Fighting Game Fundamentals is a guide for beginner and intermediate players designed to provide practical tips and techniques to steadily improve your results in fighting games like Street Fighter V.
Fighting game veteran gootecks shares his philosophy on improving in fighting games, using Ryu and Street Fighter V as a method to better understand the nuances of the game like space control, risk/reward opportunities, frame data, and muscle memory.
By focusing on the fundamentals rather than flashy combos and setups, any player can get the results they're looking for and defeat even their toughest rivals with the right mindset and dedication.
Also included is the Fighting Game Fundamentals Training Mode Handbook, which contains a series of practical exercises that anyone can use to build muscle memory and better understand the systems of the game.
"In our attempts to reach out and find different niches, we ran into this excellent book - Gootecks is known for having over a decade of Street Fighter tournament experience, and this title goes deep into tactics for those who want to start or improve their 2D fighting game skills." – Simon Carless
Gootecks knows his stuff, and more importantly, he knows how to communicate and educate that to someone else. If you read this and practice the fundamentals listed; you will certainly be able to improve for any fighting game, old or new. I'm always glad to see that the fgc (fighting game community) has people who actually care about helping others and assisting in bringing up the next generation of gamers.– Amazon Review
This book was a great way for a noob, like me, to begin developing my identity as a player. The overall presentation opens the doors to understanding the game on a scientific level which, in my opinion, could greatly benefit the new players that think jumping high kick into sweep is the end-all, be-all of the game.
Also, the approachability of the writing gives the reader encouragement to push forward and improve. He puts the emphasis on the individual improving and takes away some of the inherent intimidation one may feel picking up a new game or playing a fighting game for the first time. gootecks doesn't wait to challenge you at the top of a mountain; he writes like he's that guy in the trenches that sees a green soldier and pulls them aside to give them advise after their first firefight.– Amazon Review
The Rock, Paper, Scissors Analogy
Street Fighter is often compared to a fast-paced game of rock, paper, scissors because the three main options in Street Fighter are to attack, block, or throw.
The rock, paper, scissors model helps you realize that there is no move or technique that is unbeatable. In fact, there is usually no single correct answer for any move or situation in Street Fighter—just shades of grey and possibilities. Of course, there are exceptions to this rule, but this is a good place to start learning. If you understand this framework, you can use it to better understand why you're winning and losing.
The concept of offense is simple. If you are attacking the opponent and they do not block, they take damage and you score a hit. On the other hand, if they do block, they will either take no permanent damage from a normal attack or a small amount of damage from a special move or Critical Art. The latter is commonly referred to as chip damage.
In theory, you could win if you just blocked everything that your opponent threw at you, right? Not quite, because we haven't considered the third option—throw. Throws are a constant threat when the opponent is near you because they cannot be blocked, they are easy to execute and do a considerable amount of damage and stun to the opponent.
Performed by pressing LP+LK simultaneously when you're close to the opponent, throws cannot be blocked, but they can be avoided, or teched, by the opponent. Avoiding a throw is tricky, but it can be done by also pressing LP+LK simultaneously within a small window of time (about ⅕ of a second).
Further, throws generally lose to fast attacks, such as light punches, light kicks, and a number of special moves.
Thus, if you think your opponent will attack, you should block. But if you think the opponent will throw, you should attack, attempt to tech the throw or try to avoid it completely.
But how do you know what your opponent will do? Your ability to recognize and utilize each of these options in the heat of battle will take time and experience to develop. Of course, you can't just mindlessly use the same option over and over—this makes you predictable. This predictability is what separates beginners from intermediate players. Beginners have only a few attacks in their repertoire and usually have no concept of how these attacks work and how they can be countered.
On the other hand, experienced players observe their opponent's tendencies and patterns and adjust their game to take advantage of the other player's weaknesses. Further, an experienced player has a better understanding of their character's options, as well as those of his opponent's, and can adjust his game to bait the opponent into making mistakes.
For example, if he notices that his opponent never blocks on wake-up and instead mashes buttons or uses risky moves like a Shoryuken, he'd block or stand at a safe range, then punish relentlessly with a high-damage combo.