What Is Difficult About Learning Fighting Games? - lightslingergame.com

What Is Difficult About Learning Fighting Games?

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Hint: It’s the same thing that’s difficult about every other competitive game.
also, most of the arguments that y’all are going to get into in the comments we’ve discussed in some older videos:

streamed Mar. 31, 2021

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Editing/Thumbnail by Magic Moste:

Addendum: this mf sajam need to turn off auto-focus bruh im heated


  1. I feel like we have this discussion a few times a month

  2. this is why I say I'm not great at fighting games: I can fight the computer (mostly) but I have basically no knowledge of how to play against another player.

    gonna try to conquer that hill with Strive 🙂

  3. I kind of get it. Like most competitive games the build of the master curve is in the meta layer learning how to play around your opponents that's the real grind in fighting games no doubt where you're going to spend hundreds and hundreds of hours. I think the problem is there's a lot of execution barrier that's pretty front loaded in the genre compared to others. Like anyone can hop into a shooter and if they just grind enough games eventually their aim will be good. You aren't going to learn shit for combos if you just grind games. Depending on how you play you may or may not build the motion input muscle memory. Its certainly easy to just give up on them and work your game plan around them instead of climbing the execution barrier.

    I think its a lot like SC2 were like all that strategy and meta layer kind of takes a backseat to just grinding build orders and macro execution at the begging, like cool you want to get to the strategy and the micro the cool part of the game, but you just have to do all this do diligence first, you can out smart them and outplay them all day but if they just out build you it often doesn't matter you just lose the war of attrition to the dude with more stuff. You don't have to start by grinding out your macro, but at some point relatively early in your experience you just have to go and looking shit up and send some time vs bot just grinding out execution skill.

    Its kind of similar in fighting games you've got to pay an execution tax upfront if you want to playing on relatively level ground. Otherwise the other guy gets twice or more off every neutral win than you do. You don't have to do it at the start, you can just jump in and play off the bat, but your gonna plateau harder and faster in fighting games if you don't spend some time grinding execution in the begging compare to more popular genres like shooters. Now skill transferability helps, once you've learnt one game its a hell of a lot easier to get into another in the genre. But I think this is the thing that keeps people out of fighting games. If you are learning a shooter you could spend like 90-100% of your time just in the game grinding shit in the begging never looking into external resources or looking over maps or grinding aim, or combos or w/e other tech the game may have. In a fighting game, your first fighting game, you could be spending maybe up to like a third of your time just grinding shit at the begging just trying to get your head wrapped around some fairly basic shit like motion inputs and even simple combos. It gets better as time goes on, and you need to grind less and less comparatively just like SC2 again, but its that initial hill, that first bump that keeps people out in my opinion.

    … wtf am I doing typing up essay on youtube comments smh.

  4. How is it that people can and won't give up to learn to rocket jump, surf surfaces, instantly build a 30 meter tall tower, do trick shots, but when it comes to learning inputs, mobility options, and pretty much any fighting game stuff they just give up instantly

  5. What makes fighting games hard for me are the inputs. My hands are too slow to input a dp even when I see an opportunity to use one, or playing charge characters like guile or potemkin. So games like Tekken have always kept me interested. I'm not totally good at it, but I'm competent enough until I choke on a combo or something and lose. Imagine how happy I was when games like DBFZ and Power Rangers came into the scene!

  6. Sajam went from stroking his hair all the time to now stroking his beard lol xD

  7. Honestly I struggle with this. I go to training mode trying to do combos…but I realize in the moment I can do any combo I feel like as long I have some understanding of it. When the thing I really struggle with is actually using my character in a way that is useful in any situation. Literally the only thing I lack is experience. I usually pick characters with explosive damage too. So it doesn't help me. Usually when I do win it's because of some ridiculous combo I have no business hitting. Lol

  8. This video applies pretty much word for word to League of Legends too.

  9. Someone like me who has never played fighting games, when i picked up DBFz, i thought it was fun for a while but eventually it just became too much to even understand what was going on. Button mashing was fun but got boring, doing anything other than pressing the same button just couldn't happen as my hands didn't do what my brain was telling them to do and then eventually i just gave up.

    As much as i enjoy watching fighting games, i just can't bring myself to play them. It's always a horrible experience

  10. Sajam could talk about this for the next 10 years and I wouldn't get bored of it.

  11. 3:14 It is important to avoid ableist presumptions. Some people have physical characteristics which increase the practice necessary to improve execution, and some inputs may be truly impossible for a given player. This is akin to the elitist presumption which goes something like: "no one is too poor for X; if you love X enough, then you will find a way to afford it."

  12. Something I've been doing over the last few days is just going on online and losing. Yeah, I said it. I'm losing.
    But it's been fun, and I've been learning a lot very quickly. What moves let me low-profile, what characters I can't do it against cause they'll just punish me anyways, distances I can safely react to projectiles (with my crappy reflexes) that I can still get a jump-punish, stuff like that.

    And it's been really fun. My execution still needs a ton of work- I have trouble wake-up DP'ing which usually ends up with me eating a meaty combo, but about 1 in 3 matches I can get it out, and I feel awesome when that happens. And I can win about 1 in 5.
    It's an actually terrible win-rate, but every match is feeling like micro-wins to me.

  13. Taking responsibility for your actions and not hiding behind your teammates like most online games lol

  14. Learning and getting better at fighting games(or any competitive thing ever) is about learning to be your your coach. That is the most easier said than done thing about fighting games as no one expects to have to play a "video game" you have to have this crazy journey of self mastery. Well that's how it feel for me and what makes fighting games sick to me, but you can say that for getting better at anything. The problem for me about fighting games and why its hard for beginners is everyone looks up to the pros when they first start(since the pro scene is the fgc); there is no such thing as a casual audience for fighting games and that's what hurts it the most.
    Everyone overestimates how good they are at fps games, but no one compares themselves to the pros in those games and never get that realization at how high the skill gap really is in most games. I love the pro scene but I want fighting games to grow to where the casual audience can thrive which is the most important thing we need. Thank you for my ted talk and thanks for keeping it cool Sajam

  15. A lot of the times with new people the execution turns them off. They're all like "Why should I learn how to throw hadokens when I'm gonna get pumbled anyway? Is this a game or a job?" I think games like Fantasy Strike will help a lot because they don't require you to be good at execution or have to practice it and can just skip right to the fighting.

  16. It takes a while to figure out how not to mash, and forever to relearn when to mash. That's pretty hard.

  17. Uh oh, this made it to r/games where people are responding to the title of the video without actually watching the video

    I don't understand why this happens with so many of your videos similar to this lol

  18. Play sf all my life on pad I wanna play on stick and I just can’t Feel so natural pad to me; in the other hand I started playing tekken with my stick and is so easier because I learned from the first time on stick 🙁

  19. This is one of my favorite videos of yours, great topic and great discussion points! That analogy about pilots towards the end feels like most people's college experience. I definitely lost the passion I had for my major by the time I graduated.

  20. everyone waiting for the time skip to amazing gains after the motivational dragon ball 10min training session. you feel pumped up and ready to go, then after 10mins the real work starts and it gets hard, so you quit. but nothing feels better than seeing someone train for 10mins then cut to beating the shit out of everyone. 10mins of hype 10,000hrs of work.

  21. I believe fighting games learning curve is the closest to the real life struggle of acquiring new skills. No matter what you learn you always have to adapt and learn anew, because the mechanisms, possibilities and mind games of the actual multiplayer are too many.

  22. 6:35 if your fighting game is Soku, you still have to learn weather patterns and ground control!

  23. I love when u play indie games sajam. There's this one on mobile called dualsouls and it has rollback netcode + online maybe check it out? Stay goated

  24. Yeah I’ve been a beginner for 5 fucking years apparently

  25. Ye, learning combos is def hard. And truly, learning when to press buttons and the thinking process behind it is many times more difficult.

  26. I think this question is answered very differently when you're a new player than when you are more experienced.

    For me, it's basically a lot of what you said. Strategy, wondering what to do in a given moment, being aware of your options and your opponent's, realizing your mental state and the opponent's, etc, are some of the things I spent most time learning and practicing. It's what's most difficult for me and what I see when I watch better players play. But honestly, I love fighting games too much to step away from them no matter what comes out and what the new fighting games "meta" becomes. And yes, execution still takes some time getting used and consolidating, no matter how many previous fighting games you have played before and no matter how "dumb down" mechanics or inputs are.

    For new players, it's hard to point one thing, but even learning a combo and realizing you can't do 2 or 3 specific notions in a row is enough to give up on a fighting game. Also, knowing one of your friends has been playing X game or X fighting games for over Y years discourages them to try getting better because "I've got a lot to catch on. I'll never beat this guy". Getting rekt without knowing what's going on while your friend seems to be in total control is very discouraging. Getting beat by this guy or seeing a match where you had the life lead go south seems to have too much mystery for some people. They simply feel they just can't win.

    They start asking questions but, on my experience, is not strat questions, the questions are "wtf happened? How did I lose so bad? When I had a chance, how did I end up losing?" And they just don't know the answer, your friend beating you either doesn't wanna tell you or starts a long ass explanation with weird terms common in the FGC.

    A lot of friends that I've talked to about fighting games get surprised when I tell them of "turns". It doesn't make any sense for them and for others, they just don't know when it's okay to press buttons

  27. "Double O agents don't just have a license to kill, but they also have a license not to kill"
    It is good to know how to press 6Heavyslash, but it is also good to know when not to press 6H

    But if you are Faust player though…

  28. I think a big part of the problem is that while yeah you can win with just blocking and punishing with sweep for example its not really fun because it doesnt tap into the fantasy that people get into fighting games for. Like yeah you win against other beginners but you feel lame doing it and it kills the fun you thought you were going to have.

    People new to shooters might win more by sitting quietly in corners waiting for someone to walk by that they can mag dump but i doubt theyre going to have a good time staring at the wall texture 99% of the time. So instead go out there, learn to aim by taking gunfights and it will all come naturally from there because its just aim and shoot at the end of the day.

    You dont really learn the cool fighting game combos by hopping into an online match and throwing inputs at the wall seeing what sticks, youre just learning bad habits and when those four heavy move chains stop working youre going to be even more behind. To learn the cool and functional stuff you have to learn that stuff outside of the actual game in a training mode of some sort before you can realistically try to pull it off against other players. I assume this is in part what turns people off learning fighting games, learning by doing is one of the most common and intuitive ways to learn after all.

  29. Lets be honest : are fighting games that hard?
    Lets compare the competitive side to sports. Or lets compare them to more populated competitive games like shooters and mobas…
    What about execution? Is it that hard? Isnt playing an instrument a lot harder?
    Then whats the issue? I think expectations. People think that they are like other video games : I will win. I dont need to be "good", I will win. Because that is literally all what other games are about. They even removed lifebars from shooters…you automatically recover from taking bullets now….
    So people think the same about FGs. They dont imagine they have to learn or improve. And the improve part buthurts everyone. How dare a game asks me to improve?
    Then good luck trying to explain to someone that the fun part is actually all the learning phase and the actual selfimprovement phase. Winning is just the icing on the cake.

  30. As a beginner, I question myself daily if I'm cut out for the genre or not. I'm discouraged by my inability to execute combos on my pathetic Logitech F310 gamepad. And I don't know if I'll ever become good enough to enjoy the genre.

  31. I think one of the things that goes unexplored about the difficulty of learning fighting games is actually the combination of how little full sequence repetition may occur regarding a situation so you don't really get a chance to learn what to actually do in a match. For example, in a game like DBFZ, the what do I do if I block a vanish on the ground situation can go so many different ways against so many different characters that you really can get lost in how to actually deal with it and understanding the key elements of what to look for in that specific moment. One of the things I've noticed is that people who play single-player games predominately are used to a certain level of "certainty" regarding the games rules, but more importantly, how the AI will respond. Thus, there used to just building a simple algorithm and going with that and it working like 99% of the time whereas you can't really do that (easily at least) in a FG. When I talk to them about their frustration – it usually boils down to "I was doing something that worked before and I really have no idea why it doesn't work now"

    The other thing that I think is very tough (but still universal to a lot ofmulti-player games) is that it can be very difficult to understand what is a bad habit because the only feedback you'll get about something being a bad habit is when it doesn't actually work anymore. For a lot of single-player games, if it works, it's probably a good habit in all scenarios because it won't be changed up OR if it doesn't work, there is a very easily identifiable reason and it's very easy to switch. The classic example would be using something like a Magic spell in a RPG to just kill enemies and then running into an enemy that is impervious to that magic spell. One or two interactions and you just switch. In a FG – losing those one or two interactions may mean your Bo3 set is over and you may have no way of really understanding what happened because then you're next game it works again. In addition, the more deeply ingrained a habit becomes, the more difficult it is to "break it" later on because it may set the foundation for all your decision making. With FGs, until you have a lot of experience, it's very difficult to really even understand what is a bad habit, good habit, or just a bad habit that is working because your opponent is either bad or just not capable of dealing with it. Part of what makes elite and mastery level players so good at a lot of FGs is that their skill set is predominately just super ingrained "good habits" that they usually aren't really going through a giant morass of bad habits and trying to break them and convert them. It doesn't help that most single-player games probably indirectly ingrain a lot of bad habits into people without them even realizing it.

  32. So uh is kamone still fighting the squirells? I need to know who won man

  33. Surprised Borp from Melee wasn't mentioned in the execution vs strategy talk.

    The dude doesn't do any tech, no wavedashing or anything. And he beats people because he has basics down and can read opponents.

    Pretty good examole of low execution but great strategy

  34. What I think a lot of people like Sajam misunderstand is just how bad some people are at mechanical stuff. I have a friend that enjoys fighting games. He's spent hours trying to master basic inputs. He still can't manage to do a DP on command half the time. Like cool, you managed to master inputs and it didn't take that long. So did I. But there are a bunch of people that didn't, and then they get trapped in the mentality of "I know I should have DPed there and I tried but it didn't work" and just say fuck it.

    Honestly, I feel like this mentality is a lot of the reason people feel put off about fighting games. There's this incredibly basic part of the game that everybody goes "Oh that's easy, you just need to practice!" and don't realize how demoralizing it is when they can't do it even when they do practice. This is especially true since people don't really hang out in arcades or at your buddy's house for this shit anymore.

    Like, I learned competitive melee in person and competitive FGC games online. I had an easier time learning Melee, despite the fact that learning the execution for that game is a lot harder than in SFV, because there was an actual physical person there pushing me to be better, knowing that I'm just going to see him again tomorrow. Meanwhile I learned SFV by playing and getting information online, all the while being told how braindead easy SFV is and how I should be embarassed for struggling with it.

  35. Bruh I remember I spent time learning Sako combos with evil Ryu, then I’d lose to good players doing basic combos with evil Ryu and that really taught me a lesson

  36. Sajam: Fighting games aren't hard
    Sajam: Fighting games are hard

    What is this high/low bullshit youtube mixup that he said verbatim???? I can't keep up

  37. Hi Sajam, I haven't even watched this video yet
    I hope you have a great day and will watch the video now 🙂

  38. My Asian neighbour showed me your other channel Anime illuminati

    I then showed him Maximillian and he said "oh he have three, very nice!"

  39. thats why i have a hard time getting into anything thats not umvc3. i run morrigan doom strider, i just spam fireball/shell kick, foot dive/air dash M, or vajra, neutrals easy af lmao and if shit goes south i turn on boros lvl 3 xfactor and just mash buttons. i turn on sfv and i get sweeped or grabbed to death

  40. Execution and muscle memory and practicing inputs and combos to the point that they are second nature is hugely important though because you need your brain to get to the point where it can stop thinking about execution and start thinking about where to stand on the screen, whiff punishing, reactions, and the other weird little nuances. Like doing the half circle back forward supers in Plus R. It took me a few weeks to get to the point where my input was correct and it was coming out and now I don't have to think about making sure it's right I can think about the best places and times and moments to use it.

  41. I immediately thought of Viscant's mvc3 Evo win. Execution is so low on the 'how to get good at fighters' totem pole. In SF4 I played Viper until I realized my inputs were never going to be clean enough to not accidentally cancel her specials. I switched to Ibuki and it wasn't the 1frame links that turned me way, it was how many of her specials overlapped each other when missinputting. I finally settled on Rose because she had only a few special moves that didn't overlap, strong single buttons, and even her most difficult combos only took moderate execution.

  42. It’s important to realise that spending a bit of time to understand what kind of thought processes people use in different situations.
    And it’s also important to realise that a lot of it will be quasi-instinctual at the highest levels.
    A good player can figure out how an opponent likes to play in a set or two.
    An great player can figure out how an opponent likes to play in just a single match.
    That is because they have understood how to keep this information and use it efficiently and effectively. This is always on a scale, never black or white.

  43. G. Dark fantasy ARPG – She Will Punish Them (Beta. HD)

  44. First the racoons, now squirrels are under attack?

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