If you want to get good at a fighting game, don't play more than 1 character. You're going to divide your time and effort among several characters and you can only use 1 character at a time. You're only as good as your best character. Your best character is only as good as everything you know and can do with it. Having 2ndary characters is a terrible strategy to cover your main character's bad match ups because the entire strategy is a reliance on better tools against your opponents' tools. Crutches won't help you fight better. Why would you try to learn an entire new character at tournament level just to counter 1 character? Your 2ndary is at most going to be relying on gimmicks to win. Your main is getting less time for improvement. Competitive gaming is far more about skill than about having the right tools. If the game has a wide skill gap/ceiling, players can overcome match up disadvantages by simply being good enough

This has been 1 of the most discussed topics in Smashboard's Melee general discussion board during my last 1 or 2 years actively using that site. From what I've seen, I'd say there's a slight majority in favor of the 1 main only ideology. Even Mew2King and Armada, 2 of the best players in the world, have sided with this online. But these are just appeals to majority and authority just to give you some background on the topic at the time

1 of the minority's arguments for having 2ndaries were that 4 of Melee's 6 gods used multiple characters. Mew2King was the most active user of this approach. Back then, he mained Marth in general against most characters and 2ndaried Sheik specifically against Captain Falcon and Fox specifically against Jigglypuff. They're too much better than Marth is at those match ups. At the time, the last time he ever lost to a Captain Falcon main in a tournament set was against Isai 10 years ago. But this was also during his transition towards maining Sheik only because he has stated that his biggest regret in his tournament career was dividing his skill into 3 characters, rather than perfecting 1. Then there's Armada who picked up Young Link and Fox to counter Jigglypuff because it's his kryptonite. Dr Peepee also picked up Marth probably to help him counter Peach and Mango mained seemingly everyone because he's a showoff. 1st of all, not everyone can reach their skill, so this argument might mainly apply more to super top players. 2nd of all, most of the gods mained 1 character on their way to godhood. The only exception is Mew2King

But I do see where the having 2ndaries side comes from. Character disadvantages are hard to overcome when your opponent is trying his hardest against you. There are things in fighting games that are simply broken with little hope of overcoming them if you have the wrong tools. Losing by getting out charactered is demoralizing. For example, Peach is horrendous at approaching Jigglypuff. If she approaches, she loses. She has to be played super defensively, even to the point of trying to win by time out, against her, otherwise she falls further into defeat. If Jigglypuff gets a lead, there's so little hope of taking it back

Switching to a 2ndary, less familiar, character won't improve anything. If the Peach player switched to Fox, he wouldn't be anywhere nearly as skilled as he is with Peach. It's so much reliance on the perceived advantage Fox has against Jigglypuff. It doesn't take into account how good the Jigglypuff player might be against Fox. Not only might that Jigglypuff player know how to fight Foxes, he might know how to use her in general and the Fox 2ndary player might not know that. Switching to a secondary is downgrading your own skill for the current, specific character you're using

Your main is your best and favorite character. We are good at the things we like. It's a psychological loop to enjoy seeing our progress which helps motivate us and when we're motivated, we make better progress. If you've reached a point where your character isn't good enough to compete anymore, move up the tier list to a character you can enjoy using. Players don't exactly fully choose who fits them best. They tend to be good or bad at certain aspects of the game, so there will be better characters for some that they just can't transition to. Switching mains to a more boring, better character will make you worse. You're not going to have fun using tools that aren't fit for you. The best thing you can do in this case is keep practicing, competing, and learning. Push yourself with your character to new heights against the characters your character theoretically loses to. You will become better from this, unless you're already a super top player. I doubt any of them would ever find this though, but I'd still enjoy reading their input

This is something I've strongly advocated on these topics on Smashboards while I was active. If having 2ndaries helps you win tournament sets, you've proven me wrong in your case. I'd love to read your experience having 2ndaries or having 1 main only


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Topics: Smash Bros
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Tyron™
I don't think it's necessarily a bad thing to pick up more than one character, though. I think it has a lot to do with the individual in question, which would explain why it's a hotly debated topic- because multiple people can swear by different experiences.

As an example, my little brother regularly...
  • June 17, 2017
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Gaytkeeper
It's fine to play other characters just for fun. This blog was aimed at choosing having a 2ndary or not for using them to win tournaments

I could pick apart that you never mentioned if your brother plays at tournaments... but this kind of feels like an ad hominem fallacy

The reason why players choose ...
  • June 17, 2017
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Tyron™
I'm sure he'd play at tournaments if he could, but the only one we can get to here is a yearly local event for Sm4sh. He placed fourth in the last one we went to, iirc. I did mention he's not a god by any means, but he (and undoubtedly many others) does best by learning multiple characters in the ro...
  • June 18, 2017
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Gaytkeeper
How many people were at the tournament? 4th place might be impressive

Sill with characters isn't only a matter of button execution. There are things like spacing involved, how good they are at reading opponents, and what kinds of tools work best for their skills. And yes, strategy > ability, but it's...
  • June 18, 2017
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Tyron™
It was pretty big, but I don't know the actual number. We considered 4th pretty good.

Spacing, reading, and toolkit knowledge are skills you learn as a player. As you get better with a single character, you understand how that particular character does it, but once you know that, you know it. Unless ...
  • June 18, 2017
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Gaytkeeper
Have you ever tried practicing 1 frame links? They're really difficult. Even top level tournament players drop them sometimes

I get that some people will be better than others at using multiple characters
  • June 18, 2017
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Firefly Lightstorm
blog spam, wowie
  • June 17, 2017
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