All the hype has lead up to this moment, is this the arcade stick for the Next Generation of fighters?
While I’ve been a long-time fighting game player, I was always intimidated by learning how to use a fight stick. My first arcade stick was the Madcatz TES+ on PlayStation 4 and while I genuinely appreciated the craftsmanship that went into making that device, I never devoted enough time to get the hang of using it. I was too concerned with winning to change from pad to stick, something I felt much more comfortable using. Fast forward to Evo 2018 where I was introduced to the Victrix Pro team and their stunning Victrix Pro FS. It was then I knew I had to learn more about fight sticks to one day be able to use the Pro FS to its fullest capabilities. I felt like I had to earn my right to use it, it’s just that cool.
The Victrix Pro FS is one of the most visually stunning pieces of hardware I’ve ever had the opportunity to use thanks to its unique build and aesthetics. The cool aircraft grade aluminum is angled perfectly to provide maximum comfort to your wrists. The stick weighs in at around 7.8 pounds and is great to use on either a table or on your lap. The built-in handles have bright purple stoppers (the Victrix brand’s color of choice) on the bottom that provide extra grip for travel and active use. Victrix also offers free laser engravings at events. Ours was laser engraved before shipment for the purposes of this review with our timeless SRK logo. All you need is an image, preferably in Adobe Illustrator format, and the Victrix Pro FS can become personalized to your own design. Some may be concerned about how permanent the laser engraving is, and while this is true, it makes for a stick that really feels like its one in a million.
Players can easily access the inside of the case by utilizing the door on the bottom. From there you can swap out any of its eight buttons or remove the stick to replace it with something more preferred. This is actually the first fight stick I’ve owned where I’ve felt comfortable enough to swap out any of the components. The only other time I opened a fight stick was during my Fighting Stick Mini review. With the Victrix Pro FS, I felt confident enough in the build quality of its casing to take buttons out and pop them back in. I will say it was a little tough to reach some of the clips keeping the buttons in and my fingers aren’t particularly large, but with a little finesse, you’ll be able to get the job done. It’s also worth reiterating this was my first experience ever removing buttons from a fight stick, so it could also just be because I’m a novice to modifications.
The primary joystick is also removable without requiring any hardware modifications. Its called the Link 2, a homage to Phreakmods’ “The Link” which offers a similar function. I’ve never used the original Link, but I’ve seen the two compared and the Link 2 lives up to its name in being a more refined experience. All you need to do is grab the outer casing of the joystick and pull up. It’s as easy as that. Those worried that the stick might come undone during gameplay will have nothing to fear. Throughout my time testing the Victrix Pro FS I never had an issue with the joystick coming out of place. The Link 2 makes this stick perfect for travel, no longer needing a special carrying case to accommodate for the joystick. There’s also a special housing for the Link 2 underneath the panel door.
The buttons are placed in the traditional Taito Vewlix layout which most will be comfortable with. While it is the arcade standard, I have to say I do prefer the concept of Namco Noir layout since its positioned more naturally for your fingers. I hope one day in the future Victrix releases a Pro FS (N) for those who prefer the alternative layout. Most won’t find this to be an issue, but for a fight stick that pride’s itself on choice, that’s the one decision you do not have the ability to make.
The Victrix Pro FS opts for a removable, braided, 3-meter USB-C cable which is perfect for travel, connection speed, (which is 5ms, the fastest legal response time) and customization since its such an openly used connection. There are also built-in posts for wrapping your cable with spots to hook in a carrying strap. This stick really does have it all.
The Victrix Pro FS is truly a one of a kind piece of hardware. Everything about its design is expertly crafted for professional use with the World Warrior in mind. This stick is made for those traveling from tournament to tournament in need of a reliable long-term investment that’ll be sure to turn heads.
The Victrix Pro FS comes with the industry standard Sanwa buttons and joystick. Those familiar with Sanwa will know exactly what to expect when it comes to the controller’s primary function. While these parts on their own are found in most sticks on the market, aside from HORI who use their own sticks and buttons, they feel perfect to use on the perfectly angled aluminum casing. Everything feels premium and it only gets better over time.
The Victrix Pro FS is easily moddable, with quick access to the inside of the case through a foam padded latch on the bottom. I’ve never used an octagonal restrictor plate before and I heard that they were preferred by certain players. As soon as I received the fight stick, I replaced the traditional square restrictor gate with an octagonal one I purchased online. You can immediately tell the difference between the two plates and it was as easy to make the change. All you have to do is pinch the four plastic tabs to remove the square plate and then you simply pop on the octagonal plate and it locks into place. Oh, we also can’t forget to mention that the Victrix Pro FS even comes with an Allen wrench that’s housed inside.
Another major feature of the Victrix Pro FS is its stellar RGB functions. You can choose between an array of colors (I prefer to keep mine green) and alternate between the Fixed, Pulsate, Prismatic, Reactive, White, and Dark modes to best suit your aesthetic. While the RGB functions are incredible in action, unfortunately, the first review unit I received had an issue with the red LED not functioning on the left side panel. My unit was quickly replaced after the helpful VIP Tech support found at @VictrixPro_Tech determined it must have been a pinched cable during manufacturing. I was assured this was an incredibly rare issue, the first Victrix had heard of. While it’s easy to be disheartened by this, just know your investment will be well preserved with a two-year limited warranty and that my replacement model shines like a dream.
You can switch between the left stick, the right stick, or the d-pad by holding the Victrix button and either pressing the stick left to right to choose which stick you want or up or down to shift between a stick or the d-pad. It’s great that the Victrix Pro FS has this feature but without reading the instruction manual there’d be no way you could tell just by using context clues alone. While a simple switch would have gotten the job done, changing the input type this way ensures that the unit itself is as sleek as possible.
There are also three separate “Pro” buttons that originally act as the L3, R3, and Training Mode buttons. The Training Mode button acts as the Touch button in regards to resetting character positions. It is currently compatible with the following titles; Blazblue Cross Tag Battle, Dragonball Fighter Z, Guilty Gear Xrd, Injustice 2, King of Fighters XIV, Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite, Mortal Kombat XL, Tekken 7, Soul Calibur VI, Street Fighter V, and Street Fighter 30th Anniversary. The Pro buttons can also be remapped to be any of the other standard face buttons if those are deemed more convenient. If you want things to go back to normal, all you have to do is press the Pro button and the Victrix button at the same time and voila!
Another important feature housed in the Victrix Pro FS’ sleek shell is the headphone jack placed on the center panel facing the player. You can control the volume gain by holding the Volume button and pressing up or down on the stick. If you want to mute the mic, simply double tap the Volume button. If you want things to go back to normal, double tap Volume once more.
If all of these incredible features are too much for you or you need to ensure no function gets accidentally utilized during a match, press the Victrix button by itself to activate Tournament/Lock-Out mode. This disables every function button but the Victrix button to ensure every input made in the heat of battle is the right one.
The Victrix Pro FS is definitely the most premiere piece of gaming hardware I’ve ever put my hands on. Everything about it embodies class, sophistication, and expertise. Using a fight stick isn’t going to make you a better player on its own, but using the Victrix Pro FS is going to make you want to train hard enough to be worthy of its esteem for the player. My experience with the Victrix Pro FS has been incredible, and with the laser etched SRK logo appearing boldly on the stick, it truly feels like a stick made just for me.
The Victrix Pro FS is perhaps the most premiere fight stick on the market. This stick is built to last and made to adapt with its easily accessible and swappable parts. Sure, its buttons and joystick can be found on a competing stick for about $100-$150 less, but the overall experience with the outstanding build quality, the Link 2, the customizable LEDs and inputs, the removable and wrappable braided USB-C cable, and the easily moddable casing makes it worth every penny.
- Nearly every premium feature you could want right out the box, removable stick, easy access latch, built-in handles and strap ports, and more.
- Free laser engraving when purchased at a tournament where Victrix is present.
- Aluminum body feels great to the touch and perfectly weighted for use on any surface.
- Limited customization in terms of visuals (i.e. no art or plexi can be added), only real options are laser engravings, which is permanent, or stickers which is less than ideal.
- Bright purple accessories, like the USB-C cable, the rubber grips on the bottom, and braided cable management may limit customization options to some.
- Costs $150 more than competitors with similar components and core functions like the Razer Panthera/Atrox.
The Victrix Pro FS can be purchased directly through Victrix’s website or through Amazon on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Both models are also compatible with PC although mine required its buttons to be mapped via Steam before use.
Victrix provided Shoryuken with a model of the Victrix Pro FS for the PlayStation 4/PC for the purpose of this review.