Monday, July 20, 2009

Regarding Proper Hand Position on an Arcade Stick - A World Of Difference in Game Control

A long, long time ago, I used to play Street Fighter II in the local arcades...I think it was about 1992 or so. One of the things which other players would tell you is the way you hold the arcade stick matters when you're playing. Originally, I put the arcade stick between my middle finger and my ring finger, much like holding a wine glass. I've done that ever since I was 13 or so....

Fast forward to today, and I still use the same hand positioning when playing a fighting game. I read something online which said that one other hand position on the arcade stick is to put the arcade stick between your pinkie and your ring finger. I thought originally that this was a bad idea....but tonight, I tried it in a few matches of Blazblue.

Wow, what a world of difference that made. I found I could execute some moves even more consistently, and more quickly. Dashing-type moves (which require forward-forward or back-back motions) became slightly quicker and more consistent for me, and I found my hand sliding on the arcade stick surface a lot less frequently.

I think what happened was....my hands outgrew the original position that they were used to in handling an arcade stick. I suppose when I was younger, putting the arcade stick between the ring finger and the middle finger was effective. But now that I'm older, perhaps my hands grew slightly bigger, so that old way of handling the arcade stick doesn't work anymore. It turned out that that internet tip that I read was very useful for me.

I fired up Street Fighter IV and checked if it would help me do Ryu's FADC->Ultra combo....and ....it didn't. The combo is still hard! But executing special moves with this new hand position is really easier. Fireballs, Dragon Punches, and simple bread-and-butter combos like low forward->fireball became a bit quicker and easier. This new hand position isn't going to make me better at fighting games overnight, but it does make special move execution a whole lot tighter for me.

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