Best controllers for Street Fighter 6: Fight sticks, leverless & pad

Sayem Ahmed
Ryu from Street Fighter surrounded by controllersDexerto

Street Fighter 6 is here and leading the charge for fighting games. But the big question remains – what’s the best controller to nail combos? Fight sticks, hitbox-style, gamepads? We break it down.

Ideally, the best controller for Street Fighter 6 is the one that feels best for you. But hitbox-layout levers, quality buttons, and ergonomics matter in high-level play. We’ve tested and broken down ideal Street Fighter 6 controllers based on category.

A quality fight stick like the Junk Food Arcades Snack Box Micro leads the way for a modern arcade feel. Leverless hitbox-style controllers open up new combo potential, and the DualSense Edge offers elite precision on the pad.

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You can’t go wrong if you know the core strengths of each option. Fight stick for nostalgia, hitbox for speed, gamepad for comfort and accessibility. There’s something for every playstyle.

Get hands-on time with each so you can perform advanced techniques reliably. With the right controller fit, you’ll pull off combos and smackdowns with mastery in Street Fighter 6.

1. Junk Food Arcades Snack Box Micro

Snack Box Micro overhead shotDexerto
  • Buttons: Kailh low-profile red (hot-swappable)
  • Connectivity: USB-C
  • Platform: PS5 (fighting games only), PS4, Xbox, Switch, PC
  • Features: Built-in Brook PCB, hot-swappable switches, customizable button caps, iOS and Android app, one-button SOCD changes, customizable LED lighting & top panel.
  • Price: $265.00
Buy the Snackbox Micro (2023)
Snackbox Micro review

The Snack Box Micro is currently our favorite controller for Street Fighter 6. The reason why we think that the Snack Box Micro currently rules the roost is in both its build quality, replaceable parts, and the advantages of using a leverless controller, since you can hit inputs much more accurately than with a pad or arcade stick.

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The Snack Box Micro’s form factor allows you to stow it away almost anywhere, and because it’s compatible with every console under the sun, taking one to a tournament or to your locals will not create any issues whatsoever, since you’ll be prepared to play on any platform.

A leverless controller allows you to have zero travel time between inputs. This could make inputs like a tight drive rush cancel combo much easier when compared to performing the input on a pad or arcade stick. However, those playing grapplers that require 360-degree inputs may struggle. For traditional motion and charge characters like Ryu and Guile, the Snack Box Micro is absolutely astonishing, and well worth the price of entry.

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Feeling cramped? Check out the Victrix Pro FS 12.

2. Qanba Obsidian 2

Qanba Obsidian 2Dexerto
  • Buttons: Sanwa Denshi 30mm
  • Lever: Sanwa Denshi Ball-top
  • Gate: Square
  • Connectivity: USB-A
  • Platform: PS5, PS4, PC
  • Features: Tournament lock function, Bat-top included, 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Price: $299.99

The Qanba Obsidian 2 might not be as premium as other arcade sticks on the market, but it is fully kitted out with arcade-perfect parts, in addition to having a fully featured control panel at the top, including a tournament lock function which makes it excellent for use in Street Fighter 6, no matter what character you play as.

The Obsidian 2 might be expensive, and has an attached cable, but a simple DIY mod gets around that. The sheer build quality of the Obsidian 2 makes it feel appropriately heavy-duty, and there is enough space here to know that you are getting a proper tournament-quality arcade stick, which pro players like Oil King use daily.

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No matter how hard you slap the buttons, or want to mod it in the future, the Obsidian 2 has it all, and it isn’t even the most expensive stick on this list, either. This is just a pure quality purchase, and we think that after having used it for weeks, it is the best arcade stick you can buy today.

Looking for something smaller? Consider the Qanba Titan.

3. Hori Fighting Commander OCTA

Hori FIghting Commander designDexerto
  • Weight: 250g
  • Connectivity: USB-A
  • Compatibility: PS5, PS4, PC
  • Price: $59.99
  • Features: Eight-way joystick with Octagonal gate, tactile buttons, tournament lock functions, adjustable dead zones, six-button layout, 3.5mm headphone jack, adjustable D-pad sensitivity.

The Hori Fighting Commander OCTA offers a traditional six-button layout, on top of triggers, functions, and a gated analog stick so you can ride all those gates until your heart desires. Sporting a great budget price point, this controller is accessible to almost everyone, and the controller itself also sports a huge number of functions through software. This means that you can fine-tune almost every aspect of the Hori Fighting Commander to your heart’s content.

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Since you have all of the main action buttons present, the value on offer for this wired option is unparalleled, and its layout lends itself well to Street Fighter 6. In particular, grapplers like Manon and Zangief. Though, you will still be able to perform motion inputs easily, no matter which character you choose. The controller itself is by no means perfect but for Street Fighter? It’s an unmatched pad, and there simply aren’t any other modern competitors like it quite yet.

4. Razer Kitsune

Kitsune DesignDexerto
  • Buttons: Razer low profile optical (Red)
  • Connectivity: USB-C
  • Platform: PS5, PC
  • Features: Hot-swappable switches, customizable button caps, Razer Chroma lighting, USB-C cable lock function, tournament lock, Aluminum top plate
  • Price: $299

When Razer first entered the leverless stick fray with the Kitsune, we were blown away. The all-button controller is compact and lightweight enough to make it perfectly portable to take with you to your next SF6 tournament.

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The Razer Kitsune is about as big, and slim, as an iPad, with its top plate featuring a black matte finish. The controller sports a bar of customizable chroma lighting at the bottom, in-fitting with the Razer aesthetic.

The Razer Kitsune is one of the most expensive controllers on the list, at approximately $300. Yet, the leverless stick’s price point feels just about justified down to its comfortable wide layout, fantastic build quality, and is one of the best-looking controllers on the list.

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5. Victrix Pro FS

Victrix Pro FS designDexerto
  • Buttons: Sanwa Denshi 30mm
  • Lever: Sanwa Denshi Ball-top (with removable shaft)
  • Gate: Square (removable)
  • Connectivity: USB-C
  • Platform: PS5, PS4, PC
  • Features: 6.28-degree wrist slope, aluminum construction, tournament lock functions, LED lighting
  • Price: $399.99
Buy the Victrix Pro FS

The Victrix Pro FS is simply a work of art. Its machined aluminum construction gives it an air of quality that you just don’t get from any other fighting game peripheral. Its intelligently designed slope makes it comfortable to play on for hours, and the detachable lever makes it easy to put into your backpack.

With LEDs flanking each side of the stick, it feels more like a premium tool than a simple video game controller. It’s expensive, but for that, you’ll get an officially licensed PlayStation 5 controller that also works on PC.

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Additionally, the Victrix Pro FS is also available in a leverless layout, if you are so inclined. You also get a detachable USB-C cable, which we’re huge fans of. You’ll just have to swallow that very dear price.

Looking for a budget alternative? Check out the Hori Fighting Stick Alpha.

6. Hori Fighting Stick Alpha

Hori Fighting Stick Alpha PS5 HeaderDexerto
  • Weight: 3.3kg
  • Connectivity: USB-A
  • Compatibility: PS5, PS4, PC
  • Price: $199.99
  • Features: Hayabusa Lever, Hayabusa buttons, tournament lock functions, swappable artwork, chassis opening functions, 3.5mm headphone jack
Hori Fighting Stick Alpha review

The Hori Fighting Stick Alpha is a good mid-range arcade stick available on both PS5 and Xbox. There’s even a special-edition version with Street Fighter 6 branding available, too. Capcom didn’t make that decision for any old reason, either. The Noir layout and Hayabusa buttons present on the Fighting Stick Alpha make it a clear choice for those not wanting to splash too much cash on a stick and want some premium trimmings.

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Expect fully customizable buttons and artwork, in addition to a control panel at the top and tournament-locking functions for everything else. There is ample space here to rest your arms during long gameplay sessions, and it’s a well-built arcade stick. The lack of a detachable cable is a worry, but smart cable storage is incredibly welcome. For most people, this will be the most accessible stick you can purchase, and it helps that it’s also incredibly performant, too.

Too expensive? Consider the Qanba Drone 2.

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7. Qanba Titan

Qanba titan side profile on a deskDexerto
  • Buttons: Sanwa Denshi 30mm
  • Lever: Sanwa Denshi Ball-top
  • Gate: Square
  • Connectivity: USB-A
  • Platform: PS5, PS4, PC
  • Features: Tournament lock function, Bat-top included, 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Price: $224.99
Qanba Titan review

The Qanba Titan might look budget, and not have some premium trimmings you would come to expect from other arcade sticks, but it certainly has the punch. The Titan 2 has a uniquely spaced lever and a trapezoid shape to allow for fantastic ergonomics while in use.

Sporting a full suite of Sanwa Denshi parts is another string in the Titan 2’s bow. While its plastic housing and attached cable might turn off some, it’s still an accomplished arcade stick that manages to be incredibly portable. Most recently, pro player Justin Wong was spotted using the Qanba Titan at CEO 2023. If it’s good enough for the pros, it might as well also be good enough for you, too.

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8. Nacon Daija (PS5)

Nacon Daija PS5 headerDexerto
  • Buttons: Sanwa Denshi 30mm
  • Lever: Sanwa Denshi Ball-top
  • Gate: Square
  • Connectivity: USB-C
  • Platform: PS5, PS4, PC
  • Features: Tournament lock functions, 3.5mm headphone jack, detachable cable
  • Price: €279.90
Nacon Daija (PS5) review

If you’re looking for an arcade stick that can do it all, then the Nacon Daija should be your port of call, especially for our European readers. This stick has replaceable artwork, a full control panel on the side, tournament lock functionality and arcade-perfect parts.

The boxy shape of the Nacon Daija might turn off some, but this is really a stick that you can truly make your own. Available on Xbox, this might also be one of the only arcade sticks available with high-grade parts on the platform. With ample space inside, there is plenty of room for customization. With a detachable USB-C cable, the Daija is an accomplished arcade stick, and definitely worth considering.

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9. Victrix Pro BFG

Victrix Pro BFG with fightpadDexerto
  • Connectivity: USB-C, 2.4 GHz Wireless
  • Compatibility: PS5, PS4, PC
  • Battery: 2000mAh
  • Input latency: 5ms
  • Price: $179.99
  • Features: Customizable stick placements, adjustable triggers, back buttons, adjustable thumbsticks, hair-trigger mode, fightpad module
Victrix Pro BFG review

The Victrix Pro BFG isn’t only one of the better pads available right now, it’s also one of the most versatile. The device has access to a fightpad module for a six-button layout, or you can stay with a more traditional layout, too.

One of the most impressive things about this controller is the ability to switch out the D-pad, which can be a boon for pad players who want to play grapplers like Zangief or Manon. Honestly, this pad is also fantastic for gaming on PS5 in general, and we think it’s actually better than Sony’s own DualSense Edge.

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The only downside here is that it’s limited to PlayStation and PC. For Xbox users, you might want to take a look at the Hori Fighting Commander OCTA. However, its wireless nature and modularity means that it’s more of a hybrid pad, than a dedicated fighting game pad, and the back paddles could cause some errant inputs in the heat of battle.

10. Qanba Drone 2

Qanba Drone 2Dexerto
  • Buttons: Qanba B30
  • Lever: Qanba OV7 Omron
  • Gate: Square (removable)
  • Connectivity: USB-C
  • Platform: PS5, PS4, PC
  • Features: 3.5mm mic jack, officially licensed
  • Price: $124.99

The Qanba Drone 2 is our pick for the best budget arcade stick you can buy right now. It offers everything you’d expect out of an arcade stick, while still managing to be exceptionally affordable. It’s also a relatively compact package, which has a chamfered edge for using it after hours of play. It also has built-in cable storage for those who want to stow it away.

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The Qanba Drone 2 offers value, good ergonomics, and all of the essential functions you would need to become a Street Fighter 6 pro, and that’s why it’s in our top 10 Street Fighter 6 controllers.

11. Xbox Series Controller

an image of Xbox Wireless AdaptorXbox / Pixabay

We’ve previously stated that you don’t need the most expensive gear to become proficient at a game like Street Fighter 6. That’s why we’re recommending the Xbox Series Controller as our budget option for gamepads. It’s nothing too special, and it’s also likely that you have a controller like this just lying around already.

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Despite this, professional players have used the tried and tested gamepad and won entire tournaments. Hardware is not an indicator of skill. You still get access to all of the important buttons, and the D-pad is excellent for almost any character.

12. A keyboard

Street Fighter keyboardDexerto

Okay, we might be cheating a little bit here. But when you consider the technology underneath a leverless controller, getting a gaming keyboard might be the answer to getting used to leverless inputs without having to splash out.

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A keyboard might not be a tournament-ready option unless you work out how to include things like SOCD cleaning. Regardless, if you are wondering what it’s like to use a leverless controller, using a keyboard is the cheapest way to do that.

Check our list of best gaming keyboards for some options on what you should pick up.

What do the pros use?

Kawano posing with a leverless hitbox controllerHitbox / Li Hoang

An increasing number of Street Fighter players, including SFV Evo 2022 champion Kawano have been using all-button controllers, such as the Hitbox or Snack Box Micro to guide them to victory. Some of Street Fighter’s most legendary players, such as Topanga 2023 champion Tokido, Daigo Umehara, and more have switched to using this new input method.

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Though, now more than ever, we’re also seeing an increased number of top players performing at the highest levels using nothing more than a standard gamepad. Capcom Cup 2022 winner MenaRD, dominant SFV player Punk and British prodigy Endingwalker find it most comfortable to use a pad.

All the while, the humble Arcade Stick is seemingly becoming less popular.

Is a fight stick good for Street Fighter 6?

With the advent of modern controls, a fight stick is not necessary to play Street Fighter 6. For many years Fight sticks became standard since the games were originally played in arcades. However, as the years have gone by, several alternatives have cropped up, such as a normal game controller, and the leverless controller.

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While a fight stick gives you access to every button for your character, and motions are easy to input, if you’ve never used one before, there will be a slight adjustment period to contend with. Though, if you are confident that you’ll take to it like water, then you should absolutely pick one up. Also, they look very cool.

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About The Author

Dexerto's Hardware Editor. Sayem is an expert in all things Nvidia, AMD, Intel, and PC components. He has 10 years of experience, having written for the likes of Eurogamer, IGN, Trusted Reviews, Kotaku, and many more. Get in touch via email at sayem.ahmed@dexerto.com.