At the time of writing (6/22/20,) the Trainer’s School series of guides on Pokken Tournament DX has surpassed ten articles- eleven if you include the Pokken Primer as a retroactive inclusion to the series. While everyone can find them in one place- my Medium page- I wanted somewhere that people could read them in order. This article will be updated whenever a new guide debuts.

Last updated 1/4/2021. All planned lessons and guides completed!

Beginner’s Series:

Lesson One: Pokken 101 Lesson Two: Phase Shifts and the Attack Triangle Lesson Three: Cancels and CADC Lesson Four: The Pokedex Lesson Five: Choosing…


It can determine everything about what, and how, you play

Super Smash Bros. Melee, despite being two decades old, has consistently been one of the most played fighting games in the tournament scene. While other retro titles such as Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike and Guilty Gear XX Accent Core +R also have robust communities that maintain their legacy, Melee is arguably one of the most prolific due to its ensemble crossover roster and ease of play. Even as other titles in the Smash franchise come and go, the Melee community continues to play the game through pandemics and a…


Why you should still play the old game, and what to do when you encounter stronger players

Since the pandemic has started, anyone who wants to compete in a tournament format must settle for online events. I’ve been participating in the Guilty Gear brackets for XXAC+R and Xrd Rev2 for Wednesday Night Fights every week, as well as our region’s monthly arcadian brackets, and my skill has been progressing at an exciting pace. This past week, a newer player matched up against a stronger player early in the Rev2 loser’s bracket. (I’m not going to name anybody or give tags.)…


Why they’re important, and when you should use them

I’ve been practicing I-No to prep for GGST because she looks cool. (Also, eventually I’m going to run out of images of training rooms to use for my articles…)

The fifth Guilty Gear Strive Developer’s Backyard blog post went live on April 6th, the day that the early access build of the final game would have launched if not for development delays. The post detailed feedback the development team gathered both from the Open Beta Test’s in-game replay system and the survey conducted afterwards. Akira Katano explained the results of various polls, such as popular characters, opinions regarding balance, design intent, positive feedback about the rollback netcode, and features that will be added to the reworked lobby system. …


Fluff about what I’m playing now and what I’m excited for

Playing around with +R’s new replay features has been super useful.

Despite the global pandemic grinding traditional FGC operations to a halt, it’s probably never been a better time to get into fighting games. There’s lots of great new titles coming out over the course of the next year, and a lot of existing titles are getting updates, either with better online or new content. Online events are also becoming more prominent, encouraging new competition that we wouldn’t normally see in games that weren’t as popular when offline tournaments were commonplace. Even if the social, in-person aspect of fighting games…


What the major acquisition could mean for the tournament series, and other news

Sony Interactive Entertainment and Evo’s social media recently announced the return of Evo Online in August 2021, and that Sony had acquired the Evo brand in a joint partnership with newly formed esports organization RTS. Evo 2021 Online will be running across two weekends, August 6–8 and 13–15, and will feature four titles announced so far: Tekken 7, Street Fighter V, Mortal Kombat 11, and Guilty Gear Strive. This comes almost nine months after the initially planned Evo 2020 Online was cancelled and Joey “Mr. Wizard” Cuellar…


It’s easier to learn fighting games now than it ever has been. But we can do better.

Not every game will have a training room that looks like this (but even Skullgirls’ training mode could use some cleaning up.) But even for those games, excellent tutorial content is necessary.

Stop me if this has ever happened to you before. You’re learning a new fighting game. Maybe you’ve already been playing for a while and you’re ready to hit the books, or maybe you’re completely fresh and you want to find a starting point. The in-game resources run the gamut from awful to excellent- maybe there’s absolutely no basic tutorial, or maybe it’s just missing some features like frame data. You pull up the Dustloop for your character, but it’s clearly a little…


Especially when it gets harder to play

Top to bottom: GGPO+R’s ping and jitter indicator; Xrd’s delay frame indicator (exaggerated but still plausible,) and GGST’s ping/rollback frames indicator.

Guilty Gear Strive has been delayed from its April 9th 2021 release date to June 11th, in the wake of feedback regarding the Open Beta Test’s iteration of online lobbies. The game itself is fun and the online play feels fantastic due to Arc System Works’ in-house rollback netcode. Furthermore, King of Fighters XV has finally been confirmed by SNK to feature an in-development rollback implementation. This means that both of 2021’s high-profile fighting game releases will have the fully functional online play that has been so highly demanded by players for nearly…


An olfactory preview as the game nears its April release

The Guilty Gear Strive Open Beta Test went live at varying times the past week of February 15th, 2021. Select FGC content creators received early beta codes that allowed them to begin playing on Tuesday the 16th; players who preordered the game digitally on PSN got access on Wednesday; and the beta was available for everyone else on PSN on Thursday. After some very unfortunate and frustrating downtime that same Thursday, the beta period was extended until Tuesday, February 23rd at 7am PST.

Some prerequisites before diving into this postmortem…


What playing multiple titles can teach you about your play

Pokkén was the game that I owe a lot of my personal growth to, and it taught me the value of entering the genre with titles that were easier to play.

One of the first articles I wrote for my page last year (in fact, it debuted almost exactly a year ago! Boy, how time flies…) was about getting into fighting games and learning them one step at a time. In competitive games with implicit tools and overt mechanics that must be managed all at once, the beginner player can easily get overwhelmed trying to digest them. They must instead shift their priorities to processing these tools one at a time: first learn basic controls, then the easy and immediate systems…

Nathan Dhami

Nathan “Lite the Iron Man” Dhami can be found on Twitter (@LiteTheIronMan,) on Twitch (twitch.tv/litetheironman,) and at your local.

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