Do Hit Box-style controls really offer tangible advantages over arcade sticks? The fighting game Tokido takes on a laboratory coat to perform experiments

In recent years, more and more competitive combat players have dropped their classic arcade stick controllers for those in the Hit Box style, but how much impact do the various controls really have?

Fighting Game and Street Fighter Legend Rohto | Tokido recently launched his Fighting Game Laboratory series on YouTube, and his first episode was dedicated to exploring and testing the potential benefits of replacing your lever controls with buttons.

After using the first part of the video to detail the rules associated with different controllers to avoid concrete benefits (such as simultaneous, opposite directional inputs), the longtime pro uses the last segment to run a single experiment in Street Fighter 5 to put arcade sticks head to head with Hit Box.

Tokido puts on his own lab coat, using each controller 5 times to see how long it takes for him to run a race ahead with Ryu and the difference between them.

By using the arcade stick first, Tokido finds himself able to run consistently in 5 frames.

For the Hit Box-style control unit, however, he discovers that his lines are even lower with an average of 3 images (and went as low as 2 images), which seems to surprise the top competitor.

These results are not entirely surprising, considering that you have to physically move a lever with deliberate movements with your wrist / fingers as opposed to just pressing the forward button twice as fast as possible.

That difference of 2-3 pictures does not mean much for the general player population, so Hit Box does not just invalidate anything else you might be playing on now.

For those who want to take on the best of the best, however, it may be enough to be a relevant variable considering that many interactions can be decided with just a few frames.

This experiment is just a small look at what sets these controller styles apart, and there are several potential benefits that players tend to cite on Hit Box, such as more accurate inputs and less wrist strain.

Considering that FGC has been playing the levers for over 3 decades now, we do not see the traditional arcade stick dying out right away, and it is important to recognize that basically all different types of controllers provide a small advantage over the others.

Hell, if you look at the CEO 2022 results for SF5, 3 of the 4 best players all played on standard console boards, so at the end of the day, play what you’re most comfortable with.

Unfortunately, Tokido’s video is only in Japanese, but it’s still pretty easy to tell what’s going on using the automatic translation feature on YouTube.