Can I use a random joystick for SF4 for PC?

So I recently bought SF4 for PC, somewhat compulsively… great game anyway.

Not being a fighting game veteran, I didn’t realize keyboards really suck for this kind of game. (E.g zangiefs super and ultra combos, just no way to do them with arrows)

So my options are these:

  1. buy a xbox360 controller wireless reciever for my PC (I have an xbox360 with controllers already)
  2. buy some random joystick which I can probably get cheap, and just use that + keyboard.
  3. continue playing with keyboard, and fight with the precision of a lobotomized monkey

but will option 2 work without a lot of hassle? Like, I can use the keys as normal on the keyboard, but the stick for movement. I am not going to buy the IV4 arcade pad joystick, seeing as I could probably buy myself a small island for that price.

If you’re not serious about playing, you could just stick with a pad and buy a wireless receiver. They work great and you can use them for all sorts of games. I personally use the keyboard and have no trouble with it, so you can always go that route if you want to save money. It’s perfectly viable, but kind of excludes you from non-PC fighters.

I’ve seen TE sticks go for 80 on sale, that’s hardly considered a small island for optimal control.

Sorry if I am being retarded here, but you said that some random joystick will function with this game? If so, that is probably what I am going to do. I prefer the actual buttons for moves on a keyboard over a controller, it’s the arrow keys for movement that I can’t stand.

Any USB joystick more-than-likely has PC support. I can’t say for certain because I don’t know how shitty a stick you’re buying.

In the case that it’s not supported natively in SFIV, you can always use Joy2Key.

You’re risking getting a crappy stick on your setup, though. Not all sticks are the same.

Could try something like this.

  1. I would not recommend a 360 controller for playing anything except for console FPS games. I do recommend that if you want a pretty good controller: the SF4 Fightpad is really good and it works for 360 and PC if you get the 360 version.

  2. I think most small island joysticks are analog. If they are digital, they’re probably either not meant for fighting games or they’re really REALLY bad. I’ve never encountered one that is meant for fighting games… unless you intend on doing something ghetto like put a joystick inside of a box and hook that up to a PC.

  3. I’ve seen some people that can play on keyboard really well. I’ve seen joysticks that are modeled after keyboard setups if you can believe that.

To put it bluntly: If you want to try it out on pad: get a fightpad and you’ll save yourself the headache. If you want to do a joystick: get a full blown joystick and don’t go for anything less because that will definitely save you the headache. If you want to do keyboard: go for it because it’s possible. I mean, there’s playing the game casually and then there’s just burning money for a game that you can’t play properly.

Just as a note on the random joystick portion, before the game boots up there is a menu where you can adjust control devices and if there’s a random stick in there, you can change the configuration on it. With any Microsoft 360 based stick, the settings will be prefixed to what is on the model of that joystick. I noticed this as I have an Arcade in a Box and it detected it while allowing it me adjust the button configuration before booting up the game.

I hope by random joystick + keyboard, you don’t really mean one of those flight sticks. But yes, as already mentioned, even if you do want to go with that option, you can easily set the controls the the Controller Settings menu.

I’d recommend checking ebay from Saturn USB pads if you want something that works for SF and isn’t that expensive.

Xbox 360 pads are simply terrible for Street Fighter.

But as for the whole random joystick + keyboard idea… why? You can get lots of random USB joysticks with six buttons these days. They all suck, but so does playing on a random disconnected joystick and keyboard combo.

Hey there, I was in the same position as you back in September about what to get for my SF4 game.


  1. Don’t go for cheap pads or joysticks. They’re bad buys - best to save your money./
  2. Be careful what you buy - whilst 360 stuff always works on PCs, PS3 stuff has trouble if your USB chipset doesn’t support a certain form of USB (The problem is pretty much exclusive to nForce chipsets).
  3. Don’t rush out and buy stuff!

That’s general advice. Specific advice is that you should probably grab a Madcatz TE stick that either goes with a console you already own or that you prefer. If you want to upgrade to SSF4 and it turns out not to come out on PC ever (still possible, although if it gets ported to Arcade odds on it gets ported to PC as the SSF4 cab would work off of Windows XP) then you’ll be a, well, sad panda if you wasted money on a now useless joystick.

I have a PS3 Madcatz TE and it’s very awesome. The only thing I prefer on the Keyboard is how easy dashing is. So frustrating practicing SRK>FADC>Ultra when the DC doesn’t come out! I know it’s pricey but trust me on this, if you want to play arcade games it is hands down the best purchase you can make.

EDIT: If you do carry on with PC arcade gaming, I’d recommend trying out Blazblue when it hits PC along with MAME’d arcade games like SFA3 and SF3s.

Get the Madcatz Fightstick SE. If you want to be more serious about it, you can upgrade the parts later.

If its for casual play, keyboards fine… 360 controllers aren’t as bad, true they are better for FPS, but you can definitely learn how to play good with a controller given time. However if their anywhere around $40, you might want to get either a SF4 Fightpad instead OR SF4 FightStick SE($59.99 I believe).

I recommend fightstick because it’ll be the most comfortable way to play it once you get used to it, and you can use advanced techniques much easier than a keyboard/pad as you get better at it.

Having only recently made the switch to arcade controllers, I can honestly say my AIAB is one of the best peripheral purchases I have ever made. That said, if you’re looking for something relatively cheap, I suggest a MatCatz SE. If you decide you want better performance, it’s extremely easy to replace the stock joystick with a Sanwa JLF, and the buttons with any (Sanwa or Seimitsu) 30mms. Not sure how easy it is to replace the stock joystick with a Seimitsu; I haven’t done it.

I suggest heavily against buying a random flightstick and using that + keyboard. While still a better choice than a stock 360 pad, flightsticks tend to have large engage ranges; not something you want for fighting games (or shmups, or arcade games, or…).