4th Wall Strategies


I play my roommate a lot, he uses a 360 controller and I use a fight stick. We have played thousands of games and he uses the sounds, or lack of sounds I make with the fight stick against me. I can use it back against him by faking noises, but then it throws me off my game. I play online all the time and obviously don’t have these issues, then I go against him and get so frustrated because I’m losing by telling him what I’m doing with my fightstick.

What do you do? Are there quiet fight sticks? Are there better strategies against people listening for your decisions through your fight stick?



it’s part of the game in any offline environment. even on H2H cabs if you’re in a quiet environment you can hear the buttons on the other side.

you can map empty buttons and use them in situations where you suspect he’s listening
on arcade (usually no empty buttons) in a lot of games you can hit the start button (probably works better on H2H or games where the start button isn’t way off in the distance)
you can whiff jabs and shorts (standing and crouching) to bait out reaction normals and then punish those reactions

many arcade players actually struggle against empty buttons! I remember Korean KOF13 players complaining about Bala’s empty buttons a couple Evos ago, and a similar situation in 3s Deshiken vs Tokido at Shadowloo Showdown. even if you aren’t consciously listening and trying to gain an advantage by listening to buttons, someone hitting empty buttons in tense footsie situations or during hard confirms can screw you up.

it’s part of the game outside the game. there’s other elements as well, in addition to button listening - I’ve heard that Valle has shoulder fakes he’ll use to throw people off. body language, sounds, fake buttons, physically shaking the cabinet, all these are things you can either use yourself, or have to at least be conscious of in offline play.


There are silent buttons, and you can learn to not hit your buttons as loudly. Also other options include empty buttons that you intentionally press but do nothing or mimicing inputs for moves such as doing a fireball with QCF+LK so they hear everything but you do the wrong button on purpose.

Alternately there is also the “Hey, what’s that!?” tactic and the “I just had egg salad sandwich for lunch” tactic to distract him.


I hate silent buttons, I tend to lose every offline match using them because they feel different.
Empty buttons. I always play a charge characters so when I’m holding back I just make as much noise as possible. If I have U2 with Bison, I wiggle the stick like a mad man, they think I’m going for the Ultra and just jump. Then I do j.mp or st.hk. :wink:


Last year, at Final Round, Ryan Hart coughed right on my friend’s face when they were playing a tournament match. Hart couldn’t see what was going on because he was coughing, so he mashed tiger knee so much that Sagat did it three times.

Ryan Hart was sick, fyi, and my friend lost two weeks of work after the tournament because he caught it.


you can also try smelling so bad that the other guy is too focused on your stench to play properly

this technique is employed often in the FGC