In my general vicinity alone, I have at least a dozen different controllers ranging from retro gamepads to VR controls and even lightguns. If I had to pick a style of controller that I would consider the most tactile, that honour would likely go to the pair of seventh-generation arcade fight sticks I own from Hori and Madcatz, respectively.
Despite a mostly casual interest in fighting games, particularly with the use of a decent arcade stick, I still missed the tactility and feel of playing modern fighting games and arcade titles on my PlayStation 4 and now the PlayStation 5. With native next-gen versions of games such as Guilty Gear, Mortal Kombat 11, and the upcoming release of Street Fighter 6 on the horizon, I wanted to jump back into the fray by checking out the Victrix Pro FS Fight Stick for the PlayStation 5.
Based on Victrix’s 2019 offering for the PlayStation 4, the Victrix Pro FS PlayStation 5 edition largely reuses the same chassis from its last-gen counterpart, which, despite this fact, looks distinctly made for the PlayStation 5, particularly the white and black variant that mimics the look of Sony’s latest console. The metal-reinforced facade of the Victrix Pro FS not only exudes a premium look and feel for the device but also gives the player a comfortable and sturdy surface to rest their hands on while in use.
The handle grips on the back make it easy to pick and pack while also acting as a sturdy surface for the fight stick to rest on, ensuring it doesn’t slip or move while in use. Finally, in terms of aesthetic flourishes, the Victrix Pro FS Fight Stick features a band of RGB LEDs on both sides of the unit, which can be changed on the fly to any colour desired, furthering its mimicry of the PlayStation 4 and 5’s LED strip.
“…the Victrix Pro FS PlayStation 5 edition largely reuses the same chassis from its last-gen counterpart…”
The Victrix Pro FS Fight Stick for the PlayStation 5 uses the Vewlix layout, featuring 8-buttons that represent the face buttons of the DualSense controller, along with both the left and right bumper and triggers. Like its predecessor, the Victrix Pro FS Fight Stick features a series of settings-related buttons on the face of the device. These include options to change the colour of the LEDs, capture footage, and return to the PS5 home screen in addition to a tournament mode button, which disables the pause button of the controller.
Finally, a DualSense-like touchpad is also present, which is helpful, as most fighting games on the PlayStation 4 and 5 generally map the training mode reset button to the touchpad. L3 and R3 buttons are not present on the Victrix Pro FS Fight Stick. Instead, players can map either input to a designated key on the device’s right side.
Suppose you’re serious about your fighting games and want to go beyond the already excellent stock option. In that case, the Victrix Pro FS Fight Stick features an easy-to-access padded door on its rear, which houses space for an extra stick (included in the box), a screwdriver and access to the buttons for modding or maintenance purposes.
“…the Victrix Pro FS Fight Stick’s tactile feel and comfortable metal chassis made the re-learning experience a joy…”
The face buttons themselves are genuine Sanwa Denshi buttons, as is the stick, which features a square gate design, making it a good starting point for use with an assortment of fighting games. The rear hatch of the Victrix Pro FS Fight Stick is also where the mode switch is housed, allowing the user to toggle between console and PC modes, respectively.
In terms of I/O, the Victrix Pro FS Fight Stick features a single USB-C port on the top and a standard 3.5 mm jack on the bottom of the unit for headphone users, something you will need as the Victrix Pro FS for all its tactility comes at the cost of audibly loud clicks when in use.
Thanks to its USB-C port, the Victrix Pro FS Fight Stick’s included 10ft braided cable can be replaced if desired or if damaged without the need to track down a proprietary cable. Removable hooks on the top of the fight stick allow for fast storage of the cable, ensuring you never lose it or can quickly get going if you’re in a tournament setting.
I haven’t used a fighting stick in a few years, so I hesitated to play the Street Fighter 6 closed-network test with one. However, actually using the Victrix Pro FS Fight Stick quickly made me a believer. If you’ve never used a fighting stick before, it can take some time to get used to. Still, the Victrix Pro FS Fight Stick’s tactile feel and comfortable metal chassis made the re-learning experience a joy, thanks to ultra-responsive buttons that actuate on a dime, coupled with a robust feeling stick which picks up on subtle movements along with more deliberate motions, making learning character-specific moves a fun endeavour.
There is a reason the Victrix Pro FS Fight Stick is an officially licensed product. It leaves little doubt in its quality, ensuring those who want a tournament-grade stick have the best option available while ensuring compatibility with both PC, PlayStation 4 and native PlayStation 5 titles.