EA Sports UFC 2 is out now, and TrustedReviews has been hitting the gym to provide you with some essential beginner’s tips so you’re ready to take on the best in the business.
By following our advice, you’ll soon be contending for the belt and take your spot as the greatest of all time.
Even if you’re playing as one of the heaviest hitters in MMA, staying in the pocket and throwing punches for too long will see you on the wrong end of a knockout. It’s important to step in range, throw off a few strikes, then step back so your opponent doesn’t have time to return the favour.
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Flicking the left stick away will see your combatant take a lunged-step back, meaning you’ll quickly move out of danger. Also, stepping to the side is an effective way of dodging hits. If your opponent has a dangerous right hand or leg, step to the left and vice-versa.
Check the stats
Being aware of every fact and stat about your fighter and opponent can play a huge role in determining the outcome of a contest.
Before the fight begins, you’ll get the ‘Tale of the Tape’. There’s two pieces of information you need to look at: height and reach. If you have a significantly greater reach than your opponent, this gives you a great advantage in being able to hit them without them being able to hit you. Try and keep your distance and pepper them with straight jabs and kicks, doing gradual damage over the early minutes of the fight, and this will also keep you ahead on the scorecards.
You’ll also get three rankings out of 100: stand-up, clinch and ground, as well as an overall ability score. These are super-useful when getting a quick overview of where strengths and weaknesses lay.
Stamina is everything
You won’t be able to land significant shots if your fighter is exhausted. Keep an eye on the bar at the top of the screen and make sure you have a decent amount of energy before planning a flurry of shots. Combination striking will quickly deplete your bar, so this refers back to the first point: get your shots in then step back to let your stamina recover.
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This is also important when the match gets to the ground: transitions are much easier to pull off if you’re the fitter fighter. A low stamina bar means you won’t be able to do much, so if need be stay in one position for a bit and recover, stopping your opponent’s transitions with the odd punch.
Holding the left stick affects strikes
If you keep holding the left stick while throwing shots, you throw different types of punches and kicks, each more draining on your stamina than regular jabs and straights.
When in range, try letting go of the left stick to throw some straight punches first. These punches are usually quicker than hooks and uppercuts, too, so it’ll help counter whatever they’re throwing. These punches help set up your bigger shots later in the combo, as it’s more difficult to block multiple shots than a single big one.
Know your opponent’s strengths
It’s a good idea to be familiar with the UFC roster and what each athlete’s strengths and weaknesses are before each fight. Knowing whether you’re coming up against an excellent striker or wrestler can help you strategise.
With a wrestler you’re going to want to avoid their takedowns at all cost and use striking to keep them away from you. Someone with devastating knockout power can’t hurt you when they’re on their back, so takedowns will be your ally.
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As much as UFC 2 is a more action-packed representation of the real sport, there’s still strategy involved, especially at the higher difficulties and online.
Use the training drills
The training exercises in this game are really helpful for short bursts of focused training. If you’re struggling to get off your back once an opponent takes you down, head here and spend a few minutes working to block and reverse transitions.
Advanced strikes can help close the distance
Superman punches, wheel kicks and spinning back fists can all help close the distance between you and your opponent. However, these advanced strikes carry an inherent risk: failure to land will mean you’re stood in front of someone ready to land a few strikes of their own.
Pressing LB/L1 will cause your fighter to throw more advanced punches or kicks. Depending on whom you’re playing as, you’ll get a different attack.
Make sure you know which attack you’re about to use, the distance it covers, and where it’s supposed to land. Throwing wild shots hoping to win a fight is a quick way to a loss.
You can’t dodge and block at the same time
UFC 2 changes the way to defend hits over its predecessor. Now, you need to anticipate the incoming strike and opt whether to block high or low with R1/R2 or RB/RT. Or, if you think you’re about to receive a punch, you can hold LT/L2 and duck and weave.
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You can’t cheat the system though and dodge while blocking, unlike before. Your safest bet when in close is to dodge, as it’s the most effective at avoiding strikes. As you become more familiar with how punches and kicks are thrown you can switch to blocking, and even start parrying (press an attack button whilst holding block as you are hit), but this is a pretty advanced technique and can be difficult to pull off. There’s a dedicated training drill for it that can be very helpful.