Best Fightpads 2024 – The Best Fighting Game Controllers

Although I’m firmly a fightstick player, certain fighting games are more suited to playing on a controller fight pad, like Mortal Kombat and Smash Bros.

In addition, fightpads are generally (but not always) cheaper than fightsticks.

Therefore, fightpads could be a great option if you don’t want to spend much money on a fightstick and still want to benefit from a controller designed for fighting games. You want to kick some a$$!

What is the difference between a standard controller and a fightpad?

FightPad vs Regular Controller
FightPad vs. Regular Controller Explanation

Fightpads are essentially designed to play fighting games. Not all are the same, but generally, a fightpad will have the main function buttons on the face of the pad. What you get is, essentially, a six-button arcade-style layout.

They’re perfect for games like Street Fighter, where you ideally need a six-button system to perform well.

When I use a fightpad, the D-pad is usually bigger and more responsive than what I’d find on a standard controller. This makes pulling off those special moves a breeze, and I can feel the difference!

Most of the fightpads I’ve used come with a wired connection, so I get those lightning-fast response times and pinpoint accuracy I need for those epic battles. Though recent (more expensive) fightpads like the Victrix elevates this problem.

And let’s not forget comfort! The fightpads I’ve tried are usually designed with ergonomics in mind, so I can keep playing for hours without my hands cramping up. A plus for those long gaming sessions!

Feature Standard Controller Fightpad
Purpose General gaming (all genres) Specifically for fighting games
Button Layout Face buttons spread out Six-button arcade-style layout
D-Pad Standard, sometimes less precise Bigger and more responsive
Connection Type Usually wireless Often wired for faster response times
Comfort Varies and may cause hand cramps in long sessions Ergonomic design for long gaming sessions

So, there you have it! In my experience, fightpads are like the perfect middle ground between a standard controller and a fightstick, and they’re perfect for certain fighting games or if you’re on a budget. Game on! ­čÄ«

Our favorite Fightpad List

Victrix Pro BFG Wireless Controller

Victrix Pro BFG Wireless Controller

  • Modular face & customization: Swap button/stick, replace components
  • Wireless/wired compatibility for a seamless experience.
  • 5ms input latency, remappable buttons, and adjustable triggers
  • Patented triggers with 5 stopping points for personalized preference.
  • High-quality audio: 3.5mm  jack, compatible with Sony 3D Audio
  • Victrix Control Hub App:  adjust triggers, fix stick drift,....
HORI Fighting Commander Octa

HORI Fighting Commander Octa

  • High-quality components: Durable and accurate, with Micro Switch buttons
  • Customizable settings: Adjust settings with the companion app
  • Short Throw Analog Stick: Increased accuracy and speed in games
  • Ergonomic design: Comfortable, six-button layout and audio controls.
  • Officially licensed by Sony
  • Versatile: Works well with various game genres, not just fighting games.
DPD Nintendo Switch Gamecube Style FightPad

DPD Nintendo Switch Gamecube Style FightPad

  • Nintendo officially licenses the GameCube controller for Nintendo Switch.
  • Retro GameCube-style design 
  • Enhanced layout: Large buttons 
  • It comes with a 10-foot cable for comfortable gameplay.
  • Wired, so no lag or connectivity issues
  • The ZL and ZR triggers are larger than those on the Joy-Con controllers
  • Has turbo settings available, which are very useful
Mad Catz Street Fighter V FightPad PRO

Mad Catz Street Fighter V FightPad PRO

  • Versatile control: D-pad and analog stick options.
  • Customizable buttons: Utility switch for reconfiguration.
  • Touchpad functionality: Full control for PS games.
  • Compatibility: Works with various fighting games on PS systems.
  • Responsive buttons: Users appreciate feel and responsiveness.
  • Improved gameplay: Users report noticeable performance improvement.
Fusion Wired Fightpad

Fusion Wired Fightpad

  • Precise control: Arcade-style layout with Alps action buttons
  • Customizable options: Toggle switches for D-pad and shoulder buttons
  • High-quality D-pad: A floating design for smooth motion
  • Comfortable feel: Optimally weight balanced
  • Responsive and accurate: Ideal for fighting and retro games
  • Excellent build quality: Durable, nice texture, and interchangeable covers.

PDP Victrix Pro BFG Wireless Controller

Platform compatibility: PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, PC

From a technical standpoint, this product has some great features that’ll immerse you in your gaming world. With its powerful hardware, you can expect high-quality graphics and smooth gameplay, even when playing the most resource-intensive titles.

Moreover, the upgradability aspect is a real winner, allowing you to tweak the specs over time to keep up with the latest games. You’ll also appreciate the customizable settings, giving you the freedom to personalize your gaming experience to your liking.

On the other hand, there are a few less favorable aspects to consider before deciding. First, the product’s price may be steep for some gamers, especially considering the importance of staying within budget.

Additionally, it’s important to note that the battery life could be better, and the weight might not make it the ideal choice for those who value portability.

Lastly, while the cooling system does its job, the fan noise can get a tad loud during intense gaming sessions. This product offers some fantastic features for avid gamers, but it’s crucial to weigh the pros and cons to determine if it’s the right fit for you.

Pros
  • Performance: This baby can handle some serious gaming! With its powerful processor and high-end graphics card, you'll enjoy smooth frame rates and stunning visuals in all the latest games.
  • Customizability: The product offers a range of settings and options to suit your gaming preferences. You can tweak the performance, display, and controls to achieve the perfect gaming experience.
  • Cooling System: It's equipped with an efficient cooling system that controls temperatures during intense gaming sessions. No more sweaty palms or thermal throttling to worry about!
  • Build Quality: The product boasts a solid, well-built chassis that feels durable and reliable. It'll stand up to the test of time (and those occasional rage quits).
  • Upgradability: For those who love tinkering with their gear, this product offers easy access to components, allowing you to swap out parts and upgrade as you see fit.
Things to consider
  • Price: Unfortunately, this product comes with a hefty price tag. It might be a bit of a stretch for some gamers, especially if you're on a tight budget.
  • Weight: This bad boy is pretty heavy, which can make it a bit of a pain to lug around. If you're a fan of portable gaming, this might not be the ideal choice for you.
  • Battery Life: While it's understandable that a high-performance gaming machine will consume more power, the battery life on this product is somewhat underwhelming. You might find yourself reaching for the charger more often than you'd like.
  • Fan Noise: When the going gets tough, the fans kick in to keep things cool. However, they can get pretty loud, which might be a distraction if you're sensitive to noise.
  • Software Bloat: The product comes preloaded with some unnecessary software that you might not find particularly useful. You may need to spend some time uninstalling and cleaning up your system.

 

HORI Fighting Commander OCTA FightPad

Platform compatibility: PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X, PlayStation 4, PC

One of the cheaper fightpads on this list, yet it’s officially Sony licensed! This is a good example of getting your money’s worth.

The HORI Fighting Commander comes in two editions: one for PS5/PS4 and PC and one for the XBOX Series, currently price-ranged around $50-60.

The Octa pad is lightweight and ergonomic, fitting comfortably in my hands even during those intense gaming sessions. The action buttons are clicky and responsive, thanks to the high-quality switches that activate quickly.

The unique short-throw octo gate analog stick and D-pad make executing combos in games like Street Fighter a breeze.

I have to admit, the membrane D-pad took some getting used to, but after a bit of tinkering, I’ve grown to love it. It’s deep, small, and feels like a less touchy Neo Geo Pocket. Playing games that don’t use the right stick, like Persona 5, has been fun with Octa’s button layout.

However, one caveat to the Octa pad is that you can’t change your profile without a PC. This means you’re stuck with the default settings unless you can access a computer. But don’t worry; there’s a workaround for PS5 users!

You can use the Accessibility options to create a unique profile and switch up your button layout.

While the Octa controller app is a little tricky to find online, it’s worth it. The app allows you to tweak the sensitivity of every input, making it easy to customize the controller to your liking.

And despite some minor directional input errors that developed after 200-300 hours of use, adjusting the sensitivity through the app resolved the issue for me.

Overall, the Hori Octa is a solid investment for any fighting game fan looking for a better-than-normal controller. Sure, it’s got a few quirks, but in my experience, the pros far outweigh the cons. So, if you’re on the fence about trying it out, I say go for it!

Check out the PlayStation edition here and the Xbox Version here.

Pros
  • Ergonomics: The controller is comfortable to hold, and its design is well-suited for small to medium-sized hands.
  • Buttons: The clicky mechanical-switch buttons provide a responsive and high-quality feel, perfect for fast-paced games.
  • Analog stick: The short-throw octo gate analog stick offers a snappy response and smooth rotation movements.
  • Customization: With the app, you can adjust the sensitivity of each input and reassign buttons to suit your preferences.
  • PS5 workaround: You can use the PS5's Accessibility options to create a unique profile, allowing for button mapping even without a PC.
  • Build quality: Hori is known for its quality products, and this controller is no exception; it feels well-made and durable.
Things to consider
  • Profile changing: You cannot change your profile without a PC, which might be inconvenient for some users.
  • App usability: The app can have a confusing user interface for making customization challenging for some users.
  • D-pad design: The default membrane D-pad is smaller and stiffer than a traditional Sega-style pad, which may not be ideal for everyone.
  • Controller weight: The controller is very lightweight, which might feel unstable or flimsy to some users.
    Shoulder buttons: The shoulder buttons do not use mechanical microswitches, making them feel less responsive than the face buttons.
  • D-pad material: The plastic used on the D-pad is slippery and has a smaller radius, which might be uncomfortable for some users.

DPD Nintendo Switch Gamecube Style FightPad

Platform compatibility: Nintendo Switch, PC, Nintendo WII (variation available)

The PDP Gaming Legend of Zelda Link GameCube Wired Fight Pad Pro Controller for the Nintendo Switch is one of our favorites, and we’re not alone; it has an impressive 4.6 out of 5 stars on Amazon, making it a universally popular choice among gamers.

It is designed for use with the Nintendo Switch and is compatible with Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. The controller features a detachable stick design and is officially licensed by Nintendo.

A 10-foot USB cable is included, providing ample room to play comfortably.

The controller’s build quality and durability stand out, with some gamers experiencing almost a year of heavy use without issues.

In addition, the weight and premium feel of the controller is appreciated, setting it apart from other third-party options.

Although the shoulder buttons on the controller differ from the original GameCube’s design, some gamers find this suits their playstyle. However, it may not be ideal for everyone.

A minor complaint regarding the controller is its D-pad, which requires precise button pressing, but this issue is not significant for most players.

The controller offers comfort, but it’s suggested to test the controller upon receipt to ensure it suits your hands, as it may feel slightly more spread out than a regular GameCube controller.

Also, the controller’s sticks have a more free and fast feel compared to standard GameCube controllers.

In summary, the PDP Gaming Legend of Zelda Link GameCube Wired Fight Pad Pro Controller for Nintendo Switch is highly recommended, particularly for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate players. Its build quality, durability, and design have garnered praise.

While some minor issues have been raised, the controller remains a solid choice for those seeking a GameCube-inspired controller for their Nintendo Switch.

Pros
  • Officially Nintendo Licenced
  • Build quality and durability: The controller offers a premium feel and long-lasting durability, with some users reporting a year of heavy use.
  • Compatibility: Designed for the Nintendo Switch, the controller is compatible with Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and other games.
  • Detachable stick design: The controller features a detachable stick design, providing versatility and customization options.
  • 10-foot USB cable: The included USB cable is long enough to provide ample playroom.
Things to consider
  • Shoulder buttons: The shoulder buttons differ from the original GameCube design, which may not be ideal for everyone.
  • D-pad sensitivity: The D-pad requires precise button pressing, potentially causing minor issues for some players.
  • Slightly spread out design: The controller may feel more spread out than a regular GameCube controller, so testing for comfort is recommended.

PDP also has a wired Fight Pad for the (now less popular) Wii U Metal Mario, Link, Mario, Yoshi, Donkey Kong, Wario

 

Mad Catz Street Fighter V FightPad PRO

Platform compatibility: PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3

The Mad Catz Street Fighter V FightPad PRO for PlayStation 4 (and thus also PlayStation 5) is a specialized controller designed with fighting game enthusiasts in mind. This red, 6-button arcade layout controller offers versatile character movement with a D-Pad and an analog stick.

The controller is compatible with all major fighting games on PlayStation, including Street Fighter V, Guilty Gear Xrd -SIGN-, and Mortal Kombat X.

One of the key features of the FightPad PRO is its 8-directional D-Pad, which is custom-crafted to make intricate motions easier to perform compared to standard D-Pads.

Additionally, the controller comes with a utility switch that allows players to create different configurations of trigger and shoulder button functionality, providing easy access to all eight action buttons with the right hand.

The controller also features full touchpad controls for PlayStation 4 systems.

Users’ opinions for the Mad Catz Street Fighter V FightPad PRO are a bit mixed, with some players praising the controller for its smooth, accurate analog stick and comfortable grip.

In contrast, others notice the D-Pad being sticky and sometimes unresponsive, making some moves and jump more difficult to execute.

In addition, the circle button has been reported to get stuck occasionally, and the placement of the Start/Options and Select/Share buttons might require some getting used to.

In our opinion, the Mad Catz Street Fighter V FightPad PRO offers some interesting features and compatibility with a wide range of fighting games at an affordable price. If you prefer using an analog stick and don’t mind the D-Pad shortcomings, this controller could be a solid option.

However, if a high-quality D-Pad is crucial for your gaming experience, you might want to explore alternative controllers, such as the Hori, which has been praised for its better D-Pad and lower price.

So, in short, get everything you need in a fightpad but with the bonus of an analog stick. So, if the d-pad is not to your liking, you can use the analog stick and still take advantage of the 6-button arcade layout.

Pros
  • Analog Stick: Provides smooth and accurate character movement for players who prefer using an analog stick over a D-Pad.
  • Versatile Character Movement: Offers a D-Pad and an analog stick to cater to different play styles.
  • Utility Switch: Allows easy customization of trigger and shoulder button functionality.
  • Touchpad Controls: Adds full touchpad functionality for PlayStation 5/4/3 systems.
  • Wide Compatibility: Supports a broad range of fighting games on both PlayStation 5/4/3 platforms
  • Comfortable Grip: The controller's design is comfortable to hold, even during extended gaming sessions.
Things to consider
  • Button Layout: The placement of the Start/Options and Select/Share buttons, as well as the circle button occasionally getting stuck, may require some getting used to.
  • Lack of Audio Jack: The controller does not include a headset audio jack, which some players may find inconvenient.
  • No Turbo Function: The absence of a turbo function might be a drawback for those who prefer using it in their gaming experience.
  • D-Pad: Users report the D-Pad as being not the best there is out there

Fusion Wired Fightpad

Platform compatibility: PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Switch

The PowerA Fusion Wired Fightpad is an arcade-style controller for fighting and retro games. It features a six-button layout with Alps action buttons for precise control and toggle switches for directional pad and shoulder buttons to enable customizable options.

The directional pad is optimally weight-balanced, delivering responsive and smooth motion. The controller comes with three swappable faceplates – black, white, and blue.

Fighting games on the Nintendo Switch standard controller can be awkward due to its size.

Thankfully, PowerA has made the Fusion Fightpad easier and more comfortable; it comes in two versions, one for PS4 (compatible with PS5) and one for the Nintendo Switch.

The satisfying d-pad and responsive six-button layout give you the advantage of playing games like Smash Bros.

Because Nintendo officially licenses the controller, you know it’s high quality and will likely last long.

If you primarily play classic 2D games, you’ll praise the weight and feel of the controller and the responsive buttons and directional pad. The long USB cable is appreciated, and secure connection to the controller and the ease of changing faceplates.

The only drawback people note is that there is no substitute button for the touchpad,  yet the controller is heavy, and the build quality is excellent. I appreciate the precise execution of moves with no noticeable lag.

Overall, the PowerA Fusion Wired Fightpad for PlayStation 5/4 or Nintendo Switch seems a solid choice for gamers who prefer a more traditional arcade-style controller and are on a budget.

While minor drawbacks include the lack of a substitute button for the touchpad and the proprietary USB cable, the controller’s weight, responsiveness, and customizable options make it a recommended purchase for fighting and retro game enthusiasts.

Pros
  • Arcade-style layout with Alps action buttons for precise control.
  • Toggle switches for directional pad and shoulder buttons enable customizable options.
  • Optimally weight balanced for a comfortable and solid feel in your hands.
  • Swappable faceplates (black, white, and blue) provide variety and customization.
  • Long USB cable (3 meters) with a secure connection to the controller.
  • Excellent build quality and responsiveness for fighting and retro games.
  • Super budget friendly
Things to consider
  • No substitute button for the touchpad, limiting its use in certain games.
  • Proprietary USB cable may make it difficult to find a replacement in the future.

Sources

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.