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kbd vs stick (and pad eventually)

ded

Elder God
In this thread I want to show people the advantages of playing this game on keyboard (MK1 too, and probably all arcade MK games). I know, some even consider the kbd as a cheating, but the truth is, that it is the best controller for this game and it is completely legal.

First thing to know is that you will need a COM2 or a gaming kbd. Regular USB keyboards have built in delay, at least in MAME. Second, you need, if you use a regular keyboard, a layout that will allow you to do moves like forceballs, fans, grab and etc without locking the keys.

And the third, which is my personal opinion, is that you need a silent kbd and not flat buttons, why? I know a lot of people will laugh at this, but wake up moves on stick are really loud, and believe it or not, sometimes (when playing offline) you can actually use advantage of this, while on keyboard you can do wake up move without any noise. The flat buttons, imo, don’t have that good input, when it comes to more complex juggles and the distance between buttons is closer, so you could fuck up a decisive combo sometimes.

One of the few (if not the only?) pluses of the stick is this multi-holding moves trick, which was recently found. It is harder on kbd, easier on stick and a lot easier on pad. Also, don’t forget that you can buffer all fireballs and special moves on keyboard while you are ducking or block ducking (spear, hat, choke & grab, etc.).

Kabal’s low air fireballs are without a doubt easy as hell on keyboard, and requires way more skill to be performed on stick. They are used a lot and play big part of his gameplay against some characters. Buffering the spin while ducked or during runjabs is also easier on keyboard. Same applies for Kitana’s low Air Fans.

There may be not that much of a difference for Human Smoke and Scorpion, but I think the Teleport Punch and the Spear after JK is easier on keyboard. Should be noted, that Human Smoke’s HK, D+LP, D+HP combo could break on pad btw.

Kung Lao’s low Div Kicks are easier on stick, hands down, but you could buffer his Spin move on keyboard, and the fact that it involves “quarter-circle” input makes it harder to perform on stick. This applies for Ermac’s TKS and Kano’s vRoll too.

Kano’s Grab and Knife Uppercut could be very useful for punishing basic moves, and the keyboard is the better choice here again. A plus for the stick here is that holding LK will not affect your game that much as it would on keyboard. Same applies for Mileena’s Sai Throw.

For Reptile, be sure you can do Forceballs on each side, because with some keyboards/layouts you could do it from one side only, and when you are in the second, it could lock keys. Same applies for Kitana’s Fan Throw.

Also, his Slide could interrupt blocked autocombos, by just adding LP and LK while holding back+Block. I’m not sure how it works with Usub and Csub, and if there is an actual difference on stick, but I just wanted to mention that. It works with Sonya’s Leg Grab too but its more risky.

Nightwolf, Robot Smoke, Sindel, Stryker and Jax all have a special wake up move that involves a direction twice. I said that at the beginning that the keyboard is the best controller for buffering such moves, even while ducking or block ducking.

Sonya is probably the only character I think that makes no difference what controller you will use. And the only thing I could think of for Jade is the Projectile Protection and Boomerang buffering.

Liu Kang is a character that plays a lot better on keyboard than on a stick. First it’s the Air Fireballs I mentioned earlier, but using his Flying Kick you can punish almost everything and use it for escaping runjab pressure and corner traps. I will not go into deep scenarios, but it is a fact.

Something I forgot before is that corner glitch when you block jabs, and the opponent performs blocked knee. If you are with Sektor or Robot Smoke and do immediately after that a TPU, the opponent will freeze in its knee animation and you will ALWAYS get a free TPU. I don’t know how it works on stick, but imo its easier on keyboard.

Cyrax’s grenades, which I think are his main weapon, are also way easier on keyboard and I often get questions how to throw a Grenade while ducking, while the answer is simple – using keyboard. I think his Air Throw is also easier using kbd.

Shang Tsung can buffer Fireballs and Eruption, but I really don’t see how this could help him anyway. The only useful thing I could think of is that the Double Fireball sounds easier on keyboard.

Mileena’s roll is another wakeup move which if buffered could punish HKs and LKs, a plus for the stick here is the Sai Throw, which requires holding HP.

As for Sheeva, the only thing I could say keyboard being better is her Ground Stomp, which is also “quarter-circle” move, which is kind of moves I think are easier to be performed on kbd.
 
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ded

Elder God
I c a lot of typos but i'm too lazy to fix them right now lol but if i forgot something feel free to add it. The main question is, if some players really consider kbd as cheating?
 

AC1984

Kaballin!
As a player who uses (used KBD) both kbd and stick i can say only the following:
Keyboard is not cheating at all...we play on whatever we play and if kbd can connect to mame then its all legal. The kbd is very easy to master simply because there is not a lot of left hand motion involved. Back in May 2010 when i still played on kbd i used to do NW,Robo Smoke and Kano punishers a lot easier. I recently found out that I am simply not able to do it on stick even with a lot of practice. IMO the only difference between the KBD and the stick is the actual stick and the fact that we use 3 fingers to move on the stick. Great job to ded_ on describing very important details and aspects of those differences. I would like to add for the duck buffering section that it is possible to do on a stick but it takes a lot of practice. and second of all when ded_ mentions the "noisy" wake ups, he means me...when we played offline two weeks ago he told me that he could hear when I buffer a spin or a tackle...so there ya go :)

P.S. KBD is not cheating at all, I think that I'll go back again to it.
 

Shock

Administrator
Administrator
All I have to say is keyboard is my preferred and best method of play, and it's that way for a reason, but most players are not even able to comprehend how to play on one let alone try. The advantages on a good keyboard are insane. Great cap ded, always appreciated.
 

Tim Static

Adminerator
I'll talk to Lucky Day about mapping keyboards to my cab. No reason at all it couldnt work. But even i already told him i dont want to hook up much more than PSX/2 pads, but i definitely would be cool with a keyboard, especially if Lucky can do what he was telling me about.

Stay tuned!
 

dreemernj

Ambassador
Administrator
As far as picking a good keyboard, you are simply not going to find anything better than a PS/2 keyboard with good (most likely Cherry) mechanical switches and N-Key Rollover.

A SteelSeries cherry mechanical, a Majestouch, or any of a number of others will be the best.

If you haven't played on such a keyboard you will most likely be knocked on your ass by how much better they are.

And because they use cherry keyswitches, you have a lot of variety. Cherry makes different color switches for different activation forces and feedback profiles.

I like Cherry Black. These have extremely light activation. The slightest touch and they activate. Their feedback is linear, meaning it pushes back a constant amount as it travels down. Very smooth, no activation click.

Cherry Brown, I believe, is very light activation as well, but has a tiny bit of feedback which makes it nicer for typing while still being fantastic for gaming.

I think Cherry Blue has a pronounced feedback for nice clickity typing. And there is a Cherry Red I've read about that has (I might be wrong) a ridiculously light activation force.

PS/2 ports are getting harder to find, but there isn't anything currently available for USB that I have heard of that holds a candle to a good PS/2 NKRO mechanical keyboard.

Edit: N-Key Rollover or NKRO means you can hit as many of the buttons on the keyboard as you want. There is no blocking or ghosting. Most USB keyboards have 2 or 3 key rollover, meaning there are 2 or 3 keys you can press that will block the next key press.
 
I'll talk to Lucky Day about mapping keyboards to my cab. No reason at all it couldnt work. But even i already told him i dont want to hook up much more than PSX/2 pads, but i definitely would be cool with a keyboard, especially if Lucky can do what he was telling me about.

Stay tuned!
The way we will ultimately do it (and I'm starting this weekend btw) is that you'll just have two plugs coming from your machine.

People will be able to mod their controller of choice to plug into those.

In the end, there won't actually be any pads still hooked up to your machine (at least not permanently, we'll leave the ps2 pads on there at your house), just the plugs for whatever controller is needed.

Keyboard is definitely an option.
 

ded

Elder God
hey mike, can you recommend some n-key rollover kbds and probably links to buy them lol
 

dreemernj

Ambassador
Administrator
I have this and love it: http://steelseries.com/products/keyboards/steelseries-7g
Battousai had that one as well.

I think Battousai now has this: http://steelseries.com/products/keyboards/steelseries-6gv2

I am shocked to see that the Filco NKRO keyboards are not for sale at http://elitekeyboards.com any more. I would have suggested them above most other keyboards. But that website was the only one that sold the Filco Majestouch keyboards in the US at least. Not sure where else they can be purchased.

Filco Majestouch came in a number of models.

  • Switches
    • Cherry Blue
    • Cherry Brown
    • Cherry Black
  • # of keys
    • 88 key
    • 104 key
  • Keycaps
    • Normal
    • Blank
I'll keep an eye out for another source because I really want an 88 key PS/2 NKRO Cherry Brown Majestouch with blank keycaps.

A good keyboard will probably be at least $100USD. I got my Steelseries 7g on sale and haven't had any issues with it.

Razer makes a mechanical keyboard now, but I don't trust Razer keyboards due to the Razer keyboards I have already tried.

Edit: Some more keyboards that have gotten good reviews plus ones already mentioned laid out in more detail

  • SteelSeries 7g - What I've used the most. I like it a lot.
    • Cherry Black Switches
    • NKRO over PS/2
    • 6 keys at once over USB
    • Detachable wrist wrest - you'll probably throw this out
    • 2 x USB ports built in - I've never used these
    • con: Weird button layout - I hate where they put the |\ button. Also the "steelseries" button annoys the shit out of me. I have to use AutoHotkey to remap the Caps Lock to be my Windows key
  • SteelSeries 6gv2 - the 7g's cheaper little brother
    • Cherry Black Switches
    • NKRO over PS/2
    • 6 keys at once over USB
    • con: Also a weird button layout, but different from the 7g's.
  • Das Keyboard - never used this
    • Cherry MX Brown switches
    • NKRO over PS/2
    • 6 keys at once over USB
    • 2 x USB ports built in
    • Etched keycaps - might mean the letters last longer. It's not the best keycap construction out there though.
    • A nice, standard keyboard layout IMO.
    • con to me: glossy finish. Why have that on a keyboard?
  • XArmor
    • Cherry Blue switches - a lot of people seem to like to type on these more than on Cherry Blacks
    • NKRO over PS/2
    • 2 x USB ports
    • LED backlighting
    • Nice button layout
  • Deck Keyboards
    • A variety of switches (Ice Linear = black, Ice Tactile = brown, Frost = Blue, Fire = Red, ToXic = no fucking clue)
    • Backlit
    • Probably NKRO, but I didn't find anything that actually says.
    • I know little about these
If any of this info is incorrect let me know. I didn't do very much research on this.
 

Mgo

Noob
The main question is, if some players really consider kbd as cheating?
Good thread man, i have some haters who tell me kbs is cheating. One of these guys : "I will always say that.. Playing Mk with a keyboard is CHEATING!! Get a joystick and man up ffs"
 

dubson

Noob
Great post only thing i don't understand is your use of "half-circle input" for moves like Ermacs TKS and Kung Lao spin, and Kano Vertical Cannonball

its often referred to as a Shoryuken motion (forward, to down, to forward), half-circle motion is back, to down, to forward or a reverse half circle would be forward, to down, to back...

quarter-circle motion is down, to forward, or down, to back

full circle motion is a full 360 degree motion

etc...
 

nwo

Noob
One of the things I disagreed with. Kung Lao's spin for example, on stick you don't look at it like F,D,F, Run. You press F, then rotate the stick 1/4 turn down then back up, never going back to neutral. With the muscle memory its pretty instant.
 
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dubson

Noob
One of the things I disagreed with. Kung Lao's spin for example, on stick you don't look at it like F,D,F, Run. You press F, then rotate the stick 1/4 turn down then back up, never going back to neutral. With the muscle memory its pretty instant.
exactly. your right, i would argue shoryuken motions have the potential to be easier or optimal in a way on Stick. it is the same on keyboard and pad, but i honestly feel on a Natural level Stick to be superior for this type of play, at least back in the day (before they made games easier for Noobs). you can really "cheat" or "shorten" the motions with Stick as well in a pretty unique way to playing with an arcade stick. its a lot easier to hang out or do moves out of Down+Forward for example, or from Down+Back, or 360's

i think the thing about it today that really changes it is that they have made inputs easier for lazy/weak gamers... so i think it made it a lot easier on pad gamers. the shoryuken motion for Kung Lao's spin because the game is so old (harder execution wise than say MK9 or SF4) is much much easier on Stick than pad IMO, because of what you and I agree on...
 

mortal_jason

Kitana's Bodyguard
I can't even imagine playing MK competitively using a computer keyboard.
It's like when I play old NES games on an emulator and have to use my keyboard for control in Super Mario.
I'm horrendous at it.

That said, I have played a few keyboard users in MK2 on Mame, and they were very good at it.
So I know it's do-able.
Just for the life of me cannot understand why anyone would choose that over how nice a PS3 controller feels in hand...?
 

Eldriken

I smolder with generic rage.
Forum General
I can't even imagine playing MK competitively using a computer keyboard.
It's like when I play old NES games on an emulator and have to use my keyboard for control in Super Mario.
I'm horrendous at it.

That said, I have played a few keyboard users in MK2 on Mame, and they were very good at it.
So I know it's do-able.
Just for the life of me cannot understand why anyone would choose that over how nice a PS3 controller feels in hand...?
It probably all depends on the game. Think of MK9 if you use Kabal or Cyborg/Zod for Injustice. Instant air projectiles would probably be a lot easier to do on a keyboard versus a controller (for some, anyway).

It could be like a hitbox without it being a hitbox.
 

mortal_jason

Kitana's Bodyguard
It probably all depends on the game. Think of MK9 if you use Kabal or Cyborg/Zod for Injustice. Instant air projectiles would probably be a lot easier to do on a keyboard versus a controller (for some, anyway).

It could be like a hitbox without it being a hitbox.
I AM imagining it with fighting games. :p

Keyboards would never work for me with any 2D game.
I do instants on my PS3 controller very easily.
But as has been stated... it's all a matter of preference.
What works for one, won't work for somebody else :)
 

dreemernj

Ambassador
Administrator
For games with digital input, keyboard is great. Having 3 or 4 fingers to control directions feels so good once you are used to it. And then you can use 5 fingers on the other hand simultaneously for attacks.

The level of control is just so much fun.

And in games like SF4 where forward always overrides back, keyboards might be cheating.
 

THTB

When's Syzoth?
I tried out UMK3 on a keyboard a few years ago with Shock. Ho ho hooooo...Kabal iaGBs easy as hell??? So cheeeeeeep! >.>

The hitbox is a solid alternative, I'd imagine, too. If you aren't against a little extra effort, you can convert your TE to a hitbox with directional buttons to your liking.
 

Eddy Wang

Skarlet scientist
As long as MK doesn't have 8 direction inputs, Keyboards and Hitboxes will have a better layout with some characters in comparision to a Stick.

I even prefer pads over sticks in almost any mortal kombat game, i can buffer a lot of moves with those and sometimes in terms of motion speed, and precision it ends up to be better, maybe that's because the way i hold the D pad is slighly different from the way i see a few people using in.

The only advantage i've seen on a stick over D-Pads its indeed that you can use charge button characters much easier on a default layout, like Jax, Kang etc. But i still wouldn't give up MK buffer over those, though Mileena is a requirement to enhance her zoning game.
 

nwo

Noob
The only advantage i've seen on a stick over D-Pads its indeed that you can use charge button characters much easier on a default layout, like Jax, Kang etc. But i still wouldn't give up MK buffer over those, though Mileena is a requirement to enhance her zoning game.
That's one of the first benefits you'll notice on stick, but also with motions like F, B or UP, DOWN your wrist is more suitable than your thumb. That's why its so easy to do things like Kung Lao short dive kicks or fast Kabal spins on stick, you basically flick your wrist. Other things like Jax's double missiles F,F,B,B,HP are slightly easier on d-pad. Same with something like Reptiles acid bath fatality F,F,U,U,HK. I started using Jax's single missile a lot more on stick B,F,HP because you can input it effortlessly and almost instantly.
 
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Shock

Administrator
Administrator
Great post only thing i don't understand is your use of "half-circle input" for moves like Ermacs TKS and Kung Lao spin, and Kano Vertical Cannonball

its often referred to as a Shoryuken motion (forward, to down, to forward), half-circle motion is back, to down, to forward or a reverse half circle would be forward, to down, to back...

quarter-circle motion is down, to forward, or down, to back

full circle motion is a full 360 degree motion

etc...
It's probably just the colloquialisms for the inputs. MK simply has single taps, even a 360 is just like, Up, Left Right, Down or some combination of those in order. Having a proper (not necessarily good) keyboard is essentially for making sure SF games have reliable input, because if you can't hold down two directions at once and press a button too quickly, your moves, they will not work.