Like it was already mentioned, fightsticks are really not worth it unless you have very good reasons to own one, specially considering that fightsticks are more expensive than ever. I’m an old school player, who learned how to play fighting games in the arcades. For me, playing with a gamepad just feels weird and very uncomfortable, therefore I’m at a serious disadvantage if I play with a gamepad. As a result, I don’t own one, but two fightsticks; a Razer Atrox (xbox one) and a Madcatz TE2+ (PS4/PS3).
First and foremost, a fightstick WILL NOT make you a better player, in fact, if you know already how to play fighting games with a gamepad, you should probably stick to it, specially if you have never played with a fightstick before, since you will have to learn how to play again from the very beginning, develop muscle memory and basically getting used to the controller again, a process that might take days, weeks or even months depending on how much you play and how skilled you are. Additionally, if you’re planning on going to offline tournaments, gamepads are WAY more portable and convenient that the sticks, those things are a little bit heavy and bulky haha.
That being said, if you’re really committed to buying a stick for whatever reason you might have, there are a number of advantages worth mentioning; first of all, most fightsticks retain their value over time, so if you’re not 100% sure about buying it, you might get most of your money back if you finally decide fightsticks aren’t your thing. Secondly, fightsticks are built to last, unlike most controllers (even the elite), they can take some serious punishment without permanently damaging them. That brings me to my 3rd point, most fightsticks can be fully modded, you can change and replace every single piece, either for cosmetic or technical purposes, and most parts are really cheap.
If you want my opinion about the sticks I own, I’m quite happy with both of them, they’re pretty much identical, since they use the same parts (Sanwa) and the built quality is really good. Some people are more inclined towards Madcatz, due to some Razer sticks malfunctioning at crucial EVO moments, but like I said, I own both and have never, ever had any issues with the Atrox. If anything, the Atrox feels a little bit heavier and sturdier than the TE2. Additionally, you can also build your own stick, it’s supposed to be cheaper if you know what you’re doing and you can literally make it unique, but in all honesty, I cannot be bothered about that, just bought them and started playing straight away.
I hope I could give you some insights about this common, but always important topic.