For the uninitiated, fighting games can seem inscrutable. The innate complexity of a series like Street Fighter is part of what makes it so beloved by fighting game fans. But it also makes it difficult for casual gamers who might want to play the game without spending dozens of hours memorizing complex combos and counters. Street Fighter 6The answer to this conundrum is a new “modern” control scheme that Capcom hopes will lower the barrier to entry into the game and allow players of all skill levels to jump in and feel competitive.
Street Fighter 6Modern controls halve the number of buttons the player has to worry about for basic inputs, while assigning some essential functions to their own dedicated buttons. Rather than having six separate buttons for light, heavy, and medium kicks and punches, the streamlined control scheme places light, medium, and heavy attacks on the controller’s face buttons. This means that players using modern controls have less precise management on exactly who attack their fighter uses on every input – you can’t choose between a heavy punch or a heavy kick, for example. Instead, when you press the heavy attack button, the game chooses for you based on the character you’re using.
The fourth face button is dedicated to each character’s special attacks, which vary depending on the direction you push the stick, much like in the Super Smash Bros. series. This makes it easy to perform flashy promotions without needing to memorize complex combos or land with exact timing. Super attacks are performed by pressing the heavy and special buttons simultaneously.
Meanwhile, triggers have specific functions that are easy to understand. Grab attacks are assigned to L2 (when using a PlayStation controller), while L1 performs “Drive Impact” attacks that use your Drive meter, one of Street Fighter 6‘s other new features. These attacks are powerful, but if you use your entire Drive meter, you won’t be able to get into parry stance, which is assigned to R1. Holding this stance causes your character to crackle with blue energy, blocking any attack that comes your way (except grab attacks) without the need for precise timing. This too uses up your Drive meter, but it also refills it quickly when you successfully block attacks. Finally, hold R2 and press the face buttons to perform various pre-determined combos without the need for more complicated inputs.
Less precise control over their fighters might not be what high-level players are looking for, but the modern scheme is designed for those who might otherwise resort to frantic button mashing. A Capcom rep told Polygon that the modern scheme can serve as a stepping stone for players to eventually adopt “classic” controls; for example, while modern controls allow you to use grab attacks with L2, you can also use grab attacks by pressing the same button combination as in the classic scheme. This way, players can start working on the more complex entries at their own pace, while mostly sticking to the new modern style.
“We want to have a lot more ways to play and have anyone of all skill levels, whether you’re an esports competitor, even a first-time fighter,” said Jackie Simmons, senior game manager. brand working on Street Fighter, at a recent hands-on event with Street Fighter 6. Simmons said that while she appreciates the modern controls, other members of her team still prefer the classic scheme. Yet she feels able to go along with them.
Indeed, during our demo, we played against another, more experienced player. Our competitor used a fight stick and switched between classic and modern controls, while we stuck to modern controls and used a traditional gamepad. Our contestant certainly won more rounds, but we also won some, even switching between characters, including Ryu, Jamie, and Chun-Li. The more nuanced aspects of each character, from their varied move sets to specific character traits like Jamie’s drunkenness system, are always in play and will take practice to master no matter what control scheme you choose. prefer – just like the new Drive system, which adds strategic layers to every fight.
More experienced players will still have an advantage using the classic scheme, with finer control over the exact attacks their fighters are using at every possible moment. Additionally, high-level players will find it easier to counter those using the modern controls, as the modern scheme places limits on the attacks each character has access to.
Of course, this isn’t the first time Capcom has attempted to add a simplified control scheme to the series. Capcom vs. SNK 2 HEY and street fighter 4 3D editing featured similar ideas, with varying success. But perhaps this is the game where functionality remains.
“[The developers] took input and feedback from people who aren’t as experienced in fighting games, as well as people who were ex-competitors/former members of the FGC, playing both sides to kind of have that balance in gameplay terms,” Simmons said. “You don’t have to panic as a first-time fighter and go straight to button mashing. You really feel like you’re interacting in-game.”
Street Fighter 6 is coming in 2023. Capcom’s newest fighting game is coming to PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows PC, and Xbox Series X.