How do I convince my friends I suck at fighting games?

So, I like fighting games a fair bit, and would love to play them with my friends. But whenever I ask friends to play, they always refuse, citing the fact that I’m “too good” and they “suck at fighting games.” This has gotten more and more frustrating for me, especially considering the fact that I’m not actually that good at fighting games. I can do dirt-simple 3 hit combos sometimes, and I can kind of land a dragon punch. That’s it. It took me months to get Bronze rank in SFV, that’s the level of play I’m talking about. Still, my friends by and large refuse to play with me, completely uninterested in playing or getting better at all. This isn’t helped at all by the fact that, on the rare occasions we do play against each other, I actually do tend to get more wins than them. It’s never been by a massive margin, but it’s enough to reinforce the idea that they’d just lose, and losing isn’t fun so they don’t want to play.

Is there any way I can spread my enthusiasm onto them? Should I take it easy so they win more, or pick characters I’m not very good at? Or do I just need to find a new group that enjoys these games as much as I do, even if it means getting destroyed on a regular basis because they actually are super good?

One thing is that no matter what your skill level is on the global leaderboards, being like “guys I suck at this” when you’re consistently winning against your friends doesn’t make it more fun for them. From that perspective for them it’s just like why play at all if I’m worse than someone who’s really bad?

I think if you wanna play with this particular group you definitely have to take it easier. Either random characters or restrict yourself to not doing a certain kind of move. Or just like relax in general since your friends would be playing it to hit one guy with another guy and not for the fun of executing combos and doing reads.


Get multiple people together that don’t play a ton and have them fight each other. Eventually, they’ll be confident to take you on. But never ever take it easy on them. Show them what true pain looks like.


Are you trying to get your friends to play with you online or in person? I always found the best way to get people interested in trying to play a fighting game is to get a bunch of them together in a room and make a big event out of it. Have them play each other while you try to teach them a few tricks (how to do special moves, which normal attacks are good, how to antiairing jumps, stuff like that). It’s okay for the more timid ones to just sit back and watch if they don’t want to participate. Hopefully they’ll pick up a thing or two by osmosis while they work up the courage to jump in.

Try and put together a variety of stuff for your group to check out. I think SFV is a great game, but a fair number of people find it too intimidating to approach. Mortal Kombat and Injustice are a lot of fun to play as well and are easier for beginners to get interested in (flashy animations, simpler special motions, chain combos, one button super attacks). I also recommend the Naruto Shippuden fighting games as an icebreaker. They ended up being a surprising smash hit with my group of friends.

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it’s possible your friends just don’t like fighting games very much.

Yeah, never tell someone you beat that you suck. (Or that they suck, if you don’t want to be shitty to them.)

There are two kinda… things to do here.

  1. Don’t play better than they do. Don’t be patronizing and explain it to them like that, don’t let them know. You “only know 3-combo attacks?” Cool, they’re possibly not entirely sure what all the buttons do. Play characters you don’t know. Don’t do things to them until they do it to you in terms of grabs/throws/combos/etc.

Finding a way, or a game they can explore the genre is a good first step. I think often times this is a mixture of watching EVO, and maybe a game like Skullgirls against bots, doing the campaigns. (I mean, in general, EVO week will be the best time ever to get someone interested/curious if you can watch some of it with them. Share highlights

Then they can kinda decide if it’s something they’re interested in going further with.

Then, the next one, and it’s a big one-

  1. Maybe they just aren’t into them. Just, respect that preference, and don’t push them into it.

Fighting games are a very specific sort of thing, and some people love that thing. That’s awesome. That said, it’s really just not for everybody. It’s layered discomfort for some.

It’s one on one, competitive, has absurd depth, has massive mechanical carry over from older titles, and can be hard to get into as a new player.

The trick is to just find a group of people you can play with when you want to, and leave an open invitation.

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I think the trick is to look at your skill level relative to how they see you. You might not be great by fighting community standards, but having a little extra knowledge tends to increase the skill gap a lot at lower levels. I know because I’m also permanently the dude winning just because I know a single character’s specials and supers and my friends don’t.

Like others say, don’t try to reassure them that you actually suck if you do keep winning, and don’t try to push new knowledge onto them. Let them know you’re willing to help em out, but don’t remind them because people tend to get annoyed.

Another thing you can do is gradually increase the handicap if possible, giving them a better chance. Personally, I like increasing the handicap on myself with starting players until I’m at about a 50/50 win loss ratio, if possible. That also helps me because it means I have to be more considered to win and play with a lot less sloppy mistakes.

As someone who’s been in your friend’s situation, I can say that fighting games are an intimidating genre and seem particularly impenetrable from an outsider perspective. Thinking about the sheer amount of time needed to master characters and practice combos is enough to scare away most people, even people who play other genres of games often. I imagine this isn’t just a matter of them not wanting to get destroyed by you repeatedly, but that their heart’s just not in it. As you mentioned, it might be more rewarding to seek out a separate group to spar with, even if they are a bit better. Challenging yourself will likely be more rewarding than mentoring unenthusiastic newcomers.

The issue isn’t so much how skilled you are. It’s that they aren’t interested in mastering fighting games as a skill, so it’s not really going to be interesting to play them with you. If you find it interesting to get better at the game then losing is fun too because it gives you chances to learn and improve. If you don’t care about trying get better at the game then it’s just boring. I get the impression they’re not really interested and you’ll be better off finding people who are into it.