Making the Step Up


Hey, first time here and I’ve got a few questions…

I’ve always been a big street fighter fan, since playing SF2 when it first came out. I properly started getting into it, when I picked up capcom vs snk2 ME on the gamecube. A mate and I played a lot, were very competitive and I took that first step from button mashing, to having a vague idea what I’m doing - knowing moves etc etc.

I’ve found in recent years that its difficult to play street fighter, none of my friends want to play because they all suck, and don’t enjoy losing =p Don’t get me wrong, I’m by no means good, although I did used to think I was until I started looking into getting better, and realised there is a great deal about this game that is far beyond me.

Recently watching some EVO vids etc, and half the stuff the commentators were talking about went straight over my head, having looked it up it seems I have a lot to learn.

But I do want to learn it! My first step is to get a stick, and see how I feel using one. Which comes to the first question, I’ve looked around for some sticks online, and was honestly surprised at the cost of some of them. I’m reluctant to pay out crazy amounts of pounds just to try something out.

One stick I have been looking at is the Hori Officially Licensed Fighting Stick 3 (PS3), while I realise that a wireless stick probably isn’t ideal, and some inputs might get lost etc, would this still be an OK stick to try and learn how to use a stick. If I get the hang of it, and like it, then I’ll be happier to go out and spend more money on a ‘proper’ stick later on. There does seem to be some cheaper sticks on ebay etc, but wasn’t sure about those…

Next question - Whats the best way to go about learning the more in depth playstyle of street fighter? Are there any good guides about?

Thirdly - Will I be better off starting with a more basic character, or a character I already like and do ok with (namely Akuma)

Lastly - If I ever make it to competitions, what format do they tend to be played on? I currently play most fighting games I have on PS3, though I do have SF4 on PC as well. Are sticks transferable between formats? Would a PS3 stick work on PC/360, or would i need a different stick for competitions?

Thanks for the help :slight_smile:

  • Kuniku


Welcome!! Alright, right off the bat id say dont worry too much about dropping a bunch of money on a stick to begin with. For some of the higher executions techniques in the game, such a pianoing and option selects it does help to have a stick but it is very very far from impossible to do good without one. I played on pad for a bit over a year before i decided to get a stick and during that time i was very competent with my character and was able to pull off relatively difficult techniques with practice on pad (this is to say that im very confident you could do fine exclusively on pad). If I were to get a stick i would just go for a cheap used Madcatz Tournament edition one if you can find it, maybe a used one (havent looked around at their prices in a while). If you get a stick i would say the main thing to focus on finding is one with japanese parts (sanwa or semitsu). When i began on stick a huge roadblock i ran into was having to deal with american buttons. Even if you get a cheap stick of a different make i would buy buttons separately to install (an easy process).

Gonna kill two birds with one stone here, as far as learning street fighter on a more in depth level i would say that it is important to first select a character you really enjoy using. Yes, there are characters that are more easy to use than others but on a fundamental level i would say that the difference is negligible to an extent. This is to say that fundamentals and good street fighter can be learned with absolutely any character. Once you find a character you enjoy using research things that you should learn with the character and make sure to spend a solid amount of time devoted to learning these things. This includes spending a good amount of time in training mode acquainting yourself with your characters moves and general motions you will need to have memorized when playing the game. Generally fundamentals include combos (execution), footsies(punishing opponents for using unsafe moves/space control), and matchup knowledge, each of which can be improved in training mode and by playing more and more matches. Also yes, there a plenty of good guides out there heres one i saw a while ago i actually was especially fond of (/watch?v=DyeDlrIC-z8#t=83)

As far as consoles used a tournaments, it varies. Some use 360, some PS3, it all depends on the TO (maybe slightly more used 360 at this point?). Id say its not worth worrying that much about at this point, in the future if you get invested to the point that you are regularly attending tournaments eightarc make nice dual modded sticks that work on either console (normally sticks only work on one console or the other).

My last bit of parting advice would be that you if you ever feel yourself getting frustrated or feel that you’ll never be good just remember that its a game, and first and foremost you should be playing for the love of it. Anyone can get good at fighting games, it just takes a certain level of dedication to do it. While it is a gradual process if you continually put in work i guarantee that you will see results, and if you ever get discouraged just remember that anyone and everyone who has ever played a fighting game has been in your position (and anyone that is good has lost a LOT). Anyway, sorry about the wall of text, good luck with leveling up!


Hi, welcome!

  1. Do not buy a wireless stick. Wireless + tournaments do not mix, as some tournaments will ban wireless devices from being used. You don’t actually need to buy a stick to learn the game at all. If you do choose to buy a stick, go with one that advertises having “all Sanwa” or “all Japanese” parts like the MadCatz TE or EightArc sticks.

  2. There are tons of good guides available. I believe many of them can be found in the stickies of this forum, so check there. If you hear some terms you’re not familiar with, there’s a glossary here:

  3. Akuma is fine as a beginner character. You can actually learn well with any character in the game, just realize (compared to Ryu/Ken) your mistakes will be punished more heavily since Akuma has very low health. You’ll want to be playing a more offensive style than usual. Don’t worry too much about vortex/unblockable setups, just learn how to space your moves and confirm into simple combos.

  4. Most SF4 tournaments are run on Xbox, so if you’re interested in attending someday, you should probably aim to find a stick that comes dual modded, or dual mod it yourself if you know your way around a soldering iron. Alternatively, you could just buy an Xbox stick and play the PC version of the game.


I have been looking for madcatz sticks on ebay, but they’re either still more than I’d like to pay, or I’ve been sniped at the last minute. I’m hoping that we get a bit of a black friday thing going on in the UK with some sites so that I might be able to snag something then, but as it’ll be an xmas gift at this point I’m limited by the budget I’m set >__< probably the closest new stick price wise is the qanba Q1, unfortunately the shipping bumps the cost up considerably which does put it over my xmas budget =/

I do manage on the pad, but it isn’t as accurate as I’d like, I can manage most of Akuma’s challenges, but I’m often messing up directional inputs on the D-Pad.

But as I’ve never used a stick before, and I’m not sure if I’ll get into it or not I don’t want to spend too much only to find I don’t like it in the slightest. Which is why I was looking at cheaper sticks to begin with.

Yeh I figured while lots of the ‘basics’ I need to learn will go from one character to another with relative ease, the actual combos will be character specific. As will the ranges of their attacks, which is something I’ll want to get down if I want to get used to punishing missed attacks or what not? Thanks for the link, shall check it out :slight_smile:

Are there game differences between consoles? Or do they play the same on anything? At this point as I’m still leaning towards a cheaper stick, that will no doubt be console specific, I’ll just bear in mind that a future stick would be better off being compatible throughout.

Will current sticks be compatible with the next gen consoles? Could be something to think about, will my shiny new stick be obsolete when I eventually get a PS4?

While slightly different to other games I’ve played on a more competitive scale, I am used to being able to step back and say ‘its just a game’, so shouldn’t be a problem there =)

No need to apologise for the wall of text, its all good stuff! Thank you muchly!

As I said, I wouldn’t plan on taking the cheap wireless stick to tournaments, it is purely to learn about using a stick, to see if I get on with it before then spending a lot on one of the more expensive sticks. If I DO like using the stick, and decide I’m ready for tournament play I’ll then be thinking about getting a better stick for it.

I’d not seen the EightArc sticks. On their site the Q1 (PS3 & PC) is pretty cheap, but the postage to the UK does almost double the price =/ Might look around and see if I can find anything comparably priced but without the excessive postage fee…

Thanks for the link, I’ll have a look around the forum for some guides to get me started =)

I’m not sure if its my natural playstyle, or just because I play Akuma already, but I do tend to be more offensive when I play anyway, so that shouldn’t be an issue. I think to begin with the mistakes I’ll be making will be costing me games regardless of my characters health pool =p But Yes, I see your point.

I’ll see what I can get stick wise, the Q1 I was looking at was PS3 and PC compatible, not sure how easy that would be to mod to xbox as well?

Thanks for the replies thus far! Has given me a little more to think about at least.

Another quick question:

How transferable are skills from one fighting game to another? Is it best to stick to one game and just one or two characters? Is SSF4AE (soon to be Ultra) the way to go? Or will I find that once I start getting good enough to think about competing that another game is running the scene and I have to learn a whole new system?


As a newbie I was buying every new game that came out, now they are all collecting Dust cause all I play now is AE and Marval. If you plan to be a part of a local scene it doesnt hurt to buy used copied of all the current games just so you have them to support the scene. And even play them here and there if you get too frustrated with the current game u play. But at the end of the Day its just gaming and dont put so much into it you forget about real life :slight_smile:


I do have most of them, SSF4AE on PS3 and PC, MvC3 (not ultimate) on PS3, SFxT on PS3, Blazblue on PS3, MK9 on PS3, Injustice: Gods Among Us on Wii U and Tekken Tag on Wii U (forget which number it is etc). So I do have a bit of choice with regards to games. But I figure its probably best to keep my first steps to fight game mastery on a single title?


Just personal opinion, I think if you’re willing to drop $50 on a stick, you should probably just go ahead and buy a decent, wired stick, for an extra $50 in the first place. If down the road you find you aren’t that committed .to fighters, you could always resell it afterwards. And if you do keep up with it, it’s a better investment than buying one stick, then another, and letting the first stick sit in the closet.

Also, as far as tournaments go, its a bit of a toss-up. If it’s just locals that organize them, you can always ask that both systems be available, or even supply your own setup (this is what I do). I eventually modded my stick with a PS360+ so I could play the 360 players without borrowing someone elses’ stick. It was very easy and there was no soldering required.


They do transfer, but it depends on how similar the game is. Street Fighter, Marvel, and BlazBlue are all extremely different, for example, but SF4 isn’t quite so different from other Street Fighter games. It’s my opinion that you should stick to one game, two at most, until you’re comfortable. Once you become good at one game, it’s much easier to become good at another by drawing upon what you’ve already learned.


I’ll see what Black Friday offers, but might see if I can combine some presents and get this stick or perhaps this one… thoughts?


Same boat as you and us akuma players have to fightstick together.

Since you are on eBay assume don’t mind second hand sticks. I looking at gumtree recently and people selling sfxt sticks for around £50. I think pretty decent as Darksakul sticky rates it as pretty good and much cheaper than people try to sell it for £100+.

Unfortunately we just missed the deal waves as few months ago they going same price brand new.


hadn’t thought to check gumtree!


Go with the Qanba Q1.
The brawlstick is complete garbage unless you mod it and put Sanwa parts into it in which case you’ll pay a lot more than if you just went with the Q1.
On top of that the Q1 is also a bit bigger and fits better into your lap and it also comes with a couple of gates you can install if you feel uncomfortable with the standard square gate.

Another alternative is this one It’s a high quality stick with Sanwa stick and buttons and probably cheaper than the Q1 from eightarc since I think they got a 20 Euro shipping fee.

If you ever want to dual mod your stick though, go with a XBox stick because dual modding a PS3 stick costs you so much that you’re almost better off getting a new Xbox stick.
Modding a Xbox stick is a lot easier and cheaper though.


check second hand stores in your area and craigslist. At a store called Disc Replay I bought a Madcatz MvC2 TE stick for Xbox360 for $75 and a SS4 Madcatz TE for PS3 with a clear ball top for $80. On Craigslist I got a Madcatz Chun Li TE S for PS3 for $50. Also there is often sales during majors and I bought a new Madcatz Soul Calibur TE S for $80 bucks just by entering the promo code they gave out on the stream.


Between the Q1 and the one you linked which would you suggest is the better stick? The Q1 comes to £74 including postage from the US, which is cheaper than anywhere I’ve found it in the UK. Where as the stick you linked is £79.99 on ebay, but is only £70 on the sellers own website, with free delivery (though I’d probably pay the extra £3 to get recorded delivery).

The Mad Catz stick would definitely get here on time with no troubles, where as the Q1 has the chance of taking a while to arrive from the US. But ultimately between those two, which is the better stick?

Shall be sure to check both sites come Black Friday though.

Also, how easy would it be to change the graphic on the Mad Catz stick at a later date? Not a huge fan of the one on there, would it be possible to swap for a SF themed one or a plain one?


From what I’ve seen (I don’t own a Q1), the Mad Catz Soul Calibur Edition stick I have linked you is slightly better than the Q1.
Q1’s stick is supposedly equal to the SC’s and comes with additional gates, while the SC has slightly better buttons but doesn’t offer any gates.

It’s easy to change the artwork on the Mad Catz SCV, just check the tech forum for guides and advice on this.
No clue how easily the Q1 moddable in terms of artwork but the stick itself looks pretty cool by default.

In the end it’s a matter of preference. I own the SCV stick and had absolutely no problems with the stick.
It’s big enough to fit in my lap, heavy enough so it doesn’t move a lot while playing, the stick and buttons are responsive and durable, and the thing is pretty much plug and play on a pc.

Love that stick.

I got a video if a guy who’s playing on the Q1 and unboxing and testing it here:

Ultimately it’s up to preference, I’d go with the Mad Catz though, since the price gap is so low and the SCV stick is pretty damn baller.


The Qanba Q1/Q2 uses Qanba parts, unlike the rest of their sticks which use Sanwa parts. I don’t have any experience with Qanba parts, but you’d be taking a big risk in the quality department. The Q1 is also listed at only 6lbs, so it probably feels kind of cheap. The Q4 is 12lbs by comparison.


The dual-console Eightarc sticks are just rebadged QanBa sticks - for the UK, the best place to get them is (I wouldn’t bother with a Q1, though, go for a Q4).

I can personally recommend the MadCatz Soulcalibur stick, it’s great. It’s also very moddable, even by idiots like me. Here’s mine (artwork by the magnificent @d3v):

One thing I would suggest, if you go that route, is to get an Xbox 360 stick. The reason being is it’s much easier to get an Xbox stick to work on PS3 than vice-versa (the Xbox has a security chip). The Cerberus board from Phreakmods is so easy to use even I managed it!

Guide-wise, a great starting point is VesperArcade’s YouTube channel. A good step-by-step series is on there. The stickies and character forums on this site are great, and there’s doubtless an SRK Auma Facebook group.

Check out to see where your nearest local scene is, also, as nothing will help you improve as much as playing real people.

Above all, have fun, and remember that losing is how you learn (which is good, as I learn a lot! :)).


Thanks for the advice guys, been real helpful! Think I’m going to go with the SCV stick =)

I’ll wait until tomorrow and see if there is a chance of any discounts over the weekend before ordering.

With the button layout if I want a more street fighter orientated layout, do I just remap the buttons in game? Or would I want to actualy move the buttons on the stick? If modding is needed how easy is that to do for someone with no experience in such things?

Lastly I think it has a square gate as standard, in the youtube video I watched it suggested shoto players might be better off with an octagonal gate - is that something that is easy to change? And if so, what kinda gate do I want to buy?


Either. If you’re mainly going to be using it in your house, then simply remapping the buttons in the game will be easier. If you’re gonna be going out and playing, then swapping the buttons round is the way to go (that’s what I did).

Very easy. You’re not actually moving the buttons, though (although you can if you want) - after taking the top off (just a case of removing six bolts with an Allen key) you’ll see that the buttons are connected by two wires. They have quick disconnects, so it’s just a case of swapping the colour-coded wires around to get the layout you want.

Most people would suggest sticking with the square gate at first, at least until you get used to it. I actually use an octagonal gate though, but it’s purely a matter of preference. Swapping the gate is very easy - just a case of opening up the top of the stick, removing the gate from the bottom of the joystick assembly (it snaps onto tabs, and you don’t need to disassemble any other part of the stick) then snapping the new gate in it’s place.

You’d look to be getting this for the SCV stick’s joystick (it’s a Sanwa JLF in that stick, the closest thing there is to a ‘standard’):


Excellent, thanks for the info! As I’ve not used an arcade stick before I can’t say anything about preferences yet, so I’ll stick to the square gate and learn to use the stick with that, its not much for the replacement gate, so might after a month or so get it and try it out and see how I get on with it.

Glad to hear the button changing is easy! Shall probably do that then.

Just a shame I’m going to have to wait until xmas to started >__<