One might even ask, are there any arcade sticks for Nintendo Switch?
Yes, yes there are.
Hori has been kind enough to release the first quality, tournament-grade wired stick Real Arcade Pro.V Hayabusa for Nintendo Switch (read the review), despite the market for compatible fighting games being pretty low at the moment. You can’t go wrong with Hori’s RAP.V for Nintendo Switch.
There is also only one wireless option: 8Bitdo N30 Arcade Stick for Nintendo Switch. It’s a wireless arcade stick, and the case looks to be identical to that of the universal arcade fightstick Mayflash F300 (read the review). I’m somewhat skeptical about how well it works over wireless, but I haven’t had a chance to test it.
For a while these two arcade sticks were the only options.
Then Mayflash made many happy with an update to their popular F300 and F500 fightsticks, adding support for Nintendo Switch. You just need to update the stick’s own firmware.
If you want to compare the features of each stick in a handy table format, check the Arcade Stick Comparison Chart.
Hori Real Arcade Pro.V Hayabusa for Nintendo Switch Review
Hori made a Nintendo Switch version of their popular RAP4 arcade stick, dubbing it as RAP.V – in the same vein as the Xbox version. They seem to be exactly identical.
Hori stepped up their game with their own Hayabusa buttons and joystick; they are on equal level with the “industry standard” that is Sanwa. It’s merely a matter of preference if you prefer Hayabusas or Sanwas.
Hayabusa’s low-profile, short-throw buttons are very responsive with a short activation distance. If you’re the type of player who rests their fingers on the buttons, that might cause accidental presses until you get used to the buttons.
RAP4 Kai is the cheapest of the so called quality arcade sticks, and is often recommended as the first “proper” stick. RAP4 can often be seen in fighting tournaments. It’s also easily moddable with snap-in type buttons if you prefer Sanwa parts. The case has a pleasant slope for wrists, it’s easy to carry thanks to its handles on the sides, and it has a good medium weight to it.
It has a touchpad, but it lacks a headphone jack. Rest of the buttons are hidden on the right side of the case, under the little carrying “lips” on the sides. Artwork is glued to the case, so it’s not easy to peel off and change.
This stick is offered in different colors: black, white, red, blue. White especially stands out in my opinion.
If you want a superb fightstick, but don’t want to be dealing with modding, Hori Real Arcade Pro 4 Kai is a great option that won’t completely break your wallet.
Read the full Hori RAP.V Hayabusa for Nintendo Switch review here.
8Bitdo N30 Arcade Stick
A wireless cheaper stick based on the case of Mayflash F300. Should work just as well for casual gaming like the F300, and likewise be as easily moddable. Additional lucrative perk is that it’s wireless.
Do note that if you play fighting games more seriously and lowest possible latency (delay to inputs) is important, the recommendation is to stay away from wireless sticks.
Mayflash F300 Review
At first this arcade stick may not seem like much. But wait, it’s often a best seller on Amazon? It’s very cheap, it supports multiple console platforms, and it’s mod-friendly.
If you’re planning to use this stick with PS4, XB1 or X360, you need to connect a USB cable from the fightstick to your console, and then you also need to connect another USB cable between your console’s gamepad and Mayflash F300. That’s the price you pay for multi-console compatibility. As the gamepad and fightstick are daisy-chained, you can use the connected gamepad to control the game too. Annoyingly the USB cable protrudes from the front towards you, which seems like a really weird design decision.
Artwork is not directly changeable. You could print an artwork sticker and apply it on the surface, but there’s no layer protecting it, so it will probably wear out the artwork quickly unless the paper has its own protective layer. For better artwork customization options, you should take a look at Mayflash F500.
This fightstick works well for beginners, but you’ll very likely outgrow it soon enough. That’s where the modding comes in: you can make it feel like a completely different stick with new parts, relatively cheaply. Mayflash even markets it as compatible with Sanwa parts. Button size is 30 mm (Start/Options button 24 mm). It’s quite compact in size and weight, so big hands beware. There’s no internal compartment to store the USB cable in.
Read the full Mayflash F300 review.
Mayflash F500 Review
F500 is the big brother to Mayflash F300. It’s larger, artwork is easily changeable, there’s a headphone jack (doesn’t work with Nintendo Switch though), USB cable can be stored inside the case, and lastly, it comes with an additional octagonal restrictor gate nowadays (must be installed manually).
Overall this feels instantly better than F300, but it also costs more – and you still should mod better joystick and buttons to it; the stock ones aren’t nowhere near the same ballpark as the likes of Sanwa, Hayabusa or Seimitsu.
If you have big hands, I’d say this definitely works better than F300. It weighs more, thanks to the metal top and bottom plates. Weight is good if you prefer to keep the fightstick on your lap when playing.
Mayflash F500 supports multiple consoles just like F300, with the same caveat that you have to connect your gamepad to it with a USB cable. BUT if that bothers you, you can buy an addon called MagicBoots; you connect this small receiver to the USB port on the fightstick, and you don’t need to connect your gamepad to it anymore. Is it worth your money? Could be. One major con about that too; you need to buy that receiver for each console separately. It also supports a vibrating wrist strap (has to be bought separately).
When you add the modding costs (and if you buy any of the addons), it’s closing in on the price of Hori RAP.V. It might be better to hold on and save a little more cash to get RAP.V instead. Unless you really want custom artwork and enjoy the challenge of taking things apart.
Read the full Mayflash F500 review.