Alt Lab Controllers Smash Stick Preview

Last modified: October 25, 2019

Price$249
Release2020
PlatformsNS / WU / Wii / GC / PC

Preview

The Smash Stick Analog Arcade Stick is being designed by a small group of competitive fighting gamers who disliked the lack of analog arcade sticks. The founders are known as TheBlackHombre and Broasty, and their main goal was to design the stick with an emphasis on the community’s feedback. The inception started in 2014 when TheBlackHombre played his first Super Smash Bros. game, which was the mod, Project M. He wanted to keep using arcade sticks. In 2015, he put out a prototype, encouraging Broasty to join in 2016. Broasty is a Melee player and also a mechanical engineer. The company was finally founded in 2017, hiring four community members as testers, who are Darkhorse, Lucky, Eclipsing Binary, and dekillsage. Darkhorse tests Smash 64, Lucky and Eclipsing Binary test Melee, and dekillsage tests Smash 4.

As for the design itself, the Smash Stick uses a 100% analog joystick specifically designed by Alt Lab Controllers that is not limited in angles or values that it can hit. It has an octagonal gate with the bottom two corner notches aligned to perform Axe-style shield drops in Melee. The joystick’s range is smaller than what is found in regular arcade sticks. As a result, dash dancing feels quite comfortable. As for snapback or input deflection, the Smash Stick does not suffer from this problem. Needless to say, the Smash Stick improves on the dash-back issue with the GameCube analog stick but without 100% success due to Melee’s input polling. As for pivoting, whether empty or perfect, it is possible with the Smash Stick although practice would still be needed. Swapping cables is needed to play on each supported platform. The unit was designed to be modder friendly with a modular construction that allows nearly all parts to be maintained or replaced.

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Alt Lab Controllers