Using a stick is a lot harder than I expected it to be


I just switched from pad to stick yesterday and this shit is hella difficult. It feels like some bizarro world shit. None of my links are connecting. I can’t even do simple shit like Vega’s low forward into low strong. I can’t cancel normals into specials for shit. The most I can do is simple crush counter juggles. I can’t even walk without jumping. This shit feels weird as hell. The movement itself feels awkward as shit. I can’t even dash properly.

Is this normal? This is how SF was originally intended to be played? How the fuck do people compete at high levels on this shit?


You use a pad and what kind? How are you able to do supers on the left side of the screen, it’s impossible on pad.


Sounds about right, I wouldnt worry. When I first got a stick I had a lot of the same problems you did, i couldn’t do a quarter circle, I couldn’t link, I would sometimes accidentally hit mp+mk when i wanted throw, shit, i couldnt even properly down back when i first started.

When I switched I weaned myself off of pad, switiching between stick and pad until I slowly started to play more stick than pad. Just don’t immediately give up on stick cause its awkward, it gets better, I promise. Grind enough time out in the lab and you’ll be fine.


Most players spend quite a few months to get used to it. You’re good on one side? Try the other and weep again.
I tried the switch and gave up after a while, turned to a stickless stick aka. hitbox.
Never had a comfortable grip on the stick I liked, was messy as hell.
If you can get your hands on one from a friend, might try out a bat top (look at Infiltration’s stick for example).

[x] Go FrankenPad ;3


You might wanna check out VesperArcade’s old videos about sticks ->

SF4 material but helped me a lot in the beginnings, different grips, ways to dash and more.
(chapter 2 is stick talk, too. Might wanna start there, but chapter 3 part 2 is the relevant part for you I guess)


When you aren’t playing fighting games I’d recommend playing some 8/16-bit sidescrollers with the fightstick, or games that don’t require to use 2 joysticks (for obvious reasons). Won’t help with execution but it’ll help you get used to the stick much faster.


Its perfectly normal, when u make the switch even after a few weeks u will question whether it’s worth it but after a while u get used 2 it and it becomes second nature. My motions r so much better for it just keep at it dude


I felt the same when I switched from pad to stick but I ended up switching from a square-gate to octo-gate and it was heaven


What difference did switching gates make for you? Most players just stick it out with square gates.


Well, he’s in jail now I’ll answer. Don’t go octo-gate. I’ve never used one, but I hear you will develop bad habits and you won’t have clean inputs in the long run.


The big thing to remember: there is going to be a lot of times where you’re using the stick and get bodied by someone who you feel you could definitely beat on pad. Don’t worry about it. If you are serious about making the transition you just need to ride it out


They can’t hold a real nigga down cuh


To me it was alot more comfortable because I was playing MvC2 and 3rd Strike at the time. I wasn’t playing charge characters; so when it came to characters like Chun, Ryu, Ken, Sentinel, Storm, and ect… I wouldn’t get stuck on the corner of the square-gate doing quarter circles, but if you play games like Mahvel the square gate can be good for tri-dashes. I can now use both, but different gates work well with different characters just try to experiment.


I just got myself a stick last week and I stared down the same road. I’ll always admit that I totally suck at fighting games (I don’t play online and I’m more interested in seeing flashy on-screen action than diving into frame data). But at least I could do some stuff with the pad (PS4). My execution was really bad in SF (a little better in MKX because this game has inputs that do better agree with the PS4 D-Pad) but I could fight my way through Arcade Mode on the lower difficulties and have some fun.
But when I first plugged in the stick (Hori Mini) my Makoto was like nailed to the floor. I couldn’t do shit. The easiest :qcf:+HP wouldn’t come out. Even jumping forward/backwards was a challenge My first thought was, that the stick was broken (why did I have to get the cheap one). Then I switched on command display and as it turned out, the stick was just fine. So I started doing stuff really slow and I found two very important reasons why I screwed everything up.

  1. I positioned my left hand too close to the stick, which is why I could not perform motions to the left side correctly. Since my stick is really small (it’s really good in terms of quality, but also really small), I took a large hardcover book and put it under my stick. This way I could place my hand more to the left, which immediately resulted in better execution to the left side

  2. The second point is even more important. I have never used a stick before. Sure I had a joystick during the 90s in order to play R-Type & Afterburner on my Atari ST. But being from East Germany there were no such things as Arcades and they never showed up in my home town even after the german reunion. What I DID use before were the analog sticks of the PS1/2/3/4 pads. I also used them when playing fighting games (mostly when my thumb started to hurt from using the D-Pad).
    So my biggest mistake was, that I thought of my fightstick as an analog stick. I took me some time to realize that these things are digital. I know that sounds like the village idiot just found out about something everybody else has known for decades, but if you are used to analog sticks only, there is a major pitfall waiting for you. Yes, the fighting stick knows 8 directions (+ neutral) only. And yes it only registers if it is being pushed in a direction or not (and thankfully responds with a nice “click”) and not how far it’s being pushed. It sounds simple but after I had realized this, my execution rate literally went through the roof. After just two more training sessions (2.5 hours in total) the execution of single moves is no longer an issue to me. Sure I’m not nearly at a 100%. But as long as I stay concentrated and calm I’m at about 75% in training mode. So I don’t suck really, really hard anymore. I just suck, which is a big improvement to me. =)

Also I was able to pick up the KoF XIV demo and start playing right away. The only thing I could not do where the Super-Cancels but looking at the input display that was not because of bad execution but more of a timing problem (wayyyy too slow).


The difference between square and octo gates is that the latter don’t have the same throw range on the v/h axis and on the diagonals, preventing you from accidentally jumping forward or backward when trying to dash. On the other hand hitting the diagonals becomes much more difficult, which is why it is hard to play charge characters on them since you’re charging down-back the whole time.


You’re just gonna have to grind it out and build up muscle memory.

this might help


I just started learning to use a stick as well, with a square gate, and I have a question about certain executions.

When you do a DP or QCF motion, is it a best practice to hit all the way into the lower corner, or is it fine to clip through the corner? I don’t want to develop a bad habit that will hinder me in the longer run.


This is how it works. Learning stick is really discouraging at first. Just keep with it, once it starts clicking you’ll never look back.


I’ve used a square gate since 2009. Hitting the gates can help at first so you can get a feel for the motion, but overall it slows down your execution so eventually start working towards making it a smoother motion.


Might want to also look at different ways of holding the stick, I used to hold the balltop with just my index/middle finger and my thumb… my execution was inconsistent as balls. So I’d find myself always going back and forth between playing with my stick (…lol) and playing with a Saturn controller.

I started holding it “Daigo style” or similar, with the bottom inbetween my pinky and ring finger, and the middle of my index & middle finger resting on the balltop. The difference that alone has made is insane.


I did the octo gate for a while and regret it. If you are having trouble with the square then it means you are riding the gate too much. You dont have to push yhe stick all the way to the gate most of the time. Where riding the gate is a plus is when you are doing tiger knee motions and the street fighter dp short cuts, but other than those your stuch should not ride the gate