Episode 489: The Good and the Possible Bad Side of Street Fighter 6’s Dynamic Controls


Can I just say I’m super excited for Street Fighter 6? Everything I’ve seen about Capcom’s upcoming sequel to their biggest fighting game franchise has been exceptional. It looks like they’re really pulling out all the stops to ensure Street Fighter 6 will satiate fans of fighting games as well as even casual fans as well. The World Tour mode looks like it’ll offer lots of stuff for even non-fighting games as you get to explore an entire city and just interact with the world at large through it. They also added some new fun modes with the Extreme Battle mode, wherein they vary the gameplay with things like a rampaging bull and an exploding ball. Capcom even made it so that, even if you don’t like Street Fighter, you can play other games like Final Fight in the Battle Hub’s arcade venue.

Capcom is also trying to make is so much easier to get into Street Fighter 6 by creating new control schemes for everyone. You know experienced fighting game fans will be using the Classic control scheme as this is the one we’re all used to. There’s also the Modern control scheme which uses a much more simplified configuration. Now, Game Informer, thanks to an interview with Street Fighter 6’s producer and director, Shuhei Matsumoto and Takayuki Nakayama, has revealed an even simpler control scheme and definitely geared towards total fighting game newbies with the Dynamic controls.

Now, what exactly is Street Fighter 6’s Dynamic controls? Well, as the game’s director puts it, it’s a control scheme which pretty much allows someone who’s just button mashing to do some really cool moves. It’s basically for the person who doesn’t know anything about fighting games but wants to try to play Street Fighter 6 and still be somewhat competitive. It’s called Dynamic controls because the attack buttons will always do something different depending on the situation. If the opponent is far away, pushing a button will automatically have your character start tossing projectiles if they have that special attack. It also will automatically do things like jump at the opponent or perform auto-combos. It can even unleash Critical Arts if the situation calls for it.

I do generally see this as a good thing as there are always going to be people who are intimidated by the seeming complexity of fighting games. Having to learn things like moving the directional pad in a quarter circle and then hit a punch button at the right time can be confusing, especially to newbies. There’s also the aspect of people who might just want to try playing but know nothing about fighting games. Dynamic controls will allow that demographic to just be a button masher yet cool things will come out while playing.

How everyone starts out when they play a fighting game for the first time.

It might be sacrilegious to a lot of veteran fighting fanatics that Capcom would stoop so low and add this very simplified control scheme but it’s actually a good thing. Like I said, a lot of people outside of the fighting game community are afraid of even picking up a fighting game because it seems so complicated. You have to memorize all of these directional and button combinations, remember all the combos and timing necessary and even know the strengths and weaknesses of each and every character in the roster to get a modicum of good. The Modern controls might alleviate some of that stress but what about the gamers who just think Street Fighter 6 looks cool? Dynamic controls will allow them to join in on the fun and, God willing, try to learn how to execute the things he or she saw by themselves and try using the other control methods.

I also see Dynamic controls helping even veterans of the fighting game world in a way. The Dynamic control scheme is supposed to look at the specific situation and then the CPU will figure out what would be the best thing to do then and there. I’m speculating then that there is a little bit of the computer reading the opponent’s inputs in order to do this. This can be used for training in a way as this will tell you what an opposing character’s best moves would be at specific times. This is different from fighting against the computer in Arcade mode or turning on the AI in Training mode as the CPU will follow pre-programmed patterns instead of just trying to read your inputs. Having to fighting against someone using the Dynamic controls will feel much more like a human opponent, albeit one with really good reflexes and reads.

Of course, this does lead to a possible dark side when it comes to Dynamic controls and that it’s just too good! I get Capcom trying to make Street Fighter much more accessible for everyone but they have to balance it so that newbies cannot just push buttons and beat experienced players. I mentioned it’s possible, with Dynamic controls, the CPU is reading the opponent’s inputs so that it knows the best counter to what’s happening. You know what else does this kind of thing? SNK bosses! It is possible, if the Dynamic control algorithm is too good, it’ll feel like SNK Boss Syndrome, making the person using Dynamic controls unstoppable.

If this becomes the case, you can bet there are going to be players who will take full advantage of that. Newbies will just be too entranced by the power of winning just by pushing buttons and not bother trying to level up their gameplay. Why would they when they can just be a button masher and still win? Why bother learning strategy against others when all they have to do is randomly push buttons to defeat everyone in their path?

The worse case scenario also becomes possible when someone figures out how to use Dynamic mode controls online. Sure, the folks at Capcom are saying it’s only going to be available offline but when has that stopped dedicated cheaters? Remember, Street Fighter 6’s closed beta was supposed to last for several days. However, there are enterprising hackers who’ve already gone into the code and “fixed” it so they can still keep on playing the beta after that period has expired. I mean, if there are people who can dive into the audio files of the beta, extract them and leak them to the web, there are also going to be hackers who’ll get into the code and make it possible to use Dynamic controls online in the future. Mark my words!

This is, of course, only bad if Dynamic controls are too overpowered. Even if this is the case during the launch of the game, I’m sure Capcom will patch it and “dumb down” the AI so it’s competitive and not overpowered. Capcom should also be able to figure out a system to detect online cheaters and check if they hacked in Dynamic mode for online play.

I’m still really glad Dynamic controls will be added to Street Fighter 6. I may not ever use it but I do like the idea how an option for utter newbies to get into Street Fighter 6 and still have a good time despite not knowing a single solitary thing about how to really play it. Who knows? Maybe one of those newbies may be the next Evo champ. You never know!


What do you think of Street Fighter 6’s Dynamic control scheme? Let me know in the comments section below!


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