How to Transition From Control Pad to Fightstick: Master the Switch Effortlessly

Illustration of a focused man using an arcade joystick and buttons with educational overlays about gaming techniques.

When it comes to fighting games, many players start out using a control pad, as it’s often the most accessible and familiar method. However, if you’re serious about your gaming and want to elevate your skills, transitioning to a fightstick may be a smart decision. A fightstick, or arcade stick, offers greater precision and responsiveness and more consistent performance compared to a control pad.


What is a Japanese lever? (Explained by an Expert)

What is a Japanese lever

A Japanese lever, also known as a Japanese joystick or J-lever, is a type of arcade stick lever commonly used in Japanese arcade cabinets and fight sticks. It’s popular among fighting game enthusiasts worldwide for its distinctive design, feel, and performance compared to other joystick types, such as Korean or American levers.


What is a Korean lever? (Explained by an Expert)

Banner for an expert discussion on Korean levers with a photo of Tom Button Master O'Neill, gaming controllers, and the text What is a Korean Lever? on a vibrant background.

A Korean lever, sometimes called a Korean joystick or simply K-lever, is an arcade stick lever popular in South Korea and favored by many fighting game enthusiasts worldwide. It’s known for its distinct design, feel, and performance compared to other joystick types, such as Japanese or American levers.


What is button plinking? (Explained by an Expert)

Person demonstrating button plinking technique on arcade stick controller for fighting games

Button plinking, also known as priority linking or simply plinking, is a technique used in fighting games to execute certain moves or combos more consistently and effectively. The term “plinking” is derived from “priority linking,” as it takes advantage of the priority system often found in fighting games when multiple button inputs are pressed simultaneously.


What is SOCD? (Explained by an Expert)

Graphic explaining SOCD in gaming with expert Tom O'Neill, depicting arcade buttons, fight stick, and a cheerful man's portrait.

SOCD stands for ‘Simultaneous Opposite Cardinal Directions’ in the gaming community. It’s when a player presses two opposite directions simultaneously, like left and right. This often happens with advanced game controllers. The most common way to handle this is the ‘Neutral’ resolution, where the controller ignores both directions. This prevents unfair advantages in games, especially in competitive play.


What is the Neutral position? (Explained by an Expert)

Graphic with text What is the NEUTRAL POSITION? All About Fight Sticks featuring a man, gaming fight stick, keyboard, and social handle @profightstick.

The neutral position is the default state of a joystick when it is not being moved in any direction. In fighting games, maintaining a neutral position is essential for the proper execution of certain moves and techniques. In other words, it’s the position the joystick returns to when released, centered between all possible directional inputs.