Neutral Game Part 2: Cross Counter!

Part 1     Part 2     Part 3     Part 4

So this is  part 2 of the 4 -installment series covering the basic neutral game for fighting games. Last time we took a look at the very basics of the neutral game, which are comprised of footsies. We also delved a little bit deeper into footsies with a focus on how to play footsies offensively as well as defensively, and how you should play these roles in an actual match. Part 2 of that series takes aim to give you a couple of more tools in your belt. It assumes that you understand the position you’re playing during footsies, whether offensively or defensively, and that you understand your opponents role and mindset as well. The two pieces I’m going to talk about are called counter-offensive footsies and counter-defensive footsies. These two concepts take advantage of your opponents mindset in a sort of “I know that you want to do X, so I’ll do Y” situation. This also serves as a foundation of  mind games during footsies in actual match play.

  • Counter-Offensive Footsies

Counter-offensive footsies takes aim at the opponent’s willingness to walk forward in order to have one of their “pokes” reach out and hit you. An opponent who is walking forward is standing, and therefore cannot be blocking low. The sweep move [typically a character’s crouching heavy kick move, although there are some exceptions] is a move that can only be blocked low and so can be used against an opponent trying to get into range to use their “poke”. This does not come without some risk; however, as sweeping moves generally have very long periods of recovery.

The Sweep

  • Counter-Defensive Footsies

Counter-defensive footsies serves to take advantage of the opponent’s mindset of whiff punishing any move you try to do. To set this up, you would need to step into range where your “poke” move would hit, but instead press a shorter ranged and faster recovering button [typically a character’s crouching light punch or crouching light kick]. Upon seeing a move come out, the opponent will be misled into thinking it is your “poke” move and try to whiff punish it. Because your move has such quick recovery, you should be able to recover in time to counter their whiff punish with an appropriately timed and far reaching move.

Questions or comments? leave it down in the reply section and I’ll get to it as soon as I can! Stay tuned for part 3!