Top 10 Best Arcade Sticks (Fight Sticks) 2017
If you are looking to become a pro in fighting games with the best arcade sticks, here is our list of the 10 best fight sticks you can buy
Win, lose or draw, whatever… It’s just a game that you’re playing for fun.
This is my motto when I am playing fighting games against other people. All I want is relax.
If you want to play at a competitive level where each move of your fingers is important, you should not only perfect your skills but also consider investing in high-quality arcade stick or fight stick.
Before I present you the best fight sticks and arcade sticks you can buy right now, let’s explain basic terms.
What is arcade stick
In short, the arcade stick is a joystick controller with buttons and some extra functionality. Specifically designed to replicate arcade-like controls for games like Street Fighter, Tekken, Injustice or Soulcaliber, just to name a few.
Playing a fighting game with an arcade stick/fight stick and playing it with a gamepad are two different things, there is no question. Is arcade stick really better than a gamepad? Good question. I like to learn all kind of moves and combos by sound and execution. This is why I prefer arcade stick while playing fighting games.
If you do get a stick, buy something decent (not extremely cheap). I create a guide to help you find the best arcade stick and fight stick there are in the marketplace today.
Best Arcade Sticks – Overview
Budget Arcade Sticks – Under $50
HORI Fighting Stick Mini 4 | PS4, PS3
Size: 9.8 x 5.9 x 7.9 inches
Weight: 2 pounds
Compatability: PS4, PS3
- Officially licensed by SCEA
- Compatible with PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3
- Compact design with all the features of a typical arcade stick controller
- 8-button layout and micro switch activated joystick
Can anyone beat HORI Fighting Stick for the price? This is a great entry level stick for gamers on the budget. The build quality is adequate for the money you need to invest in this gaming accessories. The stick really is mini, however, it is in no way uncomfortable. The buttons are maybe small and close to each other, but this distance is not too much close to hitting wrong buttons. HORI Fighting Stick Mini 4 is no way a PRO stick, but if you are looking for an arcade stick for emulation purposes, pick it up. It’s a great deal.
Mayflash Universal Arcade Fighting Stick | PS2, PS3, PC and USB
Size: 9.8 x 9.8 x 2 inches
Weight: 4 pounds
Compatability: PS2, PS3, PC, and USB
- The lever and buttons are designed and placed on the same layout as the arcade style
- Turbo function with different speed settings
- Supports button re-mapping and Macro functions
Mayflash Universal Arcade Fighting Stick is a very basic arcade joystick great for beginners, with all the buttons and a circular handle and a square. This universal stick works with almost any platform (expect PS4 and Xbox One). It has a sturdy design and the buttons and stick all feel nice. Many experience games will say that the stick and buttons are a bit stiff when you compare it to higher end arcade sticks, but this is a budget item and for the price, Mayflash Universal Arcade Fighting Stick can be beaten. In short, this is a good stick for its price and you should not expect anything excellent as if you were buying a high-end stick, but you can use the Mayflash Universal for old arcade shooters, side scrolling games or fighters.
Arcade Sticks – Under $100
Mad Catz Street Fighter V Arcade FightStick | PS4, PS3
Size: 11.8 x 6.3 x 9.8 inches
Weight: 5 pounds
Compatability: PS3, PS4 fightstick
- Ultra-Compact Design
- 6-Button Arcade Layout
- Ideal for all Fighting Games
- Reliable USB Connectivity
The Madcatz alpha is an another entry-level arcade stick with more average design, basic functions, and a pretty good build quality. The higher price is reflected in better build quality. Mad Catz V comes with a square restrictor gate, well working responsive buttons with a slight resistance and is made up of plastic with some rubber padding underneath that is preventing the arcade fightstick from sliding in the heat of a game. Mad Catz V is an arcade stick for beginners and with the lightweight and small size, it is a great accessory for gamers who travel a lot.
Mayflash F300 Arcade Fight Stick Joystick | PS4, PS3, Xbox ONE, Xbox 360 and PC
Size: 22 x 13 x 11 inches
Weight: 4 pounds
Compatability: PS4, PS3, Xbox ONE, Xbox 360 and PC
- Compatible with Sanwa Denshi buttons and joystick
- Easy To Customize
- Supports the Xinput and Dinput when being used on PC
- A Sony PS4 controller is required when using on a PS4 game console
- Microsoft Xbox 360 or Xbox one controller is required when using on a Xbox 360 or Xbox one console
The Mayflash F300 is aiming especially for beginner players who want to own a universal fight stick. It provides 8-button layout, with extra buttons on the top of the device for turbo and changing the input of the arcade fight stick. You can even upgrade the internals down the line with parts like Sanwa buttons and joysticks to get an authentic arcade style experience. Honestly, Mayflash F300 is a good plug and play arcade fight stick for a good price. If you are a more experienced gamer, you should replace at least the joystick for Sanwa, but for beginners this device is great and the buttons, although just clunky, will do just fine for now.
Qanba Drone Joystick | PS4 PS3 and PC
Size: 15.4 x 10.4 x 6.6 inches
Weight: 4 pounds
Compatability: PC, PS4 fightstick and PS3
- Lightweight And Durable
- Official Sony Licensed Product
- USB Cable With Compartment
- QANBA Authentic Arcade Joystick & Buttons
Another good option for those who don’t want to spend a lot of money for a decent fight stick. A very light and compact device you can easily fit into your bookbag without any space issue. Qanba Drone Joystick is somewhere between budget and high-end arcade stick, so you can expect a solid quality with very responsive buttons without any drops in inputs.
The best part of Qanba Drone is customization options. If you are planning to replace a few parts in it to make it more to your liking, Qanba Drone Joystick has good value for the money. It is still cheaper, in the long run, to customize cheaper fight stick to your happiness then buy one of the more expensive fight sticks.
Mayflash F500 Arcade Fight Stick | PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PC, and Android
Size: 14.2 x 2.4 x 9.2 inches
Weight: 4 pounds
Compatability: PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PC, And Android
- Lightweight And Durable
- Compatible with Sanwa Denshi buttons and joystick
- Supports the headsets to output the background music and online chat
- The vibration function
- Turbo functions with different speed setting
Made up of a solid piece of metal with rubber feet and a good amount of weight. All this make Mayflash F500 a durable and solid fight stick. As well as many other devices on this list, F500 is great when it comes to modding. Each of the 8 buttons can be replaced and the joystick is no exception either. Just unscrew 6 bolts at the bottom, and then you have access to everything inside. This basically larger version of Mayflash F300 is not a premium quality arcade stick by any means but it is not a cheap, budget device either. Mayflash F500 is compatible with all main gaming platforms and works well with most games.
I think Mayflash products are great for what they are – high-quality copies of more expensive devices. You have an option, pay $300 for a stick with premium Sanwa parts that works only on one platform and give you the professional experience, or you can pay around $100 and get Mayflash that can be used on multiple systems with a bit worse gaming experience. And if you spend another $20 on extra parts, you get an ultimate arcade fight stick.
High-End Arcade Sticks – Under $200
Razer Atrox Arcade Stick | Xbox One, PC
Size: 19 x 14 x 7 inches
Weight: 10 pounds
Compatability: Xbox One, PC
- Premium quality Sanwa hardware components
- Fully mod capable construction
- Internal storage compartments for convenient transportation
- Honeycomb structure on the inside for easy screw mounting
- Screwdriver included for modding
Now we are in the premium category. A lot of Razer products aren’t of very high quality, but Razer Atrox does not suffer from this issue. It is a premium quality product with Sanwa Denshi components which is designed to be easy and accessible to customize. The joystick and all the buttons are easily swappable, so it is only on you how much you modify this arcade stick – you also get a screwdriver in the box just to make it easier to modify. The Razer Atrox looks awesome with the typical green color scheme and design this brand is known for. It has a very simple yet effective layout with a lock switch and Xbox button in the top left panel, 8 buttons on the face, stick and the select/start buttons on the right side of the device.
Altrox is a premium quality arcade fightstick and if you are looking for a stick for Xbox One, this should be your best bet.
HORI Real Arcade Pro 4 Kai | PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PC
Size: 23.6 x 11 x 15.8 inches
Weight: 7 pounds
Compatability: PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PC
- Licensed by Sony
- Touch Panel, Turbo function, Button Configuration Mode, and Input Toggle Switch
- Redesigned chassis and increased space between and below stick and buttons
- Uses HORI original HAYABUSA stick lever and new HAYABUSA buttons
What to say about HORI Real Arcade Pro 4. Probably the best-selling arcade stick of all time and used by many professional gamers. Premium design, high-quality build, and easy customization made HORI well-known brand. The device works perfectly with any platform, there is a small switch on the side that will help to change between consoles and OC. The Hayabusa joystick itself moves very smoothly around and Hayabusa buttons are very responsive and feel, once pressed, pretty smooth. You get all the features of high-end fightstick at a reasonable price.
For the money, HORI Real Arcade Pro 4 Kai is the best arcade fightstick out there. Easy to customize, add another $20 and you have any buttons/joystick you could want.
Profi Arcade Sticks – Under $300
Qanba Dragon Arcade Stick | PC, PS4 and PS3
Size: 22.7 x 15.5 x 7.2 inches
Weight: 11 pounds
Compatability: PC, PS4, and PS3
- Braided, wired USB
- LED lighting
- Sanwa buttons and stick with square gate
The Qanba brand has been associated with the finest joysticks loved by professional fighting game e-athletes worldwide for many years. This device is amazing. It weighs almost 12 pounds, feels solid and heavy. The body is made out of an aluminum alloy, got an elegant design and it also provides outstanding gaming experience and maximum possible comfort. Qanba Dragon Arcade Stick is equipped with premium Sanwa Denshi buttons, handle and square restrictor gate. Of course, all these parts can be easily modified.
Qanba Dragon is an ideal for long gaming sessions thanks to its ergonomic design. And for those who are open to spending $300 on a stick, this Qanba absolutely delivers where it matters, possibly more so than any other stick on this list. You are getting what you pay for with this arcade fight stick, and while there are others high-quality products, no one gets the job done with quite the class and prestige of the Dragon. If you’re serious about fighting games and you have the extra money to spend, the Qanba Dragon Arcade Stick is what you really want.
Mad Catz Street Fighter V Arcade FightStick TE2+ | PS3, PS4, Xbox One, and PC
Size: 18 x 13 x 6 inches
Weight: 5 pounds
Compatability: PS3, PS4, Xbox One, and PC
- Premium Components with Genuine Arcade Layout
- Internal Access
- Removable Bezel and Clear Top Pane
- Heavy Metal Base with Durable Foam Padding
- Compatible with ALL Major Fighting Games
First look at Mad Catz fight stick TE2+ tells you one thing. That’s what quality looks like. Madcatz TE2+ is a tournament edition fight stick made for professional e-gaming. Made of metal, glass, and plastic, with a rubber for a good grip while playing. Non-slip foam padding coincides with where the controller rests on your legs during lap-mounted gameplay. The handle itself is flexible, durable and accurate Sanwa JLF ball-top that is combined with a square restrictor gate. It features sensitive buttons with a slight resistance, 8-button layout, and control buttons located on the top of the touchpad.
Do you want to customize it? Just press a button and the case opens for you. The internal of this item also provides a dedicated storage compartment that gives you space for your tools and parts.
Overall, Madcatz TE2+ is an amazing tool you need to crush your opponents. Durable, reliable, and designed for custom artwork, this high-end arcade stick is worth every penny for both passionate and competitive players.
When it comes to fighting sticks aka arcade sticks, it is all about getting used to it. One question at the end of this Top 10 Best Arcade Sticks (Fight Sticks) 2017 list.
Is arcade stick better than a gamepad?
This is a good question. Is it because buttons are bigger and easier to push? Sticks are something that takes time to get used to. People can argue that an arcade stick makes your thumbs less tired and gives you more freedom with button combinations. You are able to use all five fingers to access the buttons instead only relying on thumb, index and middle finger.
But this fact is becoming less true as manufacturers make more ergonomic pads. Now you can pick what fits you best.
I personally think that it is also more satisfying to hit big colorful buttons with your fingers rather than press tiny ones with your thumb on a pad.
The answer to this question is hard to find. It is just a matter of preference. Anything that can be done on arcade stick can also be done on the pad.
Fight Stick Basics 101
Arcade fight sticks are way more fun. I agree.
Sticks came first, and most of the fighting games got started on sticks. Can you play and beat people with a gamepad? Yes. Is a stick better? It is all preference.
No, it is mostly preference. You can do just fine with whatever controller you prefer, regardless of game.
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*All prices mentioned above are at the time of publishing.