Yes, arcade sticks are generally better than controllers. Most fighting games are better played with an arcade stick. Instead of trying to pull off complex moves with a compact controller, an arcade stick gives you plenty of room to use your hands and fingers.

With an arcade stick, you can do much more with your hands and fingers than when you are gripping a smaller controller. If you get nervous during play, an arcade stick makes it harder to mash unintended moves, and it is also harder for sweat to make everything slippery.

The Pros’ Choice

There is a reason why most professional players use an arcade stick. Fighting games often require sophisticated directional movements & button presses, which you can do more easily with a joystick you can move with your whole hand and when you have big buttons spread out for your convenience.

Exceptions to the Rule

Admittedly, you can still perform well without an arcade stick. Dominique “SonicFox” McLean is a dominant player who has won tournaments in games from Mortal Kombat to Dragon Ball FighterZ with a controller. He even launched his own line of controllers. However, SonicFox is an exception.

Some games like Mortal Kombat are more suited for controller use, and some characters in games that usually work better with arcade sticks, like Street Fighter, are more suited for controller use as well.

Zangief is a Street Fighter character who thrives on 360 motions that are easier to execute with a controller’s D-pad. That is because hitting three to four directions on a D-pad is faster than wiggling a joystick. Though, you should still look into arcade sticks, such as our top arcade stick picks.