A Quick Look at the Hitbox vs Arcade Stick Debate

News // Arcade Stick // Capcom Pro Tour // Esports // By pets_torrefranca // 27 May 2019

A Quick Look at the Hitbox vs Arcade Stick Debate

Daigo "The Beast" Umehara has been an iconic figure in the FGC and has been one of the biggest influencers in eSports. Aside from his achievements, this Japanese pro player is also responsible for Moment 37 hailed as one of the most iconic moments in competitive video gaming. Speaking of iconic moments, Daigo's latest endeavor has ignited a much-needed debate pertaining to one of the most important equipment in competitive gaming, which is the game controller.



For those who are not in the know, Daigo's Hitbox Controller prompted Capcom to issue a last minute notice that led to his custom made rig being barred from the Capcom Pro Tour Brackets in this year's ComboBreaker. What's interesting about this is that Daigo's actions could lead to another defining moment that will greatly influence the future of Fighting Game tournaments.



The debate between Hitbox and Fightsticks is not new to the FGC. The truth of the matter is that this issue is a ticking time bomb just waiting for the right time to explode, and from the way things are going, the big explosion is yet to come. So what's the issue? would it be beneficial if all players use Hitbox controllers? From a third-person perspective, the answer to that question would be an immediate yes. In relation to that, let's take a quick look at some of the benefits/advantages players to gain by using a Hitbox controller. 

Hitbox Controller Benefits/Advantages

  • Easier to Learn
  • Faster and easier execution of Complicated movesets
  • More Precise/Accurate inputs
  • Less stress on the player's hands

Technological Revolution

There is, however, more to this issue than meets the eye, in fact, this can be considered as a form of a Technical Revolution taking place within the FGC. A technical revolution is defined by Joseph C. Galisim as an increase in productivity and efficiency, "It may involve material or ideological changes caused by the introduction of a device or system.it can play a role of a trigger of a chain of various and unpredictable changes" 

Daigo's Custom Hitbox Controller

The question we must be looking at is whether Hitbox Controllers affect the basic principles of fighting game tournaments which mainly focuses on skill-based execution of intricate movesets. This does not mean that pro players who prefer Hitbox Controllers are less-skilled compared to those with fightsticks even though they pose a slight advantage. 

Snash Hitbox Controller

A Hitbox controller with all its improved features is hands down better than a fightstick. However, a scenario wherein two players with the same skillset using the same characters but different controllers (one with Hitbox, the other with fighstick) result to a high probability of the one with the Hitbox winning the event. The slight advantages of a Hitbox controller can make a huge difference in tournaments. As innovative as it may seem, Hitboxes somehow undermines one of the most basic foundations of the FGC, which is Arcade Gaming. Compared to other gaming community in eSports, FGC tournaments come with a rich history built in the spirit of competition and brotherhood.

 Image from Flickr Pleasence

The fight stick is more than just a controller, it is a symbol that represents the origins of the entire fighting game community. It may not be as accurate, precise, or as innovative as a Hitbox controller, but it reminds us that losing is as important as winning. Fighsticks reminds players that not all executions are perfect and that making mistakes is an important part of self-development.



With that said, it is safe to say that the FGC does not need a technological revolution in controllers. Daigo, in his humble self, has apologized to the organizers of ComboBreaker. Whatever his intentions may be, it has definitely brought up an important topic on the table. It is not to undermine Hitbox users, but to look into a concrete solution on how to address the unfair advantages of a Hitbox controller. Checkout The Main Man's video below discussing the advantages of Mixbox and stay tuned for more gaming news and updates. 

"Mixbox Advantages and Benefits"

Source: ResetEra, Jiyuna, Daigo Images from Wikipedia, Pleasance