Street Fighter 5 is an extremely unforgiving game

Posted by Jonathan 'Catalyst' Grey • March 19, 2017 at 1:14 p.m. PDT

Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is known as one of the most unforgiving fighting games in the community, where a single mistake can cost you the match.

Street Fighter 5 is no slouch in that department either.

Due to a number of factors, SF5 is a game where just a single miscue or two can spell the end of the round, putting you in a position where you're unlikely to recover.

To help explore this game's meta a bit more, I wanted to discuss some factors about why it can be so brutal.

Why Street Fighter 5 is so unforgiving

Look at the damage: This is a subject we've covered numerous times here on EventHubs, so I won't retread this ground too much — but this game's often brutal damage options for the majority of the cast can have you life bar depleted in a few seconds.

Corner pindown and midscreen vortexes: Getting cornered in Street Fighter 5 opens up some amazing pindown and setup situations for many cast members. Having to eat 2-3 mix ups because you let yourself get cornered, or gave the opponent some midscreen okizeme opportunities is not uncommon in this title.

Removal of option selects: Being able to defend several offensive options with an input was a very powerful technique in Street Fighter 3 and SF4. While option selects still exist, they've been dialed back tremendously in this title, meaning when you make a read on the defensive end, it better be the correct one.

Commitment: One of the developers stated goals in SF5 was to ensure players are committing to the moves they make in game. Gone are Focus Attack Dash Cancels and many of the other attacks which could be made safe in prior titles. While safe moves still exist, the punishments for making incorrect reads or putting yourself in a bad situation are very harsh this time around.

Crush Counters: The risk of sticking out a button or using an invincible attack is high in SF5. Because most characters can convert a hefty combo if you dare to press a button at an inopportune time, even just the simple act of using a quick normal move comes with more inherent risk than most Street Fighter players are used to. The poke and footsie game often favors the beefier/rushdown characters in SF5, especially in Season 2.

Couple all of these things together, and you've got one of the most brutal modern fighting games in existence right now.

While I would put Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 as a more punishing title, this is definitely up there, and based on statements from developers and how the game was programmed, this is entirely intentional.


Velociraptor said on March 19, 2017 at 1:15 p.m.

Unforgiven III is the best one!


CreepShowKid said on March 19, 2017 at 1:20 p.m.

*grabs popcorn and waits*

KingGold said on March 19, 2017 at 1:21 p.m.

Not loving the meta. Haven't played season 2 at all but I believe that more options and ways to play makes better, more entertaining matches.

RebornOdin said on March 19, 2017 at 1:21 p.m.

The damage being high is only an issue when corner carry and corner mixups are so prevalent. If the damage was primarily focused around the mid-screen, then there'd be no issue (For the record, I don't mind the high damage at all).

I can't say this with certainty, but it feels like the corner-to-corner space is the same as SF4, but more far more moves corner carry a la Fei Long. Not to mention that backrolling naturally puts you further back in the corner, but most people just do it on instinct.

NightmareTKO said on March 19, 2017 at 1:22 p.m.

This makes me appreciate SFV even more lol. Being good at a tough game is rewarding.

Kijui said on March 19, 2017 at 1:25 p.m.

You think THAT'S unforgiving?! I dare you to play SFxT against a pair of top tier characters, or at the very least, characters with good synergy. Get ready to get BOPPED!

KingKong said on March 19, 2017 at 1:25 p.m.

True that, I just wish lower tier characters had a fighting chance...

bagel_bytez said on March 19, 2017 at 1:30 p.m.

They do. The amount of characters that are considered "unviable" out of the 24ish characters is a lot less compared to sf4's same ratio of 44 characters. And that's talking 6-7 years of rebalancing. In my opinion that is..

The disparity between characters is a lot less in this game and counterpicking is a lot less common. That alone speaks to balance

Heta said on March 19, 2017 at 1:32 p.m.

Sounds like fun :) livin' on the edge.

Ponyo2015 said on March 19, 2017 at 1:32 p.m.


mUpKnrush said on March 19, 2017 at 1:34 p.m.

They 100% have a fighting chance in every matchup. There are no bad characters in SF5, just some characters are stronger.

MEETHEGROUCH said on March 19, 2017 at 1:34 p.m.

Don't forget Input Lag!!! Lol

That's one of the most important Unforgiving Issues. I love the damage in this game.

But Ryu, when compared to the rest of the cast of characters and especially Ken doesn't add up or make sense when it comes to damage. He's lack in that Area.

Only when combined with his Critical Art do you see the real damage, but as far as combos and links without the Crush Counter, Ryu is coming in last place.

I took a good look at Chun Li and Nash in practice and they are just as bad as Ryu. Nash might be slightly better. But that's slightly.

BlackGuile said on March 19, 2017 at 1:35 p.m.

A guess and a half should not lead to the end of a round. Drop the damage.

BlankaBeast said on March 19, 2017 at 1:38 p.m.

Damage is hype

Plus it speeds up tourneys

It is here to stay.

Dperiod said on March 19, 2017 at 1:44 p.m.

I'm glad with how they made this game.
Now if they will stop neutering character and instead beef up they ones that need it, this game will be even greater.

kmurdock said on March 19, 2017 at 1:49 p.m.

I don't mind the corner stuff--SF is supposed to be about backing your opponent into the corner and then pressing the advantage. It's the mad corner-carry and mid-screen setups that can be most demoralizing.

ALSO--SF5 vs MvC3, to me, exposes a true no-win situation re. salt levels. Marvel is often said to be frustrating not just because one wrong move can cost you a character (or two or three), but because you make a mistake and then have to sit there watching a combo video for 10 seconds. In SF5, you make a mistake and get bopped quick--but that's salt inducing too. I think long sets in SF5 are really fun and the best way to play the game.

SF91er said on March 19, 2017 at 1:49 p.m.

Damage needs to be toned down for many of the characters. Others need a little buff in that department.

Freddie_Wompton said on March 19, 2017 at 1:52 p.m.

Let's discuss a few things mentioned above.
A) Having more options in a game isn't always a good thing. It's how you end up with dumb, broken, nonsense mechanics. Kinda like FADC/Shoryu in SF4. Or like doing fuzzy jump throws. Options are alright, option selects are stupid.

B) Why do people always buff rather than nerf? If you buff the weak and that's it, mid-tiers become low-tiers. If you buff both mid and low-tier. High-tier become low-tier. If a character, like Urien, has moves that are amazing and + or 0 on block. You bet I wanna see a nerf.

C) Ken and Ryu don't do good damage. I'm sorry, what? They do great damage, not good damage is F.A.N.G.

D) The game truly is more balanced than other SF games now. It's why you just saw S2 Mika and Ibuki in Final Round GFs.

revoltriot said on March 19, 2017 at 1:52 p.m.

LOL That banner! The reference! 10/10

Doh_Simpson said on March 19, 2017 at 1:57 p.m.

What makes the game tough? Its's the easiest SF to date. No execution required and no defensive options to look out for, the game is basic.

Eye_of_Orochi said on March 19, 2017 at 2:02 p.m.

As someone who loves the neutral game, I just don't feel rewarded even when winning in this game. It's like I just outguess the opponent as opposed to actually outplaying them. Same with losses...hard to feel like you actually learn and take anything away from a match when you went for Rock twice and they just happened to go with Paper.

If I can let proper poking, timing and spacing determine my victories rather than input lag, pure rushdown and high damage/stun combos, maybe that will change.

Also, no chip kills is very frustrating at times. You KNOW you earned that victory but then they just run away and get lucky playing least EX attacks should cause a chip kill!

RunningWildVidya said on March 19, 2017 at 2:04 p.m.

People think the damage in SFV is unforgiving? Please. Play a real Street Fighter game.

malcrash01 said on March 19, 2017 at 2:07 p.m.

I feel that, not only I get frustrated to lose in this game but it is SOOO satisfying to win an online match once you learned what to do

foxerpain said on March 19, 2017 at 2:08 p.m.

its not a tough game though

Montsegur said on March 19, 2017 at 2:08 p.m.

Aren't they getting rid of the jump back OS too? That's just going to add to the mixup feel even more.

edrigo said on March 19, 2017 at 2:10 p.m.

Of course the games tough. In your own words execution not an issue throw in high damage and you end up losing matches you otherwise wouldn't. You can have 20 even 30 percent health left in this game but one hit and your dead.

CityHunter said on March 19, 2017 at 2:12 p.m.

There is a difference between learning the game and playing in tournament. Something that you dont seem to understand

gonzalo said on March 19, 2017 at 2:19 p.m.

Characters like urien, balrog and laura are the only ones that seem to be a bit marvel series characters. You can down their life to 50-30% and the moment they get full VT. It really feels like x factor in marvel if they successfully connect their VT. Or even if they don't.

Xykes said on March 19, 2017 at 2:19 p.m.

There are few if any "mid screen vortexes" in this game. There are 3 different wakeup timings, and few moves that can cover all options easily. That's why people whine about eating wake-up jab all the time...because meaty timings are not autopilot. Lol, we can't complain about wake up jab AND whine about vortex at the same time. If there's one, then that means the other doesn't exist.

I'd say ST, Alpha 3, and 3S were more unforgiving.

In ST, if your fireball got jumped, you could die in one hit. No exaggeration. The jump in combo could dizzy, and the post dizzy combo could kill.

In Alpha 3, there were legit infinites. So, again, one hit could equal death.

In 3S, one Makoto karakusa could lead to death. Again, no exaggeration. Yun and Urien had extremely oppressive offense that could smother you. Chun with meter could make you scared to even move.

GiBGUN said on March 19, 2017 at 2:28 p.m.

Yeah I think some people are talking about some of this unforgiving stuff because they are used to such a blatant comeback mechanic ala SF4.

SF5 is perhaps more reminiscent of older games with regards to how forgiving/unforgiving it is, but definitely more forgiving than the examples you've cited.

dlmaniac said on March 19, 2017 at 2:32 p.m.

Corner carry is becoming too easy for rush down characters in SF5. They get to push you a long distance even when their combos are blocked. I always feel blocked special moves should not be awarded with anything other than a little chip damage. Corner carry should be EARNED. If your special moves are blocked then you don't get to push opponents away, at least not as far away as connected special moves.

grass said on March 19, 2017 at 2:41 p.m.

nothing you said makes any sense

ShinOwen said on March 19, 2017 at 2:57 p.m.

I find the hypocrisy of this post hilarious! The people who have, and I quote: "Complaining about the game", have been saying this exact same thing since S1! Now, you see what we see! Now you want our support, now you want us to rally along side you, and your cause. Naw, and heck nah! Enjoy your New era of SFV! Of one button wins, corner to corner carry's, no defense having game. In the exact words that was thrown at us for voicing our opinion about this horrid game. You should just get good, bro.

Catalysts_Cute_Twin_Sister said on March 19, 2017 at 2:58 p.m.



ultimatesol said on March 19, 2017 at 3:02 p.m.

hey that's my line !!

Catalysts_Cute_Twin_Sister said on March 19, 2017 at 3:02 p.m.


rogueish1 said on March 19, 2017 at 3:21 p.m.

Cant compare the two.
Way to many differences.

Gellus said on March 19, 2017 at 3:22 p.m.

SFV is not unforgiving compared to previous SFs, SFV (and any other SF game) are unforgiving compared to SF4, that was a extremely forgiving game, ultras, FADCs, a stupid amount of option selects, etc

Graque said on March 19, 2017 at 3:24 p.m.

I think the article should clarify a bit more what "unforgiving" means. To me it seems you're saying that SFV is unforgiving because one bad read can cost the round. But doesn't that just mean that it's more guess-based, rather than skill-based?

You could just as easily define the term in the opposite way, and say that SF4, or whatever, was more unforgiving, because if you didn't know your option selects and plinking etc. then you were probably going to lose, even if you made a good read.

To put it another way, in every game someone has to lose, which means the game didn't "forgive" something. In every game equally, someone has to lose every round, so every game is equally unforgiving in total.

Gellus said on March 19, 2017 at 3:26 p.m.

"While safe moves still exist, the punishments for making incorrect reads or putting yourself in a bad situation are very harsh this time around."

This time around? This was like this in any SF that was not 4

Green016 said on March 19, 2017 at 3:33 p.m.

No reactions, no neutral, no footsies, and rewarding jump happy scrubs equals extremely unforgiving lol.

Rave_Zero said on March 19, 2017 at 3:34 p.m.

The removal/reduction in option selects encourages using your brain instead of auto-piloting and letting the game engine make the "right" decisions for you = more surprises / funny moments.

FightDirty said on March 19, 2017 at 3:39 p.m.

I like SFIV but IMO it is too forgiving. I like the less forgiving gameplay in SFV. That's how SF games should be: harsh & merciless.

NickGhoulster said on March 19, 2017 at 3:45 p.m.

What have you been smoking? They have more than a fighting chance lol. There are barely any 7-3 matchups in this game as it is right now. Some characters are just very good and easy to play and some requires a bit more dedication and effort.

Doh_Simpson said on March 19, 2017 at 3:53 p.m.

That's every game ever.

Doh_Simpson said on March 19, 2017 at 3:56 p.m.

But because there's no execution the game isn't tough, it's just 1-2 into v trigger for damage into stun then kill. What's so tough about that?

Lord_Poupo said on March 19, 2017 at 4:01 p.m.

Game is fine as it is.
It rewards the best player.

AwkHawk said on March 19, 2017 at 4:10 p.m.

I think SFxT is a bit more forgiving thanks to defense gems, guard tech, and being able to convert to a launch with lights. Also switch canceling. Alpha counters were pretty good too
If you disagree you can get at me right now

Crodacus said on March 19, 2017 at 4:15 p.m.

If the game is unforgiving, then you have to learn to be unforgiving, which happens to mean that you need to improve your offence.

GiBGUN said on March 19, 2017 at 4:18 p.m.


AriesWarlock said on March 19, 2017 at 4:30 p.m.

*guitar solo*

heartattack said on March 19, 2017 at 5:05 p.m.

Soo deep that Ive got drowned in that comment...

LBC_Z said on March 19, 2017 at 5:15 p.m.

I want to like this game but it seems like it needs such a massive overhaul.

While every fighting game player has had opinions about every game, I can't remember a title of this magnitude that has had THIS MANY opinions from top players that were all pretty much different from one another. The only opinion that I haven't heard is that the game (in any iteration) has been good through and through.

The game seems to have only grown legs because of the money that's been put into it. I hope for the best for SF5 but even with patches and balances and all that, it seems like they've gotten it wrong--full stop. Maybe the initial trouble with the release should've been more telling.

To Capcom: don't worry about the hype of bringing back an old character or the gimmicks of how characters interact with a stage for aesthetic value. Worry about the game itself and how you're going to roll it out so that the players have a better experience by the time the final verdict comes in after a few years.

Abbadon36 said on March 19, 2017 at 5:17 p.m.

is there a kappa missing in this post or is it for real?
cause im tilted right now.

LBC_Z said on March 19, 2017 at 5:20 p.m.

There are lots of games that reward the best player, but it doesn't mean they're all fine.

It means THAT ASPECT of the game is fine. But what about being visually attractive? And I'm not just talking about graphics, I'm talking about the way a combo looks or how a character covers space. What about how it feels to execute commands? The satisfaction of the audio from heavy or light hits? Character design? Dropping frames? Net play? Seamless launch?

These are also things that matter. And SF5 has had issues with some of them and that doesn't sit well with many players. That's fair.

Lemres said on March 19, 2017 at 5:31 p.m.

LOL b*tch how? Please explain this to me. There are so many other SF games more unforgivable than V. In fact, V doesn't have that many threatening aspects about it compared to other old SF games.

Post_a_comment said on March 19, 2017 at 5:38 p.m.

in SFV, one simple mishandling your joystick will cause you the match.

Tekkenator said on March 19, 2017 at 6:46 p.m.

"Throughout his life the same, he's battled constantly, this fight he cannot win, the tired man they see no longer cares, the old man then prepares to die regretfully, that old man here is me"

It all makes sense now! The Unforgivens are about how salty James is at fighting games X-D

nhat said on March 19, 2017 at 6:51 p.m.

You should really watch the last few tournaments. They were hype as heck

A_M_Arc said on March 19, 2017 at 7:01 p.m.

"Yea its hot outside too"- nobody will get the reference

DrQ said on March 19, 2017 at 7:54 p.m.

First of all, my gratitude to each writer but, with all the respect that this site correspond: Why you all keep doing article bashing the high damage output? Each week there is an article talking on how the high damage output is making worse the game. I'm truly in favor of the high damage, is one aspect that makes unique SF5. And I know that the majority of people in this site have the same opinion (even an poll was asked about and they voted in favor of the high damage). I think that each editor of this site must move on and adjust to the actual game-play that SF5 offer.

edrigo said on March 19, 2017 at 8:20 p.m.

I honestly think they will reduce it at a later stage not because of peoples complaints though. Sf has a habit of slowing and introducing widespread changes. They do seem to be doing things to a strict timetable. Less damage means more opportunity to expand the combos and overall meta for the game. I'm convinced that's how it'll play out.

Ralycer said on March 19, 2017 at 8:28 p.m.

I like games that are unforgiving.

BCW_STUNNA said on March 19, 2017 at 9:11 p.m.

i swear i see ppl ĉomplain but never have ä good solution/suggestion to mäke the game better just to make their own character better or just complain about the characters they just can handle when they're under pressure.

suggest moves or new special moves to deal with mix ups or combo extension because capcom can do it. Bison v-skill can store an projectile/hit for combo extention. like chun in the beta she had some differnet combos that were removed go to 1:45 you will see what i mean.

and as an example: I think ryu's v-skill is pretty dull, give him the "dash cancel" back but situational like after his target combo he can v-skill cancel for a combo extension not wasting his v-trigger just for 1 short combo.

As for the game being unforgiving i am 50/50 on that, but getting spd through a fireball that's unforgiving, anti-air jab (that's just some sh*t that needs to be fixed, only hit when you on the ground period, every character has more that 4 anti-air options lp and lk anti-air should be done away with.) rashid on the rampage of spamming buttons and high risk for you and barely any for him is unforgiving, look at laura she does short burst damage which adds up if you can't read the player's next move you're either stun or dead when she is done and that falls entirely on you who dont know how to block her setups, don't bash the player who put in time to learn their character and you didn't. i know i barely scratch the surface as to what leads to unforgiving situations but this is the first time capcom is truly embracing the customer service aspect to the nextgen gaming and you guys are being asses because you don't know a match up.

I think the complaining should stop because we are lucky they are doing patches at all even more network maintenance.

Shinpaisuru said on March 19, 2017 at 11:11 p.m.

Very unforgiving, especially they going to nerf Ken next month.

shaded_wonder said on March 19, 2017 at 11:30 p.m.

Yes to the damage part for sure. It'd be nice if they lessened overall damage or increased overall health. Maybe that'd make SF5's repetitive knockdown,dash dash, and stand over your opponent tactic a bit less tacky. At least in UMvC3 when ya get off-the-ground combo'd to death it involves less guessing and more skill :-)

GhostTear said on March 20, 2017 at 2:46 a.m.

Do you know who and what song that banner comes from?

Phinx said on March 20, 2017 at 2:52 a.m.

That's why in S2 Smug & JWong dropped Karin. Why Go1 & R.Ortiz dropping Chun li. Nemo Dropped Vega. Daigo dropping Ryu, Infiltration dropped Nash (wants to drop Juri cause she's garbage,) Xian dropped Fang, Momochi wanting to drop Ken, Tokido dropped Ryu and more that I can't remember.

Tell me what does Ryu do better than Guile or Urien? They have way better, longer & more useful normals, better and higher damaging combos (far better corner carry, more variety,) ex shoulder, better & safer reversal, more resets, 10 times better v-trigger (damage, resets, pushback, corner carry) better fireball game, better and longer range cc and stronger CC combos, longer range throw, throw loop.

How about Fang. His V-skill/trigger vs Balrog, Ibuki, Urien & Guile. His V-skill does almost nothing. Same goes for his V-trigger.
Balrog Can do 533 damage/80% stun bar damage with trigger and 2 meters, set up oki and have enough resource to do 440+ damage after. But he doesn't even need to since he only needs to guess right and hit them twice to stun them. And do a combo to kill them. So 2 hit kill.

Ponyo2015 said on March 20, 2017 at 4:27 a.m.

rofl. this aint sf4 kid.

sf5 damages remains the same : high like true sf games were before sf4.


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