Best Non-Fighting Games To Play With A FightStick [2024]

A fight stick or also known as an “arcade stick” isn’t exclusive to the fighting genre – at all. Quite the contrary, it’s a versatile tool that seamlessly integrates with a range of other genres!

One method of game playing stands head and shoulders above the rest, adding an extra dash of nostalgia while amplifying the fun factor – the Fight Stick, commonly referred to as an ‘Arcade Stick.’ Inspired by the glorious arcade era, these controller emulates the traditional controls used in vintage combat games.

Fight Sticks are also perfect for Non-fighting Games

In essence, any game that relies on a D-pad and up to 8 buttons can be thoroughly enjoyed with a fight stick:

  1. Platform Games: The fight stick truly shines in the world of 2D platform games.
  2. RPG Games: Embrace the adventurous spirit of Role-Playing Games with this retro controller.
  3. Shoot ‘Em Ups (SHMUPs): Titles like Raiden and R-Type are tailor-made for an arcade stick.
  4. Beat ‘Em Ups: Classics like Final Fight, Streets of Rage 4, and TMNT are begging for an arcade stick’s precision.
  5. Namco Classics: The vintage feel of these games is amplified with an arcade stick.
  6. Strategy Games: Control your empire with deftness and precision.
  7. Card Games: Up the ante of your poker game with an arcade stick.
  8. Puzzle Games: Solve intricate puzzles with the precision of the fight stick.

However, like all things in life, the fight stick isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution.

Fight Sticks Do Not Work Well (at all) For other Game Genres

Here are some genres where the arcade stick might not be your best choice:

  1. 3rd-Person View Car/Vehicle Games: These games require nuanced control, making them less ideal for a fight stick.
  2. Point-and-Click Games: The point-and-click mechanic doesn’t translate well to an arcade stick setup.
  3. Games That Need Camera Controls: An arcade stick is not the best fit for games that lack camera controls.
  4. Games Requiring An Analogue Stick: These games will function with a fight stick, but the experience won’t be optimal.
  5. Games That Require a Lot of Buttons: The fight stick’s button limit might hinder gameplay in these instances.

For each console, we recommend our five games that aren’t in the fighting-game genre yet are a perfect match for the fight stick! You will be surprised.

Unleash the full potential of that fight stick you got lying around there. Discover a whole new level of excitement!

PlayStation 4/5

1. Tetris Effect – This classic puzzle game gets a new twist with stunning visuals and a mesmerizing soundtrack. Playing with a fight stick adds an extra level of precision and control.

2. Pinball Arcade – Pinball enthusiasts will love the realistic gameplay of this collection of classic pinball tables. Using a fight stick gives players a more arcade-like experience.

3. Hotline Miami – This top-down shooter is known for its fast-paced, brutal gameplay. Using a fight stick can help players react quickly and accurately.

4. Nidhogg 2 – This quirky, side-scrolling game involves sword fights and strategy. Playing with a fight stick adds an extra layer of challenge and immersion.

5. Catherine: Full Body – This puzzle-platformer game features a unique storyline and challenging levels. Using a fight stick can help players navigate the game’s tricky mechanics.

Xbox One

1. Cuphead – This challenging platformer game features stunning hand-drawn visuals and a unique jazz soundtrack. Playing with a fight stick adds to the game’s retro feel.

2. Killer Instinct – While this game is technically a fighting game, its unique combo system, and diverse roster make it worth mentioning. Playing with a fight stick can help players pull off complex combos more easily.

3. Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions – This fast-paced shooter game features mesmerizing visuals and intense gameplay. Using a fight stick can give players more control over their movements.

4. Shovel Knight – This retro-style platformer game is known for its challenging levels and charming characters. Playing with a fight stick adds to the game’s nostalgic feel.

5. Battletoads – This classic beat-them-up game gets a modern update with new graphics and gameplay mechanics. Using a fight stick can help players pull off complex moves and combos.

Nintendo Switch

1. Puyo Puyo Tetris – This mash-up of two classic puzzle games offers a variety of gameplay modes and challenges. Playing with a fight stick adds an extra level of precision and control.

2. Super Meat Boy – This challenging platformer game features fast-paced gameplay and tricky levels. A fight stick can help players navigate the game’s precise jumps and movements.

3. Enter the Gungeon – This top-down shooter game features randomly generated levels and a variety of weapons. Using a fight stick can help players aim more accurately.

4. Celeste – This critically acclaimed platformer game features a touching story and challenging levels. Playing with a fight stick adds an extra layer of challenge and immersion.

5. Hollow Knight – This atmospheric, Metroidvania-style game features stunning visuals and a haunting soundtrack. Using a fight stick can help players navigate the game’s intricate levels and combat.


While fight sticks are often associated with fighting games, they can add an extra layer of immersion and control to various games. Whether you’re playing on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, or Nintendo Switch, there is plenty of fun to try with a fight stick that isn’t just about fighting!

Take a break and play some Tetris like an OG.

Illustration of a smiling woman with glasses and headphones at her computer, wearing a red plaid shirt.
Sarah "Combo Queen" Turner

Sarah's love for fight sticks sparked from her intense sibling rivalry with her brother in classic fighting games. As she grew up, the friendly competition escalated into a burning desire to be the best. Sarah's well-known for her lightning-fast reflexes and uncanny ability to string together devastating combos. She's now using her skills to help others level up their game with the right fight sticks.