Fighting titles like Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat and Soul Calibur can provide for hours of entertainment, but there is nothing worse than somebody – usually your best mate – stealing your thunder by completely pwning you round after round, using the same move over and over again.

Well, luckily you can now get help from an expert. Professional gaming enthusiast Patrick Miller has written an ebook which will teach you how to play fighting games – and it’s totally free. Titled ‘From Masher to Master: The Educated Video Game Enthusiast’s Fighting Game Primer’ it covers everything from the basics right down to combos and tactics.

“I decided to release this ebook for free because I wanted to make sure that anyone even remotely interested in learning how to play fighting games could do so without worrying about money getting in the way,” he explains in the introduction.

The ebook delves into most of the aspects needed to master the fighting genre titles, and Miller is ready to help. “Learning how to beat another person in a fighting game involves understanding elements of game design, psychology, programming and basic machine input/output, human physiology, motivation, and several other serious bodies of human knowledge — and then applying them to go beat down your buddy’s virtual avatar.”

Miller explains that while the free ebook is based on the principles of beating the heck out of someone, it actually goes a bit deeper than that, and can be applied to the real world. “A great fighting game only gets more and more fun as you put more time into it, no matter how old or outdated it is,” Miller says. “It is something that can teach you more about yourself, and connect you to people in ways other games or hobbies can’t.”

We have to agree with Patrick on that last point after seeing the worst in some of our colleagues after a particularly bad beat down at the PlayStation 4 launch event where Injustice: Gods Among Us was the flavour of the day.

The free ebook can be downloaded here.

Charlie started his professional life as a motoring journalist for a community newspaper in Mpumalanga, Charlie explored different journalistic angles since his entry into the fast-paced world of publishing in 2006. While fostering a passion for the arts, Charlie developed a love for technology – both which allowed him to serve as Entertainment and Technology Editor for an online publication. Charlie has since been heavily involved in consumer technology for various websites and publications. He thoroughly enjoys World War II films and cerebral documentaries; aviation; photography and indie music. Oh yes, and he also has a rather strange obsession with collecting coffee mugs from his travels.