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Training Stage

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Say your prayers, Sandbag. I'm going to stop by a lot.

Fighting Games are Serious Business. Therefore, there needs to be a serious place of study. That's why these are always there. This arena, which is usually called the Training Room or something similar, is almost always a plain-colored, distraction-free arena. The background or floor usually involves glowing or clearly defined grid lines or tiles for purposes of distance-measuring units to study attack range and Combos.

These stages are always Fixed-Floor Fighting arenas. If a game has environmental hazards to differentiate the stages from one another, this stage will always be without them, which, if they're available in versus play, will almost invariably make them popular in Tournament Play.

In many competitive fighting games, the Training Stage is one of the most important tools for an improving player to use. There is a lot to be aware of when learning one's way through a Fighting Game title, and so this Training Stage features visual and kinetic tools that encourage experimentation and make it easier than ever for players to hone their craft.

Usually a Fighting Game trope, but can also show up in other games, particularly in survival or strategy-based settings, as well referenced in other media.

See also Newbie Immunity for when the game lets the player test out controls and mechanics at the start of the game without fear of losing or penalty.

Not to be confused with any room that's used for training by a character within the work, unless it matches the aesthetic. See also Virtual Training Simulation, which is another kind of Training Room, but not precisely for fighting.


Fighting Games

  • ARMS has the Sparring Ring, a simple square boxing ring with no hazards or obstacles to speak of. Initially, it was only accessible while warming up before an online match; a later update added it as a proper stage that could be selected to play on.
  • Acceleration of Suguri 2 has "Before the War", which could count as this, since it consists of a grid-based background with Tron Lines, although the fact that said grid is constantly moving does kind of render it somewhat moot. Bonus points for being based on the tutorial stage from sora.
  • Blade Strangers' training stage somewhat bucks the trend by having its background be High-Tech Hexagons as opposed to the usual square layout.
  • The BlazBlue games, starting with Continuum Shift, have the "Lessons" stage, a place completely separated from the rest of the verse that serves as the stage for the Tutorial Mode. In CS, Lessons had a very Virtual Reality-ish grid in the walls and floor, while the Chronophantasma, Central Fiction and Cross Tag Battle versions of the stage are more elaborate.
  • Capcom vs. series:
    • The Danger Room, a white room with a grid that can change its appearance, is featured as a normal stage in X-Men: Children of the Atom.
    • In Marvel vs. Capcom 2 and Marvel vs. Capcom 3, the Danger Room from X-Men returns to serve this purpose, as it did in the original comics. In the Ultimate version of the latter, it even comes in two variants: Training Room (based on its MvC2 appearance) and Danger Room (based on its CotA appearance).
    • Tatsunoko vs. Capcom is similar to Street Fighter IV training stage but also features a height gauge due to the nature of aerial combat in the game.
  • Dead or Alive features "Tatami", an endless expanse of tatami mats with no stage obstacles or elevation changes. You can use this space to practice combos (though obviously not wall combos).
  • Lethal League and Lethal League Blaze have Room 21, a cell in a mental asylum with floor and walls completely covered in square pads whose boundaries form a grid. Considering its setting, it may be a parody of this trope. Though it initially looks featureless, once the match progresses to certain points, the security alarms start going off and the bright white lighting is replaced by the red siren lights to give it a more intense, dramatic look.
  • Killer Instinct (2013) has a training stage which is unavailable for versus play, but to make up for that, one can make it play the entire album from the first Killer Instinct, Killer Kuts.
  • M.U.G.E.N: This is one of the two stages that comes pre-packaged with the gamenote , and is often used for character demonstrations due to both the ready availability and the lack of distracting, flashy scenery.
  • Ninjala has a large perfectly cubic room resembling the interior of a Japanese temple, lined with a holographic grid. This is used only for the tutorial and for waiting in the lobby for more players to arrive, however. The gameplay, on the other hand, is designed with Free-Floor Fighting in mind, so this stage cannot be played with human opponents.
  • Playstation All Stars Battle Royale provides several of these, each with different sizes and platform layouts but all with the same basic aesthetics and general idea.
  • Phantom Breaker Omnia has the Training Zone which, unlike the others on this list, actually changes appearance every round (specifically, it goes from grey-and-green to black-and-blue and vice versa). It's also notable for being the Home Stage for the two newcomers, Artifactor and Maestra.
  • Project M patches one of these over the Wi-Fi Waiting Room from Super Smash Bros. Brawl — it's big, it has a huge boundary to practice the all-important Offstage Game, and because of the stage it's patched over, it even has Sandbag to smack around to your heart's content.
  • Rivals of Aether has two variants of Training Stage to choose from: the "Practice Room", a grid-based stage consisting of three platforms not unlike that of Battlefield as well as having its ground extend to the blast zone on the right, and the "Tutorial Grid", another grid-based stage that's more in line with Final Destination in terms of layout as well as featuring a pretty trippy background with Orby spectating the fight. The former can only be used in Training mode while the latter can be unlocked by clearing all of the tutorial challenges.
  • Skullgirls has the "Class Notes", a special stage which is a blank training stage as a school classroom with tables, chairs and a blackboard. Used only as a training stage and as part of Mrs. Victoria's tutorial, can be unlocked for multiplayer and versus by completing the tutorial or buying the DLC with all stages.
  • Soul Series:
    • Soul Calibur V has the Character Creation Stage to test out how a custom character looks in motion. It's only available in Creation Mode, though, and the opponent is always a Deliberately Monochrome Edge Master.
    • Soul Calibur VI has "Grand Labyrinth: Sealed Corridor", which is a stage that stretches infinitely in all directions, has no background, and has an infinitely repeating tiled floor. It's only selectable in Training Mode, however; the selection space is blank in other modes.
  • Street Fighter:
    • Street Fighter IV has the aptly-named "Training Stage", complete with an announcer voice clip. It's a featureless white room with black grid lines. Red lines flanked by gray boxes are seen running down the center of each wall, making it easy to find where the middle of the stage is. The stage is automatically selected for the combo trials mode, with the "sandbag" being none other than Dan Hibiki. The stage was pretty notorious for being almost exclusively the only stage most high-level players played on, since the grid lines helped with spacing and footsies.
    • Street Fighter X Tekken patterns its training stage after the training stage found in Street Fighter IV but with designs on the wall that imply it's happening inside the Pandora's Box.
    • Street Fighter V has "The Grid", which is fairly similar to its appearance in IV, minus the gray boxes. There's even a second version of this stage, which inverts all the colors (dark gray background with teal center lines). In-universe, it's stated to take place in an undisclosed Shadaloo testing facility. Notably, the stage is explicitly excluded from the random select stage pool and banned from official Capcom tournaments to avert the Abridged Arena Array problem described in IV's entry.
  • Super Smash Bros.:
  • Tekken franchise:
    • This is the only stage available in Training Mode in the PSP versions of Tekken: Dark Resurrection and Tekken 6 as well as Tekken 3D: Prime Edition on the 3DS, and is unavailable in standard play. You can select these with or without walls (but no stage interactions for 6 or Prime Edition). The online waiting room in Tag Tournament 2 and 7 also matches the endless version of these training stages.
    • "Strategic Space" in Tag Tournament 2 could be seen as a training stage but it also has every kind of stage interaction possible (a wall, floor, and balcony break). It's also selectable for normal fights.
    • 7 has Geometric Space, which is basically Strategic Space without the stage breaks.
  • Them's Fightin' Herds has The Nitty Grid-y, a black and empty room with neon grids making up the floor.

Action-Adventure - Platform Games

  • Kirby
    • Kirby's Return to Dream Land has specialized Copy Ability rooms where you can test every ability in the game with a dummy, provided that you've unlocked them.
    • Kirby: Triple Deluxe and Kirby: Planet Robobot also feature similar copy ability room and a dummy that you can test the abilities on. The latter also include the Robobot Armor so that you can test its capabilities, as the mech will appear a lot in gameplay.
  • Mega Man X5: The game has a dedicated "Training" stage not seen in any other game in the series. Through the Mission Control Alia, It teaches you the basics of the game's platforming for both X and Zero, and ends with a watered down version of Magma Dragoon from the previous game as the training boss.
  • A Noble Circle has one of these in the form of the free-to-download Prologue, which acquaints you with the gameplay mechanics and the game's unique method of storytelling.

Beat 'em Up - Spectacle Fighter

First Person Shooter


  • Dungeon Fighter Online has Pungjin's Dojo, where players can set up targets with differing stats, change their skill build, run DPS tests to see how much damage one can deal in a specific time frame, or just simply practice the game's fighting game-esque skill inputs at their leisure. There are also dropdown menus used to give the player various buffs, which is useful for those that aren't yet min-maxed.

Role-Playing Game

  • In Pokémon Scarlet and Violet, the Pokémon League interior battle court has this appearance, set in an enclosed room with perfectly flat and rectangular floor, walls, and ceiling lined with square transparent glass tiles and a light turquoise glow from behind them, giving the appearance of a grid. Notably, it is the battle court for PvP with the plainest appearance by far and is the least processor-intensive background for it. The grid isn't necessary with the Pokémon series's Turn-Based Combat though, nor is there any evidence of the battle court used for testing out Pokémon and their moves, but it does fit the look.

Stealth-based games

  • Metal Gear franchise:
    • VR training missions in Metal Gear Solid feature simplistic, holographic environments with a monochrome Tron Lines grid to get the hang of the controls before going on the missions. This even remained in the Metal Gear mission pack of LittleBigPlanet, where the VR Materials could also prove useful for measuring the capabilities of the complicated gadgets one could build.
    • The VR missions in Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty serve a similar purpose, but with a different design - every surface is one single flat color, Snake and Raiden are highlighted by a red box to signify their hitboxes, and bullets that hit surfaces are clearly marked by red circles instead of bullet holes. Even the enemies take on the VR aesthetic, appearing as cel-shaded humanoids in varying shades of orange, looking somewhat like armed and walking crash test dummies. The missions themselves also vary more in scope than MGS1, even covering niche situations such as catching ledges during a fall or learning how to avert Do Not Run with a Gun.
    • Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots has a simplistic shooting range taking place in a monochrome sepia VR space, consisting of humanoid and flying targets, with concentric rings around Snake to help determine the distance to the target. This particular game's iteration of Metal Gear Online had a similar feature where players could explore the multiplayer maps at their leisure, featuring the same targets from the single player shooting range. There's additionally holographic human targets to test damage or practice CQC on. In both cases, a feed on the bottom right of the screen shows how far each damage event was and how much damage was inflicted.
    • Metal Gear Survive also has a VR shooting range in the vein of MGS4 where players can, once again, test their damage and/or gadgets on holographic targets.

Strategy RPG

  • Girls' Frontline: The Target Practice tab in the Combat Simulations list serves as one of these, allowing players to conduct a mock battle with any units and backup squads of their choosing versus a number of preset enemy formations (including a plain old target drone), or players can save a list of up to ten enemy formations encountered in non-event missions and practice against those instead - handy for bosses that require a lot of squad micromanagement. For the competitive folk, the preset enemies come with their own individual time attack leaderboards.


  • The 2019 Updated Re-release of Hellsinker for Steam features a "Training Chamber" where you can get to grips with the game's unusually complex mechanics.
  • The Atari 2600 version of Spacewar! had the Ur-Example in Game 14, which, while a Mini-Game in its own right, the manual makes clear it exists so the player can practice maneuvering by braking the ship on the free-floating space module.

Third person shooters

  • The Division has a shooting range in the Base of Operations that has several targets, some to test the player's aim and other stationary targets that take damage like enemy NPCs do, which are useful for testing builds.
  • The Division 2 also has a shooting range. Unlike the first game, there are four different range lanes for different situations, such as testing Area of Effect attacks, moving targets, close range targets and long range targets. There are also various buttons to toggle the target's health, make the player's skill cooldowns tick faster, or inflict self-damage for certain builds.
  • Splatoon:
    • The first game and its sequel both have a small Shooting Range located behind Ammo Knights, where players can test out different weapons — even those they haven't yet purchased — against inflatable training dummies. The ranges both have dashed lines marking the ground which are visible even through ink, which is useful for gauging the range of specific weapons.
    • Splatoon 3 expands on this by having, in addition to a new Ammo Knights shooting range, a larger Test Range that can be accessed while waiting to join an online match. Aside from the features of previous games, this range also contains a Copy Machine, a robotic Training Dummy armed with a Splattershot and Splat Bomb that will copy the player's actions when turned on, useful for testing out defensive weapons and those that interact with enemy ink.
    • Additionally, Salmon Run: Next Wave also has its own separate test ranges, both a smaller one used for testing out weapons and a larger one serving as the multiplayer lobby. These rooms include useful Salmon Run-specific mechanics, such as training dummies with the same size and health as different types of Salmonids, and an Egg Basket and supply of Golden Eggs to let players practice their egg-throwing.

Non-Video-Game Examples

  • World Trigger has a training room fitting this look at each of the BORDER agencies' branch locations, used for testing out new weapons and running simulations. It not only has grid markers lining every surface, but height markers on the walls too.