Learn all the basics of fighting, such as attacking, blocking and performing combos in this guide to Street Fighter V.

Street Fighter V Guide – Beginner tips and tricks

Learn all the basics of fighting, such as attacking, blocking and performing combos in this guide to Street Fighter V.
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Getting into Street Fighter V may not be that easy for complete beginners. This exceptional fighting game requires hundreds of hours of solid practice before you can compete with other experienced players online. However, you can make your rise in Street Fighter V more pleasurable if you follow a few simple but effective tips.

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This guide will help you develop your skills gradually and in the most practical way, so you don’t waste your time on unnecessary combos or other techniques that may not be worthy of the effort. You mainly need to focus on normals, throws, knockdowns, anti-airs and other stuff that is actually important.

1. Start by mastering normal moves

Street Fighter V normal attack

Normals can be simply defined as punches and kicks. You can do three types of normals: light, medium and heavy. Light normals are very fast, but do less damage, while heavy normals can do a ton of damage, but are slower to execute.

Start with the most simple ones in the training mode and then gradually add crouching, jumping, holding left, right, up or down and just standing. You will notice that in different positions normals have slightly different effects. Try them all, see which ones you like the most and don’t ignore them during real fights.

If you need more information on setting up the training mode in the game, you can always check out this Street Fighter V guide. If you want to look at the moves list, then check out this guide.

2. After that, master your specials

Street Fighter V special attack

For normals, you need two buttons at most, but specials will require you to use a few more. For example, you might need to use several directional inputs in a quick sequence – down, down-forward, forward – and add a light punch to the mix. As a result, you will be able to perform your first special move.

If you hold the directional button for a bit and then quickly press the opposite direction with a kick or a punch, you will end up with a charged special. These types of specials will help you deal more damage, but are a bit slower to perform than usual attacks.

Specials can be really powerful and at times they can deal enough damage even if your opponent performs a timely block – this is called chip damage.

Another type of specials are called EX specials and this set of moves utilizes the EX meter – a gauge at the bottom of the screen.

EX specials are more complex types of specials and require even more button pressing. When the EX gauge is filled, you will be able to perform Critical Arts – super moves that have their own unique animations.

3. Next, learn how to block

Street Fighter V anti-air block

Blocking in Street Fighter V is quite simple, but still too important to ignore –  in the moments of pressure, you will have to reflect your opponents’ kicks and punches as best as you can.

There are three types of basic blocking techniques: hold back – for standing block, hold back down – for crouching block, hold back up – for jumping block. The most useful and effective type of block is a crouching block.

You can block almost anything except throws. Throws can happen when your opponent comes really close to you, so remember to keep your distance.

If the opponent still connects and tries to throw you over the shoulder, use your own throw – this can prevent him from performing the move and you from an eventual knockdown. Throws are very simple to execute – just press light kick and light punch buttons together.

Be wary of the jumping attacks at all times and learn how to counter them properly by performing anti-air moves. The best type of character for learning anti-airs is Ryu. You can choose him and start learning immediately in the training mode.

Ryu’s anti-air move consists of “Mp Shoryuken” and “cr. Hp” – “mp” stands for medium punch, “Shoryuken” – for dragon punch and “cr. Hp” – for crouching heavy punch. You can see the complete explanation of Ryu’s moves in this table. Learn them all and practice as much as you can.

In the case, when you like to jump at your opponent and you see him using anti-airs against you – avoid any further jumping attacks, otherwise you will lose the fight.

4. Finally, now you can get into combos

Street Fighter V combo

Only after you understand how to use normals, specials, and blocking, you can go ahead and start learning simple combos.

Combos are the most complicated topic in Street Fighter V. You will have to delve much, much deeper into advanced techniques than this simple guide can offer, if you really want to fully understand the power of the combos. But you need to start somewhere and here are the basics you must know beforehand.

When it comes to combos you will basically deal with four main concepts: frames, cancels, links, and chains.

Each combo consists of frames. Frames are bits of moves within the combo, where each bit can be separated, for example, the beginning of the move (startup frames), the extension of the move, when it connects (active frames), the end of the move and return to the initial phase (recovery frames), etc.

Cancels happen when you perform a piece of a combo, but without letting the animation go full cycle, you execute the next one – this literally cancels the previous sequence of moves, and thus diminishes its effect. However, in order not to be punished (when you are open and vulnerable for a moment during a combo execution), cancels can be super effective and can give you massive advantage.

Links are the opposite of cancels – this is when you allow a combo to go full cycle. Your opponent may be stunned for a moment, so you can use this opportunity to immediately perform another one for a devastating result.

Chains consist of a quick sequence of normals and specials that cancel into each other. So, generally speaking, chains are the easiest types of combos. You can try putting together several normals and execute them quickly without letting the animations to finish – as a result you will be able to perform your own personal combos.

A few more important advices for mastering combos:

Be aware of your opponent’s actions while you execute a combo. You may face somebody who knows how to deal with the specific combo you’re using, and they will be able to prevent you from completing the whole sequence. Thus, make your combos flexible and don’t just follow the instructions.

For example, if your opponent blocks one of the chains or links, you shouldn’t just continue executing your moves by default, but adapt to the situation and use those types of moves that will surprise your opponent and they will not be able to find a quick answer.

Try to master one combo at a time in the training mode and start with something very simple. Do it at least a dozen times and then try it out in the real fight. It’s important because you will be able to see which parts of the combo don’t work too well, so you can go back to the CPU dummy and change it accordingly.

Also, remember that every character has their own special features and moves.

  • Try to take one character and practice as much as you can with them alone.
  • Don’t switch between them too often or you may find yourself confused about their moves.
  • As soon as you get the sense of a certain character, and you know that you can move forward, then you can try others.

As of now, this should be enough for your first steps in the world of fighting games. It will not be easy and it will take a lot of time before you will be able to contest the pros, but the results may the most rewarding, so it’s worth it.

Tell us about your progress in Street Fighter V in the comments section below.

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Serhii Patskan
Serhii is the Writer at GameSkinny. He's been writing for GameSkinny since 2015. Before that, he's been writing for various outlets and playing video games, which eventually turned into a passion. The video games that have contributed the most to his enthusiasm for writing about this industry are Magic: The Gathering, Dark Souls, and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.