Adjusting from D-Pad to Arcade Stick: Re-Learning The Game

I just recently got myself an Arcade Stick, and I’m making the switch.

However, like I’ve heard so many times before, making the switch is pretty much the equivalent to re-learning the game.

If it isn’t instinctive for you, you won’t be effective. You can’t be thinking about the buttons you’re pressing, because your focus should be on your opponent and the tide of the match.

Hopefully others can see the material in this thread to aid them with the switch. I personally made the switch because it’s too uncomfortable playing on D-Pad. Buttons are too close, I have big hands. Charge characters are uncomfortable on the Pad as well, and I main Vega in SFIV, so you see how that’d be an issue for me haha. I also, even at this point have better execution in training mode on the arcade stick than the D-Pad, and I’ve only had the stick for a few days; I’ve used Pad all my life.

What are some tips to get to this point? I use Daigo’s method of holding the stick because I find it most comfortable. Any advice, videos, etc would be helpful.


Too much clutter.

Besides I want small discussion… that thread is all over the place. A lot of the material is basic too, I know what a 3k/3p button is haha, I’m not that basic, I just want tips on how to use the stick.

Lol, felt pretty proud about my first response. Then Tensho comes in with that lmao. Fine.



[] You have your grip-Good
] Turn on Input display.
[] Don’t ride the gate
] Use thumb and index for throw and focus (subjective, but it works)
[] Figure out if you rest the palm of your button hand or float your palm
] Practice, repeat xn

I’ve adapted Gootecks method of teching and throwing. Index over middle, tap buttons simultaneously.

Thanks though, will do. What’s the gate? Lol

From the thread you deemed too cluttered:

[details=Spoiler]What is a gate? What should I know about them? [007]

A gate, or restrictor plate, is a part of arcade sticks that limit the movement of the stick. These are a removable part featured on most Japanese sticks. They come in different shapes but not all shapes are available for all brands of sticks. The most common shapes are square, octagon, and circle.

The Sanwa JLF–which comes standard in the Madcatz TE–uses a square gate as its default gate. It can be switched out with a Sanwa produced octagonal gate, and recently Toodles released a custom made circular gate as well. Many new users are initially turned-off by the feel of a square gate and choose to switch them out of an octagonal or circular one.

Personally, if you’re using a TE, I recommend that you just stick with the stock square gate. After learning to adjust to them, most people swear by them. In general, if you’re already dealing with arcade parts, you’re better off taking time to practice than taking time to modify. Of course, it’s still a matter of preference, so ultimately you should use what you feel most comfortable with.

How do you hold an arcade stick? [008]

This question seems to cause people a lot more worry than it really should. I hear people talking about really complicated grip techniques, calling them things that sound like the names of secret handshakes the Free Masons use. It does not need to be this complicated. An arcade stick is not a golf club. It is also not a hockey stick, nor is it a tennis racquet. You are not tied to holding it a specific way in order to gain as much mechanical advantage as humanly possible.

An arcade stick is, however, a piece of gaming hardware. Particularly, it’s a tool that–if you’re anything like me–you’re likely to be using a lot. The key here then becomes comfort. You want a grip that is comfortable to use over long training mode sessions. You want a grip that causes minimal hand, wrist, and arm strain.

How to find such a grip you ask? Simply do as follows:

Put your hand on the stick. Hold it in the way that seems most natural and comfortable to you. Move it around a little bit. Still feel comfortable? Yes? Good. That’s how you should hold it.

As far as buttons go, Japanese button layouts are designed as an ergonomic pattern where your thumb is positioned around light kick, your index finger is on light punch, your middle finger is on medium punch, and your ring finger is on heavy kick. That being said, as long as you are comfortable and can quickly/accurately reach and press the buttons, you’re doing it right. Again, don’t over-think this.

This seems really simple, right? So why does this question get so much more thought than it really deserves? We as human being are pretty lazy creatures. We also like to blame outside influence on our problems. This just simply doesn’t fly with Street Fighter.

I implore you, before you try to reinvent the wheel with a new falcon claw grip or you put a new gate and a half dozen home depot springs on your stick, go practice![/details]

Riding the gate is constantly hitting the edges of the restrictor plate, it will slow down and slop up your motions, some people will also argue that you will end up grinding up fine particles of plastic as well, gumming up the works.

Sticks don’t need to hit the wall to register an input, just the activation point. Notice you will here a click before you hit the wall, that’s activation. It’s OK to rest or move corner to corner for charge moves, but you only need to hit the activation point to register. Try and spin a 360 motion while riding the gate and you will hear the click and a dull thud aka hitting the wall. You can achieve the proper input faster and hit all the points without even touching any of the restrictor plate, then you will hear nothing but activation clicks.

Also here, with diagrams.

That helped a lot, thanks man.