When does modding go too far?

What is the line for stick/pad mods as far as tournament legality goes?

when you go out of your way to make intentionally challenging inputs and commands (as dictated by the game’s core design or developer intentions) easy as a press of a button, then you probably shouldn’t be playing such games in the first place.

Ok but I still want to know where the line is on modding sticks.

For example, different gates, buttons, etc is all fine and well but is any change to press button=get action acceptable? I know turbo is unacceptable or anything that auto executes a sequence of buttons but what about something that slows shit down? Say for someone who’s prone to double tap?


Definite NOs
[] Macros of any kind (so no Multi-button combos or a button that execute a move for you).
] Any kind of Mod similar to the infamous Full schedule’s Stick.
[] Anything that intentionally interfere with the other players controller, at-all.
] Anything that be deemed as distracting. So if you have Lights make sure you can turn them off or have a Tournament mode. This can include Art (like anything pornographic).
[] Any Mods that produce loud noises or sounds. And I don’t mean the natural clack-clack of the buttons and joystick. Even MX Cherry Blue switches are fine. But your stick should not have a MP3 Player with Speakers inside.
] Any Mods that produce a strong or overpowering smell. Even if that Smell is pleasant.
[] Any mod that takes advantage exploits or any game breaking bug or glitch (not including SOCD issues).
] Native wireless support (so no Dual Shock 3 or Microsoft Xbox 360 Wireless boards). Wireless using a USB dongle is Okay in most Tournaments.
[] No Amiibo Support/ No Amiibo AI playing for you.
] No Mods that causes malicious damage or injury
[] No booby traps
] Anything that be considered wrong/illegal outside of the Tournament is wrong inside the tournament.

Grey Areas
[] Mods that take advantage of plinking.
] No including some kind of SOCD filtering on a All-button like Controller (I.E. the Hitbox).
[] Wireless via a USB Dongle
] Weird or out of place looking set ups. Some TOs will disqualify a stick if it looks too fishy.
[*] Having a Button not connected to anything. Giving the opponent a false indicator of a plink or double tap.

Good to Go mods. I.E. Always good
[] Dual-Mod/ Multimods
] Custom button layout/ mapping which includes All-button like controller (I.E. the Hitbox). More examples, having your button assignment layout custom to you so you do not have to go and change the settings in-game.
[] Accessibility mods for those with physical disabilities. This would include any mechanism short of actual Macros that allows someone with physical disability to participate and play. This can include a large variety of accessibility gear, including foot pedals, devices operated with the player’s chin or mouth, switches what changes what a input does (for accessibility purposes) even neural interfaces.
] Using any kind of switch, button, lever or mechanism to suit your play style. This is partially covered by the above two. Keep in mind if you get too weird, expect to explain your mod or the TO mind find it too fishy and not allow it.

That depends on the tourney you go to, as everyone uses different rules. But if you’re talking about EVO, there are some rules here.


I’m not sure how a controller/stick would “slow shit down.” Most slow-mo stuff I’ve seen is just rapid-fire on the start button.

There’s so much about the FGC I still need to learn

2 examples of a non-turbo function:

  1. Won’t register long press, only short press
  2. Won’t register consecutive presses.

Hardware programmable input entry, rapid-fire, or other hardware assisted mechanisms are strictly forbidden.

I knew this rule but it seems just a little vague, some could argue that a square gate makes charge motions easier, right? Where exactly is the line?

It’s I hope is a more common sense issue than a set rule but you be surprised what people would do because the rules are unclear on.
Generally at most tournaments and conventions if you have offensive body odor you be asked to leave. If you not kicked out out right, they suggest you return to your home/hotel and take a much needed shower.

Your stick should not double as a glade air freshener. Some people could be allergic or sensitive to these scents.

In an environment with increasingly big pots and tensions I feel legit strict community wide rules should be made.

If more TOs pick up on what was done at CapCup by having players sit away from each other and playing on their own screens, I can see this one becoming less of an issue, as two players would be too far from each other to be distracting each other from their own screens, even if one player had censored doujin scans taped to their body, just as an example.

If a organization is smart, I feel they just have this fall into a catch all clause rather than make a specific statement. Like if its unacceptable (or even illegal) outside of the Tournament, its not unacceptable in the tournament.
It is very hard to enforce a “community” wide ruling as each tournament or origination has their own rules, polices and means to interpret those rules and polices. Evo is might be seen as a leader but they are not the definitive authority in the community. I been to tournaments where Evo means nothing there, so there is that to also factor.

So we just wait for someone to break something? We just wait for another Hitbox that can hold left and right at once? Let’s be proactive.

I’m not sure in this situation how we can be proactive.

I mean, there are things that are obvious (already listed) that are banned. The question comes down to the stuff in the grey-area (also listed above), and things that no one really has thought of, needed or considered (ie, your though of “slowing things down”).

I personally would draw the line at where the hardware is modified to a state where it’s doing things FOR the player, whether it be pressing things simultaneously, pressing things in sequence, pressing things faster or slower. I’m probably missing a lot in my statement, but I think it’s general enough that it should cover most situations.

The other problem afterwards comes down to how this stuff can be enforced, because any tournament can’t realistically have everyone open up their sticks for verification, and even then, they may not have the knowledge to know what to look for. But that’s somewhat of a separate conversation, I feel.

Lets leave the old Hit Box debate out of this please.
It is reveled that even the stock system controllers (like a dual shock 3) and even standard 3rd party wired controllers can do a SOCD exploit. By doing 1 direction on the D-pad and the other on the analog stick.
There some games that SOCD filtering will break due to its very nature, like the Dance Dance Revolution series that needs two opposing directions to be hit at the same time. Its so ingrained into the game mechanics the console versions allow the 4 face buttons on a game pad to double up as a d-pad for the game. SOCD exploits only really effected one game and that was the Vanilla version of Marvel vs Capcom 3.

As I said before there no such thing as a central authority to govern all of the FGC, the FGC has its leaders but at no time do any of them can dictate what the community as a whole can do.
There being Proactive and there having a witch hunt. Truth is shit going to happen, shit that no one will expect and will be dealt with accordingly.

It is why I feel all tournaments should have a clause that allows them a certain level of discretion. Everyone and every controller that is admitted is under the discretion of that tournament, and its staff or Tournament organizer has the final say in matters.

Let’s take a look at the gray area, it’s a great starting point.

How could a mod take advantage of plinking?
An “All” button is essentially a macro but you’d be hard pressed to find a game without that available anyhow. Just a different method to the same end.
What justification could there be for banning dongle controllers?
Those TOs should look deeper though!
That is weird…

I agree that enforcement is another conversation though.

"What justification could there be for banning dongle controllers?"
Zero tolerance policy for Wireless. Every Tournament is subject to its own rules and regulations.
I been to a tournament that banned an X-arcade Tank stick just out of principle.

Most tournaments makes exception to In-game Macros such as Street Fighter’s 3X Punch and 3X Kick, or if the game allows for a button dedicated to tag or throw even if these are launched as a button combo.
What not allowed is a Macro from the controller side of things. You can’t have a button wired to do both X, Square and Select on a PlayStation controller.
Most of these In-game effects are for the benefit of pad players who physically can’t hit all 3 Kicks or Punches easily. But since its available to everyone, most tournament do not bans these.

Like how Turbo is banned, but almost every stick commercially comes with a Turbo button, the stick isn’t ban just the use of turbo.
Like how every stick has a start button but you can’t pause mid match.

"How could a mod take advantage of plinking?"
I would say how, but I don’t want people to look here and reproduce it. Would you say that is fair?
Again every tournament has its own rules, its a gray issue.

But generally it just seems like “no wireless, go nuts with different layouts, sticks, buttons, use buttons in place of sticks but don’t be a smartass”.

Well if you have the typical joystick, 6 to 8 action buttons, 3 or 4 menu buttons no one cares, despite layout, button color, button mapping. Knock your self out and get creative on that.
And brand or style of parts are fine, example you could use a Korean Joystick, Happ buttons and those little volcano buttons from old Atari Arcade Cabs for the start and select and no one cares.

This is an Obvious a exaggeration but if your stick looks like the command console to the friggin next gen Nasa Space craft with buttons, lights, gauges and switches everywhere, a TO will take notice and not allow the stick.
Realistically if your stick looks like Full schedule’s infamous Stick, should be a flag for a T.O. to take a closer look, and based on his or her discretion to approve or disprove on the stick.

I’m surprised that they allowed Select/Back Button Plink modified sticks to be fair at all the past SF 4 tournies.

Hori kinda saw this and added a feature on newer sticks where you could change button assignments for any button on the stick. So instead of rewiring a stick you could just assign any button to be Select/Back.

Hori Sako’s Stick

More details on this, please? I’m very curious

I knew he had a Fighting Edge with extra buttons, but damn, his stick is also missing the touch panel?! That’s awesome! I’m surprised that he left the colored buttons on there too. It’s like some crazy mashup of official and custom.