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Street Fighter 6 is out now, finally gracing the world with a new generation of the most beloved fighting game in the world – and it’s an absolute banger, in case you haven’t seen our verdict in our full Street Fighter 6 review.

In this guide we’re breaking down the two main control schemes the game provides you with, Modern and Classic. Modern is a brand new control scheme aimed at newer players, while Classic is here to accommodate Street Fighter players that either want a greater degree of control, or have already adjusted to older games in the series.

We’ll give you full default button layouts below so you know what buttons you should be pressing, in addition to some context on which control scheme will be best for you.

Modern controls explained – SF6

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Modern controls are a brand-new addition to the Street Fighter series, and aims to simplify the number of buttons you should expect to be hammering.

Instead of the Classic six-button layout, you primarily need to concern yourself with four button in the Modern control scheme:

  • Square/X = Light
  • Cross/A = Medium
  • Circle/B = Heavy
  • Triangle/Y = Special

This layout gives you access to what is – in most situations – the best light, medium, or heavy strike your character has access to. This does, of course, basically split your options in half when compared to Classic, but admittedly, not all of those buttons are useful in all situations. The biggest thing to note is that special moves are now activated with a directional input and a single button.

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But to make the Modern control scheme more flexible, there are shortcuts for some of the other functions:

  • R1/RB = Drive Parry
  • L1/LB = Drive Impact
  • R2/RT = Autocombo
  • L2/LT = Grab

Yes, it’s arguably an eight-button layout, but these would usually be multi-button combinations when using Classic controls. The biggest thing to note here is the Autocombo button: you can hold this button and tap any of the normal attack buttons to execute a combo, which will end in either an Over Drive Special Attack, or a Super Art. If you press the Special button while holding the Auto button, you will get instant access to Over Drive Special Attacks to use in Neutral.

To summarise, the Modern control scheme essentially removes any concerns you might have about executing Special Attacks, but you should expect your arsenal to do slightly less damage than the Classic control scheme. While this does ultimately limit your options, you still have full access to all of the new mechanics, and can still be a strong online fighter.

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 As long as your fighting game fundamentals are solid, Modern controls can help remove the execution barrier to help newer players win. Though if you find yourself wanting to execute long, complex combos – just for style – you should think about graduating to Classic controls.

Classic controls explained – SF6

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The Classic control scheme has basically been unchanged since later revisions of the first Street Fighter game in arcades, and has been codified since at least Street Fighter II. This is the six-button layout that most fighting games use as their jumping-off point. Just as all modern shonen anime can trace their inspirations back to Dragon Ball, all modern fighting games owe something to Street Fighter’s six-button layout.

  • Square/X = Light Punch
  • Triangle/Y = Medium Punch
  • R1/RB = Heavy Punch
  • Cross/A = Light Kick
  • Circle/B = Medium Kick
  • R2/RT = Heavy Kick

If you want details on how the Classic control scheme works, you should really head into SF6’s detailed Tutorial and Combo Guide section, which will explain everything you need to know about how Street Fighter works. This control scheme gives you the greatest number of options, but also asks for the highest level of execution to pull it all off. Still, even fairly basic players can get pretty far as long as they have good fundamentals.

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Classic control is the definitive way to play Street Fighter 6, but if execution is a barrier for your enjoyment, Modern is the way to go.

Conclusion: should you use Modern or Classic controls? – SF6

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Ultimately, your control scheme choice should be down to you and your experience.

If you’re a new Street Fighter player or have struggled to execute Special Moves when you’ve attempted to play in the past, then the Modern control scheme is the best for you to use.

If you’re an experienced Street Fighter player, or you’re able to play Modern controls to a high level, then it’s worth swapping over to Classic controls.

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The World Tour mode has dozens of minigames and challenges which tutorialize the more complex aspects of Street Fighter, including motion inputs. If you’re struggling with execution but you’re eager to graduate to Classic controls, mastering these minigames will go a long way towards teaching you everything you need to know.

Classic controls are the definitive way to play Street Fighter 6, but if you’re not confident being a Classic player, you should swap over to Modern controls until you understand everything you need to know.