Mutual Mondays: Stop Pressing Buttons!

Stop Pressing Buttons!


A major difference between casual players wanting to “git gud” and professional players is their willingness to push buttons. Granted there are other factors but we’re just going to talk about this detrimental penchant many people tend to have in Street Fighter V, amongst other fighting games.

But Bebop, you’re not ranked at all and you don’t even play the game daily. How can I believe what you’re telling me is true?

I used to suffer from the same problem. I deplored getting hit out of my moves and eating a ton of damage. It just tilted me. I wanted to retaliate by throwing a jab or a medium kick but I couldn’t, not without incurring a counter-hit or worse, a crush counter. It didn’t matter that I wasn’t playing every day because each time I did pick up the arcade stick, it happened. Whether or not we want to admit it, we’ve all been there.

Mr. Street Fighter’s been dropping some knowledge bombs for more than a decade.

So I learned to do nothing. Alex Valle, Mr. Street Fighter himself, said in Gootecks and Mike Ross’ Cross Counter show The Excellent Adventures of Gootecks and Mike Ross, “Spend a round doing absolutely nothing to see what your opponent does.”

It worked. I stopped pushing buttons during block strings and on wake-up. I began anticipating moves before they happened and realized when it was safe to execute my own strings and pokes. A lot of players push buttons in hopes of dealing damage and not think about their opponent.


“Man, I just want to hit him/her. Why am I not hitting him/her?!”


A lot of it comes from understanding frame data of both your character and your opponent’s. In every situation, it’s going to be factored in regardless. Consider this, if someone hits you with a move that is +3 on block, any move he/she uses next is going to execute faster by 3 frames than yours. A 5 frame startup is now a 2 frame startup by the time you’re able to act out of the block animation.

This is the reason you’re getting countered out of block and the technique is called a frame trap. It fools you into thinking you’re safe to push a button but in reality, you’re usually not able to do anything but block the following pressure. If you want to contend with it, you have to use a move that is invincible because a follow-up on your opponent’s part is designated to land regardless of any move you choose. In most frame trap situations, it’s better to just block than risk it. When you ascertain frame data of characters, it immensely helps in identifying the above mentioned tactic.

Part of being a better player is acknowledging this point 110%. You don’t get very far hoping your ideas work, not in SFV anyway. It’s concrete. You want to succeed at tournaments? Play hard, not casual.


It should just say tilt, not counter since that’s exactly what it’s intended to do.


When it comes to online play, it’s like a no man’s land where people blindly throw out moves and constantly get hit just due to pure randomness. This is another exacerbation. You’ll play online a bunch, feel confident in your lit combos, go to a local tournament and get opened up like a jar of alfredo sauce. Your habits rear its ugly head and your mentality is down the sinkhole.

The gimmicks you pull online have about a 30% chance of succeeding and I’m being very generous with that percentage. You’ll get a good player once or twice but remember, a Bo3 is at least four rounds which is plenty of time for them to adapt. You obviously don’t have a back-up plan since you thought the initial one was foolproof. Now you’re stuck mashing nonsensical moves, again praying something works. In a nutshell, don’t rely on gimmicks too often. Stick to what you know will work like BnB combos and strings. If you don’t have those, go online, watch vids, browse forums and LEARN them. There’s a reason why those exist.


“Did he/she just really wake-up into Critical Art?”

  Even CPUs are guilty of doing it.


You bet Laura’s Story Mode outfit they did. It may seem stupid or insane to you but it only worked because you PRESSED BUTTONS. If your buttons were any louder, they’d say “Yo, my name is Low Forward Kick and I’m about to eat a Critical Art in the face.” Maybe it can be chalked up to nerves but learning to keep your hands still will help ease it. Don’t let your body move faster than your mind or vice versa. Let your opponent press buttons and exploit their habits. Condition yourself into being aware. Be the other side of the coin.



Anticipating the incoming pain after your opponent blocks or jumps over your terribly misplaced fire from your hands.

It certainly depends on the nature of your character as well and how you approach it, be it defensively and patient or offensively with rush-down, even if they’re not necessarily designed in that manner. The best example would be Ryu who is typically a defensive type with zoning. Let’s say you want to be in your opponent’s face 24/7 and not allow them room to breathe.

The buttons/moves you opt to utilize should be the ones giving you advantages to suit your playstyle. Don’t walk up to someone after a hard knockdown and go for the low forward kick into hadouken. Wrong pressure string. The recovery on Ryu’s hadouken is slow and if you’re trying to stay in range, which is about a character length away, then you just put yourself in a spot to get rightfully punished as they come out of guard stance. No, his fireball does not give you plus frames on block and especially not if their limbs can hit you without them having to jump or walk forward.




Think deeper. Your opponent can do one of two things. They’re going to be antsy and attempt to do a reversal on wake-up OR they will get up and do nothing. No matter which option they select, you have all the control. This is why it’s important to ascertain the important details of characters. You will know when you can freely set up your point of attack.

Now, it’s going to take a lot of matches to get used to applying these methods but persevere. Put your best foot forward, make the effort and you will see results.

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