A Arcade Stick or also known as Fight Stick It is a controller for video games that has its origin in arcades. Therefore, it is sought after by fans of these games who today, thanks to the magic of emulation, enjoy these games at home and want to have the full experience. However, choosing one is not easy and many are of poor quality. That is why we are going to help you not to err in the attempt.
Nostalgia comes from the relationship of certain experiences at various times in our lives, which is exaggerated when we are reliving it in a way that is closer to the original. The good thing is that playing classic arcade games on our PC is that it takes us back to the good stuff, without the excessive smoke of old times and without the peepers behind our backs that made us nervous. Of course, you’re not going to play that arcade classic with a controller.
What makes a good arcade stick good?
The first thing that is important in a controller that emulates those of yesteryear is the so-called look and feel, where the touch, the weight of the levers, the size of the buttons and how they sound must be exactly the same as in the Arcade Stick of yesteryear. The fact of reaching that level of detail already demonstrates a level of attention to detail and care on the part of the peripheral when it comes to producing it. Although we leave for the moment the nostalgic and romantic part.
How to choose one well?
- One of the points that differentiates a good arcade stick from others is the bounce of the buttons. The concept is similar to that of mechanical keyboards. You shouldn’t have to hit them for it to register your touch and they shouldn’t be so sensitive that when you’re resting your fingers they end up being pressed. In this case, go for the ones that use Sanwa-style buttons.
- There are two types of analog sticks: Japanese and Korean. The best ones are the first, since they are the ones used in the arcades of yesteryear and their mechanism is similar to what was in the furniture of the arcades. The Korean ones, on the other hand, are based more on the analog sticks of the controls of current consoles and they are not bad, but less adequate.
- The layout of the buttons must be comfortable for the fingers of your right hand and your muscle memory. By the way, the more buttons the better, since you will have access to a greater number of games, especially the fighting ones that stood out in their use for this reason.
- Many of the arcade sticks promise wireless connectivity via Bluetooth, run away from them, although not having cables is comfortable, the additional input lag can completely hinder the gaming experience.
What are the best arcade sticks on the market?
We have chosen four different models as examples of the best that we can find today in stores.
- He Hori Fighting Stick Mini with 8 buttons and that is designed to be used with PS3, PS4 and PC, although you can also find a version that works on Nintendo Switch and computer. Its price is usually between €50 and €70.
- For Xbox users we have the Razer Atrox, However, its price goes to €286 for the brand that it is. If anything, it’s an ideal complement to Retroarch on Microsoft consoles.
- Our third option, which stands out for its use of Sanwa buttons and joystick is the MAYFLASH Arcade Stock F300, which is for us the best option of all due to the fact that it works with any system and has a good relationship between its quality and its price, which is around €100.
- An option of the same quality as that of the previous point, the arcade stick N30 by 8bitdo.Which is compatible with the Nintendo Switch and the PC.
And if none convinces me?
Luckily you can assemble your own arcade stick and buy both the keyboard and the sticks separately in order to build the arcade stick of your dreams. In that case you will need some skill and patience, but the result will be worth it. In the event that you ask for a custom-made recreational machine in a specialized workshop, you can ask them for the configuration and parts you want, you can even choose to have a personalized one made for you.