Arcade sticks are the best for fighting games. Hitboxes and mixboxes are included as well. Hitboxes use directional buttons instead of a joystick, and mixboxes use directional keys instead of a joystick.
Most fighting games are best played with an arcade stick. Instead of trying to execute complicated moves with a smaller controller, an arcade stick gives you plenty of space to use your hands and fingers. You can do much more with your hands and fingers than when you are gripping a controller. If you often get nervous during play, an arcade stick makes it harder to mash unintended moves, and it is also harder to sweat, making everything slippery.
What Pros Choose
There is a reason why most pro players use an arcade stick. The sophisticated directional movements and button presses that fighting games often require can be done more easily with a joystick you can move with your whole hand. Also, you have big buttons spread out for your convenience.
The Razer Panthera was the most used arcade stick at EVO 2019, which is the world’s most prestigious fighting game competition. It also won the most tournaments at EVO that year.
Admittedly, 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 too. Zangief, the Street Fighter character, thrives on 360 motions that are easier to execute with a controller. That is because hitting three to four directions on a D-pad is faster than spinning a joystick. Though, generally speaking, arcade sticks work the best.
Good Alternatives to Arcade Sticks
Again, you can also improve your gameplay by going for a hitbox or mixbox. Read more about this subject here. If you are ready to elevate your game, here are some useful resources: