What Makes a Character Annoying?

What makes a character in a fighting game/ enemy in any video game annoying to fight against as opposed to being fun? What’s the best way to avoid making something in a videogame annoying to deal with?

I don’t tend to get annoyed by characters very much. I used to get annoyed by sheik, I got annoyed by how one specific guy played Chun Li against me in 3rd strike (would rely almost entirely on lows and jump-ins + chun’s 3HK, was good AA practice, but it bothered me that he wasn’t understanding the game).

I’m currently a little annoyed by Millia, in that she can do a corner carry combo into tandem top, mix up on okizeme and repeat the process if she guesses right. I’d rather deal with Urien, and he has unblockables.

I’m a bit annoyed at how my friend plays Terumi in BB, just using 6C and throws. 6C is unsafe as hell, but it’s high priority and damaging as fuck, and ends in knockdown, so I get caught by it all the time, and he mixes up between it and throw and for some reason I just can’t force him to play honest.

Some people tend to get annoyed at Guile, or Ryu for doing the fireball/anti-air thing.

Mew2King hates icies, as do many other people.

In single player games, Chimeras in DMC4 are super annoying. Same with the exploding shuriken guys in ninja gaiden 2. Or all the shit in the shrine of amana in dark souls 2, or multiple enemy encounters in general in dark souls 2. Thunderblight Ganon was terrible in BOTW for reasons I explained in that review.

I’d say my best guess for annoying enemies is just that they’re A. Hard to Beat B. you don’t have a reasonable counterplay against them. and C. They restrict your options in some way.

A lot of what made Sheik less annoying to me is that I learned how to play the matchup. Chimeras and exploding shuriken guys are irritating because you don’t really have a way to do that. You need to back off at certain points, you need to dodge right when the exploding shurikens go off.

You could tie this back to my depth theory, things that are annoying restrict either the actual or perceived depth of the game. They require this one solution you may or may not know and will screw you over incredibly hard if you don’t know it. They probably also rely on some finnicky semi-random thing that you don’t know.

Fighting games generally don’t have characters that can boil the game down into one thing, except at a low level. If your opponent has a single reliable strategy, then there tend to be multiple counters for it, or it tends to not be the only one they can use when you start beating it. Millia does need to win neutral to get that knockdown after all.

The best way to make something less annoying to deal with is to provide multiple ways to deal with it, even if those multiple ways are just differences in spacing and timing. If people don’t feel like something is repetitive, and like they’re actually solving a challenge rather than doing that one finnicky thing, then they tend to not get irritated as quickly. This also means making it clear how it can be beaten, because if they think there’s only one way, then they’ll likely have the same response.

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