Im guessing that most people on this board grew up around arcade sticks, but im also assuming that a few of you were a little late to the scene and pretty much grew up with the good 'ol pad. I got into 3rd Strike around October-November last year, and my pad game was getting pretty decent. Eventually, I was told that using a stick will help me improve further, so I cracked open my piggybank and got myself a HRAPv1 (I later modded Sanwa buttons in myself). ~Anyway, this was late January of this year. At first things were pretty tough, but I slowly adapted to it to the point where I was competent enough to play my mates- though no where near where I was before.

Im finding that im still having alot of problems getting out double qcf motions on the stick to pull of SAs and I still can’t get out a shoryuken on demand (when I try and do a double shoruken with ken, I do one, followed by a hadouken!).

There must be a few people out there who went through similar things, so I was wondering if you could give me some advise: How do you hold the stick? Im finding that I overdo my wrist actions, so im actually doing 1/3 of a circle instead of a qcf motion and drag the stick up against the octagonal gate instead of making slight movements.

Also, would it be better for me to put the square gate in again, so im not relying on the edges?


I did the pad to stick transition on CVS, so I can’t speak to 3S specifically. Yeah it is a hard transition, but what your going through is normal.

I know that for CVS I had the problem of hitting the button too early in the motion, my thumb tended to complete the motion faster than my wrist does, so the actual button press timing is much different for me.

For moves like shoryuken (single) I have to make sure that I train myself to stop the motion and not keep going. Maybe the pad button don’t have full up down states, but if I keep moving through the motion I will always get a fireball.

I still have some of the opposite problem, doing a series of special moves, like Rolento’s patriot circles sometimes lands me a super on accident.

As far as holding the stick, everyone has a perferred method.

Some hold the stick like a flight stick with their hands wrapped full around.
Some hold the stick by the top tip like a pencil.
Some hold the stick only on top with their palm directly above the stick.
There are even people that play cross handed, cause it is more comfortable.

I know there are some other posts on this subject in this forum, so look around and find something comfortable. Practice Practce Practice. I know that’s what I have to do right now.


This thread has been made before by a friend of mine named 2D is forever…search for his thread it covers this information.


Just play a lot. Your hands will automatically adapt to pulling off certain commands.


The same way you transition from Big Wheel to bicycle. Your dad throws your Big Wheel into the dumpster and your forced to ride a bicycle.


3s is the worst if its execution practice you want


IMO the real advantage to a stick is the attack buttons, not the directionals.

However, it’s probably best to get use to sticks anyway since you’re limiting yourself by not being able to use an actual arcade cabinet. By learning sticks you have the option to play on both cabinets and console, but just learning pads you’re limited to only consoles.

But, if you’re really really use to the pad directionals but still want the benefits of a 6-button stick layout I would recommend getting a 6-button pad (with the attack buttons all on the “face”). Like a Saturn Pad. And then use your fingers for the attack buttons like you would with a stick.

Actually, I just recommend the Saturn Pad (for the PS2) in general, it’s nice.

But not the SF pads (anniversary pads), those suck.

The 6-button layout helps with drumming, pianoing, kara-canceling / roll-canceling, and switching between attack strengths on the fly – since you have more fingers over more attack buttons at a time. Your fingers are much faster at rapidly tapping than your thumb is (usually). Try hitting a key on your keyboard or controller with your thumb and then compare it with your finger.

I feel parrying is easier with a directional pad. I hear other people say this as well. So, I feel Saturn Pads are a really nice “compromise” for 3S players who are use to pads.


Hey that’s me :looney:. I usually hold it between my ring and middle finger, but I still suck at stick :confused: Btw people will always give you shit for playing on pad even if they you’re better, just ask Dark Geese. If you feel more better playing on a pad for some games, then go on ahead.


^ Andrew, i think the true idea behind using a stick is versatility; you can go to an arcade and do just fine (if the controls are good).

what if you wanted to take a trip to Japan or Mexico (if you play SNK games)? there aren’t controller ports in arcade machines besides Tekken, you know.


I’m making the same transition, though I do have some past stick experience so I’m picking it up pretty naturally. I agree that double quarter-circles are BY FAR the most difficult maneuver to execute. Practice practice.

The square gate actually does make everyone’s favourite uppercut a hundred times easier; tap forward, down, then ride the gate to the corner. You’ll probably eventually stop using the bottom of the gate without even realizing. The trick to quarter-circles is that you don’t push the stick all the way to the corner so it doesn’t get caught there; the switches will register the direction even before you’re only half-way there.

On an interesting and semi-relevant note, when I first switched, I found that my playstyle was a little slower and less agressive, but a little smarter and more creative. My input speed hadn’t suffered, and I was pacing myself more, doing better with mind games, but I felt like I was learning all over again from scratch how to handle being rush-down’ed. You may experience the same thing.

In complete honesty, the real reason I switched from pad to stick is that it just feels more fun. :rofl:


Yeah, the one piece of advice I can give from switching from pad to stick is that no matter HOW frustrating matches can be, force yourself to use stick, no matter what. I’m having some really frustrating casuals and such, but I’m trying not to return to pad as much as possible.

The people that know me already know how many years I’ve played pad.


Practice execution in training mode just to get a little more used to it, it’ll help about alot before you jump into any matches.


This isn’t a very popular opinion, I’m sure…but: If you find, after a long while, that you’re better on a pad, stay with a pad. Unless you plan on competing in a ton of non-console tournaments, you’ll be fine. The only thing that’s really necesary to make a pad work is a better setup - personally, I think that the best setups are:

  1. Take the default button setup from the PS2 versions of SF games, and switch the light attacks with the hard attacks (so that the light attacks are on the shoulder buttons), or,

  2. Take the OLD default setup for console SF games (where L was Hard Punch and R was Hard Kick) and reverse the light and hard attack buttons.

This setup allows even the more complicated button combination techniques (Roll Cancelling, Kara-Cancelling - particularly Kara-Throwing, Renda Cancelling) to be reasonable to execute on a pad. Also, once you get down the feeling of moving your right wrist (so that your thumb goes straight over two of the buttons), you can execute thumb-rolling for reversals.

I’m a huge advocate of playing on a pad - there are some people who are just plain better on a stick…that’s definitely most people. But, there are some people who are better on a pad, no matter how long they’ve tried stick (I worked at it for about three years, and I’m still catastrophically bad at it). After you’ve had a good run on both, make an honest decision - that’s my advice.


st for execution. also marvel helps


There needs to be a stickied thread like this because people ask about this all the time.


Have you tried using your thumb for directionals and your finger tips for attack buttons?

I stand by my previous post. For pad players I highly recommend the use of 6-button pads (Saturn Pads) and using finger tips for attack buttons (like you would on a stick).

Using your thumb for attack inputs just not as good.


Actually, I don’t like the 6 button layout - I find it much more difficult to do things like kara-throwing or roll-cancelling on a 6 button layout, as opposed to 4+2 shoulders. If you put your shoulder buttons to the light attacks, for example, it’s just a matter of hitting the shoulder buttons with whatever move as a ‘grace note’ of sorts to do a kara-throw (i.e, to do 3S Chun’s kara throw, just press Circle, then immediately press the shoulder buttons), and just a matter of hitting the shoulder buttons before you execute a special move to do a roll cancel. If anything, 6 button pads are the absolute most difficult thing to use in my opinion, because the buttons are too close and cluttered for my opinion. I do own a Sega Saturn, so I have a clear example of what is considered the best pad for fighting games, and I dislike using it for fighting games.

My pad setup for 4+2 shoulder pads (light attacks on the shoulder buttons) completely circumvents any problem I’ve ever come across in having to use the thumb for the 4 front panel buttons, aside from piano rolling, which has its own ghetto tactics. Piano rolling for reversals is one of the only things I can think of where the 4+2 shoulder pads have a clear disadvantage; but even then, it’s not impossible to work with.


6 button setup is so much better for karathrows, you’re crazy. I hate karathrowing on a controller.

The only thing I think pads are better for are super motions in 3s (qcf, qcf). Short short super is fucking EASY on a pad.


Maybe I’m just way off base, but how exactly do you do a karathrow on a 6-button layout that doesn’t require you to contort your fingers at all? The way I do it on a 4+2 does not require you to do anything funny with your hands - in fact, the most difficult aspect of it is simply learning how to press the shoulder buttons with one of the front panel buttons at roughly the same time, which doesn’t take a long time to learn at all.

I could easily see why kara-throwing would be shitty if your Light Attack buttons were Square and Cross…that’d be a fucking nightmare; but keep in mind that I’m talking about a setup that makes the throw command either L1+R1 or R1+R2.


ding ding ding :tup: