Why Competitive Fighting Games are Niche - lightslingergame.com

Why Competitive Fighting Games are Niche

TheoryFighter
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One of many reasons, obviously.

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50 Comments

  1. Team tournament formats are also super fun and very enjoyable theres that element of training with your team mates and then if you lose not having to hold the loss by yourself or the joy of winning with team mates is such a fun dynamic

  2. i still don't understand why fighting games don't have server like cs go or valorant or league of legends .. fighting games per 2 per is trash if they lag we both lag …

  3. >hide cursor, spam RDM select until enemy picks
    1v1

  4. I always look at losing as an opportunity to learn.
    In fact, what I hated about team games was that I sometimes wasn’t sure if I needed to improve (in a specific situation) or it was my team that played it poorly. I hated that there was always someone else to blame. In fighting games I knew when I fucked up and it made it easier to improve.

  5. We need more tag-team modes where you can play with a friend; that way, you can blame them when you lose!

  6. While I DEFINITELY get what you were trying to go for with the counter strike example, it just doesn't equate.

    Your muscle memory in shooters directly transfers game to game on PC. It's just a matter of sensitivity / FoV and there's tons of converters for that. You're improving your aim in general, not just in CS.

    You can't make the same argument for fighters. Yes experience in previous games will let some knowledge transfer over. But the other half of the battle, muscle memory, is something that simply doesn't transfer directly over. My muscle memory in BlazBlue doesn't apply to Guilty Gear for example. Combo routes / punishes are going to be different

    I wish fighters were more popular like a lot of us here, but let's be honest about the topic

  7. I think you're right. I love fighting games, but I most often play them offline. 1 vs 1 competitive matches is something I can do but only sparingly, I find it very stressing.

  8. Been saying this for 10 years. Eastern cultures score much higher on dunning Kruger studies while western fails. Nobody in the west plays 1v1 games (starcraft, fighting games) but they're very popular in eastern cultures. West is also incredibly toxic. None of this is a coincidence

  9. In the end, fighting games is all about managing your ego in both the highest points, and lowest points, in a crazy level of competitive heat.

    When you get into fighting games, you begin to understand and accept the reality that the "player base" is a very strict pyramid structure of hierarchy where only maybe the highest 20~30% are competent enough to even comment about the game or its balance issues, and the rest 80% of people don't even know what they're talking about. It tends to get very "elitist" — but only because that is the only possible option in a world where who you are directly equates to how good you are.

    This, obviously, is a very different world of gaming that is largely incompatible with the nature of "casualized" gamers in this day and age — where everyone expects to win, or everyone expects at least some sort of reward or gratification regardless of how good they are — which, needless to say, is the polar opposite of fighting games, where even with your greatest efforts you may never be able to defeat "that one guy," and you're constantly made aware of that as a fact that your efforts do not always grant you desired results, and there's always someone above you who is better than you. Only those who accept this ego-crushing moment, and still move on, can really get into fighting games.

    TL;DR — it's the difference between people who play sports as fun and leisure, and people who play sports with a professional mindset. Fighting games are heavily, heavily slanted toward the latter.

  10. It’s by no means exclusive phenomena to fighting games, and I want to disclaimer this by saying I don’t think this is universally true by any definition , but I feel a lot of what turns people off is the perception of the core userbase being unfriendly and unwelcome to new players, unless those new players either pick up the meta very quickly or are ‘happy’ to take a ludicrous amount of licks and meanspirited jokes at their expense. Toss that in the ring with the fact that getting really good at fighting games is difficult for the reasons outlined in this video, and things like learning a lot of terminology/meta that changes between franchises (and even different games within the same franchise), and it comes across like it’s too much work for very little reward until you’ve paid your dues in misery and actual funds.

    Again, do not take that as me saying that it is universally true, nor that it is a potential scenario exclusive just to fighting games- the team based online games mentioned here would arguably have that problem in greater numbers due to the higher number of people playing. Hell, as someone who’s sunk time into Splatoon 2 general competitive scene over the last three years, I can tell you that there are some right dicks both peppered across the playfield and hanging around in the top tiers of peak competitive play- and that’s an online multiplayer game primarily aimed at a younger audience then many games of its type, where communication between players in matches was deliberately restricted to avoid that problem being more severe (meaning The Salt™️ is almost exclusively found across social media). I’m more just highlighting that that’s a perception that a lot of people have come to level at fighting game audiences at both the general play level and the competitive level, particularly as the emphasis on single player modes has lessened and online multiplayer has become more accessible (though whether the netcode is good is of course it’s own can of worms). There isn’t really much that can be done beyond what you’re doing here with this channel, really- breaking things down in a way that’s easy for people to digest, so it seems less intimidating and less like terminology/meta overload, and demonstrating that the scene isn’t all like that- and that’s something that no one person can do on their own, and likewise isn’t something that everyone can or should turn into what amounts to a second (or even primary) job. All anyone can really do is just try not to be a dick to new folks, and I can personally attest to the fact that plenty of competitive gamey people are very much not (both in my own sphere in the Splatoon scene and by virtue of knowing a couple of semi-competitive fighter players who are very good pals), and with luck the perception will begin to shift.

    Well, that, and Capcom could stand to stop making their male characters look unreasonably god damn ugly. Reckon folks might be more inclined to give SFV a fair shake if the dudes didn’t look like that /jk

  11. Just stopping by on this random video to say your pfp looks sick. Cheers

  12. Simple, they are competitive. No matter what, someone will win and someone will lose. Some people don't want their ego bruised like that and choose to not play instead.

  13. fighting games are harder than shooting games imo,
    i am alright at fighting games i can see reads do good combos ect, but i wouldn't win any pro tournaments
    (sadly) but shooting games i am even worse at but my wins are better. why? because my teammates can back me up and make up for my flaws. you don't have someone to pick you up in fighting games.

  14. the convoluted inputs are a problem as well in the major games. the obnoxious input strings or master move lists (tekken hwoarang anyone) are a big barrier to entry and progression. compare all that to pressing 'shoot' and the character shoots. I get aiming is a big deal and there are weapon choices rounding out the meta but, they're not doing FADC's into 7-input ultras all with split second execution at any level. shout-out to Sirlingames for trying to fix that

  15. Another big factor is the sheer amount of good fighting games out there.

    There are simply so many, and so many still viable iterations of them, that it becomes really hard to choose.

    When it comes to RTS games, there are basically only three or four to choose from and they are so vastly different in how they play and how big their communities are, that it becomes easy to choose. Starcraft 1, 2 or warcraft 3. Maybe age of empires 2 if you wanna count that.

    Same goes for non-mobile Mobas. You have league of legends and dota. No other serious competitor.

    For shooters there is a bunch more but i think no more than 10. Its alot allready but when it comes to FGs there are lile 30+.

  16. I dunno if it's considered an fighting game in the strictest sense, but imo for honor found a nice balance.
    It had both the classic duel 1v1 mode, but also a lot of team modes based around objectives; they were perfect to start out, you get the basic feelings for the controls and the characters.

    Ofc translating this stuff to a 2d, but also a 3d fighter like tekken, is absolutely hard and not easy at all. And I genuenly think people should always have someone there with them to explain them the game, it makes it so much easier and much more engaging

  17. Also team games are just more funny for some people, I have a friend that prefers rocket league 3v3 over 2v2 because he feels is more difficult due to have to deal with more stuff, variables and people, making it more chaotic and hard in some way.

  18. This was one my reasons for stating why fighting games are impossible to get into, it's also one of the reasons why I really like fighters, because it's boiled down in a good way.
    One of the big reasons why I think is because of how brutal the skill floor is, and how amazing the FGC actually is.

  19. You are too deep in that fgc circle jerk hole, you don't see the problems. Try to talk to people and not just preach on your ivory tower how newbies feel.

  20. First fighting game i owned was third strike, i remember losing 50-70 times in a row before winning, but when i did i won like 12 in a row

  21. i honestly love playing multiplayer games- when im having an off day, someone else can carry me. the problem is when im not having an off day, and noone can accept their mistakes or lack of skill and flame others. and somehow, i seem to much more rarely have off days than any of them. look at gankers in for honor. if you cannot fight someone 1v1, your bad. even then, i can way too consistently fight 2-3 people.

  22. I remember it taking months before I even had the balls to even put my quarters up to play at the arcade. When I finally did, I got smoked every time, for a long time. But it was a great experience because there was a sense of accomplishment that isn't matched (for me) in any other games. Damn, I really miss the arcade experience from the early to mid 90s.

  23. Like many insightful points, it sounds obvious when you hear it stated plainly – FGs aren't as popular because you have to carry the weight of your own ineptitude. Really interesting video 🙂

  24. 3:47 is that a mod or an actual costume, because Rashid as Air Man is od. 🤣

  25. Doing flick shots in cs takes less time to learn and is overall more effective than learning one fucking character in a fighting game. Not to mention you have to learn the possible match ups, then execute that crap in the heat of the moment. When most of my initial time is spent in the fucking training arena than playing, sorry but I'm not having fun. Don't kid yourself, it is the entry barrier.

  26. TLDR; fighting games are niche because you suck.

  27. Honestly sometimes even having the attitude of I am going to get bodied but it is okay I can learn is not enough. I will always remember what happen to me in Skullgirls.

    it was about 2015 I was playing on PS3 so the pool got really small this was after Beowulf was release so I lab him I wanted to see how it would go. I, unfortunately, got paired with one of the like top 20 players.

    I sucked it up I tried my best got destroyed. and I was fine. The dude wanted a rematch and I thought it would be the respectable thing Did it 3 times no problem. the four-time the dude decides to do those things to rub salt in the wound.

    You know the taunting, the pick your character and beat you with them, that shit. in fairness Maybe he was trying to show me combos. 1) I don't care cause seeing the combo is not going to help me at my level. I can't understand a combo by sight. 2) I can't possible know that is what he was trying to do. so I am reading the worst possible meaning.

    I was so disgusted not even tilted. I put my controller waited for him to win exited the game and then I did not play the game for like 3 months.

  28. Biggest hurdle for me trying to get into a fighting game and become competent has become the insane control scheme for even a single character.

    It's never simple. It's always overly complicated: Having to learn what strings into what, what moves are good against what characters, and how to input them 100% reliably: On top of quarter-circles, half-circles, and etcetera… All on top of 90% of fighting games being extremely fast paced.

    No thanks, man. I'm going to go play a shooter for my PvP fix.

  29. How about when the other player spams a technique and when you complain they say “it’s part of the game!” But when you spam a technique they say “you’re cheating!” (with a lot of abusive language.) Or people who quit when you’re winning.

  30. I'll just throw in my opinion as well, hopefully to build further understanding and conversation.

    I consider myself a softcore fg player. I'm not so casual that I just jump into a game and mash buttons and then quit a few days later after seeing all the flashy supers, I want to do well, but I don't care so much that I want to go to tournaments or desire to be Rank 1, I just want to play as characters I like and be moderately successful, I don't care about being top tier. I am good enough that I can usually do well against players of equal skill level, but not so good that I stand a chance against dedicated players. The problem I run into is finding players who are equally matched to me, is nearly impossible. The skill gap in fighting games is frustratingly vast. Finding a solid match where I can play with all my skill and feel satisfied win or lose is hard. If I am matched against a more casual player who doesn't take the game seriously, I am left disappointed and bored. If I am matched with a player who is vastly superior to me so much that I cannot even get an edge in, I end up feeling frustrated or stifled because I cannot fully explore my own skill because I am frequently getting beaten so hard I cannot even learn from the experience. This is especially true in anime fighters where the community for the game is usually so small that really it's only the best of the best still playing, which highlights another issue. When everyone is better than you and you still have much to learn, the frustration of having no way to learn what you're doing wrong can feel damning. There's nothing wrong with getting beaten, losing is a part of fighting games, but what is frustrating is losing every match to superior players and never understanding what you need to do to improve. Playing against expert players who know what you are doing wrong or need to improve but don't want to take the time to explain it to you, or conversely if you have no way to pinpoint your own problems or mistakes at all, how can you improve? Most players will just give up figuring it's a lost cause and they can better spend their time elsewhere.

  31. I'm not sure if these aspects of FGs need to be fixed though. In the discussion it seems to me that the idea of people not being attracted to fgs is being confused for people being repulsed by fgs. If the things thought of as repulsing people from the games were fixed that doesn't mean they'd immediately be interested, they could just be ambivalent towards it.

  32. I feel like fighting games are more easy for my ego. I don't have to get the feeling that I've let down my four other teammates.

  33. People in fighting games still be blaming lag when they lose even though the connection is perfect lol

  34. Lemme just buy this new fighter.
    So I can then buy 5 seasons of DLC.
    Then watch other people buy all of that for less than I paid for the first version.
    Then buy 1 more DLC on top of that, why not.
    NEXT GAME (version 1 : less than 1/3 of the cast is playable on release without dlc)
    Most people won't and don't put up with this ****. So the games are dead. So the players who are around have an insulated community of very dedicated players, mostly. So those who are new just get stomped. And stop playing. And the game becomes more dead.

    Fighting games are insanely scummy in their buisness practices, do a terrible job teaching the player how to play (ai is just 'find the right button to spam' in all old fighters and 'just attack until they don't block for literally no reason' in the new ones) and have godawful QoL (SF5, THE 2D fighter that actually has more than 5 players, doesn't even have a functional command list that tells you what your moves do; you have to alt tab out of the game to find out how half the v shifts or triggers work at all or sit through multiple loading screens trying to find the right demonstration; if any explaint it at all).

    Its amazing the genre is alive at all with how hard it messes up every single aspect.
    Its also a largely online genre (unless you are lucky enough to live near a scene; I am not) that has generally terrible online.

  35. They will always be niche because they are just like competitive driving games but to a lessor degree, they will always require an additional investment into perphrials that other games that just require the same time investment don't so unless your into the whole thing why not play league or Dota, a huge selling point for competitive games is minimal investment monetarily maximum return on time investment for enjoyment

  36. If you want to make a competitive game popular look to chess, make the variables similar but open ended and make the mind games endless, and yeah the ass beatings come but I don't feel so bad when I've spent nothing but my time

  37. bad example with quake. team matches just have more action and 1v1

  38. You can boil it down to one phrase

    “Hard to pick up”

  39. (2:28) I never thought about that before. Perhaps this is why Smash is so popular. When you are against 3 other people, defeat does not necessarily mean you are the worse player. Having a ton of instant kill items helps as well.

  40. honestly i dislike team based games for this reason. I don't like the feeling I'm the one dragging my team down or letting anyone down so i tend to prefer 1v1 games

  41. The problem is new players have to face people who learned how to play fighting games years or even before these new players were even born. So new players have to learn things like zoning, dp, anti air, wake ups, etc. But even if they learn how to play, you have to play people who learned those things when you were drinking warm milk out of a bottle, with one tooth in your gums. They get tilted, drown their controllers, smash their fist into their monitors and never return. I'm 23 and people were in arcades terrozing and stealing eachothers quarters long before I was born.

  42. a surprisingly excellent video! i really agree with all of your points.
    i also find the contrast between your slow and methodical way of speaking, and the heavy music that you hear unmuffled at the end to be really funny!

  43. Main reason is that the learning process on most fighting games – specially the combo-based arcadelike games – is extremely boring compared to most of other genres.

  44. 1v1 is compounded by the fact that traditional fighting games tend to be much more complex on a surface level, which is the level that new players are at. For something like a FPS 1v1 mode like in Quake, there may be a lot of technical nuance and skill depth to the game, but the relatively limited number of inputs and abilities makes it immensely easier for someone to start. It's a much smaller amount of time spent learning all of the different things your character can do vs a fighting game where you have to learn most if not all of the 20-30 moves that your character can do before it even makes sense to start talking about more strategic skills like spacing and whiff punishing.

    I think Smash is a great example of limiting that sort of surface level complexity. Characters in smash have a similar ~20 moves but because they are all based on a directional input, you could really describe them as only 5 moves with 4 variants each: normal attacks, smash attacks, air attacks, specials, throws (smash attack is even only 3), or even simpler as 3 buttons with just attacks, specials, and throws. A new player just needs to learn those 3 buttons and that they should press which direction they want to attack, and they've learned pretty much every move in the game; you could explain it in 30 seconds.

    Compare that to a traditional fighter where you may have up to 6 buttons, plus combinations of buttons sometimes, plus directional and command inputs which are unique for every character, and you make for a much larger initial hurdle to overcome just to gain the basic competence required to even start learning how to actually play the game.

  45. I personally think that another reason why FGs are not as popular is that you can't play with a larger friend group simultaneously unlike FPS and MOBA games.

  46. for honor is, fun, is competive, it has team based modes, and is a fighting game (kind of(it has elements of a fighting game (many people consider it a fighting game, but isn't in the traditional sense)))

  47. RTS' are mostly 1v1 and are less niche, Classic FPS' most tournament play is 1v1… also theres immense pressure to perform for your team in team based games so I would argue they're in fact more strenuous than a fighting game, because if you lose in a fighting game you only let yourself down, not the 4 other people who have been playing the game for years to get good. I think fighting games are just niche because you can't get good at them just by playing, you have to do a shitload of research because theres a lot of things like Cancels and Priorities that aren't well displayed through normal play and no one wants to have to research for 5 hours then play for an hour… in an FPS… you learn by doing, in RTS' you learn by doing… in fighting games… you read and look up lecture videos by players to get better and it feels like school.

  48. Hearthstone and MTG Arena are also 1v1, but in their case, we blame the randomness. The same for Smogon Pokemon (Pokemon moves have the accuracy, so eventually you'll miss). To be honest, my journey in these three games was very enjoyable, even though I lost a lot, I returned to one point to a ranking that I could win. The problem with fighting games is that we usually don't have this point. As beginners, we lose a lot even in the lowest of the rankings. So it's a vortex, few players cause this disparity in level, which causes frustration and you have a situation with even fewer players available. The only genre more unforgiven is RTS, such as Starcraft 2.

  49. The biggest reason i think FG are niche is the knowledge check on everything, and this is heavily examplified by the 1v1 along with the heavily uninstinctive mechanics and demanding execution

    Like there's a reason why everyone can play Poker but not Majong. Smash show that very well too by being the best selling FG, despite being a one console exclusivity

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