Should I swap my stick hand?

DodgySmallsDodgySmalls Joined: Posts: 5
This is the kind of question every arcade stick user is probably going to ask themselves at some point when they encounter execution errors, so it surprises me there's no thread explicitly dedicated to the subject (?).

My query:
So as the title states, should I consider modding my hardware to swap my right hand in place of my left hand?

Full Story:
Basically, I'm new to playing fighting games on stick, I played casually a bunch before on pad but ended up being too frustrated with my own inadequacy.

I have spent, so far, about 15 hours playing on stick, all in practice mode trying to work on my execution.
Seeing as my eventual goal is to play viper (far distant future when hell freezes over) I presume that nailing execution and avoiding any sort of mashing is probably a smart thing to consider right from the beginning.
And I still can't get instant BK's better than 3/3 execution (especially the forward crossup on opponent's wakeup variety, I can only get those like 1/6) or any of my regular abilities better than 20/20ish.
Hell, I even have difficulty dashing repeatedly!
After playing crosshanded (like an idiot) for about 20 minutes I could already get about 3/3 execution on instant BK's and something like 15/15.

Can anyone speak to personal experience of taking a long time to gain stick skills with their left hand (as a right handed individual)?

It confuses me a little how any variety of precise button pushing could match the rapid motions you need to make with the stick, especially in the case of a character like viper. But obviously I am quite ignorant, so I could definitely be wrong.

I'll close it out by extending a huge thank you to all you guys putting up with us noobs in this forum, I've been in your position on some other forums and I understand it can often be a thankless task, especially answering these same questions over and over, so thanks a bundle!
(also sorry if this topic exists already or if polls are prohibited for some reason)

Comments

  • SleazoidSleazoid Joined: Posts: 4,128 ✭✭✭
    While we need more precise stick movements for fighting games, the majority of attention from the average gamer is directed at mashing the buttons as hard as they can until their arms give out from exhaustion. So the stick is on the left and the buttons are on the right.

    And since this is the way things have been since the beginning, it's what people have learned to work with, and after enough practice you come close to ambidexterity.

    But since you're just starting out, it could be of benefit to you to mirror your stick and switch hands, though keep in mind this makes it difficult for you to play on any stick that isn't your own. If that's no problem for you, then I say go for it.
  • AsaCarterAsaCarter Rainbow Ballin' Since '99 Joined: Posts: 254
    I consider myself to be left handed as I can write with both hands but I can do more exclusively with my left hand (throw stuff, punch dominately, kick with my left foot) and left foot opposed to my right. I do use my left hand for the stick though.
  • deadfrogdeadfrog Joined: Joined: Posts: 6,782 ✭✭✭✭
    It takes time for everyone.

    In my opinion, switching should NOT occur because you're dissatisfied with your progress. You should just go with what's most comfortable to you.

    Developing that basic proficiency definitely requires practice but it's not difficult (or unenjoyable) if you stay patient and approach it methodically.

    If you're struggling: go into training mode, turn on input display, do the motions in slow-motion and focus on getting them correct and memorizing that feeling each day before you bother trying them at full speed. During actual gameplay, make a conscious effort to reproduce that motion as precisely as possible each time you use a move.

    If you really truly feel like you need to switch sides, play cross-handed and tell everyone at tournaments that you're the Jimi Hendrix of fighting games.
  • DodgySmallsDodgySmalls Joined: Posts: 5
    If you really truly feel like you need to switch sides, play cross-handed and tell everyone at tournaments that you're the Jimi Hendrix of fighting games.

    As I said I tried this, and it's really not that bad, but if i was to commit to switching I would most certainly alter my hardware.
    I consider myself to be left handed as I can write with both hands but I can do more exclusively with my left hand (throw stuff, punch dominately, kick with my left foot) and left foot opposed to my right. I do use my left hand for the stick though.
    This makes the most logical sense to me, which is why I always wondered why the stick was on the left when predominantly right handed people play video games.
    mashing the buttons as hard as they can until their arms give out from exhaustion.
    I had never thought about that, at least now it makes sense why they are designed the way the are. A little comfort to know that there was at least some thought put into the decision.
    If you're struggling: go into training mode, turn on input display, do the motions in slow-motion and focus on getting them correct and memorizing that feeling each day before you bother trying them at full speed. During actual gameplay, make a conscious effort to reproduce that motion as precisely as possible each time you use a move.
    Thanks a lot, I have been "scrimming" with a friend and attempting to think about the specific motion as much as possible, it is quite difficult as I am quite awful.
    Is there an actual slow motion mode? Or do you just mean doing the motion slower to make sure I get the right input?

    Thanks a lot though for these responses.
  • Trouble BrewingTrouble Brewing Salty about Ultra Joined: Posts: 4,573 mod
    Don't swap hands. Just keep practicing.
    The artist formerly known as Starcade RIP
  • SleazoidSleazoid Joined: Posts: 4,128 ✭✭✭
    A little comfort to know that there was at least some thought put into the decision.

    It might also help to know that Mexico is well known for having an abundance of arcade cabinets where the stick is on the right and the buttons are on the left. You wouldn't be alone in your decision to do what you think is right in this situation.
  • NumbThumbsNumbThumbs B. Joined: Posts: 22
    You use your left hand for movement, no doubt.

    Since you mentioned playing on pads before, the D-pad/left stick is always situated on the left side, which means that you are capable of using your left.
  • mikrosmikros Sneaking into Bison's Lair Joined: Posts: 592
    If you are just starting with a stick you should probably go for the standard position, left hand for stick and right hand for buttons, because it's all a matter of building muscle memory and it would anyways be hard to argue what needs the most precision: the motions or the buttons.

    I'm right handed and I'd have a really hard time doing stick motions with my right, because it's my left which knows how to do them. So it doesn't make much difference whether you are left or right handed but what each of your hands learns to do. You are in time to choose, so I'd go for standard for convenience sake.
  • petran79petran79 Here comes an old challenger Joined: Posts: 1,518 ✭✭✭
    same boat here! though I am a little older.....

    granted that I dont play all games with right hand though....I can fare well in difficult platformers with a pad.


    But fighters? I think the damage was done from the keyboard. I remember when I had an NES and visited the arcades from time to time, I had no problem adapting. But when we got a PC in the mid-90s, I got adapted to a keyboard with right hand for directions and left for buttons. So I couldnt go back.
    When I tried to play fighters in the arcades after that, I fared abysmally. Controls were crippling me.
    Even when I later got a Dreamcast, I couldnt play that well. though I hadnt issues with other games (I wonder how I finished Jet Set Radio....) and even finished Virtua Tennis in the arcades.

    So now I play fighters exclusively cross-handed, or else I cant keep a pace with the opponents.dont matter if I win or lose, I just want to play as good as I can. it took me few months to adapt to a stick cross-handed or else it would take more than a year. Still efficiency is less than that of a keyboard due to the more difficult dp/qcf distinction. But now I forgot to use keyboard for fighters so I play better on a stick.

    Since I have an 8-button stick, I never use the two buttons close to the stick since it is very uncomfortable. Except for SNK games (top 4 buttons). I also dont like switching the stick, since it makes my hand more likely to lose focus if it is roaming free.

    Regarding Viper, I can with some frustration do the seismic hammer/U2 combo if I play cross-handed, but only from the right side. I am still trying to do it from the left side.

    so, my advice:

    Since you are at an early stage of adaptation, you can switch to left hand if you like. For me its a little too late. But start with an easier character, not Viper.
    try to go from the simplest moves to the more difficult ones gradually. Or else if you are that keen on using Viper, stick with the right hand and enrich what you already know.
    not good at any, mediocre at many
  • IgTerminalsIgTerminals CHANGE BEETLE! Joined: Posts: 213
    Took me a few MONTHS to learn how to use a stick, and still refining, so just keep practicing.
    Incidently, Right handed Guitarists use their Left hand on the frets and their Right hand to strum; Left handed guitarists use their Right hand on the Frets and their Left hand to strum
    Strikes me as pretty much the same situation, the dominant hand keeping rthymn whilst the other hand performs the technical motions.
    Where there is light, shadows lurk and fear reigns.
    Yet by the blade of Knights, mankind was given hope.
  • madgrabmadgrab do the robot! Joined: Posts: 287
    Dont switch hands just keep practicing. 15 hours is just the beginning:)
    You may never be good at execution. I am not, but dont let it ruin the fun. Learn your strengths and if a character is hard for you than
    use one that suites you better.
  • Meteo2Meteo2 20% more ex-loldives Joined: Posts: 689
    I played on an xbox controller for a long time and my left hand (I'm right-handed) was responsible for the stick, PPP, and KKK (so all ex and ultra moves were done with JUST the left hand). I took 6th at APEX 2012 that way haha. It's just a matter of practice. You CAN'T train anything in one day, because the brain reinforces new muscle memory while you sleep. If you practice a lot, you'll often find yourself reaching a plateau one night and then suddenly having a lot more luck the next day.

    Your right hand might feel a little more comfortable, but honestly right now your right hand can't do shit either compared to how well you'll eventually be using both hands when you get better. It's supposed to feel a little awkward in the first few hundred hours or so, haha.
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