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Great Starting Point for Curious Fighters

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There are a couple of reasons that anyone would want to seek out an arcade fighting stick controller. Either someone is interested into having some nostalgic fun for an afternoon while playing a few retro classics with the same kind of joystick that was common in arcades decades ago, or they are a more dedicated type of player diving into the many intricacies of each new fighting game that comes out. Either way, there are plenty of notable options for both kinds of players looking to tap into that classic feeling arcade playing experience while never leaving the comfort of their home. 

Monoprice’s Dark Matter Arcade Fighting Stick is a great starting point for someone who is on either side of this spectrum. It offers a sturdy, reasonably priced entry for those looking to scratch that nostalgic itch for a while, and it can take a reasonable beating for those who want something to invest more time into over a longer period. But where it’s going to be a make or break for those more dedicated fighters is whether or not it can handle the prolonged wear and tear of use. 

(Photo: Monoprice)

What to Expect From The Dark Matter Arcade Fighting Stick

The Dark Matter Arcade Fighting Stick comes set up with everything you need to get you started on the best foot forward possible. It’s weighty, feels solid in the lap or on a desk in front of you, and is spread out well enough even for someone with bigger hands like mine. It comes with Sanwa Denshi made joystick and buttons, so it makes the satisfying arcade button sounds and clicks. More importantly, it has high quality materials that really took the beating of both button mashing and more precise movements. 

The joystick and button parts, along with the art, are replaceable as well as the Dark Matter Fighting Stick comes with everything you need to replace it too. For those wanting to change it cosmetically, there’s also a neat chart underneath the bottom panel that color codes things to make replacing each of the parts easier than ever. From there, the only real question is whether or not someone more dedicated to using it long term will feel comfortable. 

The Dark Matter Arcade Fighting Stick is compatible with the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch, PC and Android, and unfortunately there is a notable concern when connecting to the PlayStation or Xbox consoles. To connect the Fighting Stick to your system, you need to plug your controller into the USB slot in the front of it while connecting the hardline USB cord to the console. It’s not necessarily the most egregious or time consuming set up, but it’s the sort of thing that does tend to bother after a few sessions that could go on for ours. 

(Photo: Monoprice)

It’s responsive in all the ways it needs to be when playing both modern releases (tested a few hours of Street Fighter V and Tekken 7 on PlayStation 4, for example), and retro arcade classics (like the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Cowabunga Collection), so it might be better suited for someone who wants to jump back into the arcade lifestyle rather than someone looking to spend a good deal of time with it. That’s why it’s the perfect starting point into the world of fight sticks in general. 

There are more expensive releases with some better options for those looking for prolonged use, but for someone who doesn’t want to break the bank yet still get a feel for how an arcade stick changes things, there are few better options than Monoprice’s Dark Matter Arcade Fighting Stick. 

Monoprice provided a Dark Matter Arcade Fighting Stick unit for review purposes

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