Makoto by Joewoof

Version: 1.0 | Updated: 10/08/11 | Printable Version

----------------------------- STREET FIGHTER IV VOLT -------------------------
                                     on iOS
----------------------------- MAKOTO for BEGINNERS ---------------------------
                               Written by Joewoof
Last Updated: Oct. 1, 2011


I. Introduction
    1. Why Play Makoto?
        a. Unique Underdog
        b. Polar Extremes
            i. Slowest Walk, Best Dash
            ii. Great Normals, Poor Specials
            iii. Combos - Easy but Short
        c. High-Speed Grappler
        d. Unpredictable
    2. iOS Version Differences
II. What To Remember
    1. Strong Offense, but Not Offensive
    2. Patience when Approaching
III. Starting Out
    1. Kaoruna
    2. Normal Attacks
        a. Standing Punch
        b. Crouching Heavy Punch
        c. Aerial Punch
        d. Crouching Heavy Kick
    3. EX Hayate
IV. Mixing It Up
    1. Dash + Throw
    2. Karakusa + Ultra
    3. Karakusa + Crouching Heavy Punch
    4. EX Oroshi
V. Hitting Harder
    1. Crouching Punch + Hayate
    2. Karakusa + Punch + Hayate
VI. Rounding Her Out
    1. Instant Tsurugi
    2. Fukiage
    3. Punch + Hayate + Super + Ultra
VII. Difficult Matchups
    1. Akuma & Dhalsim
    2. Zangief & Abel
    3. E. Honda & Blanka
    4. Cammy
VIII. Credits & Further Reading
IX. Legal



Welcome to my Makoto for Beginnners FAQ. This does not aim to be a
comprehensive guide for Makoto, but it serves as a detailed starting point
for beginner-level players in Street Fighter IV. You could be a fairly decent
player and tried Makoto out of curiosity... only to be confused by how
horrible she is in what is otherwise a very balanced cast of characters. In
fact, Makoto is very competitive in professional tournaments. She just plays
so differently that it is difficult to figure out her strengths, let alone
win consistently with her.

If you're not a patient reader, you should skip right to the "Starting Out"


1. Why Play Makoto?

Since Street Fighter III Third Strike, Makoto has always been a fan favorite.
Many people love playing as Makoto and she was one of the most requested
characters to be included in Super Street Fighter IV. As a new player, your
eyebrow is probably raised. "Really?" Yes, really.

Makoto is unique; no other character fights like her. She is a character of
many polar extremes. Some of her traits are the strongest in the game, while
her weaknesses are some of the worst. One of her specialties is being a
high-speed grappler, which is a rare ability. All of this makes her very
unpredictable and her tactics will catch many players by surprise, be it
beginners or veterans.


a. Unique Underdog

Most characters in Street Fighter are defined by their  Special moves. To
a new player, those flashy attacks are the first and most memorable
aspect of each character. Ryu's Hadouken and Shoryuken makes him a
reliable fighter at both close and long range. Cammy's Spiral Arrow
shows that she is fast and offensive. Zangief's Spinning Pile Driver
makes him a grappling monster up close. And so on.

With Makoto, well... her Specials barely do anything on their own.
That's because Makoto isn't defined by her Specials, but by everything
else. The combination of her dashes, throws and Normal attacks is what
defines Makoto - and makes her unique.

To most beginners, she is an underdog that severely lacks powerful
moves. This design is part of her charm. With her, you can show
your opponents that you are unfazed by their fireballs and can win
using her fists alone.


b. Polar Extremes

Some of Makoto's traits are the best in the game, while others are pretty
much the worst.

i. Slowest Walk, Best Dash

The first thing you'd notice about her is that her walk speed is the absolute
slowest in the game. It is so slow that she barely moves and is generally
unusable. In contrast, her dash is the best in the game. She moves far with
both her front and back dashes. Not only that, she also recovers very quickly
from them. This allows her to attack or throw immediately after dashing,
often before her opponent can react. It is so effective that her dash should
be considered a part of her combos.

ii. Great Normals, Poor Specials

Makoto's Normals (Normal Moves) - her standard punches and kicks - are some
of the best in the game. While their ranges are short, they are fast and have
exceptional priority, which allows her attacks to often hit her opponents
first in an exchange. Her Normals also have fast recovery, which makes it
difficult for her opponent to punish or counter a whiffed attack.

On the other hand, all of her Specials are situational and difficult to use
effectively. All of them require specific timing, deal little damage and have
pitiful range. That's not to say that they are useless; you need to combo
into them or follow them up with combos to bring out their full potential.
Only EX Hayate is easy to use, with incredible speed, range and decent

There's more. Her Super is worthless for beginners as Tanden Renki raises
her damage by 25% instead of performing a powerful combo. Her Super meter is
better spent on EX Specials.

If that sounds intimidating, don't worry. When starting out with her, you can
simply rely on her punches and kicks alone to win. Her Normals are that

iii. Combos - Easy but Short

It is easy to combo with Makoto since most of her Normals can be canceled
into Hayate. Her Specials - namely Tsurugi and Karakusa - also stun her
opponent long enough to be followed up with combos. On the other hand, she
has few long combos - and those few are very difficult to string together.

For beginners, this is all good since long combos are for advanced players


c. High-Speed Grappler

Makoto's Normal Throw is balanced to deal the least damage in the entire
game, and for good reason - it's very difficult to avoid. That's
because she can throw right after dashing into her opponent, and
remember that her dash is the quickest in the whole game. Not only that,
the same can be done with Karakusa, her command grab. Karakusa stuns her
opponent long enough for her Ultra (Seichusen Godansuki) to land, making
her dash & throw tactic even deadlier. The EX version of Karakusa is even
faster and has armor.

Throws are the answer to defensive opponents, but grapplers are generally
slow and easy to avoid. With Makoto, it's not so easy as her Normals are
very fast, forcing her opponents to block often. When they start blocking,
she can rush in and throw them before they have a chance to react.

This trait is so dangerous that it justifies a lot of her downsides.


d. Unpredictable

Together, Makoto's fast Normals and throws are difficult to defend against.
The threat of Karakusa + Ultra is always there, and if her opponents try to
escape, she can chase after them with her quick dashes. A low-guarding
opponent can be hit with EX Oroshi. If her opponent tries to throw her,
especially on wake up, she can safely counter with Instant Tsurugi.


2. iOS Version Differences

In terms of balance and character roster, Street Fighter IV Volt for iOS is
equivalent to Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition. This version of
Makoto is tougher, faster and deals slightly more damage than her version
in Super Street Fighter IV.

This game is essentially a cut-down and simplified version of its console
counterparts, but it still stays very true to the original. Specials, Super
and Ultra are all easier to perform, but the touchscreen and its lack of
physical buttons makes it much more difficult to tightly control the
character. It's a reasonable trade off.

The controls consist of a virtual joystick and 4 buttons. There is only one
button for punch (P) and one for kick (K). Focus Attack is done by holding
another button (F), while EX Specials are done with the (SP) button.

This means that Light, Medium and Heavy attacks are taken out of the
game mechanics. Normal attacks are limited, but the most important ones
are included. Many Heavy attacks are added as additional Unique Attacks.
For instance, a crouching-forward kick is different from a crouching kick.

Easy modes are built into the system. "SP Assist" makes it easier to
perform Specials. For example, you can use Hayate by just pressing SP
instead of doing quarter-circle-front + punch. "Auto Guard" allows your
character to automatically perform a standing guard, but only if you're
not moving.

With or without SP Assist, both Super and Ultra can be activated by
pressing the Super or Revenge meter respectively.

Personally, I do not recommend using SP Assist as over-reliance on
Specials will make you predictable. Your opponent can easily
punish you when your Special is blocked or whiffs. This is especially
true with Makoto since her Specials are situational.

Another important thing to note - especially for Makoto - is how to
dash using the virtual joystick. To dash, you should not move the 
joystick forward twice. Instead, double-tap the forward arrow next to
the joystick. Doing it this way will allow you to consistently dash,
although the motion can be jarring at first.




1. Strong Offense, But Not Offensive

Makoto is NOT an offensive character. This cannot be stressed enough. An
offensive character would be Cammy or Yun. Makoto has great offense and can
easily break a defensive opponent. However, she lacks the tools to keep up
that offense and stop her opponents from striking back. Great Normals are
still Normals, and punches can easily be countered with Specials like

NEVER charge in mindlessly with Makoto. With her, you must learn when to
strike and when to stay put. Because of her poor Specials, Makoto will have
a hard time getting an opponent off her once she's countered or knocked


2. Patience when Approaching

With Makoto, you must accept that half of each battle against ranged
spammers could be spent dodging fireballs. Even if you reach your opponent,
jumping in at the wrong moment would surely result in a Shoryuken or Tiger
Uppercut counter. It can be very tempting to constantly jump in or dash
towards your opponent, but doing so would likely result in defeat.

Despite its slow speed, don't be afraid to walk towards your opponent.
Especially against a spammer, it's much safer to walk and then jump only when
necessary. Dash just once (and block immediately) when it's safe and use
Hayate when in range.

EX Hayate is great for getting close, but note that it can't go through



When starting out with Makoto, you must get used to two things that are
different from other characters. First, she walks very slowly. Don't force
yourself to dash all the time just yet at this point. Just jump around and
use Kaoruna to inch forward when near enough. If your opponent is far on the
other side of the screen, use EX Hayate to close the distance. Second,
ignore her Specials and Super. Oroshi (Overhead Chop), Tsurugi (Aerial Axe
Kick), Karakusa (Grab & Choke) and Fukiage (Upward Punch) all have terrible
range and don't do a lot of damage. Again, the only Special you should be
using is EX Hayate (for the time being). Remember that Makoto's strength
lies in her Normal Moves.

This section should allow you to beat Normal Arcade.


1. Kaoruna

Forward + Punch

This Unique Attack is Makoto's main weapon. It's fast, has a lot of range,
and can be spammed continuously. It also moves Makoto forward and can be
used to approach instead of jumping in or performing a dash. Kaoruna is like
a mini-Hayate (Dash Punch).

Kaoruna + Kaoruna + Kaoruna + Throw

A chain of Kaoruna attacks can deal a lot of damage. If your opponents try
to attack back while you're spamming Kaoruna, they would be countered. It
can be countered with a Special move though, but you can still pull it off
against unwary opponents.

This attack can also move you close enough to your opponent for a throw.
Simply hold Forward for a split second longer before pressing Punch again
to activate the throw.


2. Normal Attacks

Kaoruna alone cannot win you battles though. It is easily blocked and
countered. You must use other Normal Attacks to keep your opponent guessing.
For your offense, alternate Kaoruna with her three key punches - Standing
Punch, Crouching Heavy Punch & Aerial Punch.


a. Standing Punch

This is one of the fastest Normal Attacks in the entire game. In an exchange,
the worst that can happen is that both you and your opponents will trade
hits. At best, you will hit your opponents before theirs' land. This attack
is also a great combo starter with several follow-up options:
Standing Punch + Standing Punch
Standing Punch + Crouching Punch
Standing Punch + Standing Kick
Standing Punch + Kaoruna

Following up with Kaoruna is a good move as it moves you closer to your
opponent, allowing you to continue attacking with Normals. It is much more
effective to alternate between Standing Punch and Kaoruna than to use
Kaoruna alone.


b. Crouching Heavy Punch

Forward-Down + Punch

A fast leg-sweep that must be blocked low, this attack can do a lot of
damage and will make your offense harder to guard against. Don't rely on it
too much as it is slower than her other attacks.


c. Aerial Punch

Jump + Punch

A great attack with a lot of range and priority, Makoto's Aerial Punch is
better than most characters' aerial attacks. It has a large hit box that
extends downward, letting her hit her opponent a split second sooner than

This attack can also combo into Standing Punch or Kaoruna. If it hits,
you can easily do the following:
Aerial Punch + Standing Punch + Kaoruna


d. Crouching Heavy Kick

Forward-Down + Kick

While her punches are great for offense, this powerful anti-air kick is her
best bet for defense. Use it to hit approaching characters - be it on the
ground or in the air. In fact, spam it if you face Zangief.

It's also a good punishing move for a whiffed Shoryuken or Hurricane Kick.


3. EX Hayate

Quarter-Circle-Front + SP

The EX version of Hayate is your main tool for getting close to your
opponent. It is the quickest attack in the whole game. Your opponent only
has a split second to react and it can hit from across the whole screen.
Don't waste it to just deal damage, since this is Makoto's safest way of
approaching her enemy. Jumping in all the time is risky. You can't go
through fireballs even with the EX version though.

Use up all your Super meter on EX Hayate. There is little point saving it
for your Super anyway since Tanden Renki is difficult to use.

The standard version of Hayate is not a substitute as it has very little



Have you beaten Normal Arcade with Makoto? Great! Let's move on.

By now, you should be familiar with Makoto's playstyle. However, as your
opponents get tougher, you would find that her attacks are easily blocked
and countered. The speed of her attacks alone will no longer win battles.

To break their defense, you must learn to be unpredictable. This can be
done by adding Makoto's throws and EX Oroshi to your arsenal. To take
full advantage of her throws and reduce your reliance on EX Hayate (and
save the Super meter for other EX Specials), you must practice dashing
with her and become comfortable with it.

In case you missed it, remember that a dash should be performed by
double-tapping the forward arrow. You cannot dash consistently by moving
the joystick forward twice, not to mention that it is much slower to do so.

Once you've mastered this section, you should be able to take on Hard


1. Dash + Throw

As mentioned before, this move is the reason why Makoto's throw is balanced
to do the least damage in the game. It is very fast and difficult to avoid.

Her throw (Headbutt) is also different as it pushes her opponents back
instead of knocking them down. This allows you to continue with a Hayate
or another dash & throw.

You can also fake the throw by dashing and blocking instead of doing
anything. If you succeed in baiting out a Shoryuken, for example, you can
land a free punish with a Crouching Heavy Kick.

Learning to use and fake this move is key to winning against defensive
characters like Guille.


2. Karakusa + Ultra

Half-Circle-Back + Kick -> Ultra

This easy combo is Makoto's most fearsome weapon. Karakusa (Grab & Choke)
itself deals very little damage, but it will stun her opponents long
enough to follow it up with combos. What's amazing is that she can launch
directly into her Ultra from a Karakusa and do a great deal of damage

Karakusa is a command throw with very short range, poor priority and a long
delay if she whiffs with it. What makes it scary is its lightning-fast
startup. Like a normal throw, you can perform it immediately after a dash,
making it difficult to avoid.

Due to its low range and priority, it is sometimes safer to use the EX
version. EX Karakusa is almost instant and also has armor, both of which
are very important if you want to land your Ultra.

Timing her Ultra can be a little tricky. The stun from Karakusa only lasts
for a split second. You must launch her Ultra the moment she pulls her
hands away from her opponent. If she makes an "X" with her arms, it will
be too late and her Ultra can be blocked.


3. Karakusa +  Crouching Heavy Punch

If your Ultra is not available,  Karakusa can also be used to set up other
attacks and combos. The easiest one to do is to simply follow it up with
a Crouching Heavy Punch. This does a lot more damage than her normal throw,
but unless you're using the fast EX version, Karakusa can be countered.
If your opponent is looking to counter, it is safer to go for her normal


4. EX Oroshi

Quarter-Circle-Back + SP

What's great about Oroshi is the fact that it must be blocked high. It will
catch many opponents by surprise and deal a lot of damage. If you hit your
opponents with low attacks and condition them into blocking low, they won't
be prepared to block high. However, the standard version of Oroshi is so slow
and has such terrible range that it borders on being worthless.

Always try to use EX Oroshi instead. Although it has the same range, the EX
version is much faster and grants a moment of invincibility. You can
quickly break a low-blocking opponent with it. When defending, it can be
used to counter your opponent in many situations. You can also ambush a
waking-up opponent who might be blocking low.



Once you attempt Grueling Arcade (or face even stronger opponents online),
it's a whole different story. In Grueling, not only can the AI opponents
block most of your attacks, but they are much more adept at avoiding your
throws by back-dashing or jumping. Since your attacks would be blocked twice
as often, you must make every hit count and strike twice as hard. The best
way to do so is to combo her Normal attacks into Hayate.

If you learn to combo consistently, you would double your damage output
and turn Hard Arcade into a cakewalk. It will make a huge difference in
Grueling Arcade, but don't worry about beating it since the last boss is
on a whole different difficulty level (What's worse than Grueling?

You should also go over the previous basics and practice them in Hard
Arcade from time to time.


1. Crouching Punch +  Hayate

This is the most reliable of Makoto's combos. Crouching Punch (not Crouching
Heavy Punch) has the furthest range of all her Normals and lasts just long
enough for you to easily cancel it into Hayate.

If you've never canceled a Normal attack into a Special, it's not hard to
do. Just immediately perform "quarter-circle-front + punch" after hitting
your opponent with Crouching Punch. You must do it quickly and finish the
motion before the animation of Crouching Punch ends. If you do it correctly,
Crouching Punch will be interrupted with Hayate, and this is impossible to

This combo also keeps Makoto close to her opponent, where she can repeat the
combo or continue with other tactics.

You can also cancel several of Makoto's other Normals into Hayate, including
Standing Heavy Punch, Standing Punch and Standing Kick. None are as
effective as Crouching Punch though.


2. Karakusa + Punch + Hayate

Once you are comfortable with canceling into Hayate, you can try the same
after stunning your opponent with Karakusa. It's a little tricky to do
since it's hard to time Crouching Punch after Karakusa. You can follow with
Standing Punch instead, but it has such a fast animation that you have to
be really quick at canceling into Hayate. Work with what's more comfortable
for you.

This does more damage than simply following Karakusa up with Crouching Heavy
Punch, and if you become proficient with it, Makoto's dash & throw tactic
will become even more dangerous.



Eventually, you'd start to wonder about Tsurugi, Fukiage and her Super,
Tanden Renki. What about them? Where do they fit in?

For advanced players, Tsurugi and Fukiage are very important for linking
together Makoto's most powerful combos. Another widely used move is
Instant Tsurugi. It is a version of Tsurugi that has a lot of utility and
damage potential through follow-up combos.

At this point though, attempting these will often bring more harm than
good. The Fukiage-Tsurugi combo in particular requires really precise timing
and is not be covered in this guide. Instant Tsurugi is also very difficult
to perform and space correctly.

I recommend that you concentrate on previous tactics and avoid this
section altogether until you are reasonably confident with Makoto in
online play.


1. Instant Tsurugi

Quarter-Circle-Back -> Forward-Up + Kick

Instant Tsurugi is a very fast Special that can attack an opponent
in the air and on the ground. It is one of Makoto's most unpredictable and
deadly attacks because of its speed, short-but-uncommon range and combo
capability. The fact that she is off-ground also means that Makoto is
immune to throws while using this ability. Because of that, this move is
great against waking-up opponents. The EX version is very effective as it
must be blocked high (although it cannot be followed up with combos).

Instant Tsurugi should not be confused with standard Tsurugi, the latter
of which is predictable and very easily countered. Instant Tsurugi is
performed on the ground, while standard Tsurugi is done when Makoto is in
the air. Although standard Tsurugi is much easier to perform, getting it
to hit your opponent is harder.

In previous versions of Street Fighter IV, Instant Tsurugi is not for us
humans to use. Immortals with superhuman reflexes must spin 270 degrees
at several times the speed of light to pull it off. Classically, Instant
Tsurugi's motion is:
Forward-Up + Forward + Forward-Down + Down + Back-Down + Back + Kick

While most people can do that, very few can do it fast enough for Tsurugi
to hit a standing opponent. Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition changed
it so that you can spin quarter-circle-back before hitting
forward-up + kick. This motion can be done as slowly any other Special
move, making it accessible for beginners.

Regardless, you would need quite a bit of practice to activate Instant
Tsurugi on demand and space it correctly.

Tsurugi + Punch + Hayate

It can be a little overwhelming at first, but you should follow Tsurugi up
with a combo to take full advantage of it. Tsurugi alone is not really
worth using unless you turn it into a combo. Again, this does not work with
EX Tsurugi.


2. Fukiage

Fukiage does not hit a standing opponent and has such poor range that you
shouldn't generally use it. However, it becomes necessary when you need
to counter an opponent who is putting on a lot of aerial offense. Makoto's
anti-air kick usually does the job, but there are occasional moments when
Fukiage is better.


3. Punch + Hayate + Super + Ultra

This combo is the most reliable way of using Makoto's Super and the total
damage from it is incredible. Once you connect with a Hayate, you can
cancel it into your Super and the stun from Hayate will last long
enough for you to follow up with the Ultra.

Although powerful and easy to pull off, saving up for your Super is
usually not recommended as Makoto depends a lot on her EX Specials. If
you find yourself with a full Super meter, however, go for it.



Makoto would always face difficult matchups in online play because it is
easy for human players to exploit her weaknesses. To win consistently,
you must learn to deal with her common pitfalls.


1. Akuma & Dhalsim

Stand your ground.

I've said it before and I'll say it again - be patient. Makoto has great
offense, but she lacks the tools to keep it up for long. Against
fireball-spamming & teleporting players, you must be as patient
as possible. Only rush in from time to time when you see an opening. Don't
be frustrated even if you can land a single hit from time to time. Once
you have a health advantage, stop attacking altogether and try to lure
Akuma or Dhalsim into getting close.


2. Zangief & Abel

Hit and run.

Always back dash from whatever you do to avoid getting thrown. Crouching
Heavy Kick is Makoto's best defensive Normal and it should be used when
Zangief or Abel is approaching. Instant Tsurugi is great against them as
Makoto is immune to throws when using it.


3. E. Honda & Blanka

Block and punish.

Punish blocked Sumo Headbutts with EX Hayate. Likewise, punish Blanka's
Rolling Attack with standard Hayate. Makoto can safely hit through
Blanka's eletricity with Crouching Heavy Punch, but only if she's not
right next to him.


4. Cammy


Cammy's Spiral Arrow is very dangerous for Makoto. Against her, it is
safer to defend and retaliate rather than to be on the offensive. Be very
cautious about when she dashes.



While learning to play Makoto myself, I've found the following two guides
to be somewhat helpful. Some of my details were taken from those websites,
but the rest of their content are not very useful for gradually introducing
a new player to Makoto's unique playstyle and tactics. They are also

Regardless, they are still important for further reading. Take a look:

MyCheats Makoto Guide
xbox_360 Makoto Guide



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the exact same form. Otherwise, it is a violation of copyright.


Copyright (c) 2011 Dawit Thepchatree