In the Fighting Game Community, “footsies” is a concept that almost everyone recognizes and almost no one fully understands. Many times, it’s easier to say what footsies is not: it’s not a traditional mixup, it’s not set play, it’s not zoning, and so on. Yet competitors won’t ever reach their full potential without grasping the concept, and even fans won’t enjoy matches as much until they get at least the basic idea.
To help clear things up, Stephen “Sajam” Lyon released a video on the subject. In it, he reads the “Footsies Handbook,” a guide from 2013. As Lyon explains, footsies is way more than just walking back and forth. Good footsies require you to know your opponent’s options, to watch their reactions like a hawk, and to study common game scenarios. He demonstrates each of these points by showing match videos that contain examples of good footsies. Watch the whole thing below, then try out these techniques in your favorite fighter!