Sporting a new and improved d-pad, The Xbox One controller is the most viable Microsoft controller for fighting games yet. However, for those who would prefer to fight the old-fashioned way, Mad Catz has you covered. If this was simply a standard Mad Catz Tournament Edition fightstick with new art, that would be great. However, they’ve gone the extra mile to evolve this fightstick to the point where this is their best one yet.
If you’ve ever used a standard Mad Catz TE before, you’ll immediately notice that the case has been completely redesigned. It keeps the same general size and weight, but visually it looks very different. While you may prefer the look of the older ones, this does come with a myriad of improvements. For instance, once you plug it in, the buttons now light up. You can turn these off, toggle the brightness of the lights or have them light up based on rumble data. The latter option I didn’t really see work, but then again, I’m not really looking down at my buttons while playing, so maybe I missed it.
Underneath, you’ll notice that the casing now covered in a non-slip foam padding. This certainly makes for a more comfortable gaming experience when using it on your lap, though I question the non-slip properties of this material. Due to the fighstick’s weight, slippage isn’t really a problem anyway, but if you’ve ever tried a Qanba Q4 RAF, that one really locks into your lap thanks to its felt bottom.
On the back of the system, you’ll notice two notable upgrades. It’s been cleverly designed in a way so that you can attach a bag strap to it for added portability. Also, the cable is now detachable. When you’re ready to play, simply plug it in and tighten the nut and it’ll stay locked in.
After play, you can simply tuck the cable inside the fightstick itself. Unlike earlier versions of the TE, this one now features a heavy-duty clasp mechanism that gives you easy access to the inside of the case. Having this available gives you a new place to store the cable, spare buttons and the special Mad Catz screwdriver that you can use to replace the joystick or art.
As you would expect by now, this TE comes with built-in Sanwa buttons and a Sanwa joystick for the best experience. I love their parts, as they last for a really long time while reading my inputs accurately. The buttons here are translucent to amplify the light effect, which looks quite nice without impacting performance. If anything were to break or if you want to swap out parts for something else, you now have easy access to the box’s innards, which will make the modding process way easier.
If you want to play a fighting game on the Xbox One with a fightstick, the Mad Catz Killer Instinct Arcade Fightstick is your only option. It’s also a pricey one, as these currently sell for $200 each. Thankfully, it’s also a great option. This is Mad Catz best fightstick yet and one that fight fans on the Xbox One should definitely consider.