Hori Real Arcade Pro 4 Kai Review

The HORI Real Arcade Pro 4 Kai is a great mid-range fightstick built on a solid base and has quality parts to boot.
+ High-quality parts
+ Sturdy base and quite wide
+ Joystick and Buttons are very responsive

- Difficult to swap out artwork
- No headphone jack

Check on Amazon

I have a special place in my heart for Hori. My first fightstick was a Hori EX2 Fighting Stick, which I used to play Street Fighter 4. It was small, cheap, and ugly, but it did the job. Later, I upgraded to a Madcatz TE fightstick, a big step up.

So, I was excited to review the Hori Real Arcade Pro 4 Kai. This is Hori’s premium mid-range fightstick, and it shows.

So, how does it hold up against other mid-range sticks? Is it as premium as Hori claims? Let’s find out.

Unboxing and setting up

Included in the box, you get the Arcade Stick and manual. It’s pretty standard stuff.

In terms of setting it up.  All you have to do is set the switch, which is located on the side, to the desired position. Depending on what platform you’re playing on, this will be either PS3, PS4, or PC. Then, connect the USB cable to the console, and you’re all set up.

Testing this on other platforms, the stick seemed to work well, and I had no issues. On my PC, I connected it to Windows, and it started downloading all the necessary drivers. I was then able to use it straight away.

The design and feel of the fightstick

The Hori RAP4 is decent but smaller than the MadCatz TE2 fightstick. It measures roughly 17 inches across, which makes it look quite wide. I like it, and it reminds me of an old arcade-style machine.

Because of its large form factor, the buttons and joystick don’t take up the full size of the stick. This means that the surface area of the stick is larger than other, cheaper fightsticks.

I also like that the stick’s sides are larger than the base, making it look as though there are handles on the side. Overall, I like the design of this stick – the artwork is probably less so, but that’s down to personal preference. I like my fightsticks with a little bit more color.

What’s perhaps a little bit annoying is that you can’t swap out the artwork. Sorry, I should say that you can, but it involves adding a plexi mod, which overcomplicates things a bit.

The RAP 4 isn’t exactly light, but it isn’t heavy either. It weighs about 5 pounds.

What does it feel like to play?


The button layout is the standard 8-button viewlix arcade layout, so there are no surprises. The options button is placed just to the right of the main playing buttons. I found this placement to be a little bit odd as it’s perfectly possible to hit the options button by accident when playing. Fortunately, it can be turned on or off, so it’s just a minor annoyance.

There’s a touchpad, the PS4 touchpad, which I don’t use, but it’s there if you need it. In addition, there’s a turbo switch, an assigned mode to re-assign or disable certain buttons (L1, L2, or Options Button), and a switch for playing on PS3 or PS4. There’s no headphone jack, but I don’t tend to chat online when I play anyway, so it’s not a big deal.

Regarding the actual joystick and buttons, these are not Sanwa but Hori’s own Hayabusa joystick and Hayabusa buttons. And they’re pretty good. The joystick is the same one used in current Japanese Arcade machines, and they certainly feel high quality. Being a square gate lever, it certainly feels responsive enough, although an octagonal plate can also be put in, should the user choose to.

The buttons are also quite responsive and make an audible click sound when hit. They feel different from Sanwa buttons, but in a good way. They can get a bit loud, though, which is fine if you’re on your own but may get annoying for anyone living with you. However, this can easily be rectified by swapping in some silent Sanwa buttons.

That brings me to modifying the fightstick. You’ll need a screwdriver to open up the bottom panel so you can get inside and make all the necessary modifications. This isn’t exactly difficult, but it isn’t as easy as other high-end fightsticks like the Madcatz stick, which pops open without any tools.

I’ve already mentioned that modifying the artwork is needlessly difficult, which is a bit of a negative but not a dealbreaker.

There’s a compartment slot used to store the USB cable. It’s huge and can easily fit the cable and then some. I don’t tend to use it and instead wrap my cable around the stick.

The Good

  • High-quality parts
  • Solid premium design
  • It has a sturdy base and quite wide
  • The joystick and Buttons are very responsive
  • Useful assign mode
  • A cheaper alternative to the Madcatz TE and Razer lines

The Bad

  • Difficult to swap out artwork
  • Buttons can get a bit loud
  • No headphone jack

Overall Verdict

The HORI Real Arcade Pro 4 Kai is a great fightstick built on a solid base with quality parts.

While there are better fightsticks out there, they tend to be much more expensive. Besides, you get a lot of fightstick for the money.

If you’re in the market for a great fightstick that doesn’t cost a fortune,  then it’s hard not to recommend the RAP4. You won’t be disappointed.

Hori Real Arcade Pro 4 Kai








Value for money


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.