The Razer Kitsune Fightpad Feels Like Cheating - Review

A Razer Kitsune arcade controller standing up in front of its bo
Credit: StealthOptional

A Razer Kitsune arcade controller standing up in front of its bo
Credit: StealthOptional

The past few years has been a real delight for fighting game fans such as myself. Street Fighter 6, Mortal Kombat 1, and Tekken 8 all offer varying and distinct fighting experiences for lovers of the genre, while games like Guilty Gear Strive and Dragon Ball Fighter Z still offer some incredible gameplay years later.

However, despite my love for the genre, I've never purchased an arcade stick or controller for myself. I always found myself comfortable with peripherals like the PDP Victrix Pro or the DualSense Edge, never opting to shell out on an expensive arcade pad for myself. "I don't need one", I consistently tell myself despite starting at the shopping cart on Amazon.

At least, that was the case until I got my hands on the Razer Kitsune. This controller, despite the high price and some minor issues, feels like cheating. With an intuitive design, incredible buttons, and a sleek look, the Kitsune excels at giving you that must-have edge in fighting games, but only if you're already a seasoned pro with a controller too.

A close-up of the Razer Kitsune circle buttons at the top, including a PlayStation button and the PC/PS switch
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Credit: StealthOptional

To start, the Razer Kitsune only supports PS5 and PC players (sorry, Xbox), and gives you an all-button arcade controller. For many people used to dedicated arcade pads, a stickless design may come across as strange and plain wrong, but Razer's offering feels quicker and faster than standard fight sticks. There's no travel time, as all of the dedicated buttons have different inputs. It's a lot more precise than your standard joysticks.

Unsurprisingly, the design also offers RGB lighting around the outer edge of the Kitsune, as many would expect from Razer's catalog of products. However, it doesn't extend to the individual buttons, and considering keyboards like the Razer Blackwidow V4 Pro shine spectacularly with individual backlit keys, this feels like a major oversight.

At the back of the device lies a locking mechanism that keeps your USB-C wire from coming loose during intense matches. It feels secure and easy to quickly lock/unlock the cable, so if you want to store it, it's not too difficult to quickly take away.

What's your take on the Razer Kitsune Fightpad's performance and price?

All that to say, the Kitsune feels as sleek and premium as any other Razer device. And much like the luxury design, the Kitsune is tuned for absolute performance in whatever game you like to play. I primarily played Mortal Kombat 1 with the arcade controller, and I was surprised at how much I truly loved it.

A close up of the Razer Kitsune arcade controller with all of the buttons on-show
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Credit: StealthOptional

There's a unique learning curve to the Kitsune that may turn off some buyers. The buttons feel like they're in strange places, with the jump/up button being quite far down. However, once you get used to it, it becomes muscle memory and very easy to adapt to. Creating strings of combos feels absolutely amazing, and it's even better thanks to how responsive the buttons are.

Using optical switches as opposed to mechanical switches makes the buttons feel squishy, but really precise. There's no real feedback to the buttons aside from the fact your character reacts in-game, such as no clicky noise, but it still feels very satisfying to use. The placement of each button is finetuned, making it comfortable to play with for long sessions and for my middling size hands, it felt very easy to quickly press buttons, whether it was the directional or the action keys.

The thin factor of the device makes it super easy to store, and overall, it's a very light device. It's not too light that it'll be shoved around during tense moments, but the non-slip padding underneath should stop it from doing that anyway. However, while the performance is absolutely sublime, the major issue that many will face is the price.

A close up of the port on the Razer Kitsune arcade controller, showing off the cable lock
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Credit: StealthOptional

At $299.99 for the Razer Kitsune, it can feel a bit... expensive, to say the least. The Hitbox is marginally cheaper at $250 for a great alternative, but Razer's style oozes from the Kitsune's design, making it easy to pay the extra for the gaming company's long-term support. There's also a variety of skins, if you want to further customize your Kitsune.

Overall, I'm seriously impressed with the Razer Kitsune, so much so that it has a permanent residence on my desk. It's made games like Mortal Kombat 1 and Multiversus and absolute breeze to play, and honestly, I feel like my performance in fighting games has enhanced after getting used to the peripheral. It's a high cost to stomach, but if you're a fighting fantatic looking to upgrade to an arcade controller, it's hard not to recommend the Kitsune.

Razer Kitsune Review
The Razer Kitsune's price is hard to stomach, setting you back $299, but if you're a fighting game fanatic, the great performance, responsive buttons, and sleek design make it a must-have for those looking to demolish their foes.
9 out of 10
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