Which Controller Do Fighting Game Fans Prefer?

Which Controller Do Fighting Game Fans Prefer?

Commenter Zyker loves his fighting games, but hates the Xbox 360 controller. He wants to know the weapon of choice of true fighting game fans, so we’re asking you folks. Speak Up on Kotaku Round One, Fight!

I’ve been thinking about Skullgirls lately. This lead my thoughts to my old Guilty Gear love and my rage at the 360 controller for its sub-par performance in fighting games.

Now, here’s my question… what do you guys use for playing fighting games? I’ve been contemplating getting a stick (but am very cheap and don’t want to spend too much money on one), but really just want to hear people’s thoughts on this.

About Speak Up on Kotaku: Our readers have a lot to say, and sometimes what they have to say has nothing to do with the stories we run. That’s why we have a forum on Kotaku called Speak Up.


  • In terms of first party controllers, the Dualshock family is probably the best modern controller for fighting games. There are better third party controllers, and older console pads for it, but the PS3 is number 1 these days.
    It is a matter of having between 4 and 8 face buttons as well as a quality, and easily accessible, D-pad.

  • Stick is the best way to go. Makes things way easier. You just can’t get the joystick control on a regular controller as you can with a stick. In games like Street Fighter it’s easier to do multi-button presses (like LK+MK+HK) because the buttons are right next to each other. It also removes what I often see in Tekken players playing with the controller: The overhand grip for the right hand. It essentially turns the controller into an arcade stick, just without the joystick control, and it seems like a weird thing to do when you could remove all that hand strain by just using an arcade stick to begin with.

    I used to use an Xbox controller with most of my fighting games, but now that I have an arcade stick I can’t ever see myself going back.

    Oh, and if you decide to get a stick, Hori tends to be the best manufacturer.

  • Almost any arcade stick is better than a joypad. Its way more comfortable and way more fun.

    Horis do the job but the best solution is to build your own arcade contoller (if you have the time and money). There’s a few sites that will also build them for you. Just google arcade sticks, they’re not hard to find.

  • I feel that fighting games are unfortunately still given command sets based on arcade style controlles even though they are being released on console, which means they still call for wier button combinations to trigger moves even though there are many additional buttons available on a standard console controller.

  • I played fighting games using the ps3 controller for the longest time and it is definitely more than adequate to play on.
    But I got a stick (Hori of course) when I wanted to get a bit more serious with the game and it definitely improved my inputs and made executing combos a little easier.

    In my opinion, normal controller is fine for the casual player, but a stick is better for the more serious players. WIth that said, there are quite a few top competitive players in the world who play exclusively with the controller alone!

    I recommend trying both before deciding.

  • For fighting games, if I exclude arcade sticks, I would pick either SEGA Genesis 6 buttons gamepad, or original Sega Saturn gamepad.

  • Agreed with Bigkid – the Genesis 6 button pad\Sega Saturn pad were the most confortable for playing 2D fighting games given that both SF and MK had 6 button layouts. I will say though that the keyboard is awesome for the SF crossover series 🙂

    For 3D fighters, Tekken in particular, I’ve always found the Dual Shock controller to be superior to the Xbox 360 controller but I’m putting that down to familiarity due to the series beginning on the Playstation.

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