[PC]Keyboard or Arcade Stick?

Hello everyone,this is my first post in SRK. I’m really confused about what to do…k …I think I should go back a li’ll.People (my online friends :expressionless: ) don’t know me as a fighting gamer bcz I play FPS games like BFBC2,COD4 when I’m online, but I have been fighting game fan since I started playing games.So,that means 8/9 years. Anyway, I started playing fighting games on PC with MK4 and I was a good player in my area, but the problem is, I used keyboard (num pad for kicks,punches,run,block etc. and arrow key for direction).Now, I can’t switch to gamepad.I’ve been playing SF4 (offline) with my friends and they all use gamepad but I can’t use gamepad as I’m used to playing on kb. Even though I don’t play with characters like zangief or hakan, but after buying SFIV AE, now I wanna try more advanced techniques and wanna do chains and links but I can’t do 'em.I tried switching to gamepad but I play even worse on gamepad.Now, I’m thinking about buying Arcade Stick.Now,is it worth it ? I mean, should I buy arcade stick? or is it just me that can’t do chains and links (but I can do fadc to ultra though) . I mean, will buying arcade stick make me a better player or I can do those advanced moves on keyboard too ?

thanks (and sorry for long post)

You can in theory do the advanced stuff on a keyboard, but many keyboards limit the maximum number of simultaneous keypresses allowed, which can create issues for some techniques in the long run.

What do I suggest? Get a Hitbox - you get to keep the “buttons only” style you’re used to, and also be able to use the same controller on consoles (assuming you get a dual system PS3/360 hitbox) as well.

Yeah, I’m starting to vouch for the hitbox, too.
The main issue I found when I switched to a stick was doing fast movements with good precision, and doing a QCF on a stick just isn’t as easy as it is on keyboard.

Either option you go with, arcade stick (stick or not) is better than keyboard for responsiveness/precision.

Depends on your PC.

Have you ever noticed on some keyboards, if you press too many keys at the same time (like trying to walk forward and strafe right at the same time while crouching, then jump or reload) and it won’t register? This happens a lot with most standard keyboards nowadays. On a USB port, I believe the max number of simultaneous key presses allowed is 7, which is usually okay for your purposes but not many keyboards are capable of doing that.

I wouldn’t recommend a game-pad unless you buy like a Madcatz one that has six face buttons – needing to use shoulder buttons or trigger buttons for standard moves has always felt really unnatural to me, so I hate using pads like the standard PS3 or X360 controllers.

If you plan to get serious about fighting games, you should probably invest either in a stick or in a hitbox. The advantage of sticks and the Hitbox is that you get really sensitive feedback to button presses, which makes it more likely you actually register the input when you mean to. For example, on most keyboards you have to “bottom out” before your system registers the input. You have to press the key all the way in, and while it’s not always a big deal, it could be the case that you might try to hit two or three buttons at the same time (like for an Ultra) and it won’t come out because they didn’t all register at the same time.

Another advantage of having a stick is that if you get one for the system your friends play on, you can just bring it and plug it in and be ready to go. Can’t really say the same about a keyboard.

I just started out playing SSF4AE on PC, and my cheap USB keyboard failed epically. Maybe I just suck, but I couldn’t really do any moves other than normals, I think because the keyboard could only register 2 keys at once… So I bought a beginner stick. If you stick with keyboard, look into getting a mechanical keyboard with what’s known as NKRO, or N-key rollover. This means you could theoretically press every key on the keyboard at once, and the would all register. Check out Geekhack (google it if my link didn’t work, it’s the first result) for lots of info on kekyboards

give a hitbox a try.

Honestly, if you don’t plan on being some top player, you can stay on a keyboard. The only issues with it are grapplers (360, 720 motions), Guile’s U1, Ibuki’s SJC or having a solid Juri (charging 2+ fireballs for combos locks most or all of her moves on keyboards). Everything else is manageable with proper training.

If you can’t link moves together, it’s just a timing issue.

Shush. I can do these, plus SJ Seismo cancels on keyboard. The trick is binding your keyboard like a Hit-box.

They are doable, but too difficult for practical uses, compared to a stick or whatever. Trying to SJC a TC into U2 feels like I’m gonna break both my fingers and the keyboard in the process. That’s my point. ;D

I can call balahoo with authority here. Maybe you don’t play on keyboard enough, but I can do all kinds of Viper shenanigans on top of Ibuki’s stuff with no trouble. However, I’ve been playing on keyboard since Vanilla (and some Guilty Gear #Reload before that), and with my own Hitbox since MvC3 came out.

Practice makes perfect, and I have perfect robot fingers. Once you break down the movements to their basic parts, it’s really easy.

Not everyone has that much talent/motivation/free time. I’m only speaking from the position of a semi-serious player; all my fighting game experience is a few months of MK4, a year in MBAC and 1,5 years of Vanilla and I still pretty much suck with Akuma after all that time maining him (nearly not long enough for him, I know, but still…). I’m quick with learning new stuff, but absolutely horrendous with any kind of a long-term mastery (excluding braindead FPS games).

But hey, I know what you’re saying. I’ve only had a couple weeks to try Ibuki out. Can’t back up my words with experience just yet. So, just a short message for the OP: Wanna play on keyboard? Don’t pick Juri.


Get on the list now.

I used to play exclusively on keyboard, but once I started playing stick I realized just how much I was missing out on.

I wish the hitbox had an up button in the traditional place aswell, because after 15 or so years playing using WASD on the keyboard it’s going to be very difficult for me to retrain my muscle memory


I use the cursor keys and ASDZXC keys mostly.

I’ve been to PC fighters since the early 90s and if a game port is specifically programmed to work with a keyboard then there is no problem. Eg in the PC version of MK 1 you could perform Liu Kangs fatality (required a 360 degree movement) easily with a keyboard. Same with 2 and 3.The DOS version of Street Fighter 2 was terrible regarding controls.Also Body Blows had no problem with a keyboard.

An indie game like TimeSlaughter was programmed to perform amazing combos with a keyboard.

Other fighters like One Must Fall 2097 worked well with a keyboard. Also Pray for Death and Cyber Gladiators.

Do not imagine anything special. We were talking about cheap keyboards. Though problems could arise when two players shared the same keyboard. Eg it was difficult to perform two specials by two players simultaneously in MK 2.

I use now a Logitech G500 keyboard for SSFIV and it works ok (5 keys simultaneously). Some specials are easier on an arcade stick, others are easier on a keyboard. I also play using an arcade stick (a Hori V3-SA) but the keyboard works much faster against other players. With a stick I have to use double the energy (and frustration) to reach the level I have with a keyboard. Besides I do not want to damage the stick. I use it mostly for other fighting games (doujin, Taito X, emulators, PC ports) and lower skill CPU opponents. Input respoviness in emulators is to a satisfying level, though not as smooth as the PC version of SSFIV or Blazblue.