Strategy Footsies?

Discussion in 'Gameplay Topics' started by Juggs, Feb 1, 2012.

By Juggs on Feb 1, 2012 at 7:44 AM
  1. Juggs

    Juggs Lose without excuses
    Lead Moderator

    Since the topic of footsies has come up recently, some have asked for a thread to explain them more in detail. This thread is to accomplish just that.

    Footsies are a high level tactic utilized in nearly every fighter. Some games use them similarly, others have different methods. But the general idea of what footsies are remains consistent.

    When you hear the term "footsies", you automatically think of a foot and things in fighters related to that. Whether it be a short, forward or roundhouse in SF, or a LK, HK/FK, BK in MK. I've even heard people say games like UMK3 don't have footsies because you use jabs more than your kicks/sweeps. So it's obvious there's some confusion on what footsies actually are. Think of footsies more of knowledge and mind games.

    Footsies are understanding what your opponent is or wants to do, then punishing them for it. You force your opponent into a situation they don't choose to be in. Footsies are knowing your character AND your opponents character's max range and exploiting that knowledge.

    An example of footsies that is more visual is something I call "the shimmy". This is when you walk back and forward in and out of the range of your opponent's max range, then baiting out that attack and whiff punishing or block punishing accordingly.

    Footsies aren't something you can pick up quickly. They're complex and require rigorous training, practice and experience to use them effectively. I'll go over some general tips on how to get started with your own footsie game.

    -The shimmy is something more on the easier side that you can practice. The reason this works so well is because you're abusing your opponents natural reactions. Just practice going in and out of your opponents range, really enticing him to react. Make sure you're ready for him to react, because that's what you want. Then punish him for it. Knowing what you can and can't punish with is key to mastering the shimmy.

    -After you get the shimmy down, now comes the throw mind games. Once you condition your opponent into playing your footsie game, he's not going to want to press anything. This allows you to simply walk or dash up and throw him. He'll be so worried about your shimmy his reactions will be slower on teching the throw.

    -Really understand where your combo's and block strings leave your opponent space wise. Forcing your opponent to play at the range YOU want just by doing a certain combo is really advantageous. Even if you have to finish the combo earlier to get the correct space you want, it's usually going to be worth it.

    -Similar to the shimmy, you can use your own normals to bait out counters to them. Get in range so that your doesn't hit them, but also their counter whiffs you as well. They may think you're going for a sweep and try to punish it on reaction or habit.

    -It's really important to study your opponent. If their behavior changes, and they move further from you than their max range, they may be looking to bait you into advancing. Whether that be jumping, dashing or even just walking. I know personally I do this a lot in UMK3. I will just walk back randomly and it's like it's a sign for my opponent to jump at me, then I get a free anti-air. This also means paying attention to their meter and life bar. If they have 3 bars, they will probably be less cautious and more aggressive. If they have no meter they will want to build it. You know, basic stuff like this is often dismissed when it can really help you in a high level match.

    -Never fall into a pattern. You need to remain unpredictable. If your opponent does something and you always react the same way, your opponent is going to pick up on that. Always be mixing it up and always be ready to be random. Being random gets a bad rap BECAUSE people don't expect it. Being random is certainly not a bad thing if you're winning now is it?

    -Don't be so eager to keep unrelenting pressure when you corner your opponent. His back is in the corner, not yours. You don't need to panic and rush his shit down if it isn't needed. Just get in the perfect range, and keep him in the corner. Of course this is hard to do on character's like Raiden, but match-up knowledge plays a big factor in your footsie game.

    -You need to decide where you want the match to be played. If you want to play a full screen match, make it a full screen match. When you force your opponent to play at the range, space and position on the screen that YOU want to be at, he's totally in your control.

    -Lastly I want to touch on jumping. There's waaay too much of it in MK9. I realize, of course, that it's really needed in Mk9. But right now people are getting away with it more than they should. You want to be able to jump when it's safe. There's a few ways to accomplish this. One way is to bait out a projectile. Give him a reason to want to chuck plasma, then just be ready for it. Next would be a safe jump. This is acquired through match-up experience and knowing your own character's jump ranges. A safe jump is getting a jump in that's safe. Which means your opponent can't anti-air it or punish it. And if they try to you'll land in time to block and punish. And finally the cross-ups. Cross-ups are huge in MK9, setting them up is what you need to practice.

    If you're jumping just to jump, you're doing it wrong. Jumping should be, in many cases, your last option. With the exception of the set-ups mentioned above. Ask yourself why you are jumping at this certain time. If you have no good answer, then you shouldn't be jumping. Simple right? You would certainly think so.

    This is all I can think of at the moment. Footsies are a huge part of competitive play and I honestly feel they're lacking in high level MK9. Once you actively work on them, you WILL notice you doing better against everyone you play. Anything you do that forces your opponent to play YOUR game will always allow you to truly dominate the match and game. As I said though, footsies are really complex and they take so much practice and experience to master. The thing is, you have to actually work on them. They just don't come to you over night. Maybe you should even sacrifice winning to work on your footsies. You know, like not jumping for an entire match or only using the shimmy for your attacks. In the end, you'll be so thankful you took the time to learn footsies as it will not only improve your performance in one game, but in all the others as well.
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Discussion in 'Gameplay Topics' started by Juggs, Feb 1, 2012.

    1. PND OmegaK
      PND OmegaK
      I agree that footsies are 90% non existant in MK9 at the moment, it's a real shame because its probably the most fun part about the game for me (watching and playing), and it feels so rewarding if you get the bait you want. Good write up too, hopefully more people will start understanding them.
      IniquityDM and OJuggernautO like this.
    2. A F0xy Grampa
      A F0xy Grampa
      I'd say high jump kicks are another part of the footsie game cause they cant be AA'd by normals, at certain ranges a low JIK cant be AA'd by some moves and can be comboed off.
    3. NRF CharlieMurphy
      NRF CharlieMurphy
      You can't do it consistently online... so its taking forever to learn it because it is much easier to just jump.

      It is the MAJOR downfall of the crappy lag that online has at the moment. I know lag is part of online... but if they could find a way to have those 1-2 frame moments happen only 20% of the time... players would be more inclined to learn to AA and to space correctly, rather than just jump in with no consequences.

      More to the point. Good post Juggs!!!
    4. A F0xy Grampa
      A F0xy Grampa
      People take ages to learn not to jump, even when you do AA them all the time. Its just a poor mentality.
    5. NRF CharlieMurphy
      NRF CharlieMurphy
      I agree. There are a few characters than can do this in lag reasonably well... and you play both of them.

      But again... 90% of the cast can't really do it... so why learn it? I feel that is what the mass of players think. I lose a ton because i'll try to and get just blown up because what my brain and mind see... is not necessarily what the "game" sees.

      Thing is... it is SO easy to do and to react to offline.
      IniquityDM likes this.
    6. A F0xy Grampa
      A F0xy Grampa
      Which? SZ, JC, Sonya, KL, Raiden, Shang, Baraka, Rain?

      Most of the cast have easy AA's even online. I know Cyrax Sektor LK NW Jax Kitana Jade and even Sindel have sick AAs that work online too. I get the feeling that people aren't practicing it enough
      Srryimwhte likes this.
    7. AK L0rdoftheFLY
      AK L0rdoftheFLY
      I lose so many games online because of the inability to footsie well. My lag is bad due to my poor connection but online as a whole has stunted the growth of this game as a high level fighter.

      The masses don't understand the game and only a very small percentage of players that play online actually get it. I lose to bull shit that don't fly offline due to my footsies...that's how I gt NW to compete at a high level.
    8. smokey
      Knowledge of your position and movements of the hitbox and character on your moves are good examples of footsies.
      Foxy has something somewhere for JC with 11f1, the position you leave yourself and opponent after this string means that you can f3 them, stuffing their next action. You cant seem to be poked either because the hitbox properties of f3 like hops the poke in some cases.

      All just comes down to studying the movesets of all the characters and making the links, which is usually subconcious while you are playing and learning your character.
      OJuggernautO likes this.
    9. Juggs
      Yeah so many high level aspects are just non-existent online. And that goes for every fighter. Even games with supposed "good" netcode like SSF4 are just unplayable online with any sort of seriousness in regards to high level play.
      IniquityDM and MKK hanzo like this.
    10. rteruyas
    11. xenogorgeous
      Amazing thread, should be "sticky" forever in TYM. Footsies is damn complex and require years of experience and gameplay with fighting games, in order to be well understood and applied in the current fg you are dedicating at the moment.

      So, any discussion about the subject is really welcomed and useful. It's very necessary for newcomers in MK9 to try to figure out what this kind of strategy stands for.
    12. NkdSingularity
      I had thought footsies were mainly about pokes and knowing their speed, frames on block and frames on hit. Good to get the topic broken down like this, consider me re-educated :).
      OJuggernautO likes this.
    13. AK L0rdoftheFLY
      AK L0rdoftheFLY
      That is still true though.
    14. Juggs
      It definitely is one of the best tools you can learn imo. My UMK3 game play improved tremendously when I specifically focused on my footsies for awhile.
      MKK hanzo likes this.
    15. xenogorgeous
      Agreed, and I go far : learning footsies is the only way to make your current gameplay looks much less .... predictable. A player that rely too much in special moves and combos, but, does poor in footsie knowledge, movement, dash advancement/dash back, space control, conscient pokes, set-ups for counter-attack with AA, uppercuts, baiting to create whiffs, etc .... will never be a complete top pro in this game or any other.

      People have being doing more or less footsies since SF II Champion Edition, but, unconsciously and without paying attention what they were doing, what for ..... the concept was not mature in the very beggining of 2D FG era, was only with tourney competition, and online access to info, that this kind of knowledge started to get well explained.
      IniquityDM and OJuggernautO like this.
    16. GNG Iniquity
      GNG Iniquity
      To be brutally honest, I can't even land Cage, Sektor and Sonya's standing 1s to AA the majority of the time online. Online is less about reacting and more of anticipating, you react a half-second too late and you eat the JIP instead. It's very different.

      Online makes this game a jump ridden piece of shit. I've developed god awful habits from playing this shit online...
    17. charlieonline
      Thing is the footsies for online are really just "instant air kick any jump attempt" and you will destroy 85% of the online warriors. They just don't know what to do if you take away their jump ins.
      IniquityDM likes this.
    18. GNG Iniquity
      GNG Iniquity
      Unfortunately, I have yet to have had much offline experience, but I play the two very differently. Online, I truly do not give a shit, I'll JIP constantly and do stupid shit because I autopilot it and have no incentive in my mind to take it seriously at all. Once I establish a good offline scene, I'm not touching online ever again.

      How others manage to take online seriously is beyond me, but props to them, I had too many lag spikes, disconnects and lost to online tactics that it's gotten to the point that I simply do not care lol

      When I attempt to take online seriously, it makes me rage like a mother fucker and well, what's the point of that? Too much bullshit involved to waste my emotions on it when I cannot control those variables.
      SunnyD likes this.
    19. xenogorgeous
      In the most basic poor explanation, footsie is : "your character is not only special moves and combos, what you do more with the rest of basic move setup list your character has ?" :D

      In the most advancing explanation, you can go with : "you have an answer for 90% of actions your opponent bring to the match, and if you are good, you "play with the food", as a T-Rex doing with the prey ..... you set up traps and position to your favour, without the adversary figure out, and you are able to escape safely from almost everything, and put your opponent in defensive stance and backing off to corner, without the bastard figuring out you are doing purposely !!" :D :D
      japcolombia likes this.
    20. charlieonline
      I got quite an eye opener recently. Here in Montreal we have a scene growing and when I played it was such a drastic difference. I don't see a point to online now. Before I thought I online was good and stuff but after playing offline I realized that online is BS.

      You can convert all the losses into wins simply by removing the AA from the online warrior's game and just get a combo here and there.. they are really really bad. In fact, they tend to win because they are so defensive and since you can't stop the AA you will try to pressure and just eat a AA you normally wouldn't.

      Online if you try to play footsies around sweep you eat a jip and can't AA it. Offline is completely different... nobody jumps. I mean, you can jump but damn if you try some random jip from outside sweep you are getting AA'ed so bad man.
      IniquityDM likes this.
    21. NkdSingularity
      Online I AA'd Ermac with Rains' :fp, it hit, he lost a chunk of his life bar, but I still got jip-comboed for 46% and lost the match. Never tried again.
    22. crosstalk
      Playing other fighting games can definitely help your footsies game. I started off with Super Turbo, then jumped on the SF4 hype train. Playing both those games really makes you aware of proper spacing, priority, and how unique each of your normals are. They definitely helped me play MK9 better than I would have if I just started with it.
    23. charlieonline
      I went to a local casual meet up, first time in about a year for my city, I was able to react to jumps and do "2" with smoke. I'm talking a super late reaction here. I saw the guy jump thought for a second and said oh wait I can just 2 him from this distance then dash d1 smoke bomb him and it worked.

      Online you can't even react it's as if by the time they jump they will already hit you with their jip before your 2 begins to execute. It's very strange because the animation online looks fluid yet the inputs just don't function as they should.
      IniquityDM likes this.
    24. lazybird123
      I guess in a way, we can say that footsies can also include knowledge of the lag; whether its on a TV or online. I know that I noticed a lot of the guys I played against online would uppercut AA often, so I started incorportating that into my online game, but offline, I still go to for the more traditional 1 AA.

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