While fighting games can be considered a niche, as other mainstream titles such as the annual Call of Duty, FIFA or Action franchises get much more attention and sales, the community playing fighting games is one of the closest in the industry, and this is because of the variety of events and tournaments that are hosted for a number of different games at once. Here are five very important tips for anyone who might be considering picking up a fighting game, or focusing more of their efforts on becoming a better player.
Pick someone you LIKE and ENJOY
Many people looking to get into fighting games such as Guilty Gear: Strive tend to ask about characters who are easy to learn or win with, in order to get that instant gratification. If you want to stick around in a fighting game, it is of absolute importance to love your character, no matter how complex or difficult they are.
Sure, learning the bare minimum with an easy character is suggested as you will slowly begin to understand the mechanics of the game, but to invest more time into a fighting game, you need to have the motivation to get better, and not liking your character is criminal at this stage, as it could hinder your enjoyment of the game and attempts to improve will most likely fail because of the player not being as engaged with the game.
Do NOT be scared of playing Ranked Mode in Fighting Games.
Ranked mode is deemed by many as a bad experience, and while one cannot really argue with that argument, it all depends on the players and not the game mode itself. As the name implies, Ranked mode will take into account all your wins and losses, so of course in the beginning there will be a far bigger number of losses under your name. That said, in ranked mode you are generally supposed to be matched against players of similar skill to you, with the matchmaking system.
Smurfs will happen and you will get soundly beaten by players who maybe have a bigger understanding of a game like Tekken within your same playtime, but one must keep in mind that ranked is not a race to finish first. By the time you will pick up the game and learn the basics, someone elite will have already attained the highest rank, so the race is already over.
Unfortunately, plenty of players treat the ranked mode as a race, dodging players who beat them and only looking for easy games to get more wins and ranks. The proper ranked experience is playing with your main against plenty of different opponents in order to get matchup knowledge and learn as much as possible. Learning is more important than winning, as you do not get prizes for reaching a certain rank.
USE PRACTICE MODE
Practice mode is one of the most underrated modes in fighting games. Professional fighting game players and other enthusiasts have probably spent as much time in practice mode as they have in actual games or matches themselves, and the reason is very straightforward. Practicing against your opponent’s characters, learning and memorizing punishes and frame data and getting that muscle memory in is essential in the early stages of the learning process, but eventually players start to train against certain setups or move sequences an opponent of yours just threw out and caught you off-guard.
Search for high-level play
High-level play is what got me into fighting games, and the appeal got so big that I simply had to follow these players’ steps and start playing myself. If you are already in the game, there are no reasons against looking up tournaments between the best players, battling it out for the crown of best of the event. Unfortunately with offline gone, there is no local events to look out for and participate, but there are plenty of online tournaments happening each and every week, and even still one can look for VODs of previous tournaments from past years to get that offline event itch to hopefully scratch sometime close in the future.
Watching high-level gameplay is not only entertaining but extremely educational, as it can teach do’s and don’ts in specific situations and even in general. One can also learn some new combos from these tournaments, and knowing your character well will let you recognize the moves being performed to then try recreating the sequence in practice mode.
Search for your own local scene
As mentioned in the previous point, offlines are unfortunately out of the question for now, but hopes for the future are still strong, so communities will still keep the communication going. Plenty of people are now playing online, with a fixed objective of getting to meet up at locals and meet the group whom they have been playing regularly over the internet with.
Finding a local scene made up of people living close to you geographically, whether in your town or city, is a big incentive to start travelling to play the game, and with the offline experience this is not only limited to playing the game, but regular hangouts transform the group from simply opponents in the game to friends in real life. Search for communities in your own country and try to narrow it down as close to your village of residence as possible. Who knows, maybe the scene hangs out in the arcade round the corner from you!
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