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Fighting Games

What are Fighting Games?

Fighting Games constitute a video game genre. The exact boundaries of the term are subject to emotional discussions among fans of various games. So, let’s start with undisputed fighting games and their general characteristics.

The origins of fighting games can be traced back to the arcade era of the late 1970s and early 1980s. Titles like “Karate Champ” and “Street Fighter” laid the groundwork. In 1991 Capcom released “Street Fighter II” which was highly successful and boosted the popularity of fighting games, introducing iconic characters, intricate move sets, and competitive multiplayer dynamics. Other popular franchises include Tekken, Mortal Kombat and Super Smash Bros. Fighting games offer a blend of competition, strategy, and skill. While the mechanics and aesthetics may vary widely from title to title, certain elements define the genre’s essence.

At its core, in Fighting Games two players face and fight each other in intense one-on-one combat. Fighting Games include a high number of different characters with different move sets, special moves (so-called Supers) and different roles (e.g. zoner). Fighting Games can either be played with regular controllers, fighting sticks or even with keyboards.

Core Gameplay Mechanics

Fighting Games are regularly easily accessible but offer a huge depth. While simple controls allow newcomers to jump in and start throwing punches (by smashing buttons), mastering each character’s move set and learning advanced techniques requires dedication and a lot of practice (easy to learn, hard to master).

Typically, players utilize at best a combination of basic attacks, special moves, and defensive maneuvers to outmaneuver and outwit their opponents. The combination of attacks is called a “combo”. Fighting Games usually offer a huge variety of possible combos, open to everyone who are keen enough to search for possible combos and learn the perfect execution. Timing, precision, and spatial awareness are crucial as players seek or provoke openings in their opponent’s defence to unleash devastating combos of attacks.


Moreover, fighting games often incorporate diverse arenas with interactive elements that can be used to gain a tactical advantage or turn the tide of battle. From environmental hazards to dynamic stage transitions, these elements add layers of strategy to each match.

Character Diversity

Fighting Games offer a diverse roster of characters available for players to fight with. Each fighter has a distinct background story and personality, visual design (with different outfits), and fighting style, catering to a wide range of playstyles and personal preferences.

In addition, the well-known Fighting Game franchises have a flavour of their own. Whether it’s the agile martial artists of “Street Fighter,” the brutal combatants (and fatalities) of “Mortal Kombat,” or the nostalgic cast of “Super Smash Bros.,” every game and character brings something unique to the table. Variety from projectile-based zoning tactics to up-close-and-personal brawling ensures that every player will find their favourite playstyle and character.

Furthermore, it became more and more popular in recent Fighting Games to include guest characters from other franchises. Fans can fight with or against their favourite characters or villains. The boundaries are only set by licensing rights. But franchises like Super Smash. Bros. were able to accumulate a roster often referred to as “licensing nightmare”.

Competitive Scene

Fighting Games can be played casually and with friends. However, fighting games have a loyal and thriving competitive scene and fanbase encompassing local grass roots tournaments, regional events, and international championships with high price money. Players from around the world test their skills, compete for glory, and forge lasting friendships and rivalries.


Streaming platforms like Twitch have played a significant role in amplifying the visibility of competitive fighting game events, allowing fans to spectate matches in real-time and engage with their favorite players and personalities.


  • Bernhard Campara-Kopeinig

    Bernhard Campara-Kopeinig, based in Vienna, AT, is currently a Attorney At Law at Campara.Legal, bringing experience from previous roles at PHH Prochaska Havranek Rechtsanwälte GmbH & Co KG and FWP Fellner Wratzfeld & Partner Rechtsanwälte GmbH. Bernhard Campara-Kopeinig holds a 2005 – 2012 Magister in Rechtswissenschaften @ University of Vienna. With a robust skill set that includes Alternative Dispute Resolution, Esport Legal Advice, Rechtsberatung, Rechtsstreitigkeiten, Zivilprozesse and more, Bernhard Campara-Kopeinig contributes valuable insights to the industry.

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