Ask An Expert: What is SOCD?

SOCD, or Simultaneous Opposite Cardinal Directions, is used in gaming controllers, arcade sticks, and fight sticks to describe a situation where opposite directional inputs are pressed simultaneously.

For example, simultaneously pressing both left and right or up and down would result in a SOCD input.

In traditional arcade sticks and controllers, SOCD inputs are often physically impossible due to the mechanical design of the joystick.

However, with the rise of all-button controllers like hitboxes, SOCD inputs can occur since cardinal directions are mapped to individual buttons that can be pressed simultaneously.

Different games and controller types handle SOCD inputs in various ways:

  1. Neutral Input: Some systems interpret SOCD inputs as neutral, canceling the opposite directional inputs. This means that pressing left and right, for example, would result in no movement.
  2. Priority Input: Certain games or controllers may prioritize one direction over the other in the case of SOCD inputs. For instance, pressing both left and right may cause the character to move only in the direction with higher priority.
  3. SOCD Cleaning: Some controllers, particularly hitboxes, include built-in SOCD cleaning functionality that automatically resolves simultaneous opposite cardinal directions according to specific rules or game requirements. This ensures consistent and fair gameplay by eliminating unintended advantages or exploits that might arise from SOCD inputs.

Understanding and managing SOCD inputs is essential for players using all-button controllers like hitboxes, as it can impact gameplay and performance. SOCD is typically not a concern for traditional joystick-based controllers due to their mechanical design.

Sarah "Combo Queen" Turner
Sarah "Combo Queen" Turner

Sarah's love for fight sticks sparked from her intense sibling rivalry with her brother in classic fighting games. As she grew up, the friendly competition escalated into a burning desire to be the best. Sarah's well-known for her lightning-fast reflexes and uncanny ability to string together devastating combos. She's now using her skills to help others level up their game with the right fight sticks.