Fighting Game Basics - Tips to Improve Your Fighting Style

Video game fighters are tough, but not impossible to master

Portrait of friends playing video games
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As gaming consoles have become more powerful and advanced, so has the basic fighting game. It's no longer as easy as watching the way the opponents move or when they strike. Also, with online mode now as an almost standard option, it gives fans of this genre a whole new challenge. Here are a few tips and some helpful advice that will not only help you beat your favorite fighting game but also help you be successful playing online.

Know Your Controller

The new generation of fighting games is more complex than ever before. If you want to succeed, you will need to know the controls as if they were a part of you. As funny as this may sound, if you watch someone that knows how to work the controls, you will see how important it is to know every button without looking. The days of button mashing are long gone.

Since the new games have more moves and options, you may even want to try a new controller with 6-buttons made specifically for fighting games. This is a good option since many of the games are based on an arcade stick. This is not a requirement to be good at fighting games, just a suggestion.

Know Your Opponents

It doesn't matter if you play fighting games alone or online. You need to know the basic characteristics of every fighter in the game you are playing. This will help you in single-player mode and multiplayer modes as well. Knowing the basic moves and styles that each character has will help you win the fight or challenge and move on. If you're playing online or local multiplayer (split-screen, for example) and have to wait your turn to fight, watch the other matches to learn new tricks. You will be surprised at how helpful it can be just to watch a good battle.

AI Reacts and Moves Differently Than a 'Real' Opponent

It sounds almost too simple to be helpful, but many gamers make the mistake of treating every enemy the same. They have this idea that it doesn't matter if it's an AI-controlled character or someone flesh-and-blood controlling it. A gamer who is talented and does well in any fighting game knows there is a difference between the two. While an AI may give away a move by their stance, this may not be the case when playing someone else. You need to treat each enemy accordingly and then choose the right moves.

Be Aware — Don't Broadcast Your Next Move

In general, fighters have become more realistic and complicated. If you see someone who is kicking butt, they may know something that you may not. Remember, when playing a fighting game, you need to set up your enemy before that knockout combo. If you give away your opening move, chances are you will be blocked or reversed and find yourself on the losing end.

Here are some quick and easy tips to help avoid this mistake.

Switch stances and styles every chance you get. Instead of starting with a punch every time try a kick or a slow approach instead. As in real life, sometimes the best offense really is the best defense. Waiting for a kick or punch and countering it has the same effect as attacking first! Mix it up and don't be afraid to try new moves. Games like Dead or Alive or Mortal Kombat have more moves than ever before.

Practice, Young Grasshopper!

To be good at fighting games takes more than fast hand and eye coordination. Practice is the key. Many of the games out there have a practice mode. Using this and learning each attack and counter-attack will greatly improve your chances of winning, and your skills overall. Also, just like knowing all of the characters is important, do not practice against the same character each time. One of the best characters to use is the same one you're using. That's right! An AI version of your character is the best way to learn exactly what he or she can do.

The Unknown Enemy - Frustration

The worst enemy in any fighting game is you. If you're the type that gets mad or frustrated, you are going to make mistakes or simply try too hard. Take a break and remember — as real as it looks, it is just a game. Once you get that down and practice the other tips and advice found here, you will see your skills improve, but it will take time. The champ who sits there online kicking everyone's butt did not learn all those fancy moves at once. It took time, and if you practice, you too can pull off those fancy moves. Just give yourself the chance to learn the game.