HORI Switch Fighting Stick Mini 2020 Review.
HORI introduces the Fighting Stick Mini for Nintendo Switch, a NEW way to play all of your favourite arcade classics and fighting games. It features a full 8-button layout and a proper micro switch-activated joystick
Nintendo Switch players looking for a perfectly sized travel fight stick that maintains a full eight-button layout or a less expensive entry point into the market should look no further than the HORI Fighting Stick MINI releasing on April 29.
The Switch Fighting Stick MINI maintains all of the essentials while shrinking down to a satisfyingly comfortable and affordable arcade stick.
While there are certain features that didn’t make the cut, it’ll be tough to argue that the stick doesn’t hold its own for the cost, even when compared to its larger and pricer family members.
The Fighting Stick MINI certainly lives up to its name measuring at about 8″x 6″ (with a cable that is 2.5m long), especially when directly compared to HORI’s other Nintendo Switch offering, the Real Arcade Pro V Hayabusa at around 18″ x 11″.
Those familiar with the Fighting Stick MINI 4 should know what to expect from the Nintendo Switch version in terms of visuals.
The first major change is that this fight stick comes in a gray shell and features a black stick and buttons as opposed to the Fighting Stick MINI 4’s all black appearance.
The gray matches Nintendo’s stock gray accessories and looks rather nice amongst them. Unlike the RAP V Hayabusa, the buttons are glossy, which I actually prefer aesthetically.
The joystick and the buttons feel great to use and it’s not any more difficult to execute special inputs than on a larger fight stick. I always felt like I was in control.
That being said, while reviewing the stick, I mainly played Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid and Dragon Ball FighterZ, which aren’t very input intensive.
I can imagine that anything more than casual play might start to show the downsides of having such a small and light stick.
My hands are also on the smaller side so the mini size of the MINI is actually quite nice.
While the Fighting Stick MINI might be small, it doesn’t cut corners on primary features. The fight stick has the +, -, Home, and Capture buttons as well as a turbo function all available on the top right-hand side.
- Small size makes it perfect for use with Nintendo Switch Multiport USB Playstand for Nintendo Switch and Laptops when traveling or at home.
- Great price for beginners wanting to see if they want to invest in using a fight stick.
- All the necessary buttons, including the capture button for taking screenshots and recordings.
- Turbo functionality
- Might be too small for those with larger hands.
- Cannot switch between D-Pad to Left Stick, limiting compatibility with certain titles.
- Difficult to use while in your lap.
- No modding/repair capability due to proprietary parts soldered to the unit.
A Sharp Weapon
Attractive, officially licensed Capcom art adorns the joystick’s face and separates it from the all-black, original Fighting Stick Mini.
The red review unit I tested features Ryu and Ken, the iconic Street Fighter II duo, in dramatic fighting poses, as well as the equally iconic Street Fighter II logo.
The Street Fighter Fighting Stick Mini also has a blue variant for the same price that features Cammy and Chun-Li.
As its name suggests, the Fighting Stick Mini: Street Fighter Edition has a small footprint.
Bringing a Stick Into Battle
Of course, the main reason to purchase a fight stick isn’t for the art; it’s for the arcade cabinet-style joystick and button combo.
The Fighting Stick Mini: Street Fighter Edition lacks the metal chassis and world-renowned Sanwa Denshi parts you’ll find in premium fight sticks, but its clicky, microswitch-activated lollipop joystick and buttons feel good in the hand.
Unless you’ve logged ridiculous hours on high-end fight sticks such as the Qanba Dragon or Vitrix Pro FS,
you’ll be more than happy with what Hori offers with this controller.
Naturally, you could use the HORI Switch Fighting Stick Mini to play any number of different games. You could probably play some shooters on this and have a blast.
But it’s clear as day that this gamepad was designed for fighting games first and foremost. And you can mostly tell that from the full eight button layout.
hankfully, each of the buttons is clearly labeled with Switch-friendly button identifications: Y, X, R, L, B, A, ZR, ZL. People who are not familiar with using these kinds of Fighting Stick controllers will be able to get up to speed quite quickly because clearly this is a fairly standard layout for a Switch controller.
And if you need to change these buttons by remapping them inside of a game, that shouldn’t be too challenging if the game allows it.
Comfort & Competitive Play
The positioning and spacing between the buttons and the joystick is pretty much perfect.
Once again, it allows people with either small or large hands to make easy access with the controller.
And the joystick itself is just about a work of art. Like a proper joystick, it’s micro switch activated for the sort of control you need in fighting games.
Whether you’re trying to input a cheat code or you’re trying to execute a complicated technique, you need exact timing, and that’s only possible when your controller doesn’t feel sluggish and irresponsive.