Fight sticks reminds us of the good old times, when we were clobbering out 8-bit enemies while furiously pounding the hit-button on our old NES style fight stick while playing Mortal Kombat. Today you can find the best selections of high quality fight sticks here.
Our guide today will help you find the best fight sticks there are on the marketplace today. We as gamers know how as little as even a fraction of a second can be the difference between taking an L and getting that coveted W. With the latest technology, fight sticks and controllers have become faster and faster. Read this guide below to find the right combination of speed, connectivity and price for you.
NOTE: The platforms listed are the platforms that are listed officially, you may still be able to use some of these fight sticks on different platforms then the ones that are listed alongside the name.
Our Top Picks
HORI Real Arcade 4 Pro Kai | PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PC
The Hori Real Arcade is a great high quality arcade stick that offers great response times, durability, great aesthetics, and compatibility with all major platforms.
The Real Arcade is based on the original Hayabusa model. The Hayabusa is renowned for its speed and comfort. The slim design of the Kuro buttons allows for an easy and smooth spring action which increases the speed and agility of the buttons, beveled edges also aid in comfort and response time.
The fight stick also has a full subpanel, that allows for customization of the button and control assignments. The control panel is also positioned in a great spot for easy access to the turbo functionality along with a touch pad on the opposite side.
PROSFast, Durable, High Quality Japanese Manufacturing Based on Hayabusa Model Full Subpanel Easy Customization
CONSSomewhat difficult modding process Difficult to master due to large difference in stiffness of the buttons
The Mad Catz Street Fighter is a great choice for people who game on PS4 and PS4. The high quality build includes
Sanwa Denshi parts so you don’t have to mod them in. The versatile touchpad lets you swipe, perform in-game functions, double tap and much more.
The quality of the build also feels great, the stick isn’t too heavy nor too flimsy. The placement of the buttons is extremely convenient, they seem to be well designed for the games of today. The Sanwa Denshi parts are also extremely durable, we put them through many 5 hour gaming sessions and brutal button mashing. The parts stayed strong and durable through the torture, without a single sign of breaking down or parts getting loose.
We used this fight stick for 5 different games (Street Fighter V, Mortal Kombat X, Ultra Street Fighter V, Ultra Street Fighter IV, SkullGirls) All of these games functioned well with no difficulties or hassles. The layout is especially intuitive for Street Fighter and Mortal Combat, it’s incredibly easy to use and works well with pretty much all games that you can find.
PROSWorks well for many games Layout is well designed Made of durable Sanwa Deshi Parts Withstands 5 hour gaming sessions without any disturbances
CONSDoesn’t work on PC, Xbox One or Xbox 360 Buttons feel sort of hard compared to some other brands
Mayflash F300 Arcade Fight Stick Joystick | PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PC
The Mayflash F300 is a great budget choice in the fight sticks market, it is still nonetheless a good offering and you will get a decent quality to price ratio with this model. It is compatible with all major platforms and works well with almost all games we tested it with.
The overall quality of the Mayflash is decent, the build quality is quite good but one of the buttons did jam after a long gaming session. The casing seems to be quite durable but the build quality seems inferior compared to premium models. You are getting quite a deal for the price, the Mayflash F300 can be modified quite easily to a decent model due to its capability with Sanwa Denshi buttons.
It’s great value for beginners. You will need to upgrade this stick eventually, but for those who simply want to have fun without too much commitment this entry-level offering is a great pick.
PROSCheap Good Quality to Price Ratio Great for beginners Compatible with Sanwa Denshi Buttons
CONSWill need to be replaced if used heavily Most of the stock equipment will not satisfy a committed gamers desires
Qanba Drone Joystick | PS4, PS3, PC
Another good budget offering for those who don’t want to spend much for a decent fight stick. While it isn’t the most advanced arcade stick ever, you do get a lot for what you pay. It’s a great stock model that can be used for extra modding and has a good stock build.
The design of the Qanba Drone is well suited for many games, it’s lightweight and feels quite nice when using it. The case is made of non-durable plastic shell but unless you really put it through hell it won’t break easily. The stick is quite responsive and the buttons while loud are quite high in quality as well.
The overall of this fight stick is summed up as: A great quality stick for the price, even better if you are a casual gamer and don’t care too much. It does the best job it can at its price to provide a good model without cutting too many corners.
PROSLightweight Budget Model Great out of box performance Good stock parts
CONSCheap non-durable plastic shell Buttons are loud (Stuck one time)
The Panthera from an aesthetics standpoint looks visually similar to the Razer Atrox, and it shares the same mod-friendliness that the Atrox has. The Panthera does innovate upon the original Atrox model, it has a touchpad similar to the MadCatz TES+ and the frame seems much more well-built and solid than the Atrox.
The Panthera uses a tried and tested model for its gaming components. The buttons and joystick use Sanwa Denshi components, ensuring fast and precise movements and durability. Another great feature is the mod capability, the Panthera can be disassembled with the same ease the Atrox can and the model also contains a helpful wiring guide for the internal components as well as colored internal cables for extra ease.
The Panthera features a tournament mode, which is actually extremely helpful and worth getting. We have had many times during competitive gameplay where we have accidentally pressed start buttons and ruined the momentum of the game. The tournament mode allows you to deactivate non-essential buttons and controls, allowing a more immersive gaming experience.
PROSTournament mode High Quality Sanwa Denshi Components Mod-Friendly Good build quality
CONSThe wiring on the inside seems a bit loose Build though durable doesn’t seem as secure as other models
Razer Atrox Arcade Stick | Xbox One, PC (Windows 8+)
The Razer Atrox is a pretty high quality stick right out of the box, it features Sanwa Denshi components and is also quite mod-friendly as many people can attest to. The frame feels quite light and flimsy but it is surprisingly durable, we put it through 2 hour gaming sessions with plenty of desperate button mashing and the frame didn’t buckle at all.
The modification process is also really easy, all you need to do is jimmy the front panel with a simple push of a button. After that the process is incredibly easy, swapping out the buttons and the joystick is a breeze with the wires being color coded to make it even easier to remove and replace.
The Atrox also includes a screwdriver just to make it even easier to modify
We’ve tested this arcade stick on several games and it passed with flying colors, the arcade stick also feels quite comfortable when you hold it. Overall this is a great premium quality fightstick and you get a lot of value when you purchase it (especially when you start modifying it).
PROSHigh Quality Build Mod Friendly Sanwa Denshi buttons
CONSAlthough the build quality is quite good, the case still feels like it is hollow and could break at any minute.
HORI Fighting Stick Mini 4 | PS4, PS3
The HORI Mini 4 isn’t the most premium arcade stick you can find on the market today, but it seriously packs a punch considering its price point, as of February 21’st 2017 this is the cheapest item we have on the list and it still is quite a decent fight stick that many casual and moderate gamers will have no problem using.
It has the same layout of the traditional fight stick and the joystick and buttons are surprisingly high quality at this price point. The buttons didn’t stick or delay once during our testing gaming session, the quality of the stock components isn’t on par with Sanwa Denshi or Hayashuba models but you definitely get what you pay for (a lot more in this case).
In summary this fight stick isn’t really the best one you can get, but what can you say? For such a budget price there is really a great value attached to this model. It put up with no issue with a lot of torture where we frankly expected it to fail miserably.
PROSGood Quality to Price Ratio Surprisingly good build Stock quality is probably good enough for new gamers
CONSThe build quality is obviously not as good as some premium sticks
Mayflash F500 Arcade Stick | PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PC, Android
This model is a great middle of the road approach, it’s not a premium quality arcade stick by any means but it isn’t a budget selection either. It’s compatible with Sanwa Denshi components so it shouldn’t be too hard to upgrade this to a better fight stick, although the stock components should do fine as well.
The Mayflash F500 can be easily modified, almost every component inside can be switched out and replaced based on your preferences. The only thing that can’t really be replaced is the all black finish which doesn’t look too visually appealing but it’s hardly a matter that most people care about.
It’s compatible with all major platforms and from our testing also works well with most games we had in the studio. Considering you get a: Great modding platform, low price, good out of box stock quality, this arcade stick really is a great buy, especially if you only game as a moderate player and aren’t too obsessed with aesthetics.
PROSGreat stock quality Easily modified with Sanwa Denshi components Budget Pricing Great Value
CONSBad aesthetics Heavy gamers will have to upgrade to better parts
Thank you for reading our arcade sticks buying guide! we hope our guide will help you find the best fight sticks available on the market today. If you want the absolute best regardless of price, the HORI Real Arcade 4 is the top choice. A good mid-range model is the HORI Fighting stick Mini 4. The best budget pick is probably the Mayflash F500.