted by FluxWaveZ (19305 posts) -

@MikkaQ: The thing is, Instant Kills are very easy to avoid when you know the gimmick behind them plus they require 100 SP to pull off. Once you get experienced with them, they won't be much of an issue unless they're actually set up and not randomly pulled off.

Online
#10 Posted by kjtherocker (4 posts) -

personally im having a hell of a time doing score attack mode story to me is very easy:]

#11 Posted by chrominance (19 posts) -

Just tried out a few rounds of Challenge Mode. I didn't realize it was like Training Mode Pt. 2; most games stick the extra-hard stuff in challenges so I figured I should stay away. Makes a lot more sense and it's a lot easier to learn moves there than by looking at a command list.

I'm still having trouble on some of the timing, especially with the challenges after the auto-combo ones--usually they require all my hits to land, and either my character keeps getting pushed back from the dummy or the dummy manages to block one of my hits before I can complete the sequence. I don't know if I need to get faster or if it just blocks sometimes, and there's nothing I can do about it. Anything involving a mid-air hit followed by a stand or crouch hit is extra tough for me.

My main goal with the game is just to make it through the whole story mode with all the characters, as I bought the game primarily because of the Persona connection. I already know online is probably a no-go for me--the only multiplayer games I ever play are first-person shooters and the like where I'm fighting tons of people at the same time, and so only have to worry about objectives/kill-death ratio, as opposed to "oh great I just got beaten eighty times in a row by a five-year-old with one hand tied behind his back." Though if this becomes the fighting game that makes me like fighting games, maybe I'll change my mind on that. Keep the tips coming, and thanks for the ones you've thrown in so far!

#12 Posted by MyNiceIceLife (612 posts) -

a small suggestion if you really just want to get through the story is to just flip the game difficulty to easy and you should have no problem with the story. it might also help you get a little better cause you have a little more time to get used to everything instead of being destroyed before learning anything.

#13 Posted by dandead (170 posts) -

Spacing is key!

For Charlie for example you know he is going to play like ryu so take that in to account. He can fire projectiles so assume he is going to use them and thus he controls horizontal spacing. If you jump he will try to counter with some kind of uppercut or his persona attack so bare that in mind when deciding what to do next. Certain characters perfer certain distances and each have their own way of controling the screen, over time you will learn this and avoiding, blocking or countering these tricks will become more second nature.

#14 Posted by Vade (393 posts) -

If you can't do quarter circle motion + button reliably, go into training mode until you do.

#15 Posted by kerse (2100 posts) -

@Oddy4000 said:

Don't practice for hours with each character, pick one character to be your main. Briefly try them all in training mode first, but go with which one feels the best to you. Do that character's challenge mode, as high as you can go. Go back into training mode, and set the opponent to COM and Dummy Settings AI level to 10. The computer will "try" to fight you, but you'll mostly smack the hell out of it. Do this until you feel good about yourself. Then slowly ratchet up the com's difficulty level until you feel appropriately bad about yourself. Repeat this process. After a session of training, go back into challenge mode and try to beat what you couldn't before. Wake up the next day, do that again against a different character's dummy - Half the game is knowing your character, half the game is knowing ALL the other characters and how they fight. Do that 10 more days - If you're that much of a beginner, it takes some time to develop your reflexes and real-time assessment skills. If you can beat up a level 100 dummy, you might feel comfortable enough going online. When a new character online beats the hell out of you, fight against that dummy at level 100 until you (hopefully) know how to avoid being crushed.

As far as general tips, open attacks with light attacks (which you can just spam into a good combo, in a pinch) and start throwing in the other attacks while in your combo. This becomes a safe time to use your persona's attacks. Mobility is a key factor. The jumps, dashes and recoveries let you move into/away from your enemy constantly, trying to keep them off guard. When your enemy attacks, you want to use your mobility and not be where he expects. This allows for openings when the opponent is stuck in his attack animation. The use of your special moves is dependent on where your opponent stands in relation to you. You need to learn the range of your special moves and use them when your opponent is standing there, especially if he's not blocking or as part of a combo.

I don't know what to tell you about blocking - it really only comes into play if your opponent is in an advantageous position and you are waiting for him to burn through his combo animation before you reposition yourself. Evading an opponents attack is better than blocking, as it almost always gives you an opening to get a free attack. If you get caught up in an enemy combo, you should always be ready for when the combo stops to move in a direction you think will benefit you (recovery). Try not to be predictable.

Fighting games are rough to pick up, it's a lot of slamming your head against the wall to build up skills from scratch.

**EDIT** Also, can you just turn the difficulty mode down in the options? I don't know if that only applies to arcade or not...

I'm terrible at this game, but this actually helped a lot lol. I'm up to 50 and winning more than I'm losing but I can tell I'm getting better. I did notice that I'm using my persona as Naoto less though as it goes up, I'm assuming thats bad but her persona attacks are kinda hard to get off sometimes, except for the quick ones.

#16 Posted by golguin (3832 posts) -

A big tip I completely forgot about, but was eventually reminded of, is to stop once your thumb hurts. I tried to keep going, but I couldn't hit my quarter circles anymore and I just kept dying.

#17 Posted by Oddy4000 (94 posts) -

@kerse said:

I'm terrible at this game, but this actually helped a lot lol. I'm up to 50 and winning more than I'm losing but I can tell I'm getting better. I did notice that I'm using my persona as Naoto less though as it goes up, I'm assuming thats bad but her persona attacks are kinda hard to get off sometimes, except for the quick ones.

I don't use my persona enough either - Trying to get better with that. For Yukiko, her persona powers seem designed to force a zone defense. I was the Yukiko in the TNT fight 37:40-39:20 - I lose, but I get off my best zone defense combo in the second round before I die. If you don't use the persona attacks much anyway, try to throw them out when you're retreating the persona can take a hit for you, or break your opponent's attack.

#18 Posted by chrominance (19 posts) -

So this is how much of a noob I am--I didn't realize until today that you can't pull off some of the stronger moves until you charge your power meter with small hits! (Or I guess big hits work too, but those seem to leave you open a lot more.) Suddenly Oddy4000's tip about starting with light attacks makes a lot more sense.

#19 Posted by Oddy4000 (94 posts) -

@chrominance: By light attack, I was referring specifically to light physical attack. Heavier attacks have a longer start-up animation - This means if you do a heavy move first (physical or persona) without comboing into it, the enemy will be able to see, react, dodge and counterattack. This is not a hard and fast rule, and may change by character. For instance, Yukiko's hard physical attack is a projectile, so I use that from safety across the screen without worrying about the animation time, the most the enemy will be able to do is rush towards me (and hopefully into a light-attack combo I have waiting for them)

As far as your SP goes, that fills up with all your attack, and power moves (the one where the screens light up like a kaleidascope) cost 50 SP each

#20 Posted by PerfidiousSinn (724 posts) -

I genuinely feel like the Challenge mode is helping me learn quickly. I've never played a Arcsys game before, but before I start each story I progress as far as I can in a character's Challenge Mode, then spend some time in Training actually doing all the stuff.

BTW if you're having trouble with certain combos in Challenge mode, pause and look at the Demonstration to see exactly how to pull them off. If it's still too hard, skip it. Some of these are gonna require hours of practice to get.

#21 Posted by Elazul (1327 posts) -

Just pick Ken and keep doing dragon punches, regardless of how far you are from your opponent.

I mean, what?

#22 Posted by Undeadpool (4902 posts) -

Challenge Mode and just straight Training Mode are your best friends. That and don't be afraid of losing online. I just had two consecutive wins after quite a few losses because after each match, I went back to Training Mode to work on what I was missing. In most cases, it was that I was just flailing because I'd immediately forget how to do moves when the pressure was on, so rehearse the moves until they're second nature.

I'm using Elizabeth and her Persona moves have an INSANE start-up time, but I realized that (at least at low-levels) she is AMAZING at zoning since at certain distances, the start-up time is moot. Little factoids like this that you can only pick up by playing as the character against other people (or by looking up guides once they go up) are KEY to choosing the right character for your personal play style.

#23 Posted by Liquidus (946 posts) -

@Undeadpool said:

Challenge Mode and just straight Training Mode are your best friends. That and don't be afraid of losing online. I just had two consecutive wins after quite a few losses because after each match, I went back to Training Mode to work on what I was missing. In most cases, it was that I was just flailing because I'd immediately forget how to do moves when the pressure was on, so rehearse the moves until they're second nature.

I'm using Elizabeth and her Persona moves have an INSANE start-up time, but I realized that (at least at low-levels) she is AMAZING at zoning since at certain distances, the start-up time is moot. Little factoids like this that you can only pick up by playing as the character against other people (or by looking up guides once they go up) are KEY to choosing the right character for your personal play style.

Yeah, this is definitely the best advice I can give as well. I was just doing terribly the other night and got super frustrated because I didn't know what I was doing wrong but the next day, I tried out some stuff in training mode and tried to come up with an answer to the things that kept getting me during my matches and it definitely improved my playstyle. Since every character in this game plays very different from each other, it's crucial to know how the matchups work. For example, I was having a real hard time with Yu players with that slide and the overhead strike but once I learned the appropriate counter measure against those things, I've been destroying every Yu player I come across.

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