Get The Best Fighting Game Controllers: Top Picks

Fighting games are essentially intertwined with competitive play, although just about every genre of gaming can be played competitively. In each match, players are tested on their skills, reactions, knowledge of game mechanics, and ability to predict their opponents’ next moves. Inputs must be as intuitive as breathing. If you have to think about something — or worse, you accidentally do something else — then you’re already down the rabbit hole.

A fighting game requires a completely different setup from most other genres. For instance, unlike FPS games, you don’t need two analog sticks or triggers. Due to the genre’s origins in arcades, many players prefer a controller that resembles that stick-and-button layout, but over the years, fighting game controllers have evolved to cater to all types of players. We’ve compiled a list of all the best fighting game controllers for your convenience.

10 Best Fighting Game Controller Reviews

1. Victrix Pro FS Arcade Fight Stick (PS4, PS5, Xbox)

It is a solid stick that will last for a generation, so for those competitive players who are willing to pay a little more, the Victrix Pro FS Arcade Fight Stick is a great option. In addition to looking and feeling great, it comes with a lot of extra features and is easy to maintain. In addition to its sleek design, this stick also comes with neon purple cords and RGB lights inside to add a little personality to it.

This stick features Sanwa Denshi buttons and a joystick, both of which can be easily removed for cleaning or replacement. In addition, you can customize the macro buttons along the top, and you can turn them off to avoid accidentally hitting them during gameplay.

The Victrix is nice and heavy at just under 8 pounds, so there’s no chance of slipping or sliding while you have it on your lap or table. If you want to carry it over your shoulder, you’ve got convenient handles and strap attachments. The high quality of this stick makes it incredibly easy to pop it open so you can play with the components or adjust it. So you’ll never be caught with a broken stick again, the interior even includes little areas to store tools and spare parts.

2. Qanba Dragon (PS3, PS4, PC)

A high-priced option on this list is the Qanba Dragon. This stick is less convenient to transport, but once you are set up, it isn’t hard to use. It is arguably a little too heavy, even for those who like a hefty stick, coming in at just under 12 pounds. However, that heft isn’t for nothing, because this stick is built to last. With its fully aluminum case, Sanwa buttons, and its smooth, responsive joystick, it feels just as good as the Victrix.

One of the extra buttons on this stick is the touchpad, which makes it much easier to navigate without having to switch between a normal controller when launching games because it is made for the PS4. Getting underneath the hood is also easy, since there’s plenty of room for parts and other things too.

With the stick, you can pack in everything you need for the day, which is good because it is awkward to travel with otherwise. The glossy surface will pick up fingerprints like a detective on a murder case, so if you’re a stickler for fingerprints, you’ll hate it.

3. Hori Fighting Stick Mini 4 (PS3, PS4, PS5, PC)

After looking at the two big boys, how about some smaller ones? As a smaller, lower-priced arcade stick, the Hori Fighting Stick Mini 4 is an ideal entry point for those who don’t want to make a big investment in one for the first time. With a size of only 8″ by 6″ and a weight of only 2 pounds, this little guy is easily brought to events and friends’ homes. It rides that line between being compact but not to the point where your hands will feel cramped using it.

The stick and buttons will feel fine, nothing special, and it has rubber grips to keep it in place. It is light, so if you’re an aggressive player, you might find yourself chasing it around because it is so light.

Also, you’re not going to be able to customize this stick very easily. You have all the buttons you need, but there aren’t any bells or whistles here. Also, you’re not going to modding this stick since the buttons are actually soldered right on the circuit board, so you won’t be able to get at its guts easily. The arcade stick is a completely serviceable backup or test site for anyone looking for a lower-priced option before moving on to more costly options.

4. Mixbox Universal Edition (PS4, PS5, Xbox, PC, Switch)

Starting to get into the more unique controller options, we have the Mixbox Universal Edition. As you can already see, the unique feature of this arcade controller is that it lacks a joystick. Instead, the Mixbox caters to players who prefer arrow keys as a means of controlling their character. The difficulty — or ease — of performing various inputs is completely changed.

This controller, along with the controller that followed it, wasn’t designed to give players an advantage over their rivals. The arrow key setup of this controller offers longtime fighting game players a pain-free way to play due to wrist pain caused by prolonged use of a joystick due to repetitive motion.

In terms of parts, you’re getting the best of the best with Sanwa buttons, along with Cherry MX for the directional buttons. A handy switch on the inside lets you switch between two movement options quickly and there are plenty of customizable buttons. At 5 1/2 pounds, it is quite light, and the cable is almost 15 feet long, making it a really generous weight. If you want a stick that will work no matter what you plug it into, this is the one you need. The Universal Edition, as the name implies, is a little more expensive.

5. Hit Box (PS4, PS5, PC)

Despite its resemblance to the Mixbox, the Hit Box is quite different. It might seem a little puzzling at first, but once you get your hands on it, the design is actually incredibly intuitive and intelligent. In contrast to the previous entry’s triangular orientation, the Hit Box has the movement buttons arranged in a very natural and organic way, as do the normal attack buttons, just as your hand will rest on the pad. Again, this is a godsend for players with problems with their hands or wrists since every button here is a Senwa, so everything feels tactile and satisfying.

As with learning how to properly hold a golf club, there is a learning curve with the Hit Box. You may suffer for a short period of time until the button inputs become second nature to you. In addition, there have been some complaints that this controller gives unfair advantages since you can instantly switch from holding back to forward without going neutral like you would if you were pushing a stick from back to forward. Before dumping time and money into this controller, make sure the events you’re interested in won’t ban it. Otherwise, it’s one of the best innovations ever for fighting games.

6. Hori Fighting Commander (PS3, PS4, PS5, Xbox, Switch)

Despite being dubbed crazy, there are still plenty of top competitors out there who use more traditional pad-style controllers. If you prefer a firm grip on your game rather than mimicking an arcade cabinet, then the Hori Fighting Commander series of controllers are perfect for you. There are six buttons right on the Hori’s face, a turbo button, and all the other necessary inputs on the Hori, unlike most default controllers. It has larger buttons and flat rather than curved controls to prevent slipping or accidental inputs.

This controller line from Hori is available for each console, with some versions, such as the PS4, also compatible with PS5 and PC, so you’re covered wherever you play. Also, it is lightweight and ergonomic enough that you could use your thumb and index finger for the face buttons without cramping up even if you wanted to use the “claw” grip. It’s fairly low-cost, making it worthwhile even if you don’t play fighting games. Plus, it can also be used for other 2D games, and you might want to after feeling how good a D-pad is.

7. Skywin Brook Sniper Converter (PS3, PS4, Xbox, Switch)

This isn’t a controller itself, but rather a way to use your existing keyboard and mouse setup with your console. Why go through the hassle and expense of buying and learning a new controller when you can use what you like on a console if you’re already used to playing on your existing — and perhaps even expensive and customized — keyboard? The Skywin Brook Sniper Converter is all about doing that. In most cases, all you need to do is plug your USB keyboard in.

Technically, this is marketed toward FPS games since keyboards and mice are prevalent in that genre, but it also works well with fighting games. Also, some players use even crazier controllers, such as piano keyboards, which, as long as they are connected via USB, this converter will work.

8. Razer Raion Fightpad (PS4, PS5, PC)

With the Raion Fightpad, Razor rounds out the list with a simple, straightforward, and to-the-point setup. You get your great-feeling D-pad, responsive and flat buttons, and a sturdy, comfortable shell. Compared to other pads, such as the Hori Fighting Commander, it is more expensive, but it’s a little more versatile and comes with some extra features, including the touchpad and share buttons, as well as a switch that lets you switch between PS4 and PC, depending on where you’re playing. Additionally, these buttons can be deactivated to prevent accidental pauses, which is always a good idea.

This gamepad is also equipped with a headphone jack, which is not common with dedicated fighting gamepads. Razor claims each face button will last 80 million presses, making it one of the toughest gamepads. We haven’t tested that out ourselves, but at the very least it seems comforting. For those looking for a high-end gamepad, this is a perfect choice, whereas the Hori is an entry-level gamepad. In terms of extra features and overall quality, it doesn’t make a big difference from one to the other.

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