Waypoint Fighting Game Beginner's Club


Hey y’all! Thought I’d start a thread for people interested in getting into fighting games, both for general guides for getting into them, and for finding like minded people to play with.

I’ve played fighting games on and off for years, and while I have fun playing with friends I often find it difficult to get past anything but surface level play. A big part of that is the inherent complexity of the genre, but another is that without people near your level it’s really discouraging to try to improve.

Everybody knows the pain of going online and being absolutely destroyed without getting a move in, and while some might consider that part of learning process, it’s never fun. Playing with like minded people of a similar skill level can help everyone improve.

That said, here’s some questions to get y’all started:

  • What are some fighting games you’re currently enjoying getting into?
  • What are some good starting points for people interested in the genre, but who find it intimidating?
  • What would YOU like to see fighting games do to make it easier for beginners to get into the genre?

p.s. feel free to use this as a place to find like minded beginners! let us know what platforms you play on and what games you want to get into and we’ll see if we can grow together.


I love fighting games in theory, often struggle with the practice. I’ve been playing a lot of Smash 4 with work friends the last couple of years, and it’s been cool to see that go from ‘haha items are a bit silly in these 4-player fights’ to ‘we are having DEAD SERIOUS 1v1s on tournament stages’. Even though we aren’t really competitive outside our group, as a couple of tournaments have shown, it’s still a lot of fun and something I didn’t expect to enjoy.

I’m getting into: Guilty Gear Xrd has a really good tutorial system, I just wish I had the execution to get further in it.
KoF XIII on Steam also has a surprisingly good one, though even the arcade mode in that game feels extremely tough.

Starting points: If you’ve got something to run it there’s a lot to recommend any of the Guilty Gear Xrd games: great tutorials, they’re gorgeous and most characters have a subset of moves you can learn quickly. Alternatively Skullgirls, for the same reasons. Both games can have a lot going on (either onscreen or in terms of systems) so if they don’t sound appealing I really recommend Street Fighter 3: Third Strike. The parry thing you might have seen does not get in the way of a fun, fast, and lovely-looking fighting game. Any number of guides on YouTube and it’s come to a ton of platforms over time. If you want to go even further back in time (not really) I have really enjoyed my time with Pocket Rumble, which is in Early Access on Steam, or was. It’s a two-button fighting game! It looks beautifully 8-bit-ish and is a blast to play, though there isn’t a ton in terms of single-player content or tutorials.

Help for beginners: A lot of what I wanted when I first tried fighting games is actually in the later GG games and Skullgirls: sweet tutorials that don’t assume knowledge, decently fun arcade mode that doesn’t just backhand you into the ground. Ideally also some way to play online without too much fanfare: when you get wrecked every match, you don’t want there to be a huge gap between matches. Pocket Rumble is pretty good at this, haven’t played the others online really.

Whew. Wall of text. Sorry.


What are some fighting games you’re currently enjoying getting into?

Right now? Anime fighters like BlazBlue, Guilty Gear, King of Fighters. All of them really good in dfferent ways.

What are some good starting points for people interested in the genre, but who find it intimidating?

What worked for me was flipping through different characters in a game until I found one whose playstyle clicked with me, regardless of “tier level” at the time. Also I’d suggest finding friends (either irl or online) to play a few lobby matches with in order to make it less intimidating, as they’ll be more willing to tell you how to improve your game afterwards. Much easier than getting crushed into the ground by several randos online and not knowing why.

What would YOU like to see fighting games do to make it easier for beginners to get into the genre?

Tutorials like those found in Skullgirls and the most recent Guilty Gear are a good start. Also maybe an option to have weird modifiers or items (i.e. the not-serious parts of Smash Bros) in unranked games.


Fighting games are so awesome. I like SNK games more than anything, and thanks to Hamster/SNK’s amazing PS4 support it’s easy to get a lot of their best games today.

This is a cool tutorial video for the King of Fighters series, even though the series has changed a lot of what’s here is still very useful because it goes into detail about the different types of jumps each character can do. I always loved how SNK’s games have a lot of cool evasion and movement options that are universal across very character.


For me, the biggest barrier to entry is just hitting combos reliably. My brain is wired to just (PUNCH,PUNCH,PUNCH), and I can’t hit the complex inputs without focusing on them exclusively.


I do the same thing. I get stuck on trying to execute them that Im never able to really focus on anything else and get lost in it.

thats part of why I appreciate games that give you an auto combo, or even better a universal combo where a certain sequence can be used for everyone. Marvel 3 did this and it looks like they’re going to do it for the new one as well.

Persona Arena and Guilty Gear Xrd Rev apparently also have decent auto combos, tho of course they’re not the ideal moves


King of Fighters XIV has a nice auto-combo too. People seem to hate it in all games because it makes it “too easy” but like, it’s ridiculously important for new players to be able to pick up a game imo because even if the moves are being done automatically, you still get a sense of the timing from hitting the button to seeing when each of the moves comes out.

Something some ports of late 90s King of Fighters games did was to have an easy special move mode that was even better (Capcom vs. SNK 2 did this on the Gamecube and XBox ports too). So like a move that would normally be QCF+punch would be forward+punch. And a super move that normally be QCB, HCF+punch would just be QCF+punch. This was a really really really cool way to be able to get a new player to see what the game has to offer and also, again, to learn the timing and feel of the game.

If you both want to get better at performing combos consistently, this will sound stupid but like 99% of it is memorization, you might be thinking about it “too much.” Like whatever character you enjoy using the most in a game, just try to do like a simple three move combo with them. Like just jump in with an attack, hit the opponent again after you land, then do a special move. That’s something most fighting game characters are able to combo together. If you get to the point where you can do that without thinking everything else is just muscle memory.


I dropped some money on a fightstick a while ago and execution is a breeze now! The only problem I’ve really had is trying to find a good game. I started with Street Fighter V, and it’s pretty good, but I honestly prefer the look of Anime Fighters. Those games are just beyond me with all of the insane stuff going on. I got Guilty Gear Xrd Rev and love the look of it, but it’s just a style of play that I’m not used to.

I need to try that new KOF though! I’m not crazy about the look of it, but the best old fighters I played were SNK. I tried to get into Mortal Kombat X, but I just REALLY don’t like that aesthetic or the way it plays.

For people trying to get into fighters, I recommend looking into portable fighters like SNK vs Capcom: Match of the Millennium for the Neo Geo Pocket Color. It’s really approachable, and has really sharp looking pixel art.


I think the #1 consideration for picking up a fighting game is whether you have people to regularly play with.
The evolving metagame between people that play together regularly is great


Street Fighter is definitely a game that you want that stick for, seeing as it’s a six button games and those always feel so untenable on a controller. and yeah i love using a stick, even just the time it takes for buttons to respond makes a huge difference in how you play. i can’t imagine trying to play chun-li or something without one.

Those Neo Geo Pocket games are great as well! Love the look of them and they get a lot of mileage out of two buttons. In a similar style is Pocket Rumble, which is on PC and coming to Switch which imitates that Neo Geo style but has online play and whatnot. really simple move executions too!

yeah i really appreciate how all the Vs. series games give you options to do simple quarter circles for most of the moves. it’s a good change, especially for more intimidating stuff like charge characters.

another weird deep cut is Asuka 120%. it has similar easy to execute moves, and even has dragon punch motions set to down down instead. it also has a cool option where you can just push a special button and a direction, almost smash bros style.


Assorted thoughts on getting into fighting games for the first time, from someone who got into them when Street Fighter 5 launched and had to learn in a community of sharks and wolves:

Watch some match videos online so you can get an idea of the cadence and flow of a match. Every fighter plays and flows differently, which sounds like a duh thing but will goose you every time you switch between games.

Learn how to use the training/practice mode. Early on you’ll want to practice DP motions outside of a match. At some point you will learn about bread n butter combos, and you will want to practice the timing and range on them. At some point you will get stomped by something online and will want to figure out what your characters options are in that situation. Fighting game training modes have gotten very good, but can seem like an arcane art the first time you open the options menu inside of one.

You will lose. A lot. It will probably be months from when you decide that you’re into fighting games untul your first win that doesn’t feel like a fluke. Keep at it! Winning will seem too daunting to approach, and you will panic. Keep calm, don’t mash buttons faster in the hopes of getting something out.

Fighting games are about personal excellence, as opposed to team play. Remember: the goal is to learn, not win or lose. Take one thing away from a lost set of matches, and work on it in training mode.


What are some fighting games you’re currently enjoying getting into?

I’ll be the odd one out in the thread here; as much as I enjoy Marvel vs Capcom, for the characters, I’m far more settled with the slower Netherrealms style, so I’m just trying to get into Injustice 2 at the minute. Can’t say I’m good yet, or that I’ve even really found ‘my character’, but its a good game for that style.

What are some good starting points for people interested in the genre, but who find it intimidating?

Find people to play with and spend time getting on with the games I guess. I can’t say my partner is great at fighting games, and neither am I, but we both spent plenty of time playing MvC3 together which helped us both get better at that game. Also, just try and figure out the characters that reflect your playstyle well, by just giving everyone a bit of a go.

What would YOU like to see fighting games do to make it easier for beginners to get into the genre?

I think the key things are making good singleplayer modes that help push people to try as many characters as possible, so a good story mode or arcade mode (preferably both) totally helps. Also, just making the online run smoothly and have some level of friendliness would help; I’m still eternally terrified of playing online because I find no fun in just getting beaten constantly and I know it’d just put me off the game.

/wall of text


The key to improving at fighting games (or most anything really) is iteration. Jump in there and play a game. Then use the handy replay functions that are so common in games and on consoles these days to look at what happened. Pick out a thing that went bad for you and look for ways to change it, or look for a place where things went well and see if there’s a way to make it even better. If you’re stumped try watching other people’s matches to see what they do or see if a bit of research turns up something you didn’t know about before There’s a lot of information floating around out there these days.

As for what the games could do, I think that a single player mode akin to and old side scrolling platformer/beat em up would do wonders. Give players a place to play without pressure and acclimate to the controls, and design the obstacles and enemies to teach useful skills. Sort of like MK Mythologies: Sub Zero but shorter and more focused on teaching.


So Tekken 7 is out and it seems to be well received! Even the PC version seems surprisingly well optimized. Seems like it’s thin on single player modes or even a good tutorial however. Looks like you’re going to have to dig up your copy of Tag2 if you want a refresher.


Tekken 7 is great but is a reminder that there’s a lot of fighting games that expect you to have a degree in library science to really approach.


I usually quite like Mortal Kombat and other Netherrealm games because their inputs are simpler. Same thing with Smash Bros.

I just bought the new KOF though because I love a lot of the characters, but I don’t think I’ll ever be good at it because I have no idea how to effectively or efficiently do a half-circle :anguished:


Some tips for folks looking to get into Tekken 7

Default to blocking high and only duck as a gamble. Lows are weak and mids are strong, and mids hit you if you block low. Left punch is everyone’s fastest move but it’s always a high which means people can duck under it. Down-forward and left punch is usually a fast mid, and usually a very safe thing to throw out.

To make a good combo you need a launcher to pop them up in the air, a screw attack to hit them once they’re in the air (they’re labeled with a green symbol in the move list) and something with long range to hit them when they bounce on the ground after the screw attack. You could look up the ideal thing on the internet, but anything that fits this formula is gonna be good enough to get along with.

Moves labelled with a blue marker can’t be dodged by those little side dashes, so pick out one of those to throw out now and then to catch people moving around.

If someone is playing defensively try annoying them with low kicks 2 or 3 times, then hit them with your strongest mid attack. If they duck to block low they’ll eat it and feel real dumb.


I’ve been messing around with Garou: Mark of the Wolves which is probably the most solid fighter ever made. I really want to get into Guilty Gear Xrd rev 2 but I have zero money so that’s not gonna happen.


I’m kind of in the opposite camp in that I find quarter circles way easier personally and the MK stuff throws me off whenever I have to do a back to forward move.

I really love how much info they give you tho. they tell exactly what every move and ability does right from the pause screen and I wish other games did that


I’ve been trying to get into fighting games for ages without any real success. I played and continue to play more casual fighting games like the Dragonball Z games and Smash Bros, but trying to get into the more technical stuff has been really difficult.

I’ve been playing a bit of Mortal Kombat 9 (Komplete Edition) recently and am feeling good about it, although I’m playing on easy as I get comfortable with the pacing. I like the game because it feels easier to pull off combos and the story mode is good motivation for me to continue playing rather than drop it after a day or two. I worry that the skills I learn won’t necessarily carry onto to games like Skull Girls or Street Fighter IV though, which I know use 6 punch/kick buttons instead of 4. I have Skull Girls with the 2nd Encore DLC so I’m hoping its story mode is good enough to pull me in.

Currently, my biggest obstacle is that I feel really slow?? As in, I feel like I don’t always pull off combos in time and my mind is just not at a point where I am stringing together moves without having to stop to think about what I’m doing and not button mash. Getting into position to block has also been a bit difficult. I’m playing with an Xbox One controller atm (leagues better than the 360’s controller), but I worry that it’s making things difficult for me. I don’t want to spend money on a fighting stick until I know I’m committed to the genre though…