New Player - Is a stick worth it?


Hey everybody, I’m new to fighting games (tried my go at SF4, and now I’m playing MVC3) and I’m absolutely TERRIBLE. I’ve read a lot of the posts here on Tech Talk about sticks, and I think I may enjoy it, but I’m also low on cash.

The SF4 MadCatz one seems to be the cheapest one suggested here, but a lot of people say you have to mod it to make it good, which is actually quite expensive (The stick alone is $30 right now).

So do you think playing on a stick will help me get better compared to a dpad? I’ve been putting a lot of time trying to learn combos, but I usually just end up button mashing in the end and I get really frustrated with the controls when I fail to pull something off.

Do you think it’s just me, or will a stick help me improve my gameplay if I put in the time on it, and is it worth the ~$90 investment?


It’s really up to you. Considering you are new to fighting games, getting used to playing games would depend on what you used to learn it. I grew up playing fighting games on arcades (console fighting games didn’t exist in my time) so I learned to play on an arcade stick. I eventually got to playing them at home using a pad and have been playing on a pad for years. It was not until last year that I got to buy a TE that I played on a stick again so it was not much of a learning process since I had the skills, just had to get used to it again. As far as the difference between stick and pad, again it depends on you. I can do certain combos easier on the pad than on stick, but then I was able to complete a lot more in SFIV trials on a stick.

My advice, try out a cheaper SE first. If you like it and if you think you can go further, invest in a better one like a TE and the like. Some people never liked playing on a stick, and there’s nothing wrong with sticking to a pad. Some tourney players prefer a pad anyway.


I converted to a stick about a year ago and what I felt is this:

  1. Playing on a stick == better execution. There are pros that play on pads, too (ie: Vangief). However, it did make my life easier because I no longer get sore thumbs after 3 hours :).

  2. I don’t blame my execution problems on the gear anymore. Instead I blame it on myself which is a much healthier mentality IMO.

  3. You will have an easier time to try out the different techniques people have developed over the years (pianoing, plinking etc).

  4. It’s a good standard to fall back to. You will still be relatively okay even if you have to use a crap stick to fight compared to having to use a completely different gamepad.

So yeah I’d say if you have the money and the determination to make the switch then go for it.


The SE stick will last you long enough to get a feel for using a stick and then you can decide if you like it or not. The joystick itself is solid, however there are known issues that the joystick will self-destruct after a while. The buttons are not nearly as good as Sanwa’s or Seimitsu’s, but they will work fine for you until you decide if your more comfortable on the stick, at which point you should do a full upgrade with authentic japanese parts. Let me know if you have any questions, I have taken apart my SE countless times.


Awesome advice guys thanks.

I think I’ll probably end up getting the MadCatz SE stick soon and just keep the original parts. If I enjoy it I guess I’ll be back to mod it ^^


Many people suggest that adding an octogate to your stick makes the learning curve easier for pad players, so that may be a good first mod to look at doing.


I just did the exact same thing, I owned 2 Hori EX 2’s that were ok. I wanted a “pro” stick but didn’t want to spring for the TE. So, I purchased the SE and ordered a set of Sanwa buttons, stick and octo plate. The different is night and day. Doing the mod work is very easy and I had fun painting the base and adding new art. It’s all super easy. Let me know if you have any questions about the process.

(I bought everything at the shipping was crazy fast.)


I don’t know about the new Hori Fighting Stick V3/VX but yeah, the SE sticks are the best entry level stick to go with since they come with quick disconnects and enough room to fit a better stick.
I do hate the clone parts in the SE sticks with all my heart and sole but hey, atleast you reuse those parts if you ever decide to get a better stick.


I would say 100% get a stick if you think you will stick with fighting games. I started out with pad on SSFIV and made the switch to stick later but have been unable to make the switch with my main character (I have tried =/). So I play my main on pad with a custom button config and the rest on stick with the default config. I really wish I had just started out on stick in the first place (especially for the sake of being able to go to an arcade and play my main).


Definitely, get the SE. That’s how I started out almost two years ago. I used it for almost 8 months when I upgraded to all Sanwa parts. That was only a $50 upgrade. Remember you will have to get used to the stick. I had to use mine for about 10 hours before I got used to it. Stick with it. (pun intended)

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