The 10 biggest mistakes to avoid in Super Street Fighter IV


Don’t get too grabby. Makoto’s Karakusa command grab is sexy because it gives you a free combo, and it’s a staple of her offense, but it’s easy to counter if you see it coming. In order to make it effective, you need to train your opponent to think you might do something else.

You can do this by… doing something else. If you can get them thinking about a variety of nasty things you might do to them, your opponent will be caught in that moment of uncertainty, and that’s when your grabs will really start to work. In some kind of exciting zen way, you make the move more effective by using it less.


Don’t forget to go low! Dudley has a ton of great pokes, but too many of the Dudleys I see are far too content to stick with the high and mid-hitting moves, which means you can stand up against them without much fear. He doesn’t have a good cross-up attack, so some of Dudley’s best pressure comes from high/low tricks. However, just as “always go rock” is not a foolproof strategy in “rocks/paper/scissors,” high/low tricks don’t work if you always go with the “high” option.

To make all of your pokes, as well as your throw attempts (and your fantastic towards+hard kick overhead attack!) more effective, you need to make sure your opponent is afraid to stand up. Go for crouching weak kick (which is fast and hits low) into standing middle kick chain—if it hits, you can cancel into a special move like an uppercut. This will stick in their memory and get them to hunker down in defensive crouch, and from there you’re in a much better position to land that overhead, keep them guessing and score some big combos.


Don’t overuse her kunai air-knives! They can be effective at annoying an opponent, but they won’t win you any matches and can leave you more vulnerable than you realize, especially to fast Ultras that can hit you from across the screen. Basically you’re gambling whenever you use them.

Your reward for hitting is pretty small, but your risk can be extremely high, so use them sparingly and don’t get predictable. Think of them more like a tool to help cover your approach and get close than as a pure keepaway tool.

Dee Jay

It can be tempting for OG Dee Jay players to try and play keepaway from across the screen with air-slashers. This will work to a point, but to really do damage you should take full advantage of his deadly cross-up tricks. Dee Jay has a lot of ways to knock you down (crouching middle kick, his slide, almost all of his EX specials), and every time the opponent is on their back, you should be jumping in.

When you jump, mix things up between a cross-up (jumping middle kick) that they have to switch positions to block, or a fake cross-up (jumping hard punch) that looks like it will cross-up, but actually hits from the front.  Once you really have them confused and trying to guess which way to block, you can even get cute by jumping in with nothing at all, and going for a surprise throw.

T. Hawk

Don’t be too anxious about getting in. T. Hawk is very scary when he’s in your face, but a lot of Hawk players get impatient from across the screen and try and focus attack through fireballs, or just reflexively dive over them with Condor Dive. Both must be used sparingly—Hawk’s dash is so short and slow that even absorbing fireballs with a focus attack and then dashing doesn’t move you very close, and can also leave you exposed. Be patient and use his normal jump from full screen to avoid most projectiles, or just be content to block once in a while.

The Condor Dive is even more vulnerable than the focus attack, and if you do it early, your opponent can counter you for big damage, or simply block it and hit you back for free. Hold your horses and remember you’re not going to lose from blocking a few fireballs. Advance carefully, and once you get to midscreen, consider the EX Condor Spire to get in their face and set up some piledrivers—much safer!

Again, big thanks to Seth at Capcom Unity!


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  • StickyLungs - May 7, 2010 10:02 p.m.

    This article is awesome! I'd love more stuff like this! Possibly a follow up with more characters covered or maybe go even deeper with some of the characters you already covered... Not sure if it'd be worth your time, but I'd read the eff out of it. Thank you Mr. Elston. Well done sir.
  • BUFFshagwell - May 7, 2010 9:56 p.m.

    everything i do is a mistake
  • D0CCON - May 7, 2010 8:55 p.m.

    The #1 mistake to avoid: Buying the game in the first place. Oh yeah, I'm totally bringing out the Street Fighter hate. My least favorite series of all time.
  • philipshaw - May 7, 2010 11:56 a.m.

    This should help me get good at SF4
  • Tenfey - May 7, 2010 7:17 a.m.

    Also make sure you are down right fierce enough.
  • Cwf2008 - May 7, 2010 4:33 a.m.

    Lol at the Hakan advice...and the flowchart
  • CH3BURASHKA - May 7, 2010 2:53 a.m.

    I'm not a regular player, so all I see is a lot of words that seem to form sentences... or not, I don't know. That raccoon is pretty cute, tho.
  • Hurricrane - May 7, 2010 1:30 a.m.

    I haven't played anyone except Hakan, so I forgot about almost everyone on this list lol
  • OnyxOblivion - May 7, 2010 12:30 a.m.

    Must...not...spam...Jump kick. Also, it took me a little while to realize that Juri can hold her projectile charge. Holding a low charge and unleashing it as you get close to trip up an opponent is always fun.
  • GamesRadarMichaelGrimm - May 7, 2010 12:20 a.m.

    I'm digging T. Hawk, he's got some pretty sweet anti air moves and his command throw is just as good as Gief's. Seth isn't lying though when he talks about Hawk's awful dash though.
  • Mirako - May 7, 2010 12:01 a.m.

    I used to main Akuma but now I've started to use Dudley and he's way more fun. T. Hawk just strikes me as a native American Zangief.
  • Cyberninja - May 6, 2010 11:19 p.m.

    quit reminding me i dont have super 4 =(
  • 5DollarFootlong - May 6, 2010 10:43 p.m.

    i love when GR posts features on Street Fighter. It makes me happy.
  • loonyman978 - May 6, 2010 10:27 p.m.

    I got halfway through before realiseing i dont own Street fighter
  • Xtapolapopotamus - May 6, 2010 10:13 p.m.

    I would've liked to have seen a bit more on Juri and Ibuki, since they're my two mains, but oh well. Good work! I know I tend to use the air kunai with Ibuki a lot, and it's always tempting to close the gap using Juri's air kick. Good article to help newcomers like myself avoid easy-to-punish moves.
  • xDxP - May 6, 2010 10:12 p.m.

    I've been maining Ibuki...and yes the Kunai are addictive cause they also fill up the super meter. *slap on the wrist

Showing 1-16 of 16 comments

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