Peripherals

Top 8 Arcade/Fight Sticks – Reviews and Buying Guide

best fightsticks

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. Here we have reviewed the top fightsticks available today.

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.

NameHORI Real Arcade 4 Pro KaiMayflash F300 Qanba Drone JoystickHORI Fighting Stick Mini 4Mayflash F500
Picture
Compatibility PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PCPS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PCPS4, PS3, PCPS4, PS3PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PC, Android
ClassHigh-EndStarterIntermediateStarterIntermediate
Price$$$$$$$$$
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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.

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The Best Fightsticks of 2017

HORI Real Arcade 4 Pro Kai | PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PC

HORI Real Arcade 4 Pro Kai

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. This is the best quality fight stick out there, although its very expensive, like gaming laptops under 1k, but much higher quality.

PROS

 Fast, Durable, High Quality Japanese Manufacturing

 Based on Hayabusa Model

 Full Subpanel

 Easy Customization

 

CONS

 Somewhat difficult modding process

 Difficult to master due to large difference in stiffness of the buttons

HORI Real Arcade 4 Pro V Kai | Xbox One, Xbox 360, PC

 

The HORI Real Arcade Pro V is a great arcade stick that combines many features of Arcade 4 and a Hayasuba stick platform with KURO buttons. It is the relative of the HORI Real Arcade Pro 4 platform except with KURO buttons instead. This great arcade stick contains a well-designed slim casing with a great v-cut structure on the Hayasuba lever to aid response time and increase durability. The KURO sticks have been designed with better spacing system between the casing and the button for better response times.

The quality of the stick has impressed us, the buttons feel right and the spacing is great for gaming. XBOX 360 users on Amazon have commented on the ease of use for XBOX gaming as well as PC gamers. The same components used in this products are used by Japanese arcade platform manufacturers, so you can be assured of their quality.

PROS

Works well for many games

 Layout is well designed

 Made of durable Sanwa Deshi Parts

Made with great KURO buttons

CONS

Bad for budget gamers

Mad Catz Street Fighter V Arcade Fightstick TES | PS4, PS3

Mad Catz Street Fighter V Arcade Fightstick TES

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.

PROS

Works well for many games

 Layout is well designed

 Made of durable Sanwa Deshi Parts

 Withstands 5 hour gaming sessions without any disturbances

CONS

 Doesn’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

Mayflash F300 Arcade Fight Stick Joystick

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.

PROS

 Cheap

 Good Quality to Price Ratio

 Great for beginners

 Compatible with Sanwa Denshi Buttons

CONS

 Will 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

Qanba Drone Joystick

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. Check out our guide on budget gaming laptops for a great budget selection for a gaming laptop as well.

PROS

 Lightweight

 Budget Model

 Great out of box performance

 Good stock parts

CONS

 Cheap non-durable plastic shell

 Buttons are loud (Stuck one time)

Razer Panthera Arcade Stick | PS4

Razer Panthera Arcade Stick

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 (if you want an even more immersive experience, check out some good 1440p monitors or 4k  UHD monitors.

PROS

 Tournament mode

 High Quality Sanwa Denshi Components

 Mod-Friendly

 Good build quality

CONS

 The 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+)

Razer Atrox Arcade Stick

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).

PROS

 High Quality Build

 Mod Friendly

 Sanwa Denshi buttons

CONS

 Although 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, PS3HORI Fighting Stick Mini 4

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.

PROS

 Good Quality to Price Ratio

 Surprisingly good build

 Stock quality is probably good enough for new gamers

CONS

 The build quality is obviously not as good as some premium sticks

Mayflash F500 Arcade Stick | PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PC, Android

Mayflash F500 Arcade Stick

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, there was another model on this list as the HORI Real Arcade 4 that has better specifications and better aesthetics as well, make sure to check that out if you have the money.

PROS

 Great stock quality

 Easily modified with Sanwa Denshi components

 Budget Pricing

 Great Value

CONS

 Bad aesthetics

 Heavy gamers will have to upgrade to better parts

Conclusion:

RECOMMENDED READING: The Top Gaming Routers of 2017 – Buying Guide.

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.

*Please make sure to email bill@pandatechie.com if you spot any errors in the writing, we try to update the content as much as possible however we make mistakes. If any products that we reviewed run out of stock or any errors in the content, please inform us.

Top 8 Arcade/Fight Sticks – Reviews and Buying Guide
4.4 (87.32%) 41 votes

About the author

Joe Meng

  • Mundus

    So why isn’t hori real arcade pro V on the list? Its like kai 4 pro except with sanwa buttons and a hayabusa stick. The 2017 PC is also better than the old making imo the best price to perfomance out of the box stick. There are better sticks, but they also twice the cost.

  • siliciferous

    I would argue that the Razer Panthera should not only be listed as being PC compatible, but it is in fact more PC compatible than the Atrox XBox One is. For the Atrox to work properly, you need to revert to an old XBox Controller USB driver because Microsoft never bothered to make XBox One fightsticks fully compatible with Windows – which if you have an XBox One gamepad will make using it for other games complicated, and even then you lose functionality for a few buttons (and what remains you need to internally rewire, or rebind them in game to be proper.)

    The Panthera is fully PC compatible, and is usable as an XInput device with a driver provided by Razer. I’ve owned both, and I literally had an Xbox One -> PS4 Brook Super Converter so I could use the Atrox as a DInput device without having to deal with the rest of the bullshit.

  • Snoulbora

    I am pretty sure that I use my Mad Catz Street Fighter V Arcade Fightstick TES on PC, and it works, and the only thing you need to do is buy a converter for any stick you use, just look up PS4 To Xbox converter and there you go 20-30 bucks I think not bad but yeah, might want to fix that.