Fighting games are fun to play. They can be enjoyed casually or competitively, which is really up to you on how you play it. There are times, however, where it can also stress you out if you take them too seriously to a point where it stops being fun, as well as getting bored too easily. That can lead them to taking a break or quitting fighters in the process.
People tend to stop playing fighters because of these reasons:
Taking a brief break from fighters is okay if you feel too burnt out. But if you take more than a week’s break from fighting games, then leveling up is gonna be harder than before. And since we have more fighting games coming out this year, most people play it for two weeks or so, then drop it later on. This is what we call Flavor of the Week (or Flavor of the Month).
In some cases, there are people who play fighters for the first time with a high expectation that they are going to dominate at tournaments. That is until reality kicks in and they feel discouraged after five or six losses in their matches. Some keep going and play on tilt, while others rage quit because they can't take it.
Don't be like this guy, kids.
Let me be brutally honest with you all: You aren’t gonna be good the first time around when you start playing fighters. You are going to lose. You will be embarrassed in public. Your emotions will get in your way of your game plan. Trust me, we have been through it all before and it’s not just fighters. It’s the same with MOBA, FPS, and others. In fighting games, you have to take risks no matter how good or bad they are. You have to make yourself look like an idiot no matter what you do.
As a fighting game player, you have to keep playing no matter what. Doing so has its major benefits that will help you grow as a player along the way. Let’s talk about those benefits, shall we?
Let’s compare the Fighting Game Community with JRPGs, doesn’t matter which game. Every newcomer starts off at Level 1. In order to reach the next level, you need to gain experience points. To gain experience points, you need to defeat an opponent.
However, it depends on how powerful your opponent is. You gain more EXP once you defeat an opponent that is either stronger than you or on par with your skill level. However, if you defeat weaker opponents, you gain less EXP. Doing so will make it harder for you to level up.
The FGC in general is one big JRPG. Your main goal is to become the strongest player. The joy of leveling up in fighters lie within playing stronger opponents, finding new tech in the lab, practicing combos, etc. You have to keep playing in order to level up.
When most players find a new main, they want to get to know everything about their character. They want to explore what they can do within the game’s mechanics, such as what’s broken, what can they do in a combo, best tools for offense and defense, and more in Training Mode (aka The Lab).
Some people like to record their findings thanks to capture cards or the streaming feature on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One for example and share it with their friends on Facebook and YouTube. There are also some people who livestream their findings on Twitch as well.
Whenever you see these players do this, they are actually having fun with the game. They love finding new stuff that no one has ever known about. That’s what keep them playing.
Billie Jean King has once said “Champions keep playing until they get it right”. There’s a lot of truth to this statement because the more you play the game, the more you find your flaws so that you can improve on them.
When most people play fighters for the first time, they think they’re automatically good. Simple, right? Well… let me tell you the harsh truth that I had to learn thanks to a quote from Patrick Miller on SRK: VIDEO GAMES HAVE LIED TO YOU.
You may be a badass at destroying angels in Bayonetta, or you may be the best pilot in Star Fox, but that’s only because developers make these type of games to make you feel like you don’t suck.
With fighting games, we actually love the feeling that we do suck because it motivates us to get better along the way. As we play more, we identify what we need to work on, such as knowing when to block, or mashing out of negative frames. The more we play, the more we learn, the better we level up.
So let’s recap the benefits of playing more often in fighting games. Playing more is the best way to level up, exploring the characters or game mechanics can be fun, and it can identify your flaws.
Reminder: your goal is not to win, but to get better. The best way to get better is by playing more people whether it is online or offline. Don't worry about winning, focus on learning.
Until then... Train Up, Fighters!