The Definitive List of Features That Every Fighting Game Should Have

By on October 9, 2019

There’s no question that the features for fighting games have gotten much better over time. But there have still been a few disappointments that are still talked about today, namely post match controls in Street Fighter 5 versus mode or the lack of instant rematches in online Tekken 7. Many in the Fighting Game Community (FGC) question, “how could this happen when the features we wanted were already made in previous titles?”.

We understand that human people are the ones making these games. This makes error inevitable along with hard decisions that need to be made with limited resources. Despite this, we truly appreciate the hard work and love that goes into making these games.

That’s why we’re hoping this article can be helpful to fighting game developers as a checklist to see what features the FGC would want so they can prioritize in accordance with their ability, time, and budget.

We’d love some help with a Japanese translation. If anyone is willing to assist, please contact us @toptiergg on twitter. And if you have any features that you think we missed, feel free to comment below!

Offline Features

  • Arcade Mode
  • Story mode
  • VS Mode
    • Button change and check/test
    • Allow side select within character select screen or rematch screen (reduces time when new challengers swap controllers)
  • Training Mode
    • Input display
    • Training Info
      • Damage
      • combo damage (last combo & max damage)
      • combo counter
      • scaling %
      • frame data of last attack (+ or – x)
      • move recovery (shows when you can take another action after a move)
    • Hitbox and hurtbox data
    • Robust recording and playback options
      • Choose x move after block, wakeup, hit, etc.
      • Button playback, repeat playback, random playback, etc.
      • Multiple recording slots
    • Hit properties
      • Indicator for what is overhead, low, mid, high, unblockable, etc.
    • Resource options (life, meter, burst, rage, dizzy, character specific resource, etc.)
      • Change static amount
      • Auto Recover (can drain to zero but recover)
      • Always max (does not drain)
    • Opponent / Dummy state options
      • Counter Hit – on/off/random
      • Movement
        • Stand, crouch, Jump up/fwd/back, walk/run, back/fwd dash, instant airdash, side step/walk
        • CPU / 2P Controller
        • 3D – face down, face up, feet away, feet toward, etc.
      • Screen Position
        • against corner/wall, middle of stage, left/right side of screen
          • Use controller commands (e.g. left+touchpad for left corner, downright+touchpad for almost to right corner)
        • Save/Load screen position state
      • Block
        • None, always, after x hits, random, high only, low only, front only, cross up only
      • Throw tech options
        • None, always, random, etc.
      • Ukemi / Wake Up options
        • Recorded action
        • Wake up / Ukemi options (ukemi back, neutral, forward, random)
    • Change character / stage
      • Be able to pick new characters and stage without going back character select menu
    • Background music Select
    • Hide Training Menu Window (for screenshots)
    • Return to Main Menu, Character Select, Stage Select screen
  • During Matches
    • Hold start button to pause
    • “Home” button disabled
    • Both sides can select rematch, char select, stage select, or main menu at end of the match
  • Challenge mode(s)
    • Practical combo trials
  • Gallery (sounds, music, movies, art)
  • Settings
    • CPU Difficulty
    • Arcade Mode Match Rules
      • Timer
      • Rounds
    • Versus Mode Match Rules
      • Timer
      • Rounds
      • Handicap on/off
    • Graphics (resolution, quality settings, window mode)
    • Audio
      • Volume
        • BGM
        • Sound Effects
        • Announcer
        • Character Voices
      • Character Voice options
        • Language audio change per character
    • Controller options
      • Buttons
        • Press buttons to assign keys
    • Tournament mode
      • Start / home / share / pause button deactivated
      • Handicap settings are disabled
      • Notifications are disabled (trophies, achievements, messages, etc.)
      • Option to force match intro (for stream/show aesthetics, up to tournament organizer to decide)
      • Patch version select option
      • Character / stage / costume ban options
      • Option for only USB connected controllers registering inputs

Online Features

  • Great rollback net code (Our #1 concern for online mode)
  • Training
    • Online training mode (host can transfer training mode settings controls to invited player for coaching purposes)
    • Queue for online matches during training
      • Ask / auto match start
      • Matchmaking settings
        • character select
        • costume select
        • stage select
        • ranking level
        • queue for ranked, casual, or both
        • connection speed
  • Matchmaking
    • Quick search
      • Select Casual or Ranked
      • Select Character
      • Automatically chooses widest range for players
    • Quick Search Settings
      • Player can adjust parameters and save for future use
    • Ranked match
      • Connection speed filter
      • Player rank
      • Region select
      • Allow sharing toggle (on/off)
      • Default 2 out of 3 games to end
      • Choose to wait in training mode or waiting screen
    • Casual matches
        • Casual match options
        • Connection speed filter
        • Allow sharing toggle (on/off)
        • Select Characters I specifically want to match up against
        • Choose to wait in training mode or waiting screen
    • Create Room (Online Casual Lobbies)
      • Lobby search
      • Options for host
        • Pass, spectator, ready, kick player, disband room, change match settings
      • Password option
      • Connection speed filter
      • Allow 4 or more players in the lobby
      • Allow for simultaneous play in lobbies (ie. 2 games in a 4 person lobby)
      • Minimal waiting between matches (load assets while connecting, don’t reload the stage if it hasn’t changed, character pre-selection)
      • Rotation rules
        • Rounds to win setting
        • Games to win setting
        • Winner Out / Loser Out / Both Out / Random
        • # of wins max for rotation
        • Rematch limit
        • Auto pass for idle players
    • Accurate ping and packet loss % display before accepting match
    • Show player names before matching (to avoid known laggers)
  • During Matches
    • Instant rematch (same stage, same characters)
  • Anti-ragequit mechanisms
  • Friend list/blacklist
  • Replay uploads / download
  • Cross platform play

Nice to Haves / Suggestions / Wish List

  • Vs Mode
    • Button check loads a tiny controllable character on screen to test buttons and directionals
    • Pre-match 15 second button check phase, which when finished automatically starts the first round
  • Online Ranked
    • Separate player ranking and per-character ranking
  • Online Lobbies
    • View player information, such as Steam Profile, character usage, stats.
  • Training
    • Special move and combo demos
    • Suggested notes for moves
      • Normals move list (with annotations like poke, anti air, low, overhead, etc.)
    • Special color for combo counter when “impossible” combos are performed using training mode settings like infinite meter. (prevents sharing wrong info for tech videos online)
    • Input display
      • Highlight sections where a special move is activated
    • Save states (ala Skullgirls)
      • To train for very particular situations in repetition
      • Save to hard drive and name to load state for future training session
  • Character customization
    • Select your character’s default costume
    • Toggle for only showing default costumes online (to prevent seeing inappropriate custom costumes)
  • Meaningful Player Stats and progression
    • Anti air, block, throw tech %, etc. (stats for player overall & per character)
    • Refer to this article for more ideas
  • Tutorials
    • Challenge mode with absurd settings that teach fundamentals
      • E.g. A challenge where you can only Dragon Punch, Throw, Block
    • Consider experimenting with new ways to learn
  • Warn if more than 2 controllers are active on the system at any given time
  • Aesthetics / UI
    • FPS toggle
    • Have distinct UI changes in battle screen for major version updates (ala Tekken life bars)
    • Put some love into the Menus and UI
  • Option to load to my own profile onto USB thumb drive with my buttons/outfits/etc where also offline matches can be recorded during tournaments / offline meetings
  • Online spectator mode for ranked

Choysauce plays as many fighting games as possible and writes about how to play them. He also helps with management for toptier.gg. Catch him on Twitter @choysauce85.



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