Just how acceptable is a keyboard?


Hello everyone. I have a quick question.

I haven’t had SF4 for long, just a few months, actually. I really love the game though, probably too much! I play it when I’m done with college and work just about every day. I have one huge problem though. I started playing on the keyboard, using my left hand to control attacks, and my right hand to control movement. I’ve actually gotten pretty decent with this. I can pull off ryu’s FADC --> DP or Ultra, Focus --> Dash --Ultra with ken, and I can even juggle into Chun-Li’s ex-bird fairly well. (I can even use Gief’s ultra!!! It’s kind of a pain though.)

But! I want to get serious about the game, serious enough to join tournaments someday. So I went and got a fairly cheap Hori FS3, and I’ve been practicing like crazy with it. It seems like to matter what I do, I just can’t get used to the double quarter circle motion to the right. I’ve only had it for about a week, but I’ve practiced with it a ton already and it’s starting to get frustrating.

So, what’s your recommendation? Should I keep using keyboard if I want to be serious? Or is that just unrealistic, since I can’t really use a keyboard in a tournament?
Is there some thread I can talk about controlling a stick?

(Sorry for the whole mess of questions. I thank you for your help!)


The way i see it you have two solutions.

A - You try harder with the stick, try to slant your box on your lap if need be, and eventually mod the stick to slant the joystick a bit.

B - You replace the stick with a set of 4 buttons.


Is there any way I could essentially make a keyboard controller? (With the movement buttons on the right, and the attacking buttons on the left.)


I use the keyboard too. I think there was a tutorial on keyboard sticks.

lol I too hate the sticks, I don’t understand why they are left handed.


Lmao, i play the same way and its awesome to play on keyboard. Not going to bother ever getting a stick since I’ll never ever go to a tourny in my life either way. It’s all about casual online play :smiley:


Learning stick takes time. Rewiring your muscle memory isn’t going to be done in a week. It takes several months for some.

You are not the sole fighting game player that is genetically incapable of using a stick, I promise.


yes you can make a keyboard like controller by hacking a pad, a keyboard or using a dedicated custom controller like Ipac²-toodles chimp-akihabarashop PS360

A joystick is essentially a shaft pressing on four button switches, electronically speaking there is no difference between a joystick and a set of 4 buttons.

and you can totally put the punch buttons on the left and the movement buttons on the right if you so prefer.

A keyboard hack is failry easy to do, but there might be some ghosting issues
padhack are sometimes tidbit more difficult and sometimes you get shadowing.

it is advisable though to layout movment buttons in such a way that you can press all of them with a separate finger.

there are two common layouts

thumb = down
index = left (right for you)
middlefinger = up
ringfinger = right (left for you)

or the same thing inverting middle finger and thumb commands

keyboard like controllers are more and more popular these days.


If you are kicking my ass with a keyboard i am not going to say anything against using one :slight_smile:


strange that people usually use the arrows on a keyboard for movement when they usually use wasd for other games.
Any who, id like to know if its possible to use a keyboard for tournaments and the like


There was a keyboard player that got far in the UMK3 tourney at the last Season’s Beatings (iirc).


Been using Keyboard with SF4 for well over a year now and while I may not be any form of pro, I do decent for the level of competition here. Funnily enough any issues I have is not with my control choice, it’s just me not being great. I’ve a very high win:loss but there’ll always be someone out there who is miles better and can rip me a new ass - At the end of the day, I USED to blame the Keyboard - But now I realise it just plain and simply is not a handicap - And this is as a BALROG player, the most linear charge character… I spar with Cireee from time to time and he has one of the most aggressive and evil Akuma’s I’ve seen, all on Keyboard, great combo’s, vortex shinanigans and no problem pulling it all off.

It’s about adaptation - Problem/Solution is that people adapt to ANYTHING over time… But trying to then break that by re-adapting to something else can be troublesome. I’d hate to even consider a Stick (I have a PAD here, tried it, absolutely hated it) mostly because I’m so used to Keyboard. If I had started SF4 on a STICK then the situation would be flipped, I’d laugh if you asked me to try play on a Keyboard after being used to a Stick for 1.5yrs etc

Short answer is, yes, depending on how you learn (And who you play as [and, to a smaller degree, what type of keyboard you have - Non-Gaming Keyboards actually will struggle on a few things]) then it shouldn’t dilute your SF4 experience too much.

I can’t imagine even trying to play as Zangief or Seth (anyone with 360 motions) nevermind half circle on Keyboard, but yeah, some people still pull it off… There was a SF player who used Keyboard at a full on tourny, did relatively well, this was quite some time ago (May have been 3rd Strike) and I’ve no idea of his name, but yes, it was seemingly allowed and fine for tourny play.

Over on the Fighting Games forum on my Home Based (Ireland) website Boards.ie there are many people who actually enjoy making custom sticks and someone has offered to make me a Keyboard-Stick on several occasions for a measly price - I just never bothered. They are, apparantly, not too big a deal to make.