Used SF4088180/02/1 - Acting Strange

Hey Y’all. Newbie on this forum, but an long time SF player. Just recently bought a used SF4088180/02/1 fight stick. I grew up playing in the arcade, took a long time off playing between Alpha 2 and when IV hit the 360. I was using a pad with IV Ultra, and while charge players were fine, I couldn’t really get shoto combos using a pad. Even simple non-shoto combos, like Sagat’s hk to tiger cannon were tricky on the pad. Some people can use them, but I just couldn’t get the hang of it.

Anyway, I just got this stick, and while I can tell this is going to make playing easier in the long run, there’s definitely something wrong with it. I think it just might be wear, but I just can’t pull off things consistently when facing right. Everything works like a charm when facing left. I eventually figured out that I have to super-exaggerate the movement and pressure to get even things like shoto fireballs or charge booms to work when facing right. Same with charge flashkicks. Switch to the other side, and things are effortless. I’m assuming this is just wear. Odd it is only on one side. Any ideas of what parts I might need to swap out, assuming I can fix this at all? Restrictor plate? The entire joystick assembly? I’m now thinking that buying used was a mistake, as it looks like I’m not going to save any money.

Before replacing major parts or rewiring do this

Clean and re-lube your joystick assembly, parts that get in contact with other moving parts is what gets lubricated. You need maybe a pea sized amount for the whole joystick. Use Shin Etsu or Dow Molycotke grease they are sold at Paradise Arcade and Focus Attack. A $20 tube of grease will last a life time, but I think they also sell smaller containers of grease now.
You can also go replace the spring, as springs are cheap. If that don’t work you can also replace the switches. Replacing the whole joystick is the worst case scenario.

Keep in mind with proper care and maintenance a joystick can last 20+ years

I’d have to disagree with this. Basic troubleshooting procedure is to identify the problem before you do anything involving corrective maintenance. If you pull the thing apart to lube it, you change it.

Go into training mode. Make the motions(doesn’t matter fast or slow, as long as it’s the same motion). For say, a fireball, are you seeing D->DR->R(assuming your character is facing right). Now do it full speed. Are you maybe pressing the button before you actually get to the final R input? It’s not unusual to have a bias towards executing on one side.

If it turns out the right side is registering at a distance quite a bit more than left, or not at all, you proceed to opening up your stick and messing with it. Inspect for physical damage, doing a full dissassemble so you can see every part. You can’t really trust the previous owners to not have messed with it. Lube it(pivot, and a thin layer on the bottom shaft where the spring tensioner/spring/actuator slide about) and put it back together. Did that fix the problem? If not, you might have to somehow replace the switch(replacement circuit board, soldering on a new switch, etc).

Anyways, remember, document the problem before you start making changes.

Okay smart ass, tell me I am wrong then reword and rephrase everything I already mentioned.
So I skipped going into training mode

<shrug> I’m a trained maintenance technician. Defining the problem isn’t a minor step. It’s a major step.


When trying to come up with 5 whys, I remembered that damn washer. Skip to around 5:46.

you probably need either lube or an actuator

Thanks for all the advice guys. I didn’t have time to check into things until now.

In training mode with the input on, here’s what I found: When facing right and using Guile, I hold charge down/back, try to boom, and see that the final input in that sequence is down/forward+p instead of just forward+p. I thought maybe it might be my rusty technique with a stick, but tried it several dozen times. It looks like I have to go a few degrees up past horizontal to get a straight forward command when facing right. It feels awkward, as it results in a jump forward 1/5 times. That would almost suggest that the joystick assembly has shifted inside the case (is that possible?). Just a guess though, and it wouldn’t explain while I still have no issues when facing left.

On the up shot, I’m completely sold on the idea of a fight stick. Kind of not surprised, as I grew up using arcade cabinets. It is a little different though, as the american arcade versions had bat tops and concave buttons. I’ll have to get used to that cradle grip between the ring and pinky finger.

Oh yeah…forgot to mention that I’ve been double-perfect’d for the first time ever while trying to get use to this stick. It’s going to take a little time, but I think it will be worth it.

Might as well unscrew the bottom plate and take a look at what’s happening on the joystick from underneath. Unplug the stick from your PC/Console, as the clicks of the microswitches tell you when a direction is “pressed”(when the plunger on a microswitch is pressed enough to send a direction, it should audibly click). Also take that opportunity to look for gross physical damage, misalignment, evidence of dremel/superglue use by the previous owner, etc.