In the earlier days of street fighter 4, a lot of players at all different levels of skill touted that online play was far less superior than live match play. They were convinced that meeting friends or traveling to a venue to play in the same physical location was the only way that a player could improve if they were interested in the game at a serious competitive level. Then like a commentator’s curse, players like Wolfkrone broke onto the scene to prove them all wrong. Now players of the game understand the usefulness and opportunities that online play provides, which has triggered an age where virtually anyone with a decent internet connection can improve and play on a serious level. Hell there are even streamed online tournaments [See Alex Valle’s recent Wednesday Night Fights streams] supported and entered by top-level players. So with the “Online play has no competitive usefulness” debunked, the only question that remains is how can you use online to improve.
This guide is going to be a 3-part series on how you can effectively use online play to improve your Street Fighter ability. The first thing I want to talk about is points. Online, you have the option to play ranked mode where your wins and losses are converted into two different systems of points. Let’s talk a little bit about both of them.
PP: If you interested in improving, player points are what you should concern yourself with the most. These points span across all the characters you use and are very difficult to gain because the amount you gain and lose are roughly equal for wins and losses. You should look at these and see them as an overall rating of a player’s skill and ability.
BP Battle Points aren’t really as important as player points in my opinion. Battle points don’t carry over between characters and they are much easier to accumulate because the amount you gain is much more than the amount you lose for wins and losses, respectively. If you see someone with an unusually high amount of points in this category, that should tell you that they have a relatively high amount of knowledge of the character and likely know a lot of match-up knowledge for that character.
So when you’re online, and you see someone’s player points, and battle points, you can likely glean some information about them before you even have a match. Below is a breakdown of what you should know about a player by only looking at their points. While there are some exceptions to the things I’m referring to, they should for the most part be correct:
Low PP / Low BP: They are either a beginner / someone who usually only plays endless battle / a troll.
Low PP / High BP: There’s a good chance that this kind of person is a lower level player who only uses 1 character.
High PP / Low BP: Likely a skilled player trying out a different character or a multi-character specialist.
High PP / High BP: A skilled player using their main character.
Q: Should I really even play for points? What’s wrong with using endless battle?
A: Honestly, you don’t have to. It’s not absolutely necessary; however, I am a very methodical person, and I think it’s good to have some sort of seeable and quantifiable way to measure my success. I think the points from ranked battles are wonderful for this. I think it’s also motivating to see when you are doing well. Because Street Fighter can be kind of stressful, I think having any sort of motivator is useful.
Q: What point total should I aim for?
A: Honestly, the answer here depends on you. While you can use the points as a barometer for certain things like match-up knowledge and fundamentals, you should set your own realistic goals and aim for those.
Q: I’m at X amount of PP, what should I focus on?
A: < 1000 PP You should focus on game mechanics
<2000 PP You should focus on the games fundamentals}
<3000 PP You should focus on the match-ups and learning each character match-up.
Stay tune next time, and we’ll be taking a look at the style of how you should approach our online matches so that you can actually improve. If you have any comments or questions, hit me up on twitter, ask.fm or shoot me a message below in the comments section! Till next time!