On the outside it kind of resembles a normal arcade fight stick with the only difference being there is no actual stick. In its place you will find four buttons which you can compare with the normal W, A, S, D on your keyboard. Usually your fingers will be placed as if they were on a keyboard, with the exception that your thumb will be on the usual space bar button and it will be a up button.
This may sound unfamiliar and weird to new hitbox players, but if you give it enough time and practice you will notice a great improvement on your fundamentals, whether you are coming from a D-pad controller or a normal fighting stick.
In the case of mixboxes, they are pretty much the same, with the difference being instead of a stick, you have the usual keyboard layout of the W, A, S, D keys.
Again we will focus on the movement part, since it is the only part of the product, which makes it
from the others.
Hitboxes and mixboxes have an advantage over other units, because of their Accuracy and speed. But response times arent the only plus side! With a lever, stick or pad you cant hit both directions at once! Hitboxes and mixboxes on the other side, can!
For example if u press both left and right you will get a neutral stand in the game, which helps for certain moves in various games!
Because of the advantages listed above, some tournaments forbid their use. This is not always the case,
it does in fact exist.
Another factor to consider is its price, since most of them vary between the price range of 200$, for which you can get a very good fighting stick instead!
There are a couple of reasons why hitboxes are better than mixboxes.
The first one being the space between the buttons. Having enough space between them will decrease the
moments in which you would hit something accidentally.
The second one is using your thumb for the up arrow instead of your middle finger, which also is going to be pressing the down button(W & S).
These may seem like small factors, but if you wish to increase your gameplay from every aspect these are surely a drawback!
It really depends what are your goals. If you want to improve in the game you are playing, surely
Hitbox will improve your game. But if you just want play for fun and dont care about in game advantages
you dont want to spend your savings, maybe you can pass on this one.
The learning curve is another factor. If you are coming from playing on keyboard, the hitbox will feel very familiar and you will get used to it very quickly. But if you never tried a fighting stick and you just play on your d-pad, you will need a lot of time to switch to the new controller.
If you have a friend with a hitbox or a fighting stick, ask them if you can see how it feels before jumping on the hype train and spending around 200$ for it!