Fight pad versus Fight stick


I always like to ask people who play fighting games whether they prefer to play on the fight pad or the fight stick. More importantly, I like to hear why thy lean one way or the other. I guess the main reason for my curiosity is that I’ve gone back and forth on this issue a few times over the past couple of years.

When I was younger, and up to 2009, I was a fight pad guy to the bone. I grew up on the console, playing street fighter on the SNES and the SNES controller was the only way for me to go with classic street fighter. When my buddy first introduced me to the fight stick, I was not having any of it. I was unused to using so much effort and energy to play games. For me, it was a forgone conclusion that I would never be a fight stick guy.

Then, after playing a series of matches with my buddy on super turbo in 2009 on the dreamcast, I got so fed up with the DC controller that I decided to give the stick a serious try. It was a long learning curve, and very frustrating, because I had o retrain my body to do something that I already knew how to do. It was like learning how to walk again, only now with 4 metal legs without joints. I was all kinds of screwed up for about a year.

Now I’m a firm believer in the fight stick, and its buttons pressing power. However, a brief stint with SNES SSF2 had me back to the SNES pad for awhile, and I remembered why I loved it so much. Its all about the reaction speed. On the pad, I can flat out twitch DPs without any problem at any time. The sheer amount of time required to physically make this motion on the pad is much faster that on the stick.

So what I’d like to know is the same as what I always like to hear from people. Which do you prefer, stick of pad, and why?


I lean more towards nostalgia… I cant count the money spent at arcades… fingers black with quarters pumping into the coin slots at my local arcade… I didnt have the money to really buy a home console until later in life and the arcades had the better games that I preferred… so a lot of that goes to my preference of stick over pad… with motions I am more accustomed to a stick for that very reason… even tho there is quickness with the pad I was never comfortable enough to use one in fighting games… even the button placement was awkward because of this… also a reason almost all my sticks are 6 button instead of 8… all arcade fighting games I played had 6 buttons or less…


I respect that. There weren’t a lot of arcade around where I grew up so my experience was mostly with the consolized versions of SF2. I remember finding the game in a pizza place when I was a kid and being incredibly frustrated when trying to play, so this probably helped me in the growth of a bias for most of my life. It also probably led me to not seek out arcades. My mistake haha.


I prefer an arcade stick. I used to play KOF 94 at the pizza store around where I grew up and SF at a corner store.


Nice! I wish I had started on the stick every time that I drop an open DP counter. 2 and a half years still hasn’t worked all the bugs out my stick handling yet haha.


I’m still working on playing on a stick cause it’s been a long time since I played FGs. I started to pick back up during SF4 but before that it’s been about 6-7 years since I played FGs. TBH I have more fun disassembling arcade sticks and modifying them than playing FGs. Maybe cause I’ve been a mechanic for so long that I just like taking things apart and putting them back together and/or modifying especially with JDM parts since I’m a Honda mechanic.


Yeah I’m a big fan of modding sticks out myself. I think thats a big part of the appeal of a fightstick to me, the ability to make it into whatever you want. Or in my case, mostly making whatever happens to be laying around my house into sticks.


Well, i don’t know the way you are doing this but is very important to remember that the DP motion on Snes/Genesis SF is a lot easier to perform than the arcade version.

I’m telling you that because maybe you’re testing DPs on the pad through Snes version and the DPs on arcade stick through arcade emulator. Anyone will notice a big difference that way =)


I started out on the pad and now converted completely to the stick. The easy access to all of the buttons just far outweighs the faster motion you get with the dpad imo. Also, certain techniques and characters like Akuma’s true kara demon from 3S or Juri from SSF4 are just nigh impossible to execute effectively with a pad unless you’re born with six fingers on your right hand or something.

BTW, if you want to combine faster motion with button access, try hitbox. It’s like a cross between a keyboard and a arcade stick. I guess with practice it should carry all the boons from both sides while inheriting none of the flaws.


neither, keystick/hitbox is the future. after you get beat by someone who is wavedashing all over (I have been beat like this) you will be mad enough to try it. I played someone the other day online that would not let me touch them after they won first round. they were running away and ran the time out.


Pad because it’s more comfortable to me. There’s nothing I can’t do on pad. I’m working on a modded stick though and it’s turning out so sexy I’m gonna probably play on it mainly instead of pad. I can use stick or pad equally well


I was definitely using the snes version of the game, but I’ve experienced the same issue with slower input using a stick on snes. I think its just a personal problem haha.


Yeah, the button advantage is what makes it ok for me to still lack the proper training for the dp input. Its especially huge in games where button mashing can increase grab or super damage, and I’m all about mashing like a maniac for every sliver I can take.

I’ve seen that hitbox layout a few times on the check out my new arcade stick thread and always wondered about it. I’m at a point now where I’m going to hit the proverbial dojo for awhile longer on the stick and see what happens, but I am a bit curious about that setup.


I envy you and your skills! :c]}


I see the stick and all button controller/hit box superior to a dpad due to fact that instead of using one big honking thumb to press 4 buttons I can designate one finger per button. Its easier and faster in my opinion. When it comes to directional’s it’s not so cut and dry. I have friends that are awesome when it comes to execution on a dpad. I have tried all three and my execution is fast and optimal on an All Button Controller.


I use all three. I grew up in arcades using joysticks. Walking home from school, me and my friends would stop by the liquor store or video store and play SF. I had plenty of real arcades, but pretty much every pizza joint or hangout spot had an arcade machine. Pads came naturally since everybody had a console at home. Arcade sticks were pretty expensive and hard to find, so most people only had pads at their house. I can play stickless/Hitbox because in the late '90s when emulators popped up, I played mostly on my keyboard.


So now we know your experienced what are the pros and cons in your opinion. Which one are you more formidable with. I already have my opinion but inquiring minds want to know.


There’s been a lot of good talk about the hitbox style stick here. Enough to convince me that I need to try it. I think I’m going to build one, although if I find one for the right price I’ll buy.

I’ve found that a lot of people who have commented on this thread have experience in pad, stick, and hitbox. Now i’m really curious to know if there is one option that is consistently chosen above the others? Call it science. I haven’t heard a bad thing about the hitbox yet, so until I try it out myself I’m going to consider it as potentially a darkhorse winner here.

Now we just need opinions! :c]}


Don’t knock it till you try it, for a least a month. It’s good tech.


Was a month the learning curve?