The Best Fight Sticks in 2021

Fans of fighting games, especially those who spend a lot of their time in playing competitively, probably prefer the size and versatility of a fight stick to the cramped control layout on a controller. Fight or arcade sticks can also be interesting to gamers who just entered the fighting genre and are looking to improve their experience, and their winning percentage. If you’re looking for the best fight stick, we’ve got you covered. Below you’ll find a selection of the best arcade sticks on the market that cover all price brackets as well as every popular gaming platform.

We have premium but also budget choices. We also cover every major console with at least one model. When it comes to the PC, every fighting stick featured on this list, and any fighting stick, in general, is PC compatible. If you don’t find your next arcade stick on this list, scroll below it and read our fight stick buying guide, it should help you in finding just what you’re looking for. And if you like this list check out our coverage of gaming keypads.

hori real arcade pro 4 kai
  • Compatibility: PS3, PS4, PC
  • Button Layout: Standard Layout With Options Button On The Side
  • Connectivity: Wired
  • Extra Buttons: Six Buttons Along With A Touchpad + Four Switches
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The HORI Real Arcade Pro 4 Kai is built for PlayStation 3 and 4 but it can also work on PC. The body of the stick is quite wide, sturdy, and well built. It isn’t the biggest fight stick around but is large enough for most users. The button design includes the standard layout along with a large options button on the side, which could be pressed unintentionally when in heat of the battle. Luckily, it can be turned off.

HAYABUSA buttons are improved over the previous version of this model. They are very responsive, easy to press, and have short actuation distance allowing you to pull off lightning-fast combos with ease. The joystick is also HAYABUSA and is also pretty responsive. It features a square gate but you can swap for an octagonal one if you wish so. The stick can also be modified with various sticks and buttons but you’ll need a screwdriver for opening the bottom panel.

As for the extra buttons, this model includes the usual selection of PlayStation-specific buttons (L3, R3, PS button, etc.) along with toggle switches on its right side while on the back you can find a full-sized touchpad. Overall, the HORI Real Arcade Pro 4 Kai is an excellent fighting stick. If you have a PS4 or a PC it’s a great choice since it works seamlessly with either. It’s weighty enough to be super stable on any surface, it has excellent buttons and joystick, and it’s not overly expensive.

Pros:
  • Excellent Build Quality
  • High-Quality Buttons And Joystick
  • Available In Four Colors
  • Relatively Easy To Modify
  • Quite Roomy
Cons:
  • No Headphone Jack
  • The Artwork Is Quite Hard To Swap Out

Qanba Obsidian

The Best Mid-Range Fight Stick

qanba obsidian joystick
  • Compatibility: PS3, PS4, PC
  • Button Layout: Standard Layout
  • Connectivity: Wired
  • Extra Buttons: Eight Buttons Along With A Touchpad + Two Switches
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The Qanba Obsidian is one of the best PS4 fight sticks on the mid-range market thanks to its premium build quality, Sanwa buttons and joystick, large size, and excellent ergonomics. The base is very wide and has plenty of room for your hands. The joystick and buttons are tightly grouped in the middle, with extra buttons and switches being placed on the upper right side of the plate. You also get a 3.5mm headphone jack, located on the bottom left of the stick.

The buttons and joystick (square gate) feel extremely responsive but if you want to swap them, you’ll need a screwdriver to open the base of the stick. When it comes to the design, it’s plain black and grey with nice blue LEDs at the sides, which can be turned off if they bother you. The included cable is 3 meters in length, which should be enough for most users.

The stick is quite large and comfortable but also not great for traveling. Overall, the Qanba Obsidian is a great fight stick equipped with excellent Sanwa buttons and joystick. It isn’t very portable and doesn’t feature any artwork but its strengths greatly surpass its weaknesses.

Pros:
  • Sanwa Buttons And Joystick Feel Amazing
  • Excellent Build Quality
  • Large And Comfortable To Use
  • Cool LED Effects On The Sides
  • Superb Gaming Performance
Cons:
  • Not Very Portable
  • No Artwork On The Base

Victrix PS4 FS Arcade Fight Stick

Superb Premium Fight Stick For PS4, Xbox One, And PC

victrix ps4 fs arcade fight stick
  • Compatibility: PS4, Xbox One, PC
  • Button Layout: Standard Layout
  • Connectivity: Wired
  • Extra Buttons: PS4 Version: Eight Buttons Along With A Touchpad
  • Xbox One Version: Nine Extra Buttons Without Touchpad
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The Victrix Pro FS Arcade Fight Stick is a premium product aimed at professional gamers and those who want the ultimate fight stick that features superb build quality. The entire base plate of the stick is made of aluminum and feels amazing under the fingers. The bottom part of the stick is covered with soft pads making the stick quite comfortable to hold on your lap but also making it stable when put on a desk or other hard surface. You also have large handles on each side that makes this, quite heavy, fight stick relatively easy to move around.

The great portability is enhanced with a removable joystick that can be tucked inside the body of the stick when traveling. When it comes to the buttons and the joystick, they are both Sanwa and perform excellently. Low latency, short travel, and extreme responsiveness will make any combo simple to perform. The inside of the stick is easily reached, there are no tools needed to pop it open. The downside is that, while the stick is technically moddable, the layout is designed in such a way that you can fit only Sanwa parts.

The stick features eight extra buttons and the touchpad on the PS4 version. The Xbox version includes nine extra buttons and no touchpad. The Victrix Pro FS Arcade Fight Stick is available in the PS4 and Xbox One variants, with both of them working on PC. If you want the best gaming experience on a PC, get the Xbox One version, it’s much easier to set up on the PC. Overall, this is an excellent premium fight stick that’s brilliant to use. The downsides include limited modding potential as well as a very high selling price.

Pros:
  • Superb Build Quality And Slick Design
  • Extremely Comfortable To Use
  • Ultra-Responsive Sanwa Buttons And Joystick
  • Excellent Portability Despite Bulky Size
  • Has Separate Versions For PS4 And Xbox One
Cons:
  • Pricey
  • Cam Be Modded With Sanwa Parts Only

Qanba Drone Fight Stick

The Best Budget Fight Stick

qanba drone fight stick
  • Compatibility: PS3, PS4, PC
  • Button Layout: Standard Layout
  • Connectivity: Wired
  • Extra Buttons: Seven Buttons And Two Switches
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The Qanba Drone Fight Stick is a compact and affordable fight stick that’s great in case you’re only getting into fighting games or just want a portable stick you can carry around. The base is pretty small and narrow but there’s enough place for hand resting. The base plate also has a sloped edge that works as a comfortable wrist rest. The design is attractive, with lots of angles and without flashy LEDs.

The stick itself features the regular button layout combined with seven extra buttons and two switches. While the stick is compatible with the PS4 and PC (as well as with PS3) it doesn’t include the touchpad, which is understandable given its price. The buttons and joystick are made by Qanba and while the buttons feel responsive and are pretty solid to use, the joystick is loose and feels cheap. You can mod the stick and install new buttons quite easily. In the case of the joystick, it’s possible but isn’t as simple as replacing the buttons.

The Qanba Drone Fight Stick is a great arcade stick for newbies. It performs rather well for the price and has excellent portability. It’s quite affordable and, aside from the loose joystick, it gives a lot for the money. You can mod the buttons and the joystick and get even better performance but the size of the base plate can be too small for some gamers.

Pros:
  • Solid Build Quality
  • Portable
  • Simple To Mod
  • Buttons Are Pretty Good
  • Comfortable To Use
Cons:
  • Joystick Feels Cheap
  • Can Be Too Small For Some Users
  • Doesn’t Include The Touchpad

Mayflash F300 Arcade Fight Stick

Excellent Budget Arcade Stick If You’re Ready To Mod It

mayflash f300 arcade fight stick
  • Compatibility: PS3, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Nintendo Switch, PC, Android, Neo Geo Mini
  • Button Layout: Standard Layout
  • Connectivity: Wired
  • Extra Buttons: Four Buttons And Three Switches
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The Mayflash F300 Arcade Fight Stick is an affordable fight stick compatible with a wide range of gaming platforms. You can hook it up to a PS3, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PC, as well as to a Nintendo Switch or an Android device and it should work fine. It will require some setting up no matter the platform and if you’re using it on the PS4 you need a PS4 controller to finish the setup.

When it comes to build quality, it’s decent for the price. The plate’s a bit narrow and the buttons and the joystick feel cramped but they’re easy to use and won’t make you press buttons on accident. As for the extra buttons, you can find four buttons on the upper left side of the base plate. You also have a total of three switches but no touchpad, which is expected at this price point.

The quality of the buttons is decent and they can be used for competitive gaming. The joystick, on the other hand, feels cheap and is way below the quality of the buttons. The stick can be swapped, though. Just swap it for a decent Sanwa joystick and you will have a superb budget fight stick that can work with virtually every gaming platform around. On the flipside it doesn’t have the best build quality, is pretty small, and its buttons and joystick aren’t the best.

Pros:
  • Solid Build Quality
  • Compatible With Every Major Gaming Platform
  • Easy To Mod
  • Very Affordable
Cons:
  • Joystick Feels Cheap
  • Base Plate Is Quite Narrow

HORI Switch Fighting Stick Mini

The Best Fight Switch For Nintendo Switch

hori switch fighting stick mini
  • Compatibility: Nintendo Switch, PC
  • Button Layout: Standard Layout
  • Connectivity: Wired
  • Extra Buttons: Five Buttons
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The HORI Switch Fighting Stick Mini is a perfect choice for Switch owners who need a portable fight stick. It’s quite small and compact, which isn’t the perfect setup if you have large hands. Also, while it’s great for games that don’t have a ton of complex combos and moves, advanced fighting games might play better when paired with a large stick. But as a compact stick that’s great for gaming on the go, this stick rocks.

It’s easy to get used to the smaller size and, while it cannot be modded, the included buttons and joystick are well made, are responsive, and the joystick is precise, firm, and a joy to use despite its short length. The HORI Switch Fighting Stick Mini is also compatible with PCs so it might be an excellent choice for gamers who do lots of their gaming on a laptop. As for the extra buttons, you get five buttons in total. There are no switches since the stick automatically recognizes the device it’s connected to.

The build quality is great. The device is sturdy but not very heavy which might reduce its stability. Also, the small size means it’s not very comfortable when held in a lap. The cable, on the other hand, has a length of 2.5 meters, which should be enough for most users. Overall, the HORI Switch Fighting Stick Mini is a great portable arcade stick for the Nintendo Switch that sells at an affordable price. The downside is that it’s quite small and that it cannot be modded.

Pros:
  • Solid Build Quality
  • Excellent Portability
  • Buttons And Joystick Are Responsive And Well Made
  • Affordable
Cons:
  • Non-Moddable
  • Can Be Small For Users With Large Hands

How To Choose A Fight Stick

A fight stick is a vastly superior choice for fighting games than any controller out there. Playing fighting games on an arcade stick is like playing flight sim games on an excellent joystick, it’s a completely different experience. If you want to buy a fight stick, these are the things to focus on when in the market for one:

Compatibility With Different Gaming Systems

The great thing about fighting sticks is that virtually every model is compatible with a PC, which is great since even a budget arcade sticks are better for fighting games than even the best controllers for PC. But if you own a console or multiple gaming systems, you have to do a bit of research before buying your next fight stick.

Make sure that the model you’re after is compatible with whatever console you own. Aside from PC, the majority of models are also compatible with the PS4. Xbox One and Nintendo Switch owners, on the other hand, have to be extra careful because a good number of fight sticks aren’t compatible with these two consoles.

Also, some models can be used with Android smartphones. If you by chance play fighting games on your phone, or use stuff like the Xbox Game Pass or Steam Link, you can massively improve your experience by getting an arcade stick that can work with smartphones. So, before you decide on a particular model, make sure it can be used on gaming systems you own.

Picking The Right Size

This is another important thing to consider. Fight sticks greatly wary when it comes to their plate size and different people prefer different dimensions. Some of us like compact models that can be carried around but other people might like massive plates where they can rest their hands on, or they simply like for the joystick and buttons to be as far away one from the other as possible.

Now, if you already used a fight stick and like its size great, you know what to look for. But if you want one but didn’t have the chance to try one in person, check out different models in person if possible and discover your preferred size.

To Mod Or Not To Mod

Now, this might not be very important to the majority of users but many gamers like if their fight stick supports modding. If you’re an average user who doesn’t care about opening the thing and swapping the joystick and buttons, just get a well-reviewed model or one you already tried and liked.

But if you want modding well, it’s better to get a moddable stick with a perfect size and other features even if buttons and joystick aren’t to your liking than to be stuck with a quality stick that doesn’t have the right size or misses on some features important for you.

So, if you want to mod your stick firstly, get one that ergonomically suits you. Even if it doesn’t have great controls you can swap those. Next, be sure it can be fitted with your favorite buttons and joystick. Some “moddable” sticks only support certain brands, which can be a huge issue if not being careful. Next, if you like playing different games with different gates, make sure the stick you like supports both octagonal and square gates. There are also circle gates, but those are a nightmare to use for fighting games. If you do use a circle gate, make sure your next stick can be fitted with one.

Finally, different sticks are easier or harder to mod. Some can be opened without a hustle while others require tools such as screwdrivers. Also, replacing the buttons and joystick is a breeze on some models, while others might have a design that, while supporting modding, isn’t mod-friendly.

Extra Features

Finally, let’s talk about extra features. First of all, if you like holding the arcade stick in your lap while gaming, it would be great if you could try out the stick you’re interested in in-person to make sure it’s not too heavy or too big.

Next, there’s the portability. Even large sticks can be made portable by equipping them with carrying handles. You also have certain models where you can simply pluck the joystick away and carry it inside the body of the stick.

One extremely important feature that gets overlooked is the cable length. So, before you even start looking for your next fighting stick, come up with a minimum cable length you need. The longer the cable the better, especially if you spend lots of time playing games at your friends or other places outside your home.

Those who play their fighting games with headphones probably need a fighting stick with a headphone jack. Be careful when buying one because some models don’t feature a headphone jack.

Fans of swappable artworks should be picky when in the market for a new arcade stick since lots of models don’t support swapping artworks. Make sure to find one that does.

About The Author

Goran Damnjanovic

Goran studied psychology but video games and PC hardware were much more interesting. On top of that he likes writing so he decided to become a writer. And it was the right choice. Other than games and hardware, Goran is interested in basketball, Sci-Fi literature, and music.

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