Basic Fighting Game Skills to Learn First

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It may not be totally clear to beginners what skills to learn first. The skills that are most important can vary by game, some games demand you know at least a combo into super to play them competently at all. Some games have defensive systems you need to use in order to not get overwhelmed, like pushblock. This guide is going to be more focused on a Street Fighter point of view, because it's impossible to cover everything equally.

A good fighting game tutorial should have nearly all of these things, except the last few.

  1. Learn what your normal moves do, and narrow down the list to your most useful normals (jab, poke, sweep, pressure).
  2. Learn how to do all your special moves consistently (can repeat them 10 times in a row without messing up).
  3. Learn how to block high and low correctly, plus the concept of chip damage and blocking a jump-in high, then immediately switching to low block.
  4. Learn how to deal with being knocked down by blocking/throwing on wakeup.
  5. Learn to anti-air consistently with normals and specials.
  6. Learn how to punish unsafe moves on block.
  7. Learn the timing to jump over fireballs, as well as walk forwards and block.
  8. Learn the basics of footsies, moving back and forth, and poking to hit people trying to move into your space.
  9. Learn how to cover knocked down opponents with hitboxes as they get up (meaty).
  10. Learn about frame advantage and whose turn it is on block/hit. Learn which of your moves are plus/minus, which are unsafe.
  11. Learn about tick throwing and attacking out of block to stop tick throws.
  12. Learn how to cancel normals into special moves.
  13. Learn how to jump-in combo.
  14. Learn how to do links/chains of normals.
  15. Learn how to confirm into unsafe specials and supers.
  16. Learn how to perform reversals on wakeup.

The following aren't strictly necessary but are nice.

  1. Learn how to safejump.
  2. Learn how to whiff punish moves by hitting outstretched limbs.