Looking for a PS4 Arcade Stick? This article explores some of the best available.
If you’ve never experienced a fighting game with an arcade stick, you’re definitely missing out. Most one-on-one fighters – Tekken, Street Fighter, Dead or Alive, and the like – are created for arcades first then ported to consoles. That means their controls are usually optimised for arcade-style six- or eight-button configurations rather than the PS4 controller’s four face buttons. Playing with an arcade stick made us “get” one-on-one fighters, and it might do the same for you.
That said, it’s not easy to know which ones you should get. Some are excellent, some not so much. Playing a fighting game with the right arcade stick can truly mean the difference between stunning victory and embarrassing defeat. Here are our favourite PS4 arcade sticks to grab in 2019 and ensure a flawless victory over your inferior opponent.
Best all-round – Hori Real Arcade Pro 4 Kai
Hori’s Real Arcade Pro 4 Kai is, to put it simply, the best arcade stick available for the console right now. It’s got a gorgeous construction that looks sleek but never feels unwieldy or too weighty. Its stick is flexible and intuitive, and its buttons have a pleasing, satisfying sense of feedback that makes any fighting game a joy. There’s a side panel that offers the usual fighting game functions – turbo, toggle switches, button config, et cetera – but you’ll be able to use this one right out of the box with very little trouble. All-round, the Hori Real Arcade Pro 4 Kai is the best arcade stick for your money right now.
Best for modders – Mayflash F500 Arcade Fight Stick
This is a very solid option for those who have a little less money to spend than the Real Arcade Pro 4. The price difference isn’t huge, and while the F500 is definitely bulkier and less satisfying to use than the RAP 4, it’s still a very worthwhile purchase. There may be some of you out there who prefer the construction of this one to its more lightweight and less bulky brethren. The F500 is crafted to ensure that enthusiast players can mod it if they wish to. You can replace the buttons here with Sanwa parts if you’d like, although if you’re not big into the scene the stock buttons will do fine.
Best when money is no object – Razer Panthera Evo
Razer is a household name when it comes to gaming peripherals, so it should come as no surprise that their Panthera Evo arcade stick is one of the best fight sticks you can buy right now. It comes complete with a genuine Sanwa joystick and buttons to match, each of which is an absolute joy to use thanks to Razer’s proprietary mechanical switches. The durability of this stick is astonishing; it’ll definitely stand up to even the most punishing gaming sessions. There’s even a 3.5mm port on the side to truly immerse yourself in your gaming experience. It’s pricey, but the Panthera Evo is worth it.
Best on a budget – Hori Fighting Stick Mini
Like many other Hori products, the Fighting Stick Mini is officially licensed by Sony. That means Sony have endorsed the stick, so if you want something that you know is built to last and offer superior quality, Hori is the way to go. The Fighting Stick Mini is definitely a more budget option compared to pricier alternatives from Razer and Mayflash, but it hardly shows. The 3m cable is convenient for all kinds of room setups, and it’s compact, so you can take it with you to your friend’s house to school them. The quality isn’t incredible, but for this price it more than does the job.
Best for sheer extravagance – Qanba Dragon
We know we said the Razer Panthera was the best stick for those with enough money to match its quality, but the Qanba Dragon is a truly monstrous beast. If you find yourself with money to burn rather than simply to spend, opt for the Qanba Dragon. Ridiculously extravagant extras like an LED lighting strip and a huge sturdy base make this the stick of choice for those who want everyone to see their superiority. The stick opens up for easy modding access, and there’s even a braided USB cable to keep your connection stable and strong. The Qanba Dragon is an excellent choice for fighting game masters.
Best for an ultra-budget option – Mad Catz Street Fighter V FightStick Alpha
Mad Catz has made a triumphant return to our gaming shelves. The company went out of business back in 2017, but managed to make a comeback last year. Remind yourself of their past glories with the FightStick Alpha. This is an officially-licensed Street Fighter V fight stick, so naturally it’s optimised for use with that game. It’ll still do just fine for any other fighter you care to name, though. The stick is compact, feels nice to use, and has a nice design. It’s a super-budget device, so don’t expect Panthera levels of quality, but it’ll do nicely for the price.