The Hard Sell

I’ve always been a d-pad user. I feel infinitely more comfortable with a d-pad than with a joystick. The main advantage, as I see it, is that you can apply slight pressure to your thumb so much quicker than you can move a stick to a different position, so your reaction time is going to be a bit faster. That being said, I know SRK loves the joysticks and lately I’m been kinda thinking about buying a TvC fightstick. The thing is, I have literally 1000x more experience with a d-pad than with arcade controls so it’s hard for me to imagine ever getting on even footing with the stick.

The question is: Is an arcade stick so advantageous that a d-pad is not even a reasonable personal preference? Would even a person like me come to prefer the fightstick?

I played pad up until I was 18 and decided to switch to stick. It’s better. It took me a pretty long time but now it just feels awkward on a pad. A lot of people are going to tell you it’s down to personal preference and they’re going to list people like fanatiq and shizza. But for every pad warrior pro you can name, you name like 50 pro’s that use stick.

What it comes down to is how good you want to be and how serious do you want to get with fighting games. Is this just a fad and you’re going to be putting it away for halo or smash in like a year? Then no it’s not worth your time.

Why TvC stick btw? Are you only interested in playing tvc?

How serious I am… kinda hard to say. I’m ultra-serious about it right now, but I’m gonna assume it’ll be a different story in a year. Does it take a year to get up to speed? I don’t think I could bare playing subpar for that long.

TvC stick cause wii is my only (working) current-gen console and I’m loving the game. (Also works for any wii fighter, virtual consoles, emus, etc)

I’ve never played TvC so I have absolutely no idea how the game mechanics work. However, if it’s anything like MvC then yes, learning stick will enhance your game. However, if TvC and other fighting games you get off of the wii channels are the only reason you’re going to get a stick, then I say no don’t get one.

It definitely would not take you nearly a year just to get used to an arcade stick, lol. Then again, it could depend on how often you practice with it. It probably took me like maybe four or five months of daily sessions in Street Fighter IV before I finally got used to the arcade stick. This was just last year and I was 19 years old. I was a pad player up until then. Now the pad feels hella-weird and I never wanna go back to it because I feel so limited when the pad is in my hands, lol. I’m glad I learned how to play on an arcade stick though because now I’m better in every fighting game and feel more confident in my executions and everything.

I remember when the Japanese version of Tatsunoko vs. Capcom first came out. I bought a HORI arcade stick just to play it because I liked it a lot, but it felt really weird for me and I kept feeling like going back to the pad. Ever since I had gotten used to playing on the arcade stick for Street Fighter IV (I quit Tatsunoko vs. Capcom just to play it), I was able to go back to Tatsunoko vs. Capcom and felt a lot more comfortable playing on the stick. It felt like I already knew how to play the game on the stick, even though I never really did before. So once you’re comfortable, you’ll be able to play any fighting game on an arcade stick, even when you go to the arcades, which is awesome. It feels just like using a pad. So I felt that it was worth it to learn.

It all depends on how serious you want to get into it though. I know a couple of people who thought they wanted to get serious with it and bought arcade sticks, then lost interest and now keep their arcade sticks in their closet or under their bed (which I’ll probably try to buy off them later, LMAO).

The important part to remember it when you’re playing with a stick you’re actually just activating switches underneath it. It’s not the gate that causes the input so, almost any movement outside of neutral activates one of the switches. You can do any motion without touching the gate at all, even SPDs.

It’s all about learning the delicate touch of using a stick.

I definitely think some things are still easier to do on a pad (most notably SRKs) but, I’m still pretty new to the stick and I feel like I would never go back. The majority of motions are easier to do on a stick. It just takes time to get used to it, the same way to got used to the pad.

Heres a link which may help you. Talking about this topic, and how to transfer to a stick.

I was in the same boat as you. I never bought a fightstick before TVC came out. I was using fightpads and such for pretty much every fighting game I bought. I figured since I always sucked at doing moves in the arcade, I’d suck just as much with my own personal arcade panel. Every since I switched to stick, fighting games in general became much more fun. You never realize the limitations you’re under from being a pad warrior until you switch to a stick.

Stick is definitely more precise than a pad. For example, smurving in TvC (jump canceling a dash into another dash or :r:, :r: neutral :r:, :uf:) is so much more easier to do on stick than on a pad.

That’s good cause I’ve tried it on the CC and decided it’s too low-percentage to use in a real match

My experience was that it took weeks just become acclimated to the stick. Just being able to do specials consistently. I then started practicing doing bnbs for about 1 hour a day for a month and a half. I took about 2-3 months off, partly because the summer kept me busy and partly because I was sort of discouraged by my progress. I came back to the stick and my consistency and confidence was much improved. Now again I am grinding my skills on the stick and I feel like I am moving slowly again. So, I think truthfully, to become as good as the people in the videos on a stick will realistically take you at least half a year or more. I am not even close to an expert but I am way better than when I started. I am not exceptionally coordinated but I have been playing games for a long time so I think I am probably about average.

Be advised, unless you are a jedi or a robot it could take you a really long time to become proficient with the stick. Many people who are considered experts in the community have been using sticks for years.

that said, I would only play on a stick now just for the button layout alone. the rapid access the stick layout gives you to the buttons is a serious edge above the controller imo.

The buttons are definitely the #1 thing I love about a stick vs. a pad.

On the pad I used to feel like I was limited on what moves I could do on reaction because of where my fingers could reach. With all 6 right in front of you as real like big 30mm buttons I feel much more in control.

I just ordered my TvC fightstick. I have a feeling I’m in for a lot of frustration, but hopefully it’ll help in the long run.

It’s not the directionals that give sticks an advantage, it’s the buttons. Unless you’re playing Tekken you’re probably going to be better off having all the buttons present and easy to hit with the tips of your fingers.

It’s a tradeoff. Dpads allow for quicker inputs just because there’s less involved with moving your thumb as opposed to your wrist and fingers, but the buttons are futzier. Sticks are the exact opposite.

Is that the Madcatz SE for Wii?

If it is, the stock parts are awful and before you use it a few times and decide that stick is not for you, you should maybe invest in a Sanwa JLF stick and Sanwa buttons from somewhere like

It’s not just switching from pad to stick (or vice versa) that’s hard. Sometimes switching between different types of pads/sticks is just as hard. I grew up playing on ball tops with circular gates in the arcades. Even made a custom 2P stick for home use. Execution was rarely a big problem for me because I use so use to doing the motions. However, when I switched to the more sensitive Sanwa parts it absolutely killed my game. The sticks I was used to were stiffer, so they jumped back into position quite easily, but the Sanwas are extremely sensitive so sometimes I can’t even do basic things like walking back and forward rapidly without accidentally hitting a diagonal. Also, one of the first things you learn on a square gate is to avoid “riding” it. The problem is that it’s not a good idea to learn this in SFIV because of the short cut motions. eg. For rapid Supers/Ultras I do :d::r::d::r: and the game accepts it as legal input (I miss the diagonals by about a mm because I’m trying to avoid riding from :d: to :r:) . When I do this in other games though it doesn’t work and I end up getting massacred.

So yeah, if you’re going to switch input mechanisms, make sure you practice on a game that has tough execution requirements. SFIV will teach you very bad habits that are hard to get rid of. Also, practice on non-fighters as well. Bullet-hell shmups are good for practice because they require very precise movements.