Victrix Pro FS (PS5) review: The ultimate arcade stick
The Victrix Pro FS has been around for a couple of years, but it now comes armed with a model that comes with native PS5 support. But, is it worth the incredibly expensive $400 price point?
Over the years, we’ve taken a look at arcade sticks which range from cheap and cheerful, to more premium offerings. But, we can firmly say that we’ve never tested a stick quite as high-end as the Victrix Pro FS. While options like the Hori Fighting Stick Alpha might appeal to those looking to get their feet wet, the Victrix Pro FS is firmly for those who know their way around a bit and is designed with that in mind.
This is the same stick that was given to tournament winners at EVO 2022. It’s more of a high-end tool than a gaming accessory. However, coming in at an incredibly steep $399, it commands an incredibly high price.
- 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
- Where to buy: Victrix
Included in the box: Victrix Pro FS arcade stick, 3m braided USB-C to USB-A cable, Allan wrench, Sanwa ball-top.
Cold to the touch, the aluminum of the Victrix Pro FS is oozing premium quality, no matter where you might care to look. The single piece of machined aluminum gives the stick a confident heft, with enough area to rest your wrist upon its left side. A slight 6-degree slope also gives the stick more ergonomic comfort than many other arcade sticks out there.
We usually suffer from RSI after long sessions in fighting games, however, the slight slant relieves that somewhat, and keeps things feeling comfortable even after extended use. Over on the top, you’ll see a Viewlix-style layout for the black Sanwa buttons, in addition to a removable lever to the left. There’s also a 3.5mm headphone jack passthrough on the bottom for good measure.
Victrix also sells an all-button variant of the device, which has slightly smaller buttons to accommodate the layout.
Over on the top of the stick, you also have function buttons. This includes a PS Button, touchpad, and more. Rather awkwardly, you have to bring the left and right stick buttons with the Victrix Modifier, meaning that you have to program easy access to R3. This could prove to be a bit of a pain when using things like Training mode. You also have a handy tournament lock function, in addition to various lighting mode buttons.
Finally, at the top of the stick, you have two prongs to wrap your USB-C cable, in addition to a deeply recessed USB-C port. There is no keying on the port, meaning you can use just about any cable you have lying around.
What’s going on around the back?
Over on the underside of the chassis, you have two non-slip pads on the bottom. Though, we didn’t think that the materials used were too impressive. Our trusty Nacon Daija has a much grippier surface, and so does the Hori Fighting Stick Alpha, too.
Flanked by the two non-slip pads is a small hinge, topped with a neoprene-like material, which gets dented and damaged easily. Opening the hinge reveals the innards of the Victrix Pro FS. The hinge is made of incredibly creaky plastic. It ended up bugging us so much that once we put a drop of machine oil on them, the hinges ceased to creak.
Once you’re inside the small and compact space, you’re greeted with the underside. Here, you can swap out the Sanwa buttons, or even replace the lever, or a gate, if you so wish. The removable lever can be placed on the door, alongside an Allan wrench, in case you needed to swap out the ball top.
One of the most impressive things about this undercarriage is how well cable-managed it all is. The button cables are all wrapped in a braided cable, and so is the stick itself. There are easy ports to replace the lever, and you can easily swap out buttons without the stress of worrying about tangling yourself up in a mess. The snap-in buttons are fantastic, and you’ll be able to fit in almost any 30mm button. Over on the top. However, those looking to put a Korean lever in this stick will be disappointed, as there simply isn’t any space for it.
There’s no space for much of anything in there, either. A far cry from other arcade sticks with ample storage space. Since the Victrix Pro FS wraps its cable around at the top, there are no allowances for extra goodies within.
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You also have a dipswitch here, where you’re able to switch modes from PS5, to PS4 and PC.
That removable lever
For easy storage, you’re able to detach the ball-top lever from the top of the stick. This is done by pulling the shaft of the stick upwards to release and lock it. We never found that the stick disconnected, and it provided an incredibly solid connection. Since it’s just a modified Sanwa joystick, we personally would not choose to remove this handy feature. The stick also comes with a dust cover for the lever when it’s disconnected.
The Victrix Pro FS also has a customizable LED feature. The LEDs are placed on each side of the stick, with a diffused ring of LEDs encircling the acrylic plastic deeply recessed on each side of the stick. There are a couple of different illumination modes, including a great-looking reactive one. However, we ended up sticking to a solid white color. The stick proved to look excellent, in any instance, and we didn’t have any trouble setting it up. Small touches like this are nice to have on an arcade stick, whose feature sets have been stagnating over time.
The Victrix Pro FS arcade stick is a tournament-grade tool above all else. The stick feels high quality, and we had no issue using it in games like Street Fighter V, Third Strike, and in Guilty Gear Strive. The stick comes with a square gate out of the box, which allowed us to pull off any and all motions with ease.
The high-quality Sanwa parts ensure that you get good longevity out of the device, too. Since we’re getting into the weeds, we also tested the controller’s input latency. This came out to an average of around 4ms, which is lightning fast.
In games, we noticed the lack of dedicated L3 and R3, and while you can bind them to a modifier, it still feels like it needed a “real” dedicated button.
After long hours of play, the ergonomics of the stick shine. We didn’t feel our wrists getting tired, as we did with the Nacon Daija or the Hori Fighting Stick Alpha. The Victrix Pro FS gives you ample space up at the top, and it felt absolutely unparalleled compared to pretty much every other stick we’ve ever used.
Even sticks like the TES+, the Nacon Daija, and the Qanba Dragon don’t feel anywhere near as premium as the Victrix Pro FS.
Should you buy it?
The Victrix Pro FS is not without fault. But, each one we found was fairly minimal. The lack of a dedicated L3 / R3, minimal storage space, and the non-slip pads ultimately do not detract from what is an incredible arcade stick in almost every single way.
The price is a sore point. But, you feel every single dollar spent on the production in the quality of the parts used. Many will be turned off, but for serious fighting game players, it doesn’t get much better than this. It also has a 12-button variant, if you swing that way, too.