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I'm practicing for when Fighting is Magic comes out and I bought a pair of Sega Saturn USB game pads which, the Internet says, are the best ones for fighting games. They're pretty good alright, but my left thumb starts to hurt soon from doing quarter and half circles. What's wrong and how do I deal with this?

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some tape on your thumb can help – ratchet freak Dec 22 '12 at 18:50
When you say your thumb hurts, are you having problems with the pad of your thumb from rubbing/chafing/bruising, or are you having tendonitis? – Theodore Murdock Dec 22 '12 at 19:09
The pad of the thumb hurts. – Ansis Malins Dec 22 '12 at 19:46
A good set of gloves can help. Ones that are preferably leather and well-fitted to your hand. – Zibbobz Aug 19 '14 at 18:54
up vote 4 down vote accepted

I had the same problem with original NES and SNES controllers (Sabin's Bum Rush requires a full circle... although there's a really easy way of doing it that I kick myself for not knowing at the time, but I digress...). I'm pretty sure I've permanently damaged the fleshy pad on my left thumb from this kind of thing.

There's a few things that can help here:

  • Use less pressure on the pad. It's likely that you're pressing the pad much harder than you honestly need to in order to make the button register. This is going to cause you pain. Try to relax and use less pressure. I, personally, have had very little success with this advice, especially in a competitive game situation.
  • Take frequent breaks. Another piece of advice I have a tough time taking, personally.
  • Change the surface between your thumb and the pad. If there are any sharp corners on the pad, try filing or sanding them down. Alternatively, you could apply a silicone cap or coating of some other material to the D-Pad or wear one on your thumb. However, this will change the coefficient of friction between you and the pad, which might make things difficult. Some experimentation might be warranted.
  • Use a stick instead. Although you'll have to watch out for different kinds of injuries (ie, rubbing the skin off your palm), there's a reason why most fighting games in arcades use sticks rather than D-Pads.
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Try using a rubber finger grip. Just get a size L or XL and use it on your thumb, like the ones people use to count money or separate paper!

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I have no idea what you're referring to. Can you please provide pictures and/or links? – Ansis Malins Aug 20 '14 at 11:07

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