Yes, arcade sticks are easier once you get used to them. At first, the learning curve may be steep. You may have gone to the arcades when you were younger and used a joystick to play games that do not require a lot of dexterity. You may have even played actual fighting games at the arcades like Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat, but it is unlikely that you played enough to familiarize yourself with joysticks. Instead, you likely spent most of your gaming time playing with a controller, which is still an excellent option for gaming in general, but not fighting games.

What makes arcade sticks easier?

Once you familiarize yourself with arcade sticks, you will likely find joysticks and big buttons so convenient that you never return to controllers. Fighting games often require complex directional inputs and button presses, so when you use your entire hands instead of just your fingers, you have more control. Plus, everything is bigger than on a controller, so you can be more precise with your inputs. If you get nervous and sweat when competing, it is easy to make a controller slippery and mash buttons frantically, but not with an arcade stick.

Which techniques become easier?

Here is a couple of examples:

  1. Chun Li’s rapid kicks in Street Fighter
  2. Mishima characters’ wave dashing in Tekken

Since the dawn of time, Chun Li’s rapid kicks require pressing the kick buttons rapidly, which is quite an intuitive concept, but it is tough to do with a controller. If you have an arcade stick with big buttons, you can more conveniently tap the buttons almost like a piano.

As for Mishima wave dashes, which can be described as rapidly pressing forward and then quarter-circle forward, using your entire left hand to move a joystick is easier than using just your thumb to move an analog stick. Otherwise, crane operators in construction sites would use an analog stick instead of a big joystick, but we digress.

What are some beginner friendly arcade sticks?

While there aren’t necessarily arcade sticks that are easier than others, there are arcade sticks that are easier on your wallet, so if you would like to enter the realm of arcade sticks, consider getting a budget arcade stick to test things out before taking the plunge and investing in some serious equipment.

That said, we recommend that you check out our list of the top budget arcade sticks.