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Let's talk about Fighting Games, Part 4: How do I pick my character?



Many players have a hard time to decide what kind of character they should pick in a fighting game. I think it helps to learn about the different archetypes of characters in fighting games to make that decision easier. In fighting games you have different types of characters with varied playstyles. A rushdown character like Cammy is like a sledgehammer who wants to kill you as fast as possible while a zoner like Guile wants to kill you slowly with projectiles.



Shotos (Shotokans) are characters like Ryu, Ken, Sakura, Akuma. They all have a Dragon Punch, a Projectile, a Hurricane Kick and they are allrounders. They aren't great in one specific area but always have a tool to deal with danger. The Shotokan martial artstyle offers a balanced approach to fighting and they are good beginner characters.



Rushdown characters want to kill you as fast as possible. Rashid and Cammy are good examples for rushdown characters. They want you dead yesterday. Their mobility, speed and pressure lets them turn up the heat and play an aggressive fighting style.



Zoners want to keep you away with projectiles and then punish your jumping with anti-airs or put you under constant pressure with their projetile game only to flip their style in the match to catch you off guard with throws or well timed ranged attacks. Guile is a good zoner. Other zoners are Yukiko and Aigis from Persona 4: Arena. They have strong projectiles and many players don't enjoy their “spam” without realizing that a good projectile playstyle takes skill.



Puppet characters are heavily dependent on their puppet. That can be a puppet like in Carl Glover's case in Blazblue or an orb like in Menat's case. They send out their partner/object to mix you up and confuse you. They have good mixup tools and are tricky characters. Hard to learn and even harder to master.



The keepaway character is different from the zoner. Rolento is a hit-and-run character for example. He annoys you with his throwing knifes until you make a mistake and then he punishes you for it. Hit-and-run is characterized by high mobility, annoying projectiles and precise dashing.



Karin Kanzuki is the quintessential footsie character. She has good buttons to put on some pressure but her strength comes from her good buttons in neutral (standing medium kick and crouching medium kick). She can punish whiffed moves and punish almost every mistake you make.



They have command grabs and can put you in situations where you more or less have to take risks to escape their throws. Abel, Laura, Zangief are good grapplers who mix you up or make you guess on wakeup (Okizeme).

Those are by far not all character archetypes in fighting games but I think it's a good overview of different playstyles in fighting games. So pick a character who you like and keep their role/archetype in mind while you're trying them out.

Happy New Year and don't forget: Win with pride, lose with respect, never give up!


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About Jetfandamone of us since 1:17 PM on 02.05.2014

Well, what should I write? Mhm... I'm an ordinary guy, nothing special really. My favorite games of all times are: Mass Effect 2, Metal Gear Solid 3, Zelda:Wind Waker/Minish Cap, Shadow of the Colossus, Valkyria Chronicles, Persona 3 and 4, Street Fighter Alpha 3/Third Strike and Silent Hill 3.
I'm from Germany and my hobbies are: Drawing, Anime, Manga, Games and Poker. Fighting games are great and I love to play SF, MvC, BB or Tekken. I would like to chat and be a part of this awesome community!