Gone are the days when gamers used to play arcade games using gaming keyboards. Technology has gone far away, and the gamers are now better equipped with the best fight sticks to win the battle in any arcade game.
I am a big fan of arcade games; and, like any other arcade gamers, I too want to win every title that I play.
And, this is why I love using the advanced gaming peripherals like the best arcade fight sticks that have gushed recently in the gaming market.
So, you might be wondering, “Which is the best arcade fight stick”.
In testing the Hori Real Arcade Pro V Kai has proved to be the best fight stick followed by Victrix Pro FS that we’ve tested so fat. This is great fight stick for gaming on Xbox One X, Xbox 360 and Desktop PCs. We’ve tested the controller on popular arcade games like Tekken, Street Fighter, Dragon Ball Fighterz or Mortal Kombat. And, the results were promising to put it in the list of best arcade fight sticks.
Apart from that, we’ve tested dozens of other gaming sticks, and some of them are worth buying, even for those are looking for the most affordable arcade fight sticks under $100.
“Are the Arcade Sticks worth buying”?
Obviously, the arcade sticks/controllers are designed to play fighting games in a more convenient way. However, keep in mind that these are just the controllers, rest are your strategies about how you perform well in the battlefield. One thing is clear; these are far better options than using the best game-pads or keyboard in fighting genre.
If you have already watched the E-sports events held in 2019, you will find that the tailor-made fight-sticks used by the pros really made a great difference in their gaming experience. And, arguably this would be impossible by Sony PS4 Pro or Xbox One X controllers. The fight sticks allowed them to smash their opponents and pull off maximum combos in minimum possible time.
In fact, these are the reasons to prove that the fight sticks are the worth buying gaming accessories for the ultimate gaming experience.
List of Best Fight Sticks for Arcade Gaming in 2021
1. Hori Real Arcade Pro V Kai
Hori Real Arcade Pro V Kai is the best arcade stick for consoles as well as PC gaming. This is arguably the sturdy hardware to conquer the next-gen games with price as low as $200.
Among the notable features of Pro V Kai includes the durable metallic frame, eight optimally positioned Hayabusa buttons for an immersive gaming and a sturdy base. Besides, internally the hardware looks similar to the original Hori Hayabusa Joysticks which have their proven fame due to their excellent gaming performance.
Most important to note is that this arcade sticks is equipped with its damn-good response time and minimum input lag thus improving the efficiency while you are in the battlefield and have no time to wait for the buttons to respond. While testing the stick delivered instant response time in Street Fighter V and we were able to inflict maximum damage to the opponent with combos.
Not only this is compatible with Windows PC, its compatibility with the best gaming consoles especially Microsoft’s Xbox One X, and One S, and Sony’s PS4 as well as incoming PS5 make it an appealing product to win the console games.
And the good thing is its switching feature from one platform to another platform. With the help of a button you can flip form PC to Xbox. The plug-and-play makes it easy to quickly switch between the platforms.
The design is highly ergonomic, buttons are really soft and easy to press with zero input lag. Besides, the device is available in multiple colors like red, blue and white. And, the Joystick looks like Sanwa JLF-TP in design/
All in all, the Hori RAP V Kai is the superb tournament-grade fight stick to excel the gaming arena, thanks to its solid design, responsive controls and Hayabusa switches.
2. Victrix Pro FS – Overall best fight Stick
Sometimes paying for the premium gaming peripherals is worth it. The Victrix Pro FS is the testament of this fact that the fight stick is one of the best premium fight sticks available in market.
Priced at whopping $349 mark, this is one of the most expensive fight sticks we’ve ever reviewed, (In this price tag you can get a new Xbox console). This might be the downside for most of the gamers looking for some affordable options; the finest look and excellent performance it offers are actually beyond of what we had expected from it.
And the best part is that this is specifically engineered for Microsoft’s Xbox One game consoles.
Boasting an aircraft-grade aluminum chassis, premium Sanwa Denshi buttons and a joystick the Victrix Pro FS is actually a professional arcade stick for Xbox One players. Besides, the Vitrix also sends an Allen wrench for customizing the buttons and joystick.
What features make it a worth buying arcade stick for Xbox gaming are the included headphone jack, accessible panel for modding, adjustable LED lighting, a USB-C cable and eight Sanwa buttons. The bottom surface, too, is quite impressive and designed with anti-slip rubber material to provide perfect grip while gaming.
Most importantly, the Vitrix Pro FS includes a training mode button to reset your character position in Soul Calibur 6, Dragon Ball FighterZ, Injustice 2, King of Fighters 14, Street Fighter V, Tekken 7, Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite and Mortal Kombat XL. This is where it comes a most handy fight stick for Xbox players.
Internally, the fight stick is nicely built and quite easy to be modded. The whole compact design is portable making it easy to carry and travel. The integrated cable hooks are duly attached for shoulder straps, and that’s why you can carry it over like a shoulder bag.
Performance wise, the Sanwa buttons, reset button and as low as 5ms quick response are enough to make you able to defeat your opponents in no time. The whole design delivers maximum comfort in intensive gaming sessions, thanks to its angle of slope that doesn’t let your hand muscles fatigued or fingers cramped.
Though the version we’ve reviewed is for Xbox gamers, there is a similar fight stick for PS4 gaming. The good thing is that both versions are equally compatible with PCs.
If price isn’t a big issue, this is the best fight stick you can get to stun your rivals with lightning fast moves and combos thanks to its premium quality responsive buttons.
3. Mayflash F500 Arcade FightStick
For those who are looking for an affordable arcade stick under $100 without compromising over quality and performance, the MayFlash F500 is the best choice they can make. Not only the device has an appealing design and sturdy base, it is compatible with all the platforms especially, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Android, and Windows PC.
Similar to its successor F300, the F500 is an upgraded and improved version for fighting games. Built with sturdy metal and rubber base, design seems durable and promising.
Just like the Hori RAP V Kai the MayFlash F500 also comes with eight standard buttons and a solid base. The glitch with this fight stick to use it for consoles is that you need to have you standard Xbox One controller connected to your console. This limits its feature although this is not compulsory while using it for PS4 or PC.
The good thing is that it is basically a universal arcade stick available in an affordable price. Thanks to its Sanwa Denshi joystick and buttons, the stick is fully customizable. This is the reason it is best arcade stick to be used for modding. On the other hand, the downside is that design looks cheap and not as durable as Hori RAP V Kai.
Overall, the MayFlash is one of the inexpensive fight sticks priced under $100. Granted, the design may look a bit cheap, it delivers a good amount of performance, solid rubber base, and swappable buttons. If you are a beginner or an intermediate player, this is a good choice that you can make without breaking your bank.
4. Qanba Drone
If you are a beginner and don’t know where to start, get the Qanba Drone arcade stick in as low as $79. Without requiring a huge investment, the stick offers a decent performance and eye-catching design.
The entry level players would definitely love its appealing shape that feels nice when placed on the table. But while using it in the battlefield, it feels like a soldier that won’t make you feel disappointed. As far as size is concerned, the Qanba Drone is comparatively larger than its competitors making it best for gamers with large hands.
On its top, the stick comes with eight Qanba custom buttons and a joystick. From its bottom side, the Drone features an anti-slip textured rubber base for enhanced stability. Besides, the stick comes with a button lock switch, LED indicators and USB ports. The adjustable and removable cable makes its portability and cleaning quite easy.
The Qanba is also highly compatible with PC and PS4 consoles. Unlike other inexpensive arcade sticks, this model doesn’t compromises over performance. The good thing is that all the parts can be replaced with new ones making it perfect for modding.
The downsides of the Qanba Drone are the plastic material, loose fittings and the double-triggering due to the Qanba’s custom built joysticks and buttons. This problem, however, can be resolved by using the Sanwa lever and buttons which have a quite impressive tactile feel.
Overall, the Qanba Drone is the best choice for first-time buyers who want to improve their gaming skills without investing a lot of money.
5. Razer Panthera – Best Fight Stick for Modding
Razer has always been the king of the gaming industry and never refrains from fingering in every pie. The company produced some of the best state of the art gaming products especially gaming keyboards such as Razer Huntsman Elite, gaming mice like Razer DeathAdder Chroma and Viper, and some of the best gaming speakers. The Razer Panthera is one of those premium fight sticks ever developed by Razer.
The Razer Panthera fight stick boasts with some of the premium features including Sanwa hardware, full customization, and a touchpad. The stick comes with 10 responsive buttons and an 8-way joystick.
The buttons give an amazing tactile feel to smash the enemy especially when your competitor gives you a tough time. I actually loved the performance of its buttons and joystick that enabled me to run maximum combos in minimum possible time.
Design wise, the Razer Panthera I equipped with decent glossy upper body and anti-slip rubber rubber base for a higher level of grip in intense gaming session. Apart from the standard buttons and lever, the stick comes with Start and Select buttons on its right side to be used in PS4.
As far as compatibility is concerned the Panthera is compatible with PCs and PS4 consoles. However, bear in mind that connecting it with Desktop gaming PC is somewhat tricky that needs a bit of the mastery, because you’ll have to map the keys manually in most of the games. The Razer also provides Xinput drivers with the stick to make the process easy.
The best part is that the whole of the Panthera arcade stick is customizable and best for modding. For this purpose, lift the lid off and swap the keys according to your choice. The Razer also send a screwdriver to make things easy.
As you know the good things come in small packages, they may also be pricey, and this is what the Razer Panthera comes with.
All in all, the Razer Panthera is an exceptional arcade stick perfect for immersive gaming. If you are looking for a premium fight stick with all the necessary features and fully customizable for PC and PS4, the Razer Panthera is the one that wouldn’t disappoint you in any case. However, for Xbox One the Razer Atrox is really a masterpiece for your gaming.
6. Neogeo Arcade Stick Pro
Not all the fight sticks are compatible with Neogeo systems and titles. To meet this limitation here is a Neogeo Arcade Stick Pro. The stylish arcade stick is a masterpiece for Neogeo and retropie gaming.
Featuring an SNK electrostatic-style joystick and nice -matte finish, the device is really appealing. The fight stick boasts with 720p output, 3.5mm audio jack, eight multi-colored Sanwa Denshi buttons and a joystick.
As far as performance is concerned, the soft buttons combined with excellent response rate let you push gaming experience beyond limits. Besides, the buttons are highly tactile and silent in operation.
Apart from standard buttons, the Neogeo Arcade Stick features control buttons like controller lock/unlock switch to deactivate unnecessary buttons, and the turbo button.
Connectivity wise, the Neogro Arcade Stick supports two USB-C Neogeo Mini controller in, an HDMI output, a USB-A controller in, and USB-C power input.
The only downside with this arcade stick is that this is not compatible with other gaming consoles. So, you need to look for some other alternative for console gaming.
All in all, the Neogeo Arcade Stick Pro is a comprehensive arcade stick designed for Neogeo arcade gaming. With this arcade stick you can easily dominate the Neogeo arcade titles such as King of Fighters, Fatal Fury, World Heroes, Ninja Masters and The Last Blade.
Other than the best arcade fight sticks, you may also need the following gaming peripherals: