Junk Food Arcades Snack Box Micro (2023) review: Leverless perfection

Sayem Ahmed
Snack Box Micro on Desk with LEDs on

The Junk Food Arcades Snack Box Micro (2023) is quickly becoming one of the most popular input method options for fighting game fanatics, but is it really worth the price tag?

Fighting games are serious, any errant input could leave you open to attack, so pro gamers have been switching to a newer peripheral as of late, a leverless controller. First popularized by the “Hitbox“, leverless controllers allow you to hone your directional inputs with precision, and remove the travel time between complex motions.

Having been around for a decade or so, a leverless controller is not anything too new. What is new, however, is the compact size that they are now being shrunk down to. Georgia-based family business Junk Food Custom Arcades created the Snack Box Micro. The device is a tiny leverless controller compatible with all consoles. Now in its second iteration, the Snack Box Micro supports customized artwork, USB-C, and an app to configure the controller wirelessly.

Key specs

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


Snack Box Micro overhead shot

No matter how many images you might see on websites or online, nothing really prepares you for how small and compact the Snack Box Micro really is. The controller is just 25.4 x 12.7 x 1.27 cm, meaning it has an incredibly low footprint on your desk or lap. Though, its size never compromises how comfortable it is to use. The rounded edges all ensure that the controller stays comfortable even while being used during longer sessions.

You also have an array of buttons up top which can control functions on your console or PC of choice, though since there is no included manual, you’ll have to seek out the Junk Food Arcades Discord to find out more about what you have just purchased.

Meanwhile, its array of buttons at the top is smaller than the arcade-standard Sanwa buttons on Arcade Sticks, allowing it to have this absolutely tiny footprint. Each of the controller’s “main” buttons” reimagines a noir layout arcade stick with additional buttons, taking notes from the likes of Hori and Hitbox.

Around each button are also two LEDs, with customizable color profiles. The Snack Box Micro’s PCB is also entirely hot-swappable, meaning that if you don’t like the actuation of the Kailh Red switches included, you can replace them with your own. The switches themselves are not lubed out of the box, nor are they dampened.

The convex buttons might not be for everyone, and we personally prefer a more convex button. Removal of the button caps requires a bit of force, so do be careful. The same could go for the removal of any switches, which can be easily performed with any good switch puller.


This leaves the Micro with a “clack” sound once you hit a switch. Though, you can easily mod the controller with dampening pads to mute it. It would be nice to see a more premium “top-shelf” version of the controller that has dampening and lubed switches, but the company also tutorializes the process of improving the controller itself. We were pretty satisfied with its actuation and sound out of the box, and those modifications are really only for the hardcore.

Up at the top of the chassis, you get loops on either end in order to manage the right-angled 6-foot cable included in the box, or attach keychains. The right-angled connector is a nice touch to have in the box, and it means that you minimize the risks of damaging the controller’s USB-C input, too.

Around the back, you’ll find a huge non-slip neoprene pad, in addition to five Phillips head screws for opening up the Snack Box Micro. This is where you can release its acrylic top panel, in order to slot in any custom artwork.

Snack Box Micro rear

We got some artwork printed and cut for the device, and it really was just as simple as removing four of the five screws on the back and aligning it with the screw holes on the top panel. This allows you to align your art flawlessly and we were done and dusted within minutes. It really is that simple.


The Snack Box Micro is more powerful than it looks. The tech it packs inside also bakes in all of the functionality that you would expect out of a Brook UFB-UP5. Since it’s not a licensed product from Sony, it allows you to use the stick on PS5 fighting games with zero issues at all. It also means that the controller is compatible with almost every current console under the sun. To say that it’s tournament ready is an understatement of the Snack Box Micro’s capabilities.

SOCD cleaning explained

First of all, the use of leverless controllers within the fighting game community has caused a stir, mainly due to their ability to immediately hit two opposing directions at once. The method of making a controller like this tournament legal is to have something named SOCD (Simultaneous Opposing Cardinal Direction) cleaning. This means that the controller will default to a certain input if two opposing directions are hit at once.

While leverless controllers generally decided that hitting up and down at once meant up, Capcom’s rules for the forthcoming multimillion-dollar Capcom Pro Tour state otherwise. The Street Fighter 6 developer has stated that hitting up and down at the same time should be interpreted as a neutral input. For most other games, it is different.

To combat this, Junk Food Arcades has also included an on-the-fly SOCD switch, which can be configured by just holding a button while plugging the device in. No waiting around for firmware updates, as you would with other leverless devices.


Junk Food Arcades has also developed its own iOS and Android app for deeper integration, and it’s surprisingly painless to use. Holding down the left-most button on the top panel allows you to access the Micro’s “edit mode”, where you can push firmware updates, switch up LED colors, animations, and brightness, as well as configure the SOCD mode for the controller.

Gaming performance

The Snack Box Micro’s leverless layout admittedly took several weeks of adjustment when moving from our trusty Victrix Pro FS in the Street Fighter 6 demo. However, once you have gotten comfortable with the leverless layout, our gameplay improved notably with no perceptible latency on our end.

Gone were many of our old errant input errors, and while some nuances are required for inputs like a dragon punch, you have additional shortcuts, too. It almost feels like cheating, which is a hot-button topic in the fighting game community.

The small form factor nature of the Micro made it incredibly easy to just plug in and play games with. While we preferred to play on a desk, using it on your lap also feels great. We spent tens of hours running sets using the controller without any ounce of discomfort.

After several weeks of heavy usage for a certain upcoming fighting game, we do not miss our huge and heavy arcade stick, and the Snack Box Micro has earned a permanent place on my desk.

Should you buy it?

Snack Box Micro Custom Artwork

Coming in at $265, the Snack Box Micro is an investment, and there are bigger arcade sticks positioned around this price too. But, what you are getting for your cash is convenience. You can easily stash the Micro away if you were taking it to a tournament or locals, while the SOCD functions allow you to be tournament ready at the drop of a hat.

Customization is a breeze, and while some might not enjoy how small the Micro is, that really is the controller’s biggest strength. Considering the degree of customization available on the controller. It’s almost flawless. You can get everything from custom buttons, silencing pads, and even a heavier backplate for the device from the Junk Food Arcades store.

Our only gripe with the device is the lack of any clear instructions within the box, as accessing any sort of function requires you to dig deep into the brand’s Discord server to access them. Having a page on the website and a QR code included in the box would alleviate this immediately.

The Verdict: 5/5

The Snack Box Micro from Junk Food Arcades is the ultimate fighting game controller. Prepared for any moment thanks to its size, heaps of customization options, and a handy app just make this one of the best controllers on the market right now. While picking up a leverless controller is not for everyone, if you are in the market for one, the Snack Box Micro is unbeatable.

Sign up to Dexerto for free and receive:
Fewer Ads|Dark Mode|Deals in Gaming, TV and Movies, and Tech