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Street Fighter 6 — 5 Ranked Tips for Escaping Bronze

Use these 5 tips to climb the ranked ladder in SF6

Street Fighter 6 is bringing a ton of new faces to fighting games and with that comes growing pains. As we’ve said in some of our general FGC tips, fighting games are HARD. It’s going to take a while before you can take on players who have decades of experience with the genre. But that’s not who you should be worried about. You should focus on how to dominate your fellow rookies. So here are some tips to get you out of the doldrums of Rookie, Iron and Bronze in SF6.

Stop Overestimating Your Abilities

Ryu practice in SF6 training mode

Learn inputs and frame data in training mode

You’re new…which means you suck. You’re bad at the game, your friends are bad at the game, and almost everyone you play early on is bad at the game. At the low levels, there’s a certain amount of Dunning-Kruger effect that can come within the first few weeks of SF6. There are plenty of new people and you might find yourself getting wins early on and then floundering once folks get a better grasp of the game. 

So watching 2 hours of Combo Breaker isn’t going to suddenly make you a Platinum-level player. In fact, less than 1% of the playerbase are Master rank. So before anything, calm down and enjoy your fights.

Drive Impact is a Tool, Not a Crutch

By far, one of the biggest rookie mistakes in SF6 is over-utilizing Drive Impact. Sure it’s got armor and can turn the tide of a match, but it’s a very risky mechanic. First, any player worth their salt will just hit you with their own DI. At higher levels, players will know how to fish out DI with light attacks and STILL counter you with their own. Secondly, if you miss it you’re at a bad disadvantage. So try to limit your Drive Impact use. It’s a move used to compliment your game, not a get-out-of-jail-free card.

Stop Jumping So Much

Another thing new folks to Street Fighter 6 ranked do is jump WAY too often. Jumping is the quickest way to close the distance, but you’re exposed to almost everything. There’s no air block in SF6 so jumping means you can get smacked back down too. Only jump if you have a clear plan or attack that can connect. If you don’t you’re just giving away health.

Learn Your Safe Moves

Ryu firing hadoken at Chun Li

Ryu Hadoken in SF6

This happens often at the lowest levels where new players think you have to toss out the strongest version of every move at all times. This is a great way to get blown up FAST. Take Ryu’s Shoryuken or Luke’s Rising Uppercut, for example. If you use the stronger versions of these moves, you’ll fly into the air and hopefully take out your opponent. But if they block it, you’re in a world of hurt when you hit the ground. However, the light punch variants don’t fly as high or do as much damage, but they’re safer to do.

No matter what character you’re playing, they all have moves that you can execute with minimal risk by sacrificing damage. This is actually one of the pitfalls of using the Modern control scheme. By losing access to the different strengths of special moves, you lose a myriad of options to attack. But if execution is difficult for you, Modern might still be the way to go.

Examine Wins and Losses in Replay

Ranked mode tutorial for Street Fighter 6

Ranked leagues in SF6

Lastly, you can’t get better without self-examination. Everyone loses, but understanding WHY you’re losing is often the biggest step to improvement. If you go to your CFN tab in the pause menu, you can check a rundown of all of your most recent matches. Save these fights to your replay list and start watching them. It’s often hard to make assessments while you’re fighting, so take some time and break down particularly frustrating fights. 

Are you jumping too much? Not watching for throws? Eating too many fireballs while trying to approach? These are all things you can start looking for in your replays. Once you learn how to “not die” then you can focus on your own execution and gameplans.