Guide: Ultra Street Fighter II
Pick your act style
New style or classic style – which do you prefer?© Capcom
It may seem like an odd tip to begin with, but Ultra Street Fighter II has two distinct art styles to choose from, and you should start off by choosing the one that suits your gaming needs.
The standard settings are the fancy new redrawn graphics from Canadian art studio Udon, and even though it’s the same game, all the characters now have sharp, hand-drawn designs that make them look like cartoons. Alternatively, if you’re more of a retro gamer, go into the options and choose Style Settings, then switch from New Style to Classic Style. This makes the game look like the old Super Street Fighter II Turbo arcade version from 1994.
Configure your controls
Switch your controls to make specials easier
The Switch has four face buttons but Street Fighter games have always offered six attacks: kicks and punches in light, medium and heavy strengths. The default controls are the same as the old SNES Street Fighter games, with the light and medium attacks on the four A, B, X and Y buttons, and both the heavy attacks on the L and R shoulder buttons.
This can be slightly uncomfortable when pulling off some strong special moves like Dragon Punches though, so it might be an idea to switch your controls so that light and heavy attacks are on the face buttons and the medium ones (which you’ll probably use less frequently) are on the shoulders instead. This should make mixing up slow and fast fireballs a little easier.
Learn the three special types
Learn Ryu and Chun Li's special moves first
Each character has a handful of special moves that need unique button commands to pull them off, so with 19 characters in the game, that’s a lot of things to learn. Luckily, most of them fall into one of three categories – motion attacks (where you press something on the D-Pad followed by an attack button), charge attacks (where you hold the D-Pad in a direction for a couple of seconds then perform the motion to attack) and tap attacks (where you just keep pressing the same button quickly). Learn the moves for Ryu (who only uses motion attacks) and Chun-Li (who only uses charge and tap attacks) and you should be able to pull off anyone’s moves.
Master the super moves
Fill the Super Meter to pull off a Super Move
Once you’re able to pull off special moves fairly easily, it’s time to move onto the super moves. As you fight you’ll build up a super meter at the bottom (sometimes it’s worth doing special moves that deliberately miss because they’ll still build up the meter). When this meter fills up you can perform an extremely powerful super move if you can pull off the controller motion for it. Don’t worry if this feels like too much to take in – at any time during the game you can pause and choose Command List to see how to pull off any of your character’s special and super moves.
Try out the Lite controls
With Lite moves, just tap a button to do a super
If you just can’t get your head round pulling off some of the special moves, there’s an easier method in here to help you get used to things before you’re ready to take the stabilisers off your bike. If you go to the Options and switch your control type to Lite controls, you can assign any special move (or even a super move) to just a single button on the controller. Since the Switch has extra ZL and ZR buttons, which aren’t really used during Street Fighter, that means you can assign two particularly tricky moves to those buttons, meaning you can pull them off with a simple tap instead. It’s lazy but effective.
Learn how to combo
As you start to get better, you’ll want to learn how to pull off combos, sequences of attacks that your opponent won’t be able to block if the first one hits. Start off with some easy two-hit combos, like the one every Street Fighter player learns: jump in, hit your enemy with a jumping kick (try to land it as low as possible), then immediately hold Down and press the strong kick button to sweep their legs. If you hit the jump kick low enough, they’ll still be reeling from it by the time you’ve landed and pulled off the sweep. Go to Training mode and experiment with the timing of your moves to learn new combos.
Stick with one character
Guile or Balrog – who would you stick with?
It can be tempting to choose a different character every time you play, and you should definitely do that at first to get the most fun out of the game. Every character feels very different; you might hate playing as the slow and powerful Zangief, but love the fast but weak Chun-Li.
After you’ve played with all the characters and got a feel for which ones you like, try to pick one and stick with them for a while. Part of becoming good at Street Fighter isn’t just mastering your character, it’s learning how each of their moves can be used against other specific characters. The more you play as a single fighter, the quicker you’ll learn how to deal with each match-up they face.
Get better by playing online
Playing against other people improves your game
Once you reckon you’ve got the basics sorted, it’s time to jump online and get thoroughly humbled. Don’t worry, a lot of early adopters of the game will be long-time Street Fighter fans who mastered the moves long before the internet even existed, so it would be daft to expect to be able to compete right away.
However, you’ll improve a lot quicker if you play against a human opponent instead of a CPU one, because you’ll learn the tricks and psyche-out techniques that some players will use while playing. Set your welcome message before the match to 'Still training...' – this will let your opponent know you’re not an expert yet. This doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll go easy on you, but at least they won’t feel too cocky when they win!
Akuma (known as Gouki in Japan) is a major character in the Street Fighter series. His purpose is to defeat the strongest of foes, even if his victory can be murderous.
Fighter in the Street Fighter Universe. His character was based on the real life boxer Mike Tyson.
Blanka is a fighter in the Street Fighter series. He can be easily recognized by his distinctive green skin and orange hair.
Cammy was introduced in Super Street Fighter II as the second female character. Since then Cammy has become a mainstay for the franchise appearing in the Alpha games and some of the versus games.
The "First Lady of Fighting Games," Chun-Li is a female fighter from the Street Fighter franchise and one of the 8 original characters in Street Fighter II. She hails from China.
Dhalsim and Sally's son. He's pen-pals with Guile's daughter, Amy/Chris.
A Street Fighter character from Jamaica. He is known to whip out the maracas and dance after a victory. He is also recognized for his strong smile and powerful kicks.
Dhalsim is a stretchy Indian man from the Street Fighter series. He can breathe fire, and even teleport short distances.
Edmond Honda, more commonly know as E. Honda, is one of the original 8 characters in Street Fighter II. He is recognized by his large girth, blue yukata, and his signature "Thousand Hand Slap" move.
Fei Long is one of the four "New Challengers" added in Super Street Fighter II, created in the likeness of Bruce Lee.
A popular American character in the Street Fighter series. He is known for having only two special moves.
A friendly rival and best friend of Ryu, Ken serves as one of Street Fighter's main recurring characters throughout the whole series.
M. Bison is a powerful villain in the Street Fighter Universe. He leads the evil organization Shadaloo and fights his opponents with 'Psycho Power'.
A wandering martial-artist, Ryu is a master of the fictional fighting style, Ansatsuken, and is one of the main characters in the Street Fighter universe. Only those that have beaten him know his surname.
Sagat is a character in the iconic fighting game series Street Fighter. He was introduced in the first Street Fighter game, and is Ryu's arch-rival.
Dhalsim's wife, who appears in his endings and in the background.
T. Hawk is a American Indian who first appeared in Super Street Fighter II.
Vega is a Spanish assassin who originally appeared as the second of four bosses in Street Fighter II. He is known as Balrog in Japan.
Zangief is a wrestling character, popularized by the Street Fighter franchise.
Cheats and Secrets
Playable Shin Akuma
You can play as Shin Akuma by following the precise process outlined below, on the character selection screen (buttons referenced assume your are playing with the Pro Controller, or with paired Joycon controllers; you will have to adjust slightly if you are using an individual Joycon):
- Highlight Ryu and press the A button to select him.
- By default, Color 1 is selected, so make no change.
- Press the B button to cancel your selection of Ryu without confirming the color choice.
- Highlight Ken and press the A button to select him.
- By default, Color 1 is selected. Cycle through to Color 9.
- Press the B button to cancel your selection of Ken without confirming your color choice.
- Highlight Sagat and press the Abutton to select him.
- By default, Color 1 is selected. Cycle through to Color 8.
- Press the B button to cancel your selection of Sagat without confirming your color choice.
- Highlight M. Bison and press the A button to select him.
- By default, Color 1 is selected. Cycle through to Color 7.
- Press the B button to cancel your selection of M. Bison without confirming your color choice.
- Highlight the "?" icon, used to select a random fighter.
- Press L+R on your controller, or equivalent.
If you followed the above process precisely, completing the last step will select Shin Akuma. You will have to repeat the process whenever you want to play as the character.