Fighting games can be overwhelming to get into, and Street Fighter 6 is no exception. For many players it’s their first fighting game, and it’s pretty easy to see why. It’s got a wealth of single player content, the game looks gorgeous, and crossplay means you can play it with your friends no matter what platforms you own. Of course that also means these newcomers are jumping headfirst into a series that some have been playing for over 30 years at this point. The learning curve can be steep, but if you’re a first-timer who wants to improve your skills and stop getting bodied online, here are some Street Fighter 6 tips you need to know.
1. Learn the Fundamentals
You’ve got to crawl before you run. One of the biggest misconceptions in fighting games is that you have to memorize long combo strings to win, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. That mindset will more than likely lead to burnout if you solely focus on optimizing routes.
New players should focus on learning the fundamentals before they deep dive into trying to max damage. They should learn the ins and outs of neutral, learn how to apply pressure and control space and know their defensive options before trying to become a combo god. You can spend all the time you want doing combo trials on a stationary opponent, but it doesn’t mean anything if you can’t open them up.
2. Stop Button Mashing on Wake Up
We’ve all been there. You’ve been knocked down on the ground and you want to get back into the action as fast as possible. You start spamming buttons as fast as possible so you can start your counterattack, and you end up getting hit by your opponent again.
Pushing buttons on wakeup is something that needs to be done on a case-to-case basis. You’ve got several options including blocking, attempting a drive parry and rolling backward to name a few. There will be times when it will be advantageous to press a button, but it shouldn’t be the go-to.
3. Drive is a tool, not a crutch
This is one of the most crucial Street Fighter 6 tips. The new Drive system is awesome and adds another layer of meter management to the game. Enhancing your special moves, dashing forward and parrying attacks are all some of the cool things you can do with your Drive bars. It’s a versatile toolkit to be incorporated into your game plan, but players should take care not to try and abuse it too much.
The biggest offender is Drive Impact. A powerful attack that can tank a couple of hits is a nice offensive option, but it’s easily dealt with if thrown out with reckless abandon. The number of times my opponents have thrown out a raw Drive Impact only to get grabbed is too high. Use it sparingly and at times your opponents would least expect it.
4. Training mode is your friend
Training Mode is essential for getting better at the game. You can practice combos here, but it doesn’t just stop there. If you want to climb up in the ranks, you’ll become intimately familiar with the training grounds. You can modify CPU behavior so you can practice stuff like throw escapes, blocking high/low, learning frame data, and earning a deeper understanding of the game.
Compared to something like a training mode in a first-person shooter, you’ll be spending much more time in Street Fighter 6’s mode. It may seem boring sometimes, but there’s no better place to improve your fundamentals.
5. Watch your Replays
Losing to another player is never fun. But every match is a learning opportunity. The best way to maximize your losses is to go back and watch your replays, which can be accessed through the Capcom Fighters Network in-game. The replays have optional settings to turn on input and frame data as well for more in-depth analysis.
Watching replays allows you to pinpoint what works and doesn’t work in your play style. It may be agonizing to watch your humiliation, but failure is a great teacher.
Desmond Leake is a former intern for Paste‘s games section.