The Best Fight Sticks For Every Budget In 2023
Enhance your Street Fighter 6 and Mortal Kombat 1 experience with these fight sticks.
It's a big year for fighting games thanks to Street Fighter 6 and Mortal Kombat 1. Hardcore fighting game fans will be the first to tell you that the purest way to experience the genre of one-on-one combat is with an arcade-inspired fight stick. There's a good reason for that, as the majority of modern fighting games still have gameplay mechanics within them that are inherited from the days when titles such as Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat, and Killer Instinct ruled the arcades.
There's something that's undeniably satisfying about having a peripheral that contains a large joystick, massive face buttons, and space to store a few quarters on so that you call dibs on the next turn. Modern fight sticks also look great and boast a degree of officially endorsed customization that can make them perform even better in the competitive scene.
We've had a look at what the market has to offer in this space, so if you're looking to add some retro flavor to your gaming setup, these fight sticks will have you ready to rumble in no time. With a number of arcade classics also available on various platforms these days, you can even extra use out of these fight sticks when you dip into your classic library of games. Our list of the best fight sticks is in no particular order, but you'll find budget and high-end options here.
A good tournament-grade fight stick can be an expensive investment, and if you're not sure if you'd prefer one of these over a regular controller D-pad, then an affordable option for testing the fisticuffs waters is a must. The Mayflash F300 has an attractive price and it's compatible with a wide variety of systems. It has a solid design, you can plug it into your PC, several generations of Xbox and PlayStation, a Nintendo Switch, and select Android devices. If you're looking for an old-school experience, you can even use this on a Sega Genesis console or the NeoGeo Mini.
Mayflash F300 Elite
Once you've dipped your thumbs into fight stick waters and the bug has bitten you, the next step up is a more premium controller. The Mayflash F300 Elite retains all of the compatibility of the model listed above, plus it adds a more premium feel with a collection of high quality SANWA inputs. It also has added turbo functions with different speed settings, exchangeable D-pad and X/Y analog stick components, and a metal panel to add some reassuring heft to its build quality.
It might look like it was ripped from the dashboard of the Knight Rider car, but the F500 is another dependable and customizable fight stick from Mayflash. It's once again compatible with a wide range of PCs and consoles, supports a vibration function, and includes several turbo options in its sleek red and black design. The big difference here is that it also supports headsets on PS4 and Xbox One for added chat functionality.
Mayflash F500 Elite
Taking everything that the F500 has to offer, the Elite version of that Fight Stick improves on it with premium quality Sanwa components. Everything else here is mostly the same, from system compatibility to headset support, but the F500 Elite has also been designed to be tinkered with by arcade enthusiasts. It's easy to open up, mod, and swap out parts to create a fight stick that suits your preferences.
Hori Fight Stick
If you're looking to turn your Switch into a little arcade unit, then the compact Hori Fight Stick gets the job done on a budget. It's affordable, has a lightweight design, and plenty of buttons so that you can use it for other Switch games as well. It's got a classic arcade layout, but if you're the type of gamer who enjoys grabbing gameplay footage, it also has a dedicated button for captures.
Hori Fight Stick Alpha
On the Xbox side of arcade gaming, the Fight Stick Alpha from Hori is an attractive option. It's loaded with quality parts, a Hayabusa-produced joystick, and up to four custom profiles that can be switched between on the fly. It also has audio controls, headset support, and it's easy to maintain with its design.
Mad Catz Ego Fight Stick
This big fight stick from Mad Catz is designed to faithfully replicate an arcade setup with its sheer size and components. Internally, it has tournament-grade Sanwa components, eight customizable action buttons, a turbo switch, and multi-button functionality that can be programmed in. It's made to be durable, and has a metal frame, wide base, and non-slip foam.
8Bitdo Arcade Stick
8BitDo has earned a reputation for its controllers that combine classic style with modern conveniences, and its arcade fight stick is another prime example of its design philosophy. Besides its delightful retro aesthetics, this peripheral also has wireless Bluetooth support, a dynamic button layout, and a strong battery life. The big draw here though is its ultra-moddable design that allows the fight stick to be customized physically and digitally through 8BitDo's software.
Qanba Drone Joystick
It might be an older model, but the Qanba Drone still has an eye-catching design and reliable features. For those gamers who don't mind playing their favorite arcade games on older PlayStation consoles--or PC--this entry-level fight stick gets the job done with sturdy materials, capable buttons, and a solid joystick.
Qanba Dragon Joystick
For another head-turning design from Qanba, the Dragon is a hardcore offering that's crammed with quality parts. The design alone is attractive, but throw in Sanwa Denshi buttons, support for Sony games with dedicated switches, and a top panel that you can swap new parts into easily, and this legacy device still has plenty of charm.
Dragon Slay fight stick
With a wide variety of platforms that it can be used on and a faceplate that goes heavy on the dragon theme, this fight stick is no slouch. For the price, it includes Sanwa Denshi parts, a built-in storage compartment, and a vintage arcade layout.
Victrix Pro FS and FS 12
The most expensive option on this list, the Victrix Pro FS (and FS Pro) looks elegant, features premium Sanwa Denshi parts, and an absurd amount of customization. What makes this arcade controller stand out though is that it was designed to deliver the fastest (legal) response time on console, for that added edge in competitive gaming spaces.
This list focuses on fight sticks, but we'd be remiss not to include the inventive fight stick that doesn't actually have a joystick. Dubbed Hit Box, this controller has an all-button design with a deliberate layout that makes it easy to play fighting games without even using a stick or D-pad. Have you ever thought you moved the joystick up but the game registered the input as right? Yes, all of us have done that. The Hit Box remedies that. It's all about accuracy, and it's also faster to press buttons than it is to move a joystick. Joysticks are fun to use, so you are losing that classic feel with a Hit Box, but this controller is great for both beginners and fighting game pros.
The products discussed here were independently chosen by our editors. GameSpot may get a share of the revenue if you buy anything featured on our site.