Street Fighter 5: Things to Know Going In, According to Chatty and ShackFighter

Many of our Chatty posters have been diving into Street Fighter V since the game's release last week. Today, Shacknews picks some of their brains to get into the big differences from other Street Fighter games, as well as learn a few general advice nuggets for newcomers.


Street Fighter V has been out for nearly a week, with more and more players rising up to take each other on over the online space. While many of those jumping into online games are seasoned SF veterans, there are also some newcomers that are getting into Capcom's fighting series for the first time. Today, Shacknews is hoping to speak to some of those newcomers by sharing a few stories from our Chatty community.

One of the main questions I pitched to our Chatty community was whether they could outline the main differences between Street Fighter V and previous generations of the series, particularly the Street Fighter IV generation. The ShackFighter group has been deep into SF for many years and the differences with this newest series entry stood out almost immediately to many of them. Many of those changes don't quite favor the underdog, with Chatty's mechanicalgrape noting that there are no major comeback mechanics like Ultras in SFV. In fact, sukabljat goes so far as to call SFV play a little more 'honest,' noting that the mechanics feel closer to Street Fighter III in the sense that certain mechanics, like option selects and hard knockdowns can't be abused.

mechanicalgrape has also observed the change in the hard knockdown system. "There are almost no hard knockdowns in 5. This helps reduce the ability to set up a vortex where you are basically making 50/50 guesses in regards to blocking. Because of no hard knockdowns, there is a much more prevalent neutral game in 5, making footsies and fundamentals more important."

Furthermore, the idea of reading your opponent, anticipating their reactions, and drawing out their tendencies seem to be far more prevalent in SFV. Both bcyde and mechanicalgrape have noticed the move away from safer tactics, like Forward Attack Dash Cancels (FADC) on Dragon Punch moves. The emphasis looks to be on committing to a certain strategy, emphasizing greater risk, and generally making play more offense-oriented.

There is one interesting idea to note that Shacknews lightly touched on in our SFV review and that's the move away from chip damage ending a match. To this point, players could always rely on enough offense being able to put an opponent away, especially if they fireball spam near the end. This new system makes provisional damage (gray life) on both sides even more important to pay attention to.

"The gray life chip mechanic as well as no chip outs (except for supers) is interesting," said bcyde. "The gray life stuff probably isn't something that people are paying too much attention to yet, but it's definitely going to force more active play. I'm not sure how I feel about no chip out, I'd probably would've like EX special moves to chip out (so it does cost something), but it'll be interesting to see how this develops in the long run."

In terms of characters, there seem to be a healthy mix of different characters being used. bcyde has come to recognize Laura's potential for fireball mixups and her fierce punch elbow pressure (Update: As noted in the comments, this was meant to say jab elbow, which acts as an anti-air move), as well as the invincibility frames on her EX elbow. eeeealmo is working with Nash, despite not having many good reversals other than his V-Trigger move. mechanicalgrape is utilizing Karin for her speed and mobility. TOnez is enjoying Zangief, thanks to some of his new anti-air tools and his ability to trade health with other characters and come out ahead. smackpiece feels similarly about R. Mika. kill9 has stuck with Chun-Li since day one. The ShackFighter crew have their favorites, but they're still learning to use each fighter and practicing online every day. They're also looking ahead to the first batch of DLC characters and are already thinking about how to use Guile, Ibuki, and others in this new system.

As for those looking for general newcomer advice, Chatty was helpful in that department, as well.

Other General Advice

  • "One piece of essential noob advice would be to ensure you have a solid crush-counter combo to punish wake up dragon punches since people do that. Crush-counters have increased damage and stun as well as the ability to combo shit that doesn't usually work, so make sure you can land a combo starting with one easily." [eeeealmo]
  • "Don't jump so much. Don't mash, it's okay to just block. Sometimes it's better to take a throw instead of eating a huge combo." [mechanicalgrape]
  • "The biggest thing that newbies try to do is punish everything with reversals. 90% of the time, it's better to simply block and find your way back to a neutral state. Blocking is probably the most important thing for any player, so get good at it!" [sukabljat]
  • "Be patient in multiplayer. Realize that it's not only about pushing buttons/attacking, but not pushing buttons is just as important. If you're getting pissed off because your attacks aren't coming out and the opponent's moves are always beating yours it's not always lag, you're probably hitting buttons when you shouldn't be." [bcyde]
  • "It's not always about special moves. Learn your character's normal moves, learn their anti-airs, learn what range you are comfortable being at. Unless you're playing a zoning character like FANG, you should most likely be doing more normal moves than specials." [bcyde]
  • "Stay grounded and find which screen position works for you and which screen position works for your enemy. Apply controlled pressure." [TOnez]
  • "Stop jumping and think. It really is ok to just walk forward and block and just try to gain space and force your opponent to the corner. I went to a day 1 tourney yesterday with some of Arizona's best players and I saw a guy playing vs a girl who was being coached by some really good players (both players seemed relatively new to the tournament setting, but knew combos and special moves). They were yelling straight out for both players to hear, "just low forward fireball and anti-air" (she was playing Ryu). Even though the guy knew exactly what she was planning on doing (and in this game, low-forward fireball isn't Ryu's best option as a poke) he still lost because he could not stop jumping. He did not know how to approach without jumping so he just ate crouching fierce punches (not even Dragon Punches) until he died. If he had taken himself out of the situation for a little bit and thought about just walking her down he probably would've done a lot better." [bcyde]

Finally, the ShackFighter group extends its welcome to any newcomer with questions about the game. mechanicalgrape offers these parting words:

"I should also add, don't be afraid to lose. If you're new to fighting games, you're going to lose, and lose a lot. But it's the only way you're going to get better. If you want to come hang out with a bunch of Shackers that play fighters regularly and would be happy to help new people learn and get better, please stop by our group's chat room on Steam."

Senior Editor

Ozzie has been playing video games since picking up his first NES controller at age 5. He has been into games ever since, only briefly stepping away during his college years. But he was pulled back in after spending years in QA circles for both THQ and Activision, mostly spending time helping to push forward the Guitar Hero series at its peak. Ozzie has become a big fan of platformers, puzzle games, shooters, and RPGs, just to name a few genres, but he’s also a huge sucker for anything with a good, compelling narrative behind it. Because what are video games if you can't enjoy a good story with a fresh Cherry Coke?

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