Advice for new stick user

I’m playing with a stick for the first time. It’s a HRAP4. Are stick heights generally universal? Are you supposed to have your hand touching the base? I keep alternating between placing the stick between my middle, index, and thumb with my ring and pinky underneath on the base, and having only my pinky on the base with the rest manipulating the stick. No matter which way I do it, my hand tends to hurt after a match. Any tips? I think I am using excess movement, but it just happens in the heat of battle. Is this something you get better with over time (being more efficient with stick movement)? Still feel like I’m guessing sometimes when it comes to hitting buttons, but I feel like stick movement is my biggest hurdle at the moment. I also have trouble dashing forward and back consistently. Any tips beyond simply putting more practice time in on the stick? Thanks.

you get better over time and it is a slow process. Grab as many discounted fighting games as you can and go thru the trials in each game. Hold the stick however is comfortable and does not cause injury. Don’t ride the gate. Without having a game on, while watching tv, do the special moves very slowly. listen for the clicks. You do not have to push the stick all the way to the gate. when you hear a click that is as far as you have to go to register an input. do 100 dragon punches facing right, then 200 facing left, 100 fireball motions each way. 100 double taps each way. Start slow and pick up speed as you go. download a metronome program on your puter and use that. One motion per beat. once you are not making mistakes speed it up. Speed comes from accuracy.

Stick heights and arrangements aren’t universal. I think a lot of players place some part of the hand touching the base, I place ring and pinky fingers on the base, but it really depends on your stick and your style.

The main tip I will tell you is to do an execution that you know you get down easily but is still complex, like a super, and watch how much your hand is moving. If you are touching the base, you should still be touching the base even if you do a series of supers or a combo, and your hand should not have moved much. It will take a long while to get them small, so don’t get discouraged quickly.

As for dashing, I got my stick in December and only now am I dashing properly lol. Try and feel out just how hard you have to move your hand to do a dash, and then try and replicate that. Not much more I can say about it.

Another thing is - how hard are you gripping the stick? Try and hold it only as tightly as you absolutely need it to. If you grip it very tight, that will be the main driving force behind your hand hurting. I haven’t had this happen to me with a fightstick, but I’m a fencer and the main reason my hand has hurt after a bout is because I’m gripping my blade too tight, and it’s the same thing here.

Good advice above.

One thing I’ll add is - Don’t get caught up on stick heights and button arrangements. You just need to get used to what you have.

On Xbox360 I had a Mad Catz Fightstick Pro and I loved it. Then I got a HRAP4 for my PS4 and I thought it sucked because the stick is slightly different (despite what some people think in tech talk). But I got used to it and it’s perfectly fine. If the stick was a banana, you’d get used to it. It just takes time and practice.

Practice like you’ve never touched a fighting game in your life. Practice walking back and forth and doing fireballs and simple things.

^^ What he said.

I played fighters since twin-stick Karate Champ arcade cabinets, quit around the time the Alpha series was popular, and am now back into them. I tried replicating the old arcades on my stick with different gates, bat-tops, springs, etc etc. All it did basically was waste time I could have just been getting better on the stock parts which oddly enough, I all went back to with exception of the 2lb spring (I just couldn’t stand the “mushiness” of the JLF stock spring).
The hardest part for me is also the transition to the balltop and how to hold it. I’ve been using the balltop for 2 weeks now and finally found a grip that is both comfortable after extended play, and gives me precise movements. Two weeks just for that, so yes this stuff takes time.

Using a stick is like learning anything new, it takes time. Noone picks up a guitar and starts strumming out stairway the first day. :wink:

Basically what everyone here is trying to say is stick with it (pardon the horrible pun) and keep practicing.

Don’t sweat the small things, like how to hold your stick, how to press the buttons, stick height etc. Use the stick you’ve got and simply practice with your character in training and just play against people. Slowly you’ll find the best way to perform dashes, jumps, quarter circle, halfcircle, srk, double quarter circle motions etc etc As long as it feels comfortable and you get consistency with it, it’s fine.

Any advice with regard to buttons? I feel a lot better using the stick today (aside from DP motion). Moving it as little as possible in order to register is helping. Whenever I actually play a match, I feel like I lose my position hitting buttons. I am fine so long as I have my fingers on the punch row or kick row, but switching between them throws me off. It seems difficult to alternate between kicks and punches quickly without hitting the wrong button/moving my hand out of position.

Thanks for the advice thus far. I feel like the stick has more potential upside than the controller. It’s just frustrating starting from scratch because I am still more effective with a controller. It’s difficult to take several steps back in terms of execution during matches, though I know it is probably necessary.

Have any recommendations. I’m playing on steam by the way, so the options are relatively limited. I already have USFIV, KOFXIII, and Skullgirls in addition to SFV. I was thinking of trying Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus R and/or BlazBlu: Chronophantasma Extend.

if your stick is Xbox360 or PS3 compatible you can get a xbox360/PS3 dirt cheap off craigslist/letgo and then you have a ton of fighters for cheap like UMvC3, any number of the BlazBlue series Virtua Fighter 5, Third Strike

as others said, don’t be discouraged when i switched from pad to stick, it was a LONG process and i mean long. i fought against the transition every step of the way and was always tempted to go back to pad, but i’m glad i made the transition because i feel execution is so much easier for me on stick than pad. have you tried the battop style grip? i hold my balltop that way with no fingers in between the shaft, its much more comfortable for me that way, but like others said whatever is most comfortable for you. there is no “right” way to hold a stick.

Most people wouldn’t recommend this method, but I learned stick through playing the computer a bunch of hours. I could practice execution comfortably while still simulating battle situation, but not get killed by a human player during the transition. idk it helped me.