Street Fighter 5 - Which Arcade Stick to Buy

Mad Catz and Hori have a variety of arcade stick options. Find out which one works best for you!

Jan. 18, 2016, 3:21 p.m. by Bryan Dawson

With Capcom’s Street Fighter 5 right around the corner it will mark the time many PlayStation 4 owners need to invest in a new arcade stick. While there have been a number of fighting games released for the PlayStation 4, many have included PlayStation 3 arcade stick functionality. Even popular titles such as Mortal Kombat X and Capcom’s own Ultra Street Fighter 4 have offered support for PlayStation 3 peripherals. Back in May of last year, Capcom stated the company was looking into that option for Street Fighter 5, but with no follow-up in nearly a year, it seems like it may not happen.

There are a number of arcade sticks that are available now or will be available around the release of Street Fighter 5. The main companies producing these sticks are Mad Catz and Hori. Mad Catz has been around for a long time, but the company became very popular in the fighting game scene after releasing one of the first mainstream arcade sticks to feature high quality parts for the buttons, stick and overall build. Now Mad Catz is looking to expand on their larger arcade stick portfolio with a few new additions for Street Fighter 5.

Mad Catz Street Fighter V Arcade FightStick Tournament Edition 2+

While Mad Catz has offered a few different FightStick products for the PlayStation 4 already, this new TE2+ takes the design of the original Killer Instinct and Chun-Li models and adds K3 and R3 buttons along with a full touch panel at the top. In previous fighting games, Mad Catz stick owners had to do without the L3 and R3 buttons (generally used to reset your position in training mode and other ancillary activities). Now that feature has been added for fans in need of the complete package. It’s a little more expensive at $229.99, but you get a lot at that price.

Mad Catz Street Fighter V Arcade FightStick Tournament Edition S+

The Tournament Edition S+ is smaller in design compared to the TE2+ but removes some of the bulk that has turned off players looking for something a bit more compact. While the TE2+ has the internal compartment like the larger Killer Instinct and Chun-Li sticks, the TE-S+ uses a similar design to the older Soul Calibur 5 stick. The button layout is the same, as well as the L3, R3 and touch panel features, but it’s not as bulky as the TE2+, which makes it a bit more convenient to carry around. For the standard price of $199.99 this is the perfect stick for anyone who had an original TE-S for the Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3.

Mad Catz Street Fighter V Arcade FightStick Alpha

If the TE-S+ isn’t small enough for you, Mad Catz is also introducing the FightStick Alpha. This is about as small as it gets for an arcade stick. The Alpha basically takes the stick and buttons from the other FightSticks and cuts off anything beyond that small area. You won’t even find six buttons on this stick as it only provides the basic six you need for most fighting games. While this is the most compact stick by far, it should be noted that the traditional Sanwa buttons and stick are not featured here. The Alpha uses Mad Catz parts which are still decent in quality, but aren’t the name brand you may be used to from other Mad Catz sticks. Still, at $79.99 it’s hard to overlook this one if you want the smaller size. Even modding the stick with Sanwa parts, it’s still considerably less than most other sticks.

Hori

Hori offers several different PlayStation 4 arcade sticks, all of which are cheaper than the Mad Catz offerings. The Hori sticks are a bit smaller in size compared to the Mad Catz sticks (especially when comparing them to the TE2+), but the functionality is virtually identical. Some people like a more bulky stick that has a bit of weight to it, which would favor the Mad Catz sticks, but if you want something lighter that’s a bit larger than the Mad Catz Alpha stick, Hori should be your choice. The cheaper price for most of the Hori sticks can also be helpful for anyone who may already own a stick from the last console generation.

If Street Fighter 5 will be your first fighting game in years, be sure to check out our basics on learning to play Street Fighter and learning footsies !