What makes a pad better than a controller?

I was just wondering, if sticks are so great, but pads are also acceptable, why are normal controllers (Xbox 360 and PS3) considered so much worse?

Also, why do people insist on using D-pads? I hear people complain about the 360 D-pad, but I always used the joystick and never had trouble with it for most commands and combos. That being said, I do still have trouble doing a crouching attack into a shoryuken for example (though I do on the stick as well), and can only do Shoryuken > FADC > Ultra about 50% of the time, but it’s still viable to a point.

So…I’m not going to get defensive, I AM trying to learn using a stick, I’m just wondering why these controllers are almost deemed completely unusable.

First of all, a pad has a six-button face whereas the PS3 and 360 controllers have a four-button face. The six-button face is generally considered to be superior because there’s less finger movement involved, which means you’re more likely to hit the button the instant you mean to.

Add to that the fact that the DualShock 3 has LOUSY trigger buttons (R2 and L2 aren’t sensitive so you have to press them hard to get it to register, and R1 and L1 can sometimes get jammed if you press them too hard or the wrong way), and it’s easy to see why pads are better at least than the Dualshock. I don’t have a lot of experience on the 360 controller so I can’t say there.

I think the problem with the analog stick is that it’s too easy to over-rotate (or under-rotate) on movements, which causes problems execution-wise. The analog stick doesn’t really have any resistance or click when you’ve hit a corner like the square gates or even octagon gates on a stick, and there’s no touch feedback like being able to recognize when your thumb has moved buttons on a d-pad.

So, d-pad + six-button layout is what is ideal for a pad, and that’s exactly what we see on pad controllers designed for fighting games.

Let’s not forget trying to dash with the analog sticks.

Dashing (double-tapping) has never really been that much of a problem for me, and I have pretty slow fingers. It is a lot easier on the stick, though, without a doubt.

And converting to the stick is hard for me because of the square gate; the 360 joystick is round, and it’s far EASIER (in my opinion) to stop where I want to for quarter rolls, half roles, etc., rather than accidentally jumping or getting locked into a bottom corner. So not sure what you’re saying with this one.

I guess trigger buttons can be a problem with sensitivity (although I think the 360 is superior to PS3 here), but how does a 6-button face require less movement? Your fingers are constantly on the triggers…?

I dunno, maybe it’s just cause I never really played fighters with an analog stick. I can push a direction on a D-Pad far easier than pushing the analog stick in a direction quickly. Bearing in mind that these games were first designed for an arcade settings with digital controls, it always seems like analog controls are kinda mushy for me.

Also, if the square gate is what is causing you problems on an arcade stick, you might want to consider trying an octagonal gate. Also remember to not ride the gate.

I have never been able to play fighters with the analog stick, I’ve always used the D-Pad. Dashing on analog is hell.

To “not ride the gate” means to not push all the way to the sides, right?

And how would I go about getting an octagonal gate if I have a TE stick?

Correct. You really only need to go far enough to activate the switch. For example, for QCF, just a flick down then forward should be enough.

As for octagonal gates, the GT-Y is what you would need for a TE: Sanwa GT-Y Octagonal Restrictor Plate

And you just open up your stick and put that in?

My…this might help a lot. Thanks. I’ve read plenty of guides on sticks, but they all pretty much just say “Get used to square gates. It’s the standard.”

You can generally play on any stick if you get used to square though imo… because you’ll be used to stick that don’t have sides for you to lock your stick into…

I used to not be able to play on anything but octo gate… now I couldn’t tell a difference if I wanted to…

EDIT: Was thread made out of frustration of not being able to execute much on your stick and wondering what was the big deal about going from pad to stick? Transition isn’t easy…

Also forces you out of the habit of gate riding imo…

Right, but since the triggers are in different places, your fingers need to move if all you use is your index fingers, or otherwise it requires you to have a pretty high level of dexterity in your fingers if you use index and middle fingers. I don’t think it’s worth the trouble.

Yep, just open the top, pop off the old gate and put on the new, easy as that.

As for my personal opinion, I would actually agree with that sentiment, especially if you plan on competing. It’d suck to go to a tourney, have your stick unavailable for one reason or another, and then have to play on a square when you’re used to octo. But, it’s worth trying. Just make sure your stick is always handy if that’s the route you take IMO.


I don’t know about you, but I can use my middle finger just fine, almost better than my index.

EDIT: And originally…this thread was about comparing controllers to pads. Sticks showed up somehow.