Opinion: It’s Time We Ban Steering Wheel Controllers From Fighting Game Tournaments

Many different controllers are used in modern fighting games but there’s one type that really drives me up the wall: steering wheel controllers. More and more players are jumping on the bandwagon in order to get an unfair head start. That’s why tournaments need to steer clear of these controllers and instead send them to the chop shop.

Steering wheel controllers allow players drift around execution requirements with easier inputs and access to otherwise impractical combos. It’s a cheap and easy way to shift into high gear and get into the fast lane. How much longer will we let these steering wheel warriors lap the competition while the rest of us are running on fumes?

Whenever I bring this up, steering wheel players are always quick to change gears or take the high road. They’re ready to throw other controllers under the bus or call me a backseat driver, but that doesn’t change the fact that they’re taking us all for a ride.

I think we’ve lost track of what’s really important as a community and now find ourselves at a fork in the road. It’s worth remembering that fighting games are designed to be played on an arcade stick, so why let players reinvent the wheel now? Some say all controllers are the same under the hood, but the steering wheel controllers are clearly a free ticket to the inside lane.

Due to steering wheel controllers gaining popularity, we’re now in a race against time. With more players test driving these controversial controllers every day, it won’t be long before the fighting game community crashes and burns. We need to make this the end of the road for steering wheel players or soon there will be no turning back.

Unfortunately, many tournament organizers in the FGC take a middle of the road approach and let people play on just about anything. But I think it’s time we hit the brakes on this nonsense and finally ban these unfair controllers once and for all. Only then can we get our community back on track, put the real players back in the driver’s seat, and finally get this show on the road.