I want to get into fighting games


Hello. This is my first post on SRK and I’d like to ask the vets of the site a few questions. The only fighting games I’ve ever played were the DBZ Boudokai games on the PS2 and even I know those aren’t the most technical fighters. I want to seriously get into fighting games but I feel like I’m completely out of my comfort zone into a new world I have little knowledge about. I have played a few hours of SSF4: AE 2012 but that was just me smashing buttons and I want to actually become at least an intermediate player as opposed to a button masher so if anyone can, could you please answer these following questions?

  1. Do I need a stick? I feel like I’m at a disadvantage with the 360 controller due to the abysmal D-pad. If I do need a stick, where should I look? Do I build one or buy one?

  2. How do I choose a main? I’ve read a few posts on archetypes and in my limited playing time, it seems like I prefer rush down characters.

  3. What are some good resources for tutorials? I don’t want (and I’m sure everyone else doesn’t want) to make a new topic every time I have a question.

If anyone could answer one or all of these questions, I’d be very grateful. Thanks in advance.

Edit: Disregard the second question. I’ll just fire up training, spend 10 or so minutes with each character and pick my favorite.


I got this.

  1. A stick is not required to do well. Look into 3rd party pads before making such a commitment of money, not to mention the time and effort needed to learn stick.

  2. Rush-down narrows it down, but not to the point where I can characters specifically. Do you like mindlessly going in and overwhelming the foe(Wolverine/Vergil), or
    making them regret every bad call via extreme consequences for tactical errors(Haggar if off autopilot, certain other mental warfare-heavy melee-type chars)?
    There’s pros and cons to each. You can answer this one down the line, that’s a fairly important question that warrants reflection to answer right by you.

3.Tutorials? Uh, name the game, and I’ll link the relevant parts of the relevant sub-forums.


I’m getting into SF4 but I think I can find the sub forums on my own. Thanks anyway.

My style in pretty much any game is to get up in their face and not give them any room to breathe so the overwhelming type characters you described seem to suit me. Are their any examples for SF4 as opposed to MvC3?

I just looked up the prices of quality sticks, and holy crap… I am an engineering major so I think making one would be a fun weekend project and less stressful on my wallet. I already have most of the necessary tools so I think I just need to buy the parts.


DIY is always the cheapest method in anything, it’s why my PCs are within reason each for rebuild. lol

For the playstyle, do you mean in terms of just raw pressure(i.e. go nuts), or turning their tools of winning into things to not do via covering their
options with a loss if they try them(i.e. mental speed chess)? That’s a discerning factor IMO.


For SF4 the closest to the hyper-rushdown style you’re looking for would probably be Makoto, but she’s a character that relies on “reading” the opponent, being able to predict what they’re going to do. However she’s a very unique character so I’d suggest also messing with another character to understand how SF4 is played. It’d be like picking only the giant characters in Budokai (if they were in before Tenkaichi, I don’t recall) and fighting against mostly small characters, you would have a hard time understanding what they wanted to do.

If you want any help with building a stick you can check out Tech Talk and they’d probably be more than willing to give you advice.

A stick isn’t required to play a fighting game competitively. Even crazy technical ones like Marvel 2 can be played at a top level on pad (Fanatiq). Most prefer a stick, but whichever you’re more comfortable with is the “correct” controller.


I’m just going to sit down with a 12 pack of Sunkist, spend a Saturday going through each character in training mode and see which one I like using the most. Hell, I’m just saying I play rush-down because that’s close to my play style in other genres of games. Bum rushing the opponent, and engaging at close range. It’s why I always use shotguns in any multiplayer shooter I play. Who knows, I might really like a zoning character or a grappler. I’ll just sample all of the characters and see what I like.

Didn’t know there was a Tech Talk part of the forums. Thanks for the heads up.

P.S. Giant characters were introduced in Tenkaichi.


Once you’ve narrowed it down to characters you find interesting, check out some match vids from character specialists and see if the play style interests you. Obviously the style of play is different for each individual, but you may not totally figure out where a character’s sweet spot is just by tooling around with the characters on your own, especially when you’re new to the game/genre and may have difficulty analyzing a character’s toolset.

  1. ANALOG STICK. SERIOUSLY. USE THAT. I’ve used it for the last 3 years and I’ve gotten along exceptionally well.


I personally would recommend an all button controller/hitbox if you’re going to be making your own case and controller from scratch. Especially since you have no arcade experience. Inputs are cleaner (for example mist step for Jin on SFxT is DEAD easy on my hitbox) and you do not have factors like throw distance and worn spring tension. Furthermore it is better to travel with (unless you buy a J-link which negates that particular issue) as there is no stick to have to protect from pressure/jostling. Since you’re going to be essentially starting from scratch there’s no relearning.

Watch Vesper Arcade’s tutorials on youtube. They teach a LOT about SF4 mechanics and strategies. After that supplement it with knowledge from Airyuken’s Airbehr’s dojo. After that read Sonichurricane’s footsie tutorial. After that play a lot. After that watch high level matches (do not try to emulate before you go through the tutorials as you will not understand what’s going on). For example if you didn’t know about option select’s you may find yourself wasting meters on non hitconfirmed strings. Now that you’ve absorbed the tutorial information you’ll oftentimes be able to see the principles taught unfolding in front of you (a jump in being blocked turning into a safe normal highlighting the option select strategy or footsie ranges being experimented with).

When you get tired of practicing with your main then switch a character and try to use only their normals so that you can internalize what their footsie ranges are so that when you face them in a tournament situation with your main you already know what distances to play around with.

As for rush down characters everyone can be played with a rush down mentality. However if you’re talking about high mobility all up in your face characters, there’s Makoto, Ibuki, Cammy, Akuma, frankly the list goes on. Think about this: If you know your matchup and have optimized option selects every character can be played as a rush down style. Constantly use OS’s, constantly use safejump setups, constantly use blockstrings, never guess, use your meter on EX’s. Suddenly the opponent cannot press a button even if you’re a slow character. I’ve seen Dhalsims and Guiles played as “rushdown”.


DIY is definitely not the cheapest way to go for arcade sticks unless you already have an impressive tool collection. Expect to pay 30-100% more by doing a self build.

Analog sticks are absolutely horrible for fighting games. You might be doing OK with it, but it’s still basically the worst possible option.


I agree 100 percent with the poster above me. Even if you buy boneyard parts from here you’re going to end up with a greater cost to make a stick. If you want to make a legitimate stick from scratch/DIY and not have the cost be high you will need: A wood shop+wood/3d printer/Plastic Injection Mold equipment, soldering iron. Blank cases alone are generally the price of a Madcatz TE after promotion/sale/coupon. It also depends on where you live, though. For 50 bucks I can get a TE or VLX bootleg (pcb and buttons at ANY layout of my choice) and then all I need is the money for whatever parts I find substandard to my tastes/requirements. In the case of my Qanba, the buttons were good enough for the first 6 months that I only needed to buy a stick. And even better my Qanba q1 came with 3 different shaped restrictors (Square, octagon, perfect circle) so I could just buy the most basic Sanwa stick package.

However my new TE size hitbox is going to be expensive for me: 50 bucks for the base, new pcb, new buttons, printed artwork: 180 bucks at the cheapest probably.


Don’t forget to REALLY remember that this is just a game and that it should all be in good fun. Also, don’t forget to put in time to doing other things you enjoy that aren’t video games, my reasoning being that if you keep on doing all the things you loved before you played your new fighting game you will be reinforcing all the good habits you brought from those skill sets into your fighting game skill set.

Also, don’t forget to play 3rd strike.


Dander what is your avatar from? Also Third Strike is God Tier. So is KOF XIII. DO IT.

OP make yoself a hitbox. If you want I might be willing to sell you one of mine but shipping from China to US might be a bit pricey… REALLY go through all the tutorials I recommended, even the redundant stuff, even the stuff that is titled “basic information”. For example on a video from Airbehr titled General Tips (you’d think I wouldn’t need to watch that, right?) I learned about several tricks that I never knew before. Did you know that left corner is smaller than right? Did you know that based on certain inputs you can make your wakeup 5 frames slower to fuck with safe jump setups? Prior to these tips were things about counter hits which I knew, if I had just skipped ahead I would NEVER have known.

And since SF more than most other fighters is a VERY matchup specific game (especially with the option selects now) I would suggest you do some character specific research after going through those tutorials. For example did you know that you can clip through Deejay? Like… literally dash against his hard knockdowned body, then dash again to clip THROUGH it so he loses his charge and you don’t have to jump to show up on another side of him…


You mean the thing that’s like a mini arcade stick without a horizontal button layout? Yeah ok man. It’s no different that any other control type. Practice a bit and your execution will be spotless


Analog sticks are by definition the polar opposite of arcade sticks. Again, sure, you can practice with them and be good, but you’re really just making life harder on yourself. To make matters worse, they aren’t standardized between between consoles, between console generations, and/or even one generation of console hardware. Get used to how to play on a 360 pad? You might be fucked moving to an Xbone/PS4. A Sanwa JLF is a Sanwa JLF regardless of what console you play on.

Analogs are really the worst all worlds. Pads and hitboxes can be defended/supported on many levels; analogs are just awful. People only use them due to a combination of stock 360 pads being totally awful and/or ignorance. Before SF4, the only time I ever saw anyone using an analog at a tournament was for Smash.


Just not true that DIY will be expensive. You can troll the forums and find boxes cheap. You can buy a POS pad and pad hack. I did my first all DIY stick maybe 12 years ago and it wasn’t much. The real price comes in when you decide to buy expensive parts, but you don’t have to start with a $25 stick, there are numerous sites that sell <$10 sticks and you can get Happs/IL buttons and build something reasonable <$40 that would be fine for awhile. As far as tools go, you can probably borrow or find out if there is a public wood/craft workshop. Unless of course you own a PS4 or XBONE, then you’re screwed.


Not really… most of the expense comes from the case/PCB. Although back when we used PSone pads for hacking it was true you could get a PCB for about $5 plus soldering iron/solder (~$25 total), that hasn’t been true since the PS3/Xbox 360 generation.

There’s a reason why the tech talk crew never suggests DIY for new players, unless they are also interested in woodworking/electronics as a hobby. Unless you are using really shitty parts, DIYs aren’t particularly cheap.


I started out broke, too. Non Sanwa/Seimitsu buttons can be fine, lower quality pcb’s can be okay as long as they do not lag TOO much, but sticks gotta be good. I bought a Qanba Q1 Cut and although the stick isn’t TOO bad, it’s still not good enough. I could have easily fixed it by switching out the spring, as my problem was that if I let go from holding right sometimes the inertia would cause a left input. However I decided just to buy a real Sanwa JLF and if/when that broke use my Qanba replica as a backup and swap out the springs.

Hypothetical lowest price DIY:
Zero Delay PCB = $20
Junked case = $30
6 bootleg buttons = $20
JLF stick = $25

Total cost assuming shipping is free or highly marginal is ~$95. Hori makes 60 dollar sticks (that are shit but you do what you gotta do) so if you’re ok with using all these lower quality components then Hori still outdoes a DIY build. The only way you can SAVE money on a DIY build is if you got a woodshop and use high end parts that do not come stock in commercially available products (Cthulhu/PS360+ pcb). Otherwise it’s almost always cheaper to buy them from a dedicated manufacturer.

Remember, manufacturers (even the ones who do it on the side here in the forums) buy components and materials in bulk. If I purchase 100 units of Zero Delay PCB’s I can get em at 10 bucks a pop. I imagine if I’m buying in shipping container loads it becomes EVEN cheaper. DIY will always cost more unless you’re someone like B15SDM (and looking at his rate and variance of orders and the amount he experiments with materials I doubt he’s purchasing bulk wood or buttons).

Like I said I get 50 dollar bootlegs, 60 dollar Qanba Q1 Cuts, and ~160 Qanba Q4’s here in China. Depends on where you live but for most of the world if you REALLLLYYY can’t afford to spend an extra couple bucks to get something that will ACTUALLY last you then go for a budget model Hori OORRRRR buy a used one! The mayflash is only good if you plan on taking a bit of your paycheck each month/biweekly pay period and sprucing up an aspect of it so that it isn’t a piece of shit.

Also, hitbox. Do it. All Button Controllers All The Way.


I never suggested you would get foehammer quality, but you can do for cheap something that works well enough to figure out if sticks are for you. Get a project box from Michaels/a plastic box from the container store, a bamboo picture frame, anything approx the same size, will look like crap, but doesnt have to cost much. Happs/IL comp or a zippy stick for less than $10, get a used aftermarket crap pad. If I bargain shop/wait I can guarantee that I can do this for way less $50. Get medium quality used parts and you can wait to find a stripped commercial stick and port over. There is a $5 PS3 pad on Amazon right now, though $19 is the cheapest 360 pad I can find. I’ll check gamestop for used 360 pad prices and let you know.

Don’t get me wrong, I know DIY can get expensive (my joystick is $60 all by itself), but that is mostly aesthetic choices–and the encoder/pad hack too. Ultimately this depends on the system the OP wants this for (did he ever say?) as the PS4 and XBONE are going to be expensive no matter what.

If you ultimately decide you like sticks better than pads, chalk it up as a learning experience and go from there. Everyone should padhack at least once and build at least one arcade stick.


James Chen is the Jesus of the FGC