Return of Arcade Game Stick

Last Updated on by William J. Lopez

Some things transcend the change in times and the trends that come with that. One such “thing” is the arcade game stick.

While the significant era of arcades and arcade machines might have passed, one thing that has persevered is the arcade stick. In some way, shape, or form, it still by large exists today.

This way, the modern gamepads or controllers such as the PS4 or Xbox controllers are inspired somewhat by the old-age arcade sticks. Now, with the popularity of some specific games rising, we ask, “Are arcade sticks back in business?”

We live in a golden age of gaming, with innovation at an all-time high. But there’s one piece that many gamers miss: the arcade game stick.

If you’re looking for retro fun or want to return to basics, check out our list of excellent classic arcade sticks! In the upcoming segments, we will address some critical and noteworthy topics regarding arcade sticks.

What is an Arcade Stick?

arcade stick

Most of us had the luxury of visiting arcades during childhood, and boy, we enjoyed the times spent there. For those of you who have not seen arcade game machines or are curious about the nature of an arcade stick, this section is for you.

An Arcade Stick is a device with which you can input commands for different video game functions. Think of it as a cabinet or box, variable in shape as to the number of buttons. The central aspect of this box is a large joystick. It is relatively more significant than a gamepad might be.

The pack also contains multiple buttons, usually more meaningful than a gamepad. The number of buttons varies depending on the model of the arcade stick.

The buttons require a more physical push to them for activation. It’s different from a Gamepad or controller in the size, shape, and nature of the buttons, along with the kind of joystick it offers.

Evolution of Arcade Game Sticks

The journey of arcade sticks from simple wooden levers to sophisticated digital controllers is remarkable. Technological advancements have made these devices more responsive, customizable, and user-friendly.

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Why Are Arcade Sticks Making a Comeback?

  • Nostalgia: The retro appeal attracts older gamers.
  • Competitive Gaming: Many professional players prefer arcade sticks.
  • Enhanced Gaming Experience: Arcade sticks offer better control and immersion.

These factors contribute to the renewed interest and growing market for arcade sticks.

Choosing your Arcade Game Stick

Choosing your Arcade Game Stick

You should thoroughly consider whether an arcade stick is the right choice for you. Please do your research, use an arcade stick your friend or anyone you know has, and compare it to your controller.

Not all arcade stick models are compatible with console games. Last, you should decide on the best arcade game and stick with your budget and the number of buttons you need.

Some games like Streetfighter traditionally use a 6-button setup, so perhaps keeping that in mind, at least six buttons and an arcade stick should be enough. If you want one with more buttons, you can go for that.

Factor to Consider



Ensure the arcade stick is compatible with your gaming system (PC, PS4, Xbox, etc.).

Build Quality

Opt for an arcade stick made from durable materials and solid construction.


Determine your budget and find an arcade stick that fits within it.


Consider extra buttons, customization options, and other features that may enhance your experience.

Game Requirements

Some games like Streetfighter use a 6-button setup; make sure the arcade stick meets game-specific needs.

Personal Experience

Try using an arcade stick before buying to ensure it suits your gaming style and comfort level.

How to choose your arcade stick?

Some games like Streetfighter traditionally use a 6-button setup, so perhaps keeping that in mind, at least six buttons and an arcade stick should be enough. If you want one with more buttons, you can go for that.

What are the Benefits of an Arcade Stick?

The arcade stick is not just an old collector’s item. It is one of the most competitive pieces of computer gaming hardware for the most part. Most pros prefer using an arcade stick over controllers/gamepads for competitive fighting games.

The reason is simple: arcade sticks allow better and more accurate responses. You may not notice the difference for casual gamers until you use the arcade stick for some time.

An arcade stick’s difference in execution to the controller/ gamepad can only be realized after continuous use.



Better and More Accurate Responses

Arcade sticks allow more precise inputs, making them ideal for competitive fighting games.

Favorable Layout

All buttons are easily accessible, and the joystick is controlled with the whole hand, offering better response times.


Arcade sticks can be custom-made, allowing you to add more buttons and choose placement.


Built to last, arcade sticks are far more durable than regular controllers.


Many users find the layout and design of arcade sticks more comfortable for extended gaming sessions.

Effective Execution of Combos

The design allows for quicker and more effective execution of complex game combos.

Less Fatigue

Unlike controllers that can tire out your thumb, arcade sticks utilize your entire hand and arm, reducing fatigue.

Portability Concerns

While generally larger and heavier, this is a trade-off for the other benefits.

Do arcade sticks help fighting games?

An arcade fight stick is your best friend in fighting games!

The joysticks are designed to be operated with whole hands so you can execute each movement of the arcade game and pull off complex moves.

Fighting games are challenging. It’s a big feat to master the complex and quick movements of arcade fighting games, but with your trusty fight stick, you can put your whole hand and arm into each motion for an easier time.

What kinds of games can I play?

Users worldwide use the arcade stick for almost all kinds of games. People play FPS games and even third-person shooters.

Some users have also found FIFA interesting with the stick (somehow). The sky is the limit, but realistically, to us at least, the arcade stick offers the best use in arcade-style games.

Most commonly and effectively used in fighting games such as Street Fighter, Tekken Series, King of Fighters, Soul Calibur, etc. Most pro gamers in the games mentioned above and other games use arcade sticks.

It is a testament to the nature of this equipment. It is the item for you if you find such games engaging and plan on playing them a lot. The skill can’t be bought, but the arcade stick can make you a better player if you put the time into it. The combat stick will make gaming far more engaging and loveable for anyone.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an arcade stick?

An arcade stick is a large-format controller for video games. It uses a joystick and buttons similar to those on classic arcade machines.

Why would I use an arcade stick over a regular controller?

Arcade sticks offer better precision and control, especially in fighting and arcade-style games. Many professional gamers also prefer them.

Are arcade sticks compatible with all gaming systems?

Most modern arcade sticks are designed to be compatible with multiple gaming systems, but it’s essential to check the specifications before purchasing.

How much does a good arcade stick cost?

The price of an arcade stick can vary widely depending on its features and build quality. Basic models can start at around $50, while high-end versions cost several hundred dollars.

Where can I buy an arcade stick?

Arcade sticks can be purchased from gaming stores, online retailers, and directly from manufacturers.

Best Arcade Fight Stick For Fighting Games

Are arcade sticks good for all types of games?

While arcade sticks excel in fighting and arcade-style games, they may not be the best choice for genres like first-person shooters or sports games.

What are the upcoming trends in arcade sticks?

Wireless connectivity, haptic feedback, and increased customization options are some of the upcoming trends in arcade sticks.


The arcade game stick is back, and it’s better than ever. With fighting games becoming more popular, players are looking to improve their skills with the new technology at home.

An excellent example of this would be Street Fighter V, which has an arcade mode. You can play on your computer or gaming console using just one button—and who needs ten fingers when only one will do?

Arcade sticks have existed since the early ’80s, but many types are available in various price ranges from $30 – 300+.

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