These Street Fighter 5 tips will help players who are new to fighting games win online matches. While anything we say about the online modes will apply to the story mode that’s made available, the bulk of your time will be spent battling other gamers.
On the surface, fighting games like Street Fighter 5 appear to be button mashers, but in reality they are very complex beasts. Knowing when to attack and when to defend, or how to string together combos are essential skills to being competitive against talented opponents. Our goal today isn’t to help you win any professional tournaments, but rather help the average player eliminate some bad habits, and perhaps even create some good ones. This includes tips for movement, defense, and a breakdown of how the V-Gauge works.
We’ll begin with one of the most common mistakes that players make in fighting games, which is to jump all over the level. It’s tempting to jump at your opponent to try and land a strike or combo, but it leaves you open to being punished, a term used to describe when one player makes a mistake, and the other player punishes them with a retaliation.
In your first few rounds of Street Fighter 5, stay on the ground. Learn to move around without jumping, controlling distance and getting a feel for movement without flying through the air. It will definitely take some getting used to, but you will be a better player for it.
Your natural instinct in a fighting game is to do damage to your opponent, which you absolutely must do. However, you shouldn’t be attacking all the time. When your opponent is coming forward with a combo, try playing some defense and blocking, all the while waiting for an opening to strike. When it’s your turn to attack, try throwing a combo of your own. Just make sure that you don’t get too carried away. When it’s your opponent’s turn to attack, get back to blocking and playing defense.
What is V-Gauge?
Street Fighter 5 has a new feature called the V-Gauge. It’s the bar that sits on top of your EX Meter. Your V-Gauge will fill up as your character takes damage and you lose health, and as you perform V-Skill moves. Players can use their V-Gauge for a V-Reversal or V-Trigger, both of which we’ll be discussing in further detail below.
Using a V-Reversal
Perhaps the most common use of the V-Gauge will be to allow players to use their V-Reversal. This can be triggered by pushing forward and all three punches (light, medium and heavy) at the same time. Use it if you are stuck in a combo from your opponent and you are desperate to get out. Of course, you’ll need to be blocking that combo for the V-Reversal to work, but it’s nice to know that it’s there as an option.
Using a V-Trigger
While the V-Reversal would be a move that you can execute (a reversal), the V-Trigger will activate an ability that is unique to each character. For example, Chun-Li activates a mode in which many of her attacks will be two hits instead of one, Birdie gains a boost in damage with some of his special moves gaining armor. Cammy, on the other hand, has her special moves become harder to punish, and in certain cases gain juggle properties. Activating the V-Trigger for each of the characters will typically involve pressing the Heavy Punch and Heavy Kick simultaneously.
Using a V-Skill
The V-Skill is a special move that is unique to each character in the game. It increases the V-Gauge instead of depleting it like the rest of the abilities tied to it, so use it freely in order to help build your V-Gauge.
Unlike the V-Trigger, performing a character’s unique V-Skill often requires a unique button combination. If you’re Birdie, for example, you can use the V-Skill: Donut by pressing the Medium Punch and Medium Kick simultaneously. However, he also has several variations that will require you to use different button combinations. For the most part, each character can use their default V-Skill by pressing the Medium Punch and Medium Kick.
Practice Makes Perfect
It’s easy to understand the fundamentals of a fighting game after reading about them online, but it takes a long time (hundreds, if not thousands of hours) to get really good in practice. Our suggestion would be to choose a character that is good for beginners, such as Ryu or Ken, and then continue to use them until you have a good understanding of their moves, as well as the basic move execution of the game. Perhaps this will translate into playing as one character only per day, working to master them before moving on to the next.
What you don’t want to do is start out by switching characters after every match. This won’t give you the time you need to get good with one, and the result will most likely be a string of losses as you struggle to learn how to play several new characters in a short amount of time. Once you understand the basics of one character, it can be beneficial to learn another so you know how to defend against that character, but don’t rush into multiple characters before you’ve learned a single character.
Finally, don’t focus too much on your wins and losses as you’re starting out. Focus on doing the things that we’ve outlined in this article. Keep your feet on the ground and learn movement and distance. Be aware of your V-Gauge and the different ways that you can use it to your advantage. Lastly, remember that mashing buttons leads only to frustration, so take a breath and try playing a little bit of defense. The sooner you realize that Street Fighter 5 is a complex game with a lot of moving parts, the sooner you can start to climb the online ranks.
EX Gauge and Critical Arts
Veteran Street Fighter players might recall Super Moves. In Street Fighter 5, Capcom has replaced this with the term Critical Arts. In order to perform a Critical Art, players must first have a full EX Gauge. The EX Gauage will not reset at the end of a round, so don't feel that you need to use it until you're ready. This is not the same as the V-Gauge, which does reset at the end of each round. Use your V-Gauge as often as you can, and save your Critical Arts for that perfect moment.
Each character has at least one unique Critical Art. There are too many to list and detail in this tips article, so we encourage your to study them using USgamer's Street Fighter 5 Critical Arts Guide. This will include instructions on how to perform each Critical Art.