Alt Lab Controllers Smash Stick Review

Alt Lab Controllers Smash Stick Analog Arcade Stick
PriceAlt Lab Controllers
ReleaseDecember 2022
CompatibilityNS / WU / Wii / GC / PS3 / PC
Dimensions15.6″ x 10.0″ x 2.5″
Cable2.74 m


The Alt Lab Controllers Smash Stick Analog Arcade 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. This controller works exceptionally well with guest characters in Smash, such as Terry Bogard.


This controller has a solid build, but 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.


The color scheme is quite refreshing and somehow fits the Smash theme in its own way. Furthermore, the silhouette is quite unique in addition to providing a fresh take on ergonomics.


The final product is not yet ready. The pandemic was an obstacle for production because manufacturer options were lost, and the options that were secured sent the wrong magnets required for the sensors. Even the producer for the beta cases, Jonathan Buttero from Buttercade, experienced a severe health issue and could not ship the cases, so the Smash Stick’s creator had to drive to get them.

Back to the sensor, an issue with the sensor was discovered, degrading the precision of the lever’s performance over time. The team is figuring out how to resolve this issue, but the team only consists of three people…

The team has been working on producing the Kickstarter beta backer units, which will unfortunately include the compromised sensor, and that is to produce said units quicker. On the bright side, they are to be shipped with an extra magnet that will be swappable in the future if the team succeeds in solving the software side of the sensor issue.


Those who seek a Smash controller other than the Frame1 and Smash Box designs should highly consider this one.

  • Unique concept
  • Modular construction
  • Unusual silhouette
  • Inclusive joystick movement
  • Smaller joystick range
  • Corner notches
  • Dash-back improvement
  • No snapback
  • No input deflection
  • Sufficient compatibility
  • Pivoting learning curve
  • Changing cables needed



See Also

FightBox R1

FightBox R1-B