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?
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.