Advice on Overcoming Nervousness

Hello good KI community,

I’m a relatively new player in KI, and you can say in competitive fighting games in general.

But man do I get nervous playing ranked matches, and sometimes things goes my way but at the end, on those nerves of steel moment when the first one that lands a punch wins…I do something stupid and lose the match.

Any tips on how to get nerves of steel in fighting games?



Experience, experience, experience.

There’s no substitute. You’ll have to accept you will lose a number of games, practice, and play a lot before you get better and start to see improvement.

Here’s the thing, even with all the experience in the highest stakes online matches, even seasoned players get nervous and jittery when they get up on stage to compete. Lots of people in the crowds watching, prizes and higher stakes, so much to get nervous about. Controlling your nerves isn’t easy, even for seasoned guys. But the more you dive in to ranked, experience the game for yourself, and play, the more you’ll come to understand the game, and realize the guys you are playing started from the same spot as you or me. We were all beginners at one point.

Experience gets us trained so we become more relaxed and familiar with the environment we are going into. You’ll still run across jerks from time to time, and you’ll have to deal with that, but most of us are genuinely good guys who want good honest competitive matches.

Also, becoming familiar with the game’s mechanics, characters, and situational awareness will really help. The more you know about how to use the tools you are given, you character, their matchups, punishment tools, gameplan, using the overall system stuff to your advantage, the less you panic under the stress of online play, and the better you do.

Finally, realize the only impression worth making isn’t related to how good you are at the game, it’s how good a player you are as far as how you conduct yourself. Skill isn’t so much a good impression as is telling someone Good Game.

Just remember there’s not really anything to get stressed about, just look for good games and get better all the time.


welcome @RafaMang, by nervous i am going to assume you are getting those jitters before the match. you go into the menu and probably hesitate to hit the search button on ranked. i know where you are coming from, i was there too.

i got over the nervousness by letting go and stop caring about the outcome of the fight. i changed my mindset from win win win, to learn learn learn. i took every fight as an experiment against live opposition. i mute their mics so i dont hear them talk and try to think im fighting against the CPU but a much smarter one. after a few weeks, i no longer get the jitters. even went to an offline tournament and had zero nerves. i just remembered the most important thing: i am playing a videogame. this has no bearing whatsoever in my life other than pure fun and enjoyment.

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Welcome bud! And both @IronFlame and @R1stormrider brought up very good points. Practice and perspective will help you out a lot as you try to get better and more consistent.

I wanted to add that you should keep in mind that nervousness/stage fright/performance anxiety/whatever you wish to call it doesn’t just come in one way. IronFlame mentioned that even season pros make mistakes and get jittery at times. This usually doesn’t just happen from being up on stage and with high stakes, but usually because some bad reads or a mistake throws off their rhythm and they struggle to get it back.

Take Rico Suave, this year’s World Cup winner, at Combo Breaker a few months ago. He suffered some hard set-ups against Sleep’s Arbiter and a bad loss and proceeded to look very uncomfortable and drop several combos repeatedly in the latter half of the set.

My point is that working on calming your nerves isn’t just going to benefit you in those “next catch wins” moments. And nerves aren’t going to just weigh on you in those moments either. Making some bad reads, facing an opponent who’s beaten you badly, getting perfected, next catch wins, etc can all put you on edge. It’s important to take mental stock when these happen, realize it’s just part of the learning experience and keep pushing forward.

Best of luck bud!


Playing a lot for the most part is the best way to overcome nerves. Familiarity breeds contempt.

The other big thing is just shifting your mindset. End of the day it’s just a game, and winning or losing really isn’t going to do a damned thing to alter the grand arc of your life. This is a game you play for fun, so just have fun. :slight_smile:

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It is? But I want to be great and go to the World Cup! I want to be the very best, like no one ever was. :wink:

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If you follow that mindset, you’ll end up like a certain Jago player whose tweets are full of frustrations that he never makes 1st place when he gets Top 8/16 all the time.

Shoutouts to Blake, love that guy.

For the sake of contributing to the discussion, it’s really just understanding that these guys are just random people on the internet who you’ll likely never see again, so whatever they think of you really doesn’t matter. Fight with the intention of learning and having fun, not proving yourself to someone.

Actually, I believe you missed my joke.

Of course I didn’t miss the reference, I just didn’t feel the need to acknowledge it.

Words hurt, Sonic.

Point is, that post was made in jest.

Didn’t mean to offend at all. I just thought the reference was able to stand it’s on its own without an acknowledgement.

Nah, you didn’t. I’m just giving you a hard time.

I made the reference to hopefully show that my particular reply there was meant as a joke. :slight_smile:

As somebody said above, change your mindset from wanting to win to wanting to learn. Winning will follow naturally after that. Playing time will increase your confidence and the Jitters will go away. Remember, you’re not actually getting hit out there it’s just a video game in the end.

I would recommend playing a lot of exhibition as well so that you get the confidence in your character prior to going to ranked, and you can get longer sets against better players and gradually find new strategies etc. Hell, I don’t even play ranked and I can give plenty of guys in the top 32 a hard time.

Play to have fun and learn, and winning will follow. That’s the message.

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Funny thing is, with the relatively small community of Ki you do see these guys again and again. And rivalries do begin. There are some dudes out there that I hate and that hate me and we’ve never even spoken. Sad, but true.

This is definitely a thing.

Pretty much the anchor behind my getting over a nervousness of singing in front of people.

I would get crazy nervous on the promotion matches, knowing if I lost I was knocked way back down. I remember the last match before making it to Killer I actually hyped myself up because I’d lost it 2 times before. I finally got that last hit and won and literally jumped up excited… Phew.

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Thank you guys for your support, I’m just gonna have to play until dawn until I just get over it.
I wasn’t a fan of terror movies so one day I watched like all day scary movies and then played scary gems in the dark and slept alone in the living room and the morning the fear was gone

Maybe is btter for me just to focus on making my character do what I want it to do, insted of just punching the other guy, thank you good fellas @oShift2oVet78 @R1stormrider @IronFlame @STORM179

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took the words right out of my mouth.
It may not seem like it, but every great KI player started with nothing, the same way you are. They had to learn and improve over time, the same way you will. I didn’t get good at KI until months after I had purchased it. So just stick with it. If you really do like it, the skill will come.

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Great thread, filled with good advice. Nothing new for me other than to just say play with the expectation of losing and then winning is a pleasant surprise. Recognize too that this is really common. KI is a really intense game - even during combos you don’t have a second to take your eye’s off the screen and between rounds you have to keep working for position. It’s really intense.

Lots of great players don’t play in tournaments for this reason - Maximillion being one. He has said he gets jitters and doesn’t have a great time, so he doesn’t compete. I found the original rank system very stressful because I was so focused on not dropping my rank. I do better now but I still sometimes get upset.

It’s like any other form of stage fright. It doesn’t go away but you get more used to dealing with it through practice.