It doesn’t matter how much of a calm nature you think you have. There is a good chance you have felt the salt running down your nervous system and tempting you to destroy your controller or arcade stick because someone owned you in a game. It’s not fun or pleasant to your ego. Salt in the fighting game community is abundant, but what makes a player salty?
The only difference between a salty player and one that isn’t, is that the one that isn’t is just better at hiding his emotions, but they have salt too, make no mistake about it. No one plays a competitive game if they do not enjoy competition. Even if it’s just for fun, if you are dedicating enough time to learn moves and combos, you are looking to win, not to lose.
The competitive spirit
It doesn’t matter how much of a mellow person you think you are, if you play games competitively, you HATE losing, but if you are a good gamer, you embrace those loses and you look for better players to upgrade your game. Once you become a pro, you are still likely to get salty if you lose, but you have learned to keep this to yourself as much as possible because you know it can also be used against you.
The true reason why people become salty gamers is because they expect to be great quickly at something that takes a VERY long time to master. This is the exact same reason why those at the top have bragging rights. They basically paid their dues by spending countless hours day after day. They are not about to let some new player who barely spends 1 hour playing each day get the glory.
Being at the top requires hard work
Being a top ranked fighting game player is the same as being top ranked in anything you do. You have to live for it, you need to learn the technical stuff behind it and you have to learn all kinds of matchups with the minimum roster being of 16 to 20 characters in most games.
So, next time you feel salty, remember that you continuously lose because you are no committed 100% and that is fine. Most people have other things to do with their lives and they are unable to play video games more than an hour or two each day, but if you want to be serious about it, you have to commit as much as possible.
You won’t hear about a pro football player that made it because they trained one hour each day. They made football their lives and that helped them achieve their goals. It’s the exact same thing with fighting games and now that they are being incorporated into networks like ESPN. The competition is going to grow even more because players know there is good money to be made.
Nothing gets competitive on a large scale until there is enough money on the line and fighting games are moving towards that direction, so the next time you feel salty, remember that you are never going to be as good as people who clock 5 to 8 hours daily.
Salt is just your lack of commitment
This is a very true statement, so don’t feel bad, you either commit, or you play for fun. Only those who take it seriously enough to spend most of their day practicing will get to earn money for playing.
Recently I was playing King of fighters 13 with a guy who is a master of Tekken. He has played Kof13 a few times, but he has dedicated way more time to Tekken. He is unable to beat me a single time in KOF, but the exact opposite happens when we play Tekken. Perhaps we are both equally skilled and our reactions are just as good, but the time spend learning a game has a lot to do with how well we do.
You need to have an equal level of reaction and knowledge to win in fighting games. You could be that guy that is able to react to everything like a ninja, but if you don’t understand the mechanics of a game and you don’t know understand each matchup, you are never going to beat someone who might have half the reaction you have, but twice the matchup knowledge.
If a guy puts 1000 hours into a fighting game like Street Fighter 5 by playing against very skilled players, and another guy plays 100 hours, it’s very unlikely that things will go well for the guy that played 100 hours. The only way for two people to find out who is better at a game is for both of them to have equal levels of knowledge in regards to the technical aspects of the game. Then, they can see who is better because they rely on their ability to mix their knowledge up to keep the opponent guessing and then it becomes a game of mental agility and reaction.
This is why you should never feel salty when a player that has hundreds of hours of advantage beats you. You are never going to find out if you are better than that player unless you commit to training as hard as that person has. One thing to remember is that if you accumulate thousands of hours in a game and you have fought the very best to level your skills up and you still get owned, just quit the dream and enjoy the game for fun. You’ll end up dying of stress and anxiety before you win a tournament.
We all get angry when we lose and we all have different ways of showing it. With that said, there are plenty of hours of fun to be had by playing fighting games with a decent level of skill, so next time you get your butt handed to you by some kid online with the nickname “TeabaginU”, don’t get salty, just take a deep breath and learn from the experience to get better.