With the arcade stick, you can enjoy joystick flexibility. Joysticks have been around since the advent of gaming, so the learning curve is less steep, and joysticks connect quite well with one’s brain. There are more customization options from joysticks to buttons. There is a bigger selection of brands that offer different arcade sticks for different tastes. Platform compatibility is less of an issue. However, the packing an arcade stick in a bag can prove to be a challenge due to the joystick sticking out, meaning that breakage is sometimes likely.
With the Hit Box, you can do 360 motions quicker. In addition, you will almost never miss pressing forward, back, up, or down perfectly as the range of motion present with joysticks does not apply. You move from direction to direction at breakneck speed. Setting both hands on a Hit Box is also very comfortable due to the balance created by not having to place one’s hands in different positions as a joystick would have to force one hand up while the other rests on the panel. Unfortunately, the position of each directional button needs some time to get used to, and Hit Boxes are quite expensive likely due to Hit Box Arcade’s monopoly on the market.
With the Mixbox, you can enjoy the proximity of the arrows to do a variety of things. Many of the benefits of the Hit Box also apply to the Mixbox. However, one might find that the clustered do not provide ample leeway for flexible movement. In addition, the fact that the material of the arrows is different than the material of the buttons strikes a strong contrast in the feel of one’s fingers on the unit, which could ultimately confuse one’s brain. Needless to say, the Mixbox is a reasonable transition for PC players who were used to WASD keyboards but would like to step up from their inferior buttons.
Ultimately, it boils down to personal preference, but the arcade stick and the Hit Box deserve the win. The arcade stick and the Hit Box both have their own exclusive benefits, but the Mixbox simply provides a less convenient option for buttons compared to the Hit Box. For full lists of the major Hit Boxes and Mixboxes that you can buy, check out the Hit Box Arcade and Mixboxarcade archives.