This guide is intended for new players who finished the tutorial, played some matches online, and are wondering where to go from here. If you are frustrated from losing online a lot, take comfort in the fact that every single fighting game player knows your pain. Fighting games are a genre where you will get beat up a lot before you get any bearing on what is going on. Even the best players all started at this skill level. It's worth emphasizing: when you are new to fighting games, you will lose a lot. If you can accept this, then you can really start to enjoy and explore fighting games.
Remember it's up to you to figure out how you want to enjoy Skullgirls or any other fighting game. Some people get a lot of fulfillment out of the self improvement aspect and competing. Some have fun simply from playing with their friends. Others find the most enjoyment in labbing out the game to find cool tech and combos. There's no one right way to play the game, but as long as you are having fun with the game then that's what really matters.
Work on one concept at a time
A great thing to do as a beginner is to focus on one concept at a time. There's a lot to unravel when it comes to fighting games, and if you try to understand it all at once it will quickly get overwhelming. Pick one thing to work on, and play with just that thing in mind. Don't concern yourself about anything else going on during the match, just focus on that one thing. It's important to have some kind of goal or thing to think about while you're playing, since you can start to see small improvements in your play. Having the goal "use pushblock in a match" is realistically achievable against a more skilled opponent, and it helps you piece together how you are supposed to use the concept in a real match.
Here's some ideas of things to work on when you're first learning Skullgirls. Be sure to also watch videos of other people playing to see how the different concepts are used in matches. Doing each of these things right will take time, and you will lose a lot at first trying to implement these things. Try to have an experimental attitude about it and you'll find yourself learning a lot! Improvement comes through lots of failure and trial and error, so don't be afraid to lose and don't give up!
- Focus on applying the basic game mechanics that are taught in the tutorial in real matches. (such as pushblocking and reversals)
- Become comfortable with your character's important moves, and get an idea of how they're used in a match to achieve your game plan.
- Then learn how to maximize your reward off those moves, whether it be a combo or a knockdown. The character pages can give you ideas for these.
- Learn a combo that you can execute in matches. Even if it's a very short combo, a combo you can pull off 95% of the time you try it is always better than a better combo you drop the majority of the time. A good goal to work towards is being able to do a combo with a restand, which allows for an easy reset point. Check out the combo sections on the character pages for ideas.
- Also familiarize yourself with the concept of hit confirming, which in simple terms is recognizing if your move was blocked or hit. If it hit you want to perform your combo. If not, you will want to change your response.
- Familiarize yourself with how frame data works with respect to punishing moves. Learn about block advantage (listed under "on block" on a move's frame data) and why some moves can be challenged or even guaranteed to be punished if you block them.
- Learn which moves your characters have that can mix up an opponent blocking low or holding up-back (lows, highs, and throws)
- Learn combos off these mixup moves
- Understand the basics of team building and assists, at least on a surface level.
- At minimum, know how playing in a team changes your damage, health, and options compared to solo.
- Also learn how red health can be regenerated/taken away in both solo and team scenarios.
Play similarly matched opponents
Playing someone who will convincingly beat you each match can be too overwhelming to learn from. On the other hand, playing someone you can convincingly beat will not provide you with much challenge. An ideal opponent is one where you can go back and forth on win streaks and try new strategies. Additionally, talking while playing is great for learning, solidifying concepts, and just making it a social activity. Fighting games are perhaps the most fun when you have a group of people of similar skill level to play and talk with, so check out the community page to find out how to get involved with the Skullgirls community.
Learn from your losses
As for how to improve in a more general sense, one of the most valuable habits to pick up to improve at fighting games is to think critically about your losses and to focus on learning instead of winning. You can lose 100 times but if you are just hitting playing again without considering the content of the match then it is not nearly as useful. This isn't easy as a new player since your ability to analyze and think about the game isn't there yet, but it will get easier the more you do it, and it will only get more beneficial.
After playing a lot of games, take some time to reflect on what went wrong and what problems you encountered. Viewing your own matches is essential to figuring this out. The PC version can save replays in game, and the PS4 lets you save recordings with the share button. After you identify one major problem, think of an idea for a solution. Training mode is especially useful for this. If you are having trouble, watch videos of other people playing your character for ideas. Then, next time you play, try it out and see what happens. Even if you lose, you can still learn something new and apply it next time. Winning against players who usually beat you won't happen overnight - much of the joy of fighting games comes from the process of learning, applying new strategies, and seeing small improvements over time.
Don't hesitate to ask questions if you don't understand something. Many people online are experienced and are happy to help new players. In fact, coming up with questions to ask more skilled players can be one of the best ways to gain more insight on a topic. The more specific question you can ask, the more the other person can understand what you're asking and give you a detailed, helpful response.
|Skullgirls 2nd Encore+|
|Help||FAQ • Controls • Glossary • UI/HUD • Training Room • Frame Data • Hitboxes • Beginner's Guide • Team Building (WIP)|
|Characters||Filia • Cerebella • Peacock • Parasoul • Ms. Fortune • Painwheel • Valentine • Double • Squigly • Big Band • Eliza • Fukua • Beowulf • Robo-Fortune|
|Mechanics||Movement • Attacks • Defense • Team Mechanics • Combos / Damage • Advanced Mechanics • Esoteric • Frame Data|
|Other||Community • Videos • PC Launch Options • Patch History • Extra|