(Competitive) (Ultimate) Marvel vs. Capcom 3 matches typically start with a button check. Do the players perform actions simply to check that (all of) their button assignments are correct? Is it not sufficient to see what the button assignments are?

My question comes from more of a Super Smash Brothers fighting-game knowledge background, where button assignments are typically non-customizable, so there are no button checks. And even in those SSB games whose controls are customizable, one need not button check them/perform actions to know that they are correct.

  • 1
    I'm no fighting game expert, but could it be because they want to make sure no player has macros stored on his/her controllers?
    – JohnoBoy
    Commented Jul 21, 2015 at 5:59
  • 1
    What little I found when I did a quick Google search actually suggests the "button check" is a feature to accommodate a lack of control customisation, probably from back in the arcade machine days. Couldn't find anything concrete, tho.
    – user106385
    Commented Jul 21, 2015 at 6:00
  • Presumably part of it is also an equipment check, ensuring the current participants' controllers are functional and responsive (and as @JohnoBoy commented, free of performance enhancing macros) before a match starts. Commented Jul 21, 2015 at 6:16
  • @TrentHawkins Software macros/mappings are not illegal in the Evo ruleset; hardware based enhancements are. Mapping PPP and PPP to a single button is legal.
    – casperOne
    Commented Jul 21, 2015 at 17:11
  • 2
    @undeground: call warm up all you want, it's still a button check.
    – Kyle Kanos
    Commented Jul 21, 2015 at 22:04

3 Answers 3


There a few reasons that button checks are common at fighting game tournaments:

  • Some games -- such as many Capcom games -- don't allow players to change their controls from the character select screen. Since the game is usually still sitting at the previous match's results screen when the next set of players sit down at that match station, it's quicker to just select "Rematch" to jump back into the game, configure controls, and then test them out quickly to make sure everything is set properly.
  • Many players use their own arcade sticks, which get jostled and bumped around a lot as the player walks around the tournament venue. Button checks are a courtesy to give players a chance to make sure everything on their stick is working properly, and that no wires have become disconnected.
  • Some players use it as a brief warmup period to bang out a couple of combos and get acclimated to their sitting position, the position of the display monitor, and so on.

Regardless of where the button mappings occur in the gae, at any tournament, there's going to be a number of people using all sorts of controllers, sticks, pads, hitboxes, etc.

Having a button mapped incorrectly doesn't count as a hardware malfunction in standard (Evo) tournament rules; if the button is mapped to an incorrect action, then that's on the player.

Given those two things, because you never know who was on the console before you and with what kind of custom controller/mappings, players go through button checks to make sure that all of the buttons on their controller map to the actions that they expect.

Granted, most sticks/pads nowadays map to the default mappings in most games (especially Capcom ones), and chances are that the player before you on the console had the "standard" mappings.

Of course, it's better to be safe than sorry.

Also, there are a number of people who turn off the KKK and PPP mappings, as hitting one of these means that you'll get a HK/HP (because of input priority) while some people want them turned on.

Pad players also tend to have very specific custom mappings, depending on their character and what buttons are more comfortable to them.


It's due to players having completely different ways of binding actions to buttons; think PC players.

For example, for Street Fighter, some players may want to bind their light, medium, and heavy punches to different buttons, and their kicks to different buttons, so using a button check is a great way to make sure the player's preference is correct and avoids issues mid-game.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .