Street Fighter 6: Modern vs Classic controls - Which is better?

After its last instalment failed to impress its die-hard fans, Capcom promised to deliver with the release of Street Fighter 6. Given the criticism of the previous title, it is hard to argue that the team behind the global fighting franchise has made up for previous shortcomings. One of the biggest changes is the choice players will need to make between the Modern and Classic control systems.

One significant area of improvement for Street Fighter 6 was the introduction of new controller layouts, which boasted a more user-friendly experience for those less familiar with the franchise and genre. In the newest chapter in the Street Fighter saga, players now have the option to select a Modern control system to take some of the complexities out of becoming an elite combat specialist.

While the Modern system is a fresh addition to the genre, is it the best way to get the most out of Street Fighter 6? We compare the Modern system to the Classic control layout to determine which will maximise your prowess in the arena.

Modern controls

A new feature in Street Fighter 6, the Modern control system is made for new players and button mashers alike. The layout is far more simplified, which serves to take away the overwhelming experience of memorising complex button combinations to master a character.

Using the four main keypad buttons (X, Circle, Square, Triangle/Y, B, A, X), as opposed to the Classic layout's six, players using the Modern layout can unleash light, medium, and heavy attacks, as well as special moves, with a simple directional input and a single button press.

Luke and Ryu facing off in a fight in Street Fighter 6
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Credit: Street Fighter 6
Whether you use Classic or Modern controls, a great fighting experience with SF6 is guaranteed.

There are multiple benefits to using the Modern system, most of which revolve around Street Fighter 6 becoming more accessible to new and less experienced players.

With this new control system, players essentially need only concern themselves with half of the number of buttons of the Modern system, but at the expense of having complete control over their character's movements.

Since there is no distinction in the Modern layout between kick and punch attacks, players leave the decision to the game to determine the best available attack according to the button they press. The decision to use a punch or kick will largely depend on the character being used and their preferred fighting style.

What makes the Modern system so user-friendly is that players will have a consistent fighting experience, regardless of the character they are using. By being able to use the same buttons without having to concern themselves with character-specific traits, players will get a greater all-around feel for the game and decide which character they feel most confident using.

Classic controls

Despite the introduction of a new Modern system, the Classic control layout still establishes itself as the best option for fight fans who strive to master their craft.

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Using a 6-button layout to separate the light, medium, and heavy attacks according to whether they are punches or kicks, players are given complete control over every little movement their character makes.

Chun Li with a leaping kick at Ryu in Street Fighter 6
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INCOMING - Classic controls give you more precision

With a larger number of buttons to be concerned with, the Classic layout may not be as fruitful as its Modern counterpart, at least to begin with. However, for those who are willing to put in some time and practice, the benefits of mastering a character's moves are second-to-none.

By putting the practice in to learn the specifics of a character, players will be able to unleash a barrage of potent attacks that have a variety and flow that cannot be matched by the Modern system.

While it can be tough at first to get a handle on the timing and button inputs of special attacks, players will be rewarded in Street Fighter 6. Despite being more complicated than the Modern system, attacks using the Classic control layout will deal more damage.

Which one should you choose?

The Modern system is a great starting point for players new to Street Fighter and the fighting game genre overall, however, there are limitations to it. By giving the game some of the responsibility for issuing particular attacks, players are depriving themselves of the full Street Fighter experience.

The Classic layout will reward players who take the time to study particular characters and learn their special moves. While button inputs may be more complicated, players using this layout will be rewarded with a more potent offense and the opportunity to express their skills in a more thorough manner.

The Modern layout is a great place to start, given its user-friendly nature and its perks to increase accessibility. However, you can't go past the Classic control system to get the best Street Fighter experience possible. Whether new or experienced, to get the most out of the game and genre, everyone should strive towards mastering the Classic layout.

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