Best Budget Fightsticks 2024 – Cheap fightsticks that are good

Best Budget Fightsticks Guide: Top Picks Under $100

Are you considering a budget-friendly fightstick for your gaming setup? We might have hesitated to recommend the affordable route a few years ago. However, thanks to the impressive advancements from manufacturers like Mayflash, Hori, PXN, and Qanba, the game has changed.

Budget fightsticks have significantly improved in quality, making them an outstanding entry point into the fascinating world of fightsticks.

Our team has meticulously researched and handpicked the best budget fightsticks available on the market, all under the $100 price tag.

These fightsticks deliver an unbeatable combination of affordability and performance; some can even be modded to compete with their more expensive counterparts. Dive into our comprehensive guide below to find the perfect budget fightstick to enhance your gaming experience without breaking the bank.

8Bitdo Arcade Fight Stick

8Bitdo Arcade Fight Stick

  • Compatible with Switch and Windows (out of the box)
  • Wired, Wireless, Bluetooth
  • Supports ultimate software
  • Extra features: Dynamic Button Layout, Ultra-moddable
  • Adding also the USB Wireless Adapter, it's compatible with almost everything!
HORI - Fighting Stick Mini

HORI - Fighting Stick Mini

  • Officially licensed by Sony and Nintendo
  • Wired
  • Compatible with Nintendo Switch/PlayStation 4/PlayStation 3
  • Extra features: 8-button layout and micro switch activated joystick
Mayflash F500 Arcade Fight Stick

Mayflash F500 Arcade Fight Stick

  • Compatibility: Universal (with almost everything)
  • Wired
  • Metal Quality Plates, Removable panels
  • Extra features: Turbo functions, Moddable, D-Pad, and X/Y Analog Axis mode can be exchanged
  • With an adapter dongle compatible with everything
Mayflash F300 Arcade Fight Stick

Mayflash F300 Arcade Fight Stick

  • Compatibility: Universal (with almost everything)
  • Wired
  • Extra features: Turbo functions, Moddable, D-Pad, and X/Y Analog Axis mode can be exchanged
  • With an adapter dongle compatible with everything
  • The F500 little cheaper's brother
PXN Arcade Game Fighting Joystick -0082

PXN Arcade Game Fighting Joystick -0082

  • Compatibility: Universal
  • Wired (USB)
  • Extra features: Turbo, Macro, Action Buttons, Exchange JoyStick/D-Pad mode
  • Stainless steel, durable
PXN Arcade Fight Stick - X8

PXN Arcade Fight Stick - X8

  • Compatibility: Universal
  • Wired (USB)
  • Extra features: Turbo, Macro, Action Buttons, Exchange JoyStick/D-Pad mode
  • Street Art panel for customisation
  • Mechanical buttons, stainless steel, durable
Mayflash F101 Arcade Fight Stick

Mayflash F101 Arcade Fight Stick

  • Compatibility: PS3, Nintendo Switch, PC
  • Wired
  • Supports Ultimate Software
  • Works out-of-the-box with Nintendo Switch
  • It needs an adaptor to work with PS4
  • Extra features: Turbo functions, Moddable, D-Pad, and X/Y Analog Axis mode can be exchanged
  • With an adapter dongle compatible with everything

8 Bitdo Arcade Stick – Great wireless stick for Nintendo Switch and PC

The 8Bitdo Arcade Stick for Switch & Windows delivers a versatile, retro-inspired gaming experience with its seamless wireless Bluetooth connectivity and compatibility with multiple platforms.

Designed for both the Nintendo Switch and Windows PCs, this Arcade Fight Stick offers customizable buttons and wired connection options to suit any gamer’s preferences.

Despite its larger size and steeper learning curve, the 8Bitdo Arcade Stick’s nostalgic design and robust performance make it a top choice for fans of classic arcade-style gaming.

With 8Bitdo’s “Ultimate Software,” you can control every piece of your controller, like customize button mapping, adjust stick & trigger sensitivity, vibration control, and create macros with any button combination.

Making this a great fight stick for beginners who aspire to get into complex situations later on.

If you also buy the AKNES 8BitDo USB Wireless Controller Adapter 2 Converter Dongle, you break open this little machine making it compatible with everything out there: Switch Pro, Switch controller for Joycons, PS5, PS4, PS3, Wii Mote, Wii U Pro, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One Bluetooth controller on Windows PCs, Raspberry Pi, laptops, tablets.

  • Fantastic Retro Design: The 8Bitdo Arcade Stick boasts a nostalgic NES design inspired by classic arcade machines, providing an authentic, immersive experience for retro gaming fans.
  • Wireless and Wired Connectivity: The 8Bitdo Arcade Stick supports both types, which allows for a seamless and clutter-free gaming experience without the need for cumbersome cables.
  • Platform Compatibility: The 8Bitdo Arcade Stick is compatible with both the Nintendo Switch and Windows PCs out of the box
  • Customizable Buttons: Allowing players to tailor their gaming experience to their preferences and playstyles.
Things to consider
  • Stock buttons may feel slightly mushy for veteran stick players
  • Learning Curve: Difficult to modify joystick for beginners
  • Less portable: It's larger and heavier than some alternative controllers, which make it less portable

8Bitdo Arcade Stick Full Review

HORI – Fighting Stick Mini

Are you looking for an ultra-cheap yet quality and portable fightstick? Then look no further than the HORI Fighting Stick Mini.

The HORI Fighting Stick Mini is a budget-friendly, compact arcade stick perfect for gamers looking to dive into the world of fighting games; it comes in two editions, one for PlayStation 4 and one for Nintendo Switch.

Its responsive Joystick and buttons offer a smooth gaming experience, while the sturdy build ensures durability.

The plug-and-play design makes it simple to set up, getting you into the action quickly. However, its compact size may be uncomfortable for some users, and the lack of customization options may not suit advanced players.

Overall, the HORI Fighting Stick Mini is a great entry-level arcade stick for casual gamers and those seeking an affordable, portable option.

  • Affordable: The Fighting Stick Mini is maybe the most budget-friendly option for those looking to get into the world of arcade sticks.
  • Ultra Small and Compact: Making it portable and easy to store when not in use
  • 8 button layout
  • Plug-and-Play: This stick is simple to set up. Plug it into your PS4 or Nintendo Switch, and you're ready to go.
  • Responsive: The joystick and buttons on the Fighting Stick Mini are responsive, offering a smooth gaming experience.
  • Sturdy: Despite its small size, the build quality is solid, giving it a durable feel.
Things to consider
  • Size: The compact size may be uncomfortable for some users, especially those with larger hands or who prefer more spacing between buttons.
  • Limited Customization: There is a lack of options for modding or upgrading parts, which may be a drawback for advanced users.
  • Non-Sanwa Parts: For this price, you can not have Sanwa parts
  • Short Cable: The cable provided is relatively short, which might require the use of an extension cable for some gaming setups.
  • Not Tournament-Ready: The Fighting Stick Mini may not be suitable for serious competitive play due to its size and limited customization options.

Mayflash F500 – Bigger, better, and more customizable than the rest

The Mayflash F500 Fighting Stick is a versatile and customizable arcade controller that may appeal to casual and experienced players.

Its universal compatibility with various platforms, such as PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PC, and Switch, makes it a potentially attractive option for those who enjoy gaming across multiple consoles.

Built with sturdy metal construction, the F500 offers enhanced durability, while its customizability allows users to swap out joystick components and buttons for a personalized gaming experience.

However, the controller’s metal build – while making it more durable, could make it heavier than some alternatives for some people.

Additionally, the setup process for multiple platforms might be complex for some users, and a third-party controller requirement could add an extra step.

Overall, the Mayflash F500 Fighting Stick should be in any enthusiast’s home that wants to mod and customize a super-compatible controller. Throw in a headphone jack, additional customization like the ability to swap out the artwork, and, of course, the universal feature, means you have a pretty sweet deal.

It’s an upgrade to the Mayflash F300, which is also on this list, yet with the $25 price difference between the two – albeit the F300 is a great fight stick, too, we’d go ourselves for the F500.

We have a more in-depth article comparing these two Mayflashes

  • Universal compatibility: The F500 is designed to work with a variety of platforms, including PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PC, and Switch.
  • Sturdy construction: The F500's metal build may provide enhanced durability and stability during gameplay.
  • Customizability: Users may appreciate the ability to swap out the joystick and buttons to suit their preferences. The components are Sanwa Denshi upgradable (!).
  • Artwork personalization: The F500 offers the option to replace the stock artwork, potentially adding a personal touch.
  • Turbo Function: This feature could be helpful for certain games, enabling rapid input commands.
Things to consider
  • Weight: The F500's metal construction might make it heavier than some alternatives, which could be a drawback for portability.
  • More complex setup: Some users could find the setup process for multiple platforms to be complicated or time-consuming.
  • Third-party controller requirement: The F500 may need a wired controller for certain consoles, potentially adding an extra step in the setup process.

Mayflash F500 full review

Mayflash F300 – Great value fights, perfect for beginners

The Mayflash F300 Fighting Stick offers an affordable and versatile arcade experience for gamers on various platforms, including PC, PlayStation, Xbox, and Nintendo Switch.

With its compact size and customizability, this controller is a great entry-level option for those looking to enhance their fighting game performance. However, its build quality, and stock components may require some upgrades for serious enthusiasts.

Despite minor drawbacks, the F300 is a solid choice for gamers starting with this hobby and seeking a budget-friendly yet customizable arcade stick.

  • Affordability: The F300 is very competitively priced, making it a great option for those on a budget.
  • Compatibility: This fighting stick is compatible with a wide range of platforms, including PC, PlayStation, Xbox, and Nintendo Switch.
  • Customizability: Users can easily modify the F300 with upgraded parts (Sanwa upgradable!) such as buttons and a joystick, allowing for better performance and personalization.
  • Compact Size: The F300's smaller form factor makes it easy to transport and store.
  • A great beginner's first stick
  • It "feels" sturdy (yet is not as much as F500)
Things to consider
  • Build Quality: The F300's construction may not be as durable as more expensive alternatives (like the F500), potentially leading to a shorter lifespan.
  • Button and Joystick Quality: Some users have reported dissatisfaction with the stock buttons and joystick ("feeling mushy"), which might necessitate upgrades for optimal performance.
  • Weight: The lightweight design of the F300 may cause it to slide or move during intense gameplay sessions, requiring additional support or mounting.
  • The setup is slightly fiddly, and the extra wires could be annoying

Mayflash F300 full review

PXN Arcade Game Fighting Joystick -0082

The PXN Arcade Game Fighting Joystick -0082 is a versatile and responsive controller, perfect for gamers seeking an authentic arcade experience.

Its durable construction, compatibility with multiple platforms, and customizable options make it a top choice for casual and professional players. However, its higher price point and potential learning curve may not suit everyone’s preferences.

Overall, the PXN-0082 is a fantastic investment for those looking to elevate their fighting game prowess and enjoy smooth, precise gameplay.

  • Build Quality: The PXN-0082 boasts a sturdy and durable construction that ensures it can withstand long gaming sessions.
  • Responsive Controls: The joystick (which makes it different from the X8) and buttons offer precise and reliable input, allowing for accurate and fluid gameplay.
  • Compatibility: This fighting joystick is compatible with a wide range of platforms, including PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Nintendo Switch, and PC.
  • Customizability: The PXN-0082 allows for easy modding, enabling users to swap out parts such as buttons and the joystick to suit their preferences.
  • Ergonomics: The arcade stick features a comfortable and well-spaced layout, reducing hand fatigue during extended use.
  • Non-slip Base: The rubberized bottom ensures the joystick remains stable on various surfaces, preventing unwanted movement during intense gameplay.
Things to consider
  • Weight: Some users may find the joystick too heavy, making it less portable and more difficult to transport.
  • Learning Curve: For those new to using arcade sticks, there may be a learning curve to mastering the controls, which could be frustrating for some players.
  • Limited Customization: While the PXN-0082 offers some customization options, it may not be as extensive as high-end arcade sticks on the market.

PXN Arcade Fight Stick – X8

The PXN Arcade Fight Stick – X8 stands out with its exceptional compatibility, catering to gamers across PS3, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PC, and Android devices.

The main difference with the PXN 0082 is that the Joystick is replaced with keyboard controls, which technically makes it more of a fight pad.

Featuring a robust metal base and high-quality components, the X8 provides a durable and premium gaming experience.

However, the X8’s relatively limited customization options and not being Sanwa compatible may deter casual gamers or those on a budget.

Overall, the PXN Arcade Fight Stick – X8 is a top choice for those seeking a reliable and responsive fight stick with broad platform compatibility.

  • Compatibility: The PXN Arcade Fight Stick - X8 is compatible with various platforms, including PS3, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PC, and Android devices, providing flexibility for gamers.
  • It uses 8-way joysticks and 4-direction keyboard control
  • Build Quality: This fight stick boasts a robust build with a
    sturdy metal base and high-quality components, ensuring durability and a premium feel.
  • Customizable Layout: The button layout can be easily customized, allowing players to tailor the controls to their preferred configuration for optimal performance.
  • Turbo Functionality: The X8 offers a turbo function that can be assigned to any button, giving players an advantage in games that benefit from rapid input.
Things to consider
  • Weight: The robust build and metal base contribute to the X8's weight, which can be cumbersome for some users during extended gaming sessions.
  • Limited Customization: Although the button layout can be customized, the X8 lacks the extensive customization options found in some high-end fight sticks, such as swappable parts or artwork.
  • No Headphone Jack: The X8 does not feature a headphone jack, which may be an inconvenience for players

Mayflash F101 Arcade Fight Stick

The Mayflash F101 Fighting Stick offers an affordable entry point for mainly beginner fighting game enthusiasts seeking an easy and reliable, and versatile “plug and play” controller.

Although priced around the same as the Mayflash F300, it’s not the same, as we explain in this article.

Using an adapter, also this Mayflash model becomes compatible with multiple gaming platforms, including PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch, ensuring a wide range of gaming options. But it would be best if you had an adaptor.

While the build quality and stock button responsiveness may not match high-end models, the F101’s ease of customization allows users to create a tailored experience for their preferred playstyle.

A key advantage of the F101 is its compact and lightweight design, making it portable and easy to store. The plug-and-play functionality ensures a user-friendly experience, requiring no additional drivers for setup.

Despite the smaller size and button layout limiting some customization options, the F101 remains highly moddable. Users can swap out buttons, joystick, and artwork to create a personalized controller that caters to their specific needs.

  • Affordability: The F101 is an entry-level fight stick, making it budget-friendly for beginners or those not looking to invest heavily.
  • Compatibility: Compatible with multiple platforms, yet aimed at Nintendo Switch gamers
  • Moddable: Easily customizable with the ability to swap out buttons, joystick, and artwork, allowing users to tailor the fight stick to their preferences.
  • Compact Design: Smaller footprint and lightweight design make it portable and easy to store.
  • Plug-and-play: Simple setup with no drivers required, making it user-friendly for all skill levels.
Things to consider
  • Build Quality: Constructed from lightweight plastic, it may feel less durable than higher-end fight sticks.
  • Adaptor needed: This Mayflash is aimed at Switch gamers. With an adaptor, you can "open it up" to all consoles.
  • Button Quality: Stock buttons may not be as responsive as those found in more expensive models, potentially affecting gameplay.
  • Stability: The lightweight design may cause the stick to move during intense gameplay, requiring additional support or modifications.
  • Limited Customizability: While moddable, the F101's smaller size and button layout may limit options for customization compared to larger fight sticks.

Illustration of a man with headphones in a studio full of electronic equipment, giving a focused look.
Jake "Arcade Ace" Kim

Jake discovered his passion for fight sticks when he spent his summers mastering the arcade scene. He soon became a local legend, dominating every fighting game he laid his hands on. Jake's love for the arcade culture has led him to collect an impressive array of fight sticks, each with its own unique story. Now, he's channeling that love and expertise into guiding others to find their perfect fight stick match.