Are you ready to step up your game and dominate your opponents?
Here are the best fight sticks in the United States, that will definitely make you stand out from the crowd and give you an advantage over your opponent.
Below you can find a buyers guide and a F.A.Q before you decide what arcade stick you are going to get!
Before you start hunting down arcade sticks, it is important to define your budget, since the products vary a lot in price! They can be split into three groups, price wise:
This topic is very broad, since for the most part, it mainly comes down to personal liking and preference! Finding the best fight stick comes down to how much space you need for your palm, what button sizes you prefer and etc. You can definitely trust big companies like Razer and Hori for example, for delivering a good product, but there’s a reason why people turn to modding and customizing their arcade sticks.
What we put into consideration when making the list below was the cheapest price and best quality. Of course the more money you spend on an arcade stick, the more quality you are going to get, but it was decided that some cheaper ones deserve a place in our best list!
In terms of buttons, the best brand is Sanwa and second to it is Seimutsu. And for the stick itself, you should look for Sanwa again, or Taeyoung, which is most common in Korean arcade sticks. These brands give the fastest response times and are used by every fighting game professional in the Esports world.
What we put into consideration when making the list was the cheapest price and best quality. Ofcourse the more money you spend on an arcade stick, the more quality you are going to get, but it was decided that some cheaper ones deserve a place in our best list!
The list has the best arcade sticks for 2020. They were ranked from multiple opinions on reddit (r/fightstick), known and trusted people on Youtube, and the fighting stick Discord. The research has been done for you, so you can sit back and choose your new arcade stick, without having to worry too much on which product to choose from! Moreover most of the mentioned arcade sticks are popular choices in fighting game tournaments!
If you go around the web to look for cheaper alternative, you are going to stumble on one of the worst arcade sticks out there! The cheapest one on the market is the Mayflash F300 and anything below the F300s price looses way too much valuable quality!
The worst part about buying a super cheap arcade stick, is that if you never played on a good one before, you can get a very wrong understanding of what an arcade stick is all about.
Mayflash F300 is a good beginner arcade stick. If you never tried playing on a fight stick and your not a 100% sure whether you will like it, maybe the F300 is for you! However if you are a big arcade stick enthusiast and you have past experience, you might want to reconsider!
The stick is compatible with most platforms known in 2020, which supports Dinput and Xinput when plugged in to your PC! Some of the cons of this arcade stick however, are that it requires a controller to be plugged into it, when you are playing on consoles.
Keep in mind though, this arcade stick has a big advantage, because it is fully customizable and upgradable with Seimitsu Denshi parts!
Buyers caution: This stick is a great beginners tool, unfortunately in the long run, you are going to get a better one anyways! It almost always happens, since this arcade stick doesn't offer the highest quality and long term stick users would never recommend this product! If you are looking for something that won't break the bank, you can instead, wait for a good promotion on a different product.
This is another fight stick, which works on all gaming platforms including the Nintendo Switch and Neo Geo, unlike like the F300! The premise of this controller is an upgraded version of the F300.
The case of the controller is sturdy and is equipped with 8 buttons with rubber protection on the bottom, alongside enough weight for durability! This fight stick promises great quality for its price and full customization for the players liking.
It may not be the choice if you are a hardcore player and you are in the arcade field from a long time, but for a new player, this could be the exact match!
Buyers caution: Pretty much the same as the F300. If you are buying this just because you want to see how an arcade stick would feel, keep in mind that this is a mid-tier product, which offers decent, but not high quality.
Fight sticks are very pricey for people who just jumped in the field, that is why Qanba Drone is yet another mid-tier quality arcade stick that costs around 69$. This product is made specifically for newbies, who don't really wish to spend all their savings! Keep in mind that it only works on PS3, PS4 and PC.
Buyers caution: The only negative about this budget arcade stick is that the size of it can be a bit small for some people and the stick itself has some issues such as double triggering, but that should not scare you, since the lever is moddable and can be replaced with a Sanwa instead.
The Mad Catz TE2+ is a made for real fans with its custom layouts and artwork on them, which buyers can easily swap and adjust.
The controller includes 8 buttons, a L3 and R3 button, a touch pad, turbo and other useful buttons at the top of the case. The unit has a storage place, making it easier to modify.
An important disadvantage is that the company declared bankruptcy in 2017, so all of their drivers and customer support no longer exist!
Hello Xbox players, Razer has made an arcade stick specifically for you! Razer Atrox is the best Xbox One stick, which kind of explains its price.
It offers its buyers the best buttons on the market, which are also remappable and a case design made for easy modding.
If you are the type of person who wants to try and enjoy modding, Razer Atrox will be your choice, since you will not be punished by losing you warranty!
Buyers caution: This arcade stick is made specifically for the Xbox One and will not work on anything else besides PC!
Now we are getting to the more interesting and more pricey fight sticks!
Certified by Sony, compatible with PS3, PS4 and PS5 including PC, the Hori Real Arcade Pro KAI promises to deliver excellent experience for fighting game players with high-quality components.
It comes with a Hayabusa lever and buttons, which have instant response times and feel just right. This is one of the sticks, which is easily noticeable on fighting game events such as EVO and The Tekken World Tour.
Razer is better known for other products such as gaming headsets and keyboards, but they have really made an exceptional fight stick! The Razer Panthera is one of the top choices for competitive players with its 10 mechanical buttons made from Razer, a stick from Sanwa and a touchpad for thePlayStation. Keep in mind, the buttons on the arcade stick are better than Sanwa, because they have better response time, so you won't have to swap them in the future!
However, if you are a modding person, this fight stick is specifically made for you, because the design allows you to mod or upgrade everything to your liking.
A really good side of the Panthera, that some people don't really consider, is palm size! The Razer Panthera case has lots of space to rest your palm, allowing you to play longer with no hurting wrist, which makes its significantly better than some other products! That's the reason the Razer Panthera Evo deserves a place in the best arcade sticks list!
Enough with the modding talk, here is the Qanba Obsidian, which is already made to sooth your needs! Since the product is in the high ranges when it comes to price, it includes Sanwa Denshi components for the ultimate gaming experience.
This is yet another piece of equipment, which is easily spottable in fighting games events and tournaments. The reason for that is that the stick is super durable and sturdy, which is super important in the competitive world.
The stick has a metal balltop, which is not everyones favorite. If you do not like the feel of it, you have to buy a new balltop and replace the original one!
Unfortunately, it's compatible only with the PS4, PC and most importantly, it will be compatible with the PS5, sorry Xbox fans!
Equipped with an aluminum top panel and a HAYABUSA stick and buttons, this arcade stick promises great response times, less input lag and most importantly great style and looks!
What's so unique about the stick is that it has shorter buttons for faster response, a 3.5mm headset microphone jack and touchpad functionality!
Loved and used by professional players, the Hori Fighting Edge is one of a kind arcade stick.
If you are not bothered by the price tag and want to flex on your friends at the next tournament, well let me introduce you to the Qanba Dragon. The visuals and looks of the fight stick will certainly grab your attention with its LED lights and dragon-like interior.
But thats not all, since it is equipped with Sanwa Buttons and a quick swappable parts design for modding on the go! This certanly has to be one of the best arcade stick out there!
A high performance fight stick, made from fighting game competitors for fighting game competitors! It is equipped with Sanwa parts and claimed to have the fastest PCB response time.
Using this at your next big game can have a bad experience for your opponent.
This another arcade stick that really didn't cut corners, especially with palm size. It offers to its buyers a ton of space for your palm, so you don't get some kind of wrist pain and have to wear wrist bands in the future!
Etokki Omni will surely make you unique next to all of your friends and opponents. This arcade fight stick has a Korean Taeyoung Fanta stick instead of the usual Sanwa, which may be a little foreign to you at first, but will surely make a difference in your game for the better!
It has a circular gate, unlike the typical square one. The price may catch you a bit off guard, but it deserves every penny put into it. This arcade stick definitely deserves first place and title best arcade stick, because of its popularity, the recommendation from pro players and its reputation for being solid!
Frequently asked questions surrounding new owners of Fight sticks or even more experienced ones are: How do I hold this? What should my hand position be? Is the grip really that important?
The simple answer is not really. The hand positioning is not significant in any way, just as it is with a simple PC mouse. It is all a matter of personal preference. There is no perfect way to grip an Arcade stick. The only thing to avoid is grabbing the joystick from above, without the hand being planted on the Arcade stick. Many people complain about their fingers or hands hurting after a longer session, which is as annoying as easily corrected. With that being said, we can talk about the different type of grips that people use:
In all of these grips we will be using our thumb, so just remember that as we're moving along. The two finger grip includes your index finger and your middle finger (and of course your thumb). It's as simple as grabbing your index and middle finger and putting it on your joystick with your thumb behind it, while your hand stays planted on the surface of the Arcade stick.
This includes the index, middle and ring finger. This is more of a cupping motion, where you cup the joystick ball in the spot across these three fingers, with your thumb supporting it from behind. This grip to some people provides more control over the joystick, but yet again it is all personal preference.
This is fairly simple, its simply cupping the ball of the joystick inside your palm using all fingers (from the sides).
In this case you use your index and middle finger, or middle and ring fingers and putting it between the shaft of the joystick, and then you put your thumb over the balltop, and you hold it basically like holding a wine glass, hence the name.
You take your ring and pinky finger and you put them on the shaft. Your index and middle finger hold the balltop, and you put the thumb over at top. You're technically holding it like a monkey would, hence the name.
You take your middle finger, press it against the shaft (that is pointing to you), your index finger goes behind the ball top and your thumb goes on top. It is important to have your wrist and hand straight when using this grip. You are using your thumb to guide the balltop and your two fingers to flick it (index and thumb).
You put your palm on the balltop and grip it with your whole hand. This provides a lot of control, although it can exhaust after a while.
You put the palm on the top and that's it. You don't even grip it. There's nothing interesting about this one really... hence the name.
I'm not even kidding, that's how its called. You put your pinky finger on the bottom side of the shaft, your ring finger on the top side of the shaft and your middle and index fingers on the top of the ball, and you only occasionally use the thumb. You have to hold the shaft and make sure you're gripping the ball strongly for this method to work. You won't have a straight fist for this one, your hand will have a diagonal position which will come natural.
It's in your hands to find out which grip fits you best. Make sure to test all of these out, and if you encounter any discomfort switch to the next grip immediately.
As far as positioning goes for Arcade sticks, there seem to be two choices. Either hold it in your lap, or place in or something stable. In the end, as long as the Arcade stick is stable and you have good control over it, this is still a matter of personal preference.
This is fairly simple, you place it on your lap and you're good to go! A big plus for this is that you can play on your Arcade stick anywhere you wish without having to think of a good sturdy object to place it on. Of course, if you cannot manage to keep it steady, and if it's dangling around this is not the ultimate choice for you!
It seems like there are two sub-points here that we need to address, and they are steadiness and comfort. Not all flat surfaces are comfortable, especially when you take into consideration the height difference between them and what you're sitting on, which is why you will need to test different objects out.
As far as steadiness goes, if the Arcade stick does not... well, STICK to the surface, it seems rather smarter to keep searching for another object.
In the end you can even place it on the floor as long as the two criteria (comfort and steadiness) are met. We suggest you experiment and find the best option for yourself!