Constantly getting beat? Time to revisit the basics.

With Super Street Fighter 4: Arcade Edition Capcom have, hopefully, finally released the final iteration in this series of the game. If you are new to Street Fighter, here’s a brief summary: SSF4:AE is a ‘beat-em-up‘, or ‘fighter’ available on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and the arcades. You choose from a selection of characters, and battle it out against the computer, or human opponent, offline or online.

What makes SSF4:AE very popular are the sheer number of characters, and how balanced the game actually is. The whole roster of characters are more or less equal, so that if you were to get proficient at the game, you should never feel a sense of unfairness; either you are no good, or your opponent is supreme. With that said, here are some tips for everyone to ensure that you go into those online battles with every chance of winning.

1. Charge or circle?

Essentially fighters can be broken into these two categories, charge or circle. With charge characters, such as Guile or Chun-Li, you have to charge for 1 to 2 seconds before being able to unleash a special move, whilst circle characters, such as Ryu, Ken, Cody etc, use quick movements of the d-pad.

Which is better? If you’re a charge character, then your moves are more obvious to your opponent, who can try to predict your next move, thus trying to trick or bait your opponent is more difficult. Having said that, once your character has charged their move, it is easier to perform their moves on reaction and based on the situation than a circle character. Experiment, find out what style fits you. For information purposes, I actually prefer charge characters.

2. Select the right character

Having said that the roster is pretty balanced, there are certain characters that are stronger than others. With the AE edition, the strongest characters are newcomers Yun and Yang, and Fei Long. Surprising it may be, it is the truth, and if you don’t believe it, have a search for ‘tier rankings’ on Google for confirmation.

Yun and Yang may be the strongest, but their strength is balanced out by the fact that their defence is weak, by which I mean that they take more damage than the regular Street Fighter character, so you have been warned. Again, check out some tier ranking and stamina and stun information that are available online.

For absolute novices, Ken and Ryu are perhaps considered the best to start out with.

3. Use Training mode!

This is where hours, or minutes, can be spent on perfecting your combos for your chosen character. It’s important to note, however, that you do not need to know a vast array of combos, just a few that are guaranteed to hit. Repetition of these select combos will guarantee to chip away at your opponent’s health bar, with the hopeful bonus that your opponent will get frustrated, thus making silly attacks which leave him open to you.

Also, don’t forget that you can have two players in training mode, something that a lot of players forget, so rather than having a robotic dummy for an opponent, you have a human dummy for which both of you can practice moves, understand each others moves, and work out what combos and counters work or don’t work. Double the learning in the same amount of time.

4. Block

Perhaps the biggest understatement, but the most important part of battle. You will inevitably fight opponents who are better than yourselves, but of course, you don’t know that when you go into battle. That’s why is always better to keep a restrained approach and let your opponent do the initial attacking. Block him or her regularly, so you can deduce their fighting style and choice combos. This way, you stand a better chance of quickly formulating counters in your head and thus standing a chance of victory.

Countless times have people gone in and attack, attack, attack, only to be completely blown away in seconds by pro-fighters. Don’t let that be you. One tip is to set up the battle so that you fight 5 or 7 rounds instead of the traditional 3. This way, you can really learn how your opponent fights, and so

5. Watch replays

Replays are fun to watch, but they are also a valuable tool in learning techniques and battle tips that otherwise would have never crossed your mind. You can now subscribe to anyone’s uploaded videos, including the top fighters in the world, and see how they fight, and how they attain victory. Afterwards, ‘simply’ try to mimic their combos and strategy. In this instant, there’s nothing wrong with a bit of video game plagiarism. In fact, most fighters would be pretty honoured to know that others are trying to fight like themselves.

So there you are, a few tips that may seem basic, but are often disregarded by eager, but impatient players. SSF4:AE is a game with incredible depth, so by getting the basics right, you will set yourself up well for the battle against the world.

be better prepared as the battle continues.