Have You Ever Tried/Played Leverless Arcade Sticks for Fighting Games … Or Any Genre?

By Todd Russell Sep11,2023

As a lifelong gamer, feel I’m fairly in the loop on many gaming-related trends, fads, fun things, and enjoy the fighting games genre, particularly arcade titles from SNK (Samurai Shodown, Fatal Fury, others), Midway (Mortal Kombat), Capcom (Street Fighter) and a few others, of course. Apparently there is a trend or niche toward something called leverless controllers or leverless arcade sticks. Until seeing this article, seriously, I never have heard of them: We tried the Razer Kitsune leverless arcade stick & it blew us away

Yes, the Razor Kitsune leverless arcade stick is coming in October … for $329 USD. Won’t lie, the price is causing me some pause, but if it’s commercial-grade it’s not terrible.

If you want the non-affiliate-encumbered Amazon link to this Razor leverless arcade stick, here: https://www.amazon.com/Razer-Kitsune-All-Button-Arcade-Controller-Desktop/dp/B0CCWSJB9Y/

The Kitsune is also the only leverless controller on the market to boast low-profile optical switches. This can minimize latency by several crucial milliseconds. There’s really no faster alternative out there.

Alas, there is a rub by using these leverless controllers in tournaments, as explained in this other article:

See, here’s the problem. Fighting game controllers that are leverless, like Hitbox and other controllers like it, allow players to seamlessly perform inputs that users with fight sticks would have issues performing. Complex motions such as Charge inputs (where you hold down one direction before moving the stick to another direction and performing an input) become much easier thanks to leverless controllers like it.

The non-commercial stuff aside, am curious how many others have tried these leverless arcade sticks? The concept is that they remove the joystick and you play with optical switch buttons using your left hand giving the player more input precision for pulling off special moves than an 8-way joystick. Or so I think that’s the concept from reading(?). Yes, I want to try one of these, but am not sure I want to pay hundreds of dollars for our home gameroom. Suppose if you want competition/pro-quality you have to play more than some random arcade stick controller, but still, really, $300+ for these? Surely there are good quality leverless controllers for under $150? Yes/no?

Shudder to ask for links to these in the comments from those that have bought/used/played them, but here we are. Share, share, share! Or should I stop being tight wallet on this one and throw down for this Razor? I don’t have any offline gaming friends using these (that I know of, anyway, after this is published I’m going to look for them more extensively), maybe some online ones are? Also, with the new Mortal Kombat 1 (2023) launching, this is timely to be thinking about fighting games.

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