Besides just playing fighting games with every 7 out of 10 free moments that I have in my life, I enjoy mechanical things. I love seeing how things work, feeling out how they function, digging around in the nuts, bolts, wires, plugs, and switches. I have done this with Victrix fight sticks before, so tickle me pink (or purple in this case) when I had a chance to fall in love all over again with the 12-button Victrix Pro FS-12. This fight pad drops the arcade stick in favor of an all-button format akin to the likes of Hitbox and other such controllers and, boy howdy, if you can get past the price tag, the mechanical, customizable, and functional features of this controller are incredibly fun.
What’s in the box?
Victrix seem to have streamlined packaging down to a science at this point, and it continues to be the case with the FS-12. The box contains the FS-12 fight pad itself, a lengthy 3-meter long braided cable (about 9.6 feet), and a hex tool for accessing some of the more technical internals of the device. I will say it doesn’t come with a proper user’s manual the way that previous Victrix fight sticks have. Instead, it features a QR code where you can access the manual online, which is a little disappointing. I don’t mind going online, I just also like having that information in physical form with the actual product.
Regardless, the pad itself is quite thoroughly a finely designed piece of hardware. I loved handling it briefly at EVO 2022, and I’ve loved more fully exploring it in my own home as I grind games like Melty Blood and Guilty Gear. As Victrix advertises, the case is a single piece of aircraft-grade aluminum metal with a slightly curved base for resting your wrists, which has always been nice for reducing cramps in my hands. Meanwhile, the buttons are Sanwa Denshi convex buttons. 11 of the buttons are 24mm while the last one (the default up button) is a 30mm button. The main functions of the PS4/PS5 buttons have also returned with a touchpad, PlayStation button, and Options button. There’s also the color customization button to adjust the side and bar LED lighting to your liking, and a tournament lockout button to ensure you can’t sabotage yourself by activating the bar buttons or touch pad during a match.
Joining these are two very important new buttons. PlayStation 5’s Share button joins the bar at the top to allow you to access the PS5’s screenshot and video clip features with ease. Perhaps most importantly, a platform mode switch joins the collection. This one is inside the case and extremely easy to access. With the flip of a switch, you can move between PS4, PS5, and PC functionality. Both the Share button and platform switch buttons were highly requested features from fans and it’s great to see them in play and working as intended here. Finally, it comes with brackets at the top to wrap the cord around and a canvas bag case for easy carrying and transportation.
Adjust to your liking
I like customization. The buttons that come stock with the Victrix Pro FS-12 are perfectly fine, but I like to accessorize, and so I did. After getting my hands on some metallic silver and pink Sanwa Denshi buttons (make sure you account for that single 30mm button), I went to work on disconnecting things and getting the new buttons in. It was a fairly simple process. You could probably get the wires loose from the buttons if your fingers are small. Mine aren’t, so I used some tweezers, which were quite effective and easy to work around the internals of the device.
Once I got the wires off, the buttons were also fairly easy to pop out. The new buttons were also fairly easy to pop in, although I had some issues with doing anything to move them once they were locked in. I’m not entirely sure if the fit of Victrix’s stock Sanwa’s versus a third party shop’s are different, but I’m also not entirely sure I could get my custom buttons out easily without some risk of breaking them. All’s well, they are fit plush into the Victrix FS-12’s board, connected properly, and they all work without fail. I’ve done this before, so doing it again with the new pad was no sweat. If you haven’t done a button swap, I’d suggest seeking out a how-to video such as this one by OfficeArcade.
The end point is that I was easily able to swap out the parts in my Victrix without breaking or damaging anything and everything was in perfect working order after the fact, another testament to the durability and reliability of this device. Everything here comes at a cost though. The Victrix Pro FS-12 is a pricey beast, as most of its fight sticks are. It’s a $399.99 USD fight pad at retail price, which is on the high end of the market. That said, I’d also argue you get what you pay for in customizability, reliability, and high-quality stock parts (I just like some extra color in my life).
Big bad base of buttons
I have been practicing with the Victrix Pro FS-12 for several weeks now and I’m happy as can be after my button swap work on it. Even if you don’t swap like I did, everything about the Victrix Pro FS-12 out of the box is fresh, clean, and performs with complete satisfaction. I have quite the road to retrain my hands to this type of controller, but it didn’t take me long to start establishing the foundational techniques of my combos in Guilty Gear Strive and even improving on them slightly. Based on both my previous experience with arcade stick Victrix pads, and my time with the FS-12, get past the price tag and the Victrix Pro FS-12 is an investment for both quality and custom fight pad fans that I’d argue will pay off for years to come.
This review is based on a sample product supplied by the manufacturer. The Victrix Pro FS-12 is available to pre-order now in metallic purple and powder white variants through the Victrix website and partnered retailers for $399.99 USD with shipping expected in November 2022.
Victrix Pro FS-12
- Durable and sleek design
- New PS5 Share button and platform switch
- Solid stock Sanwa Denshi buttons
- Easy to open, disconnect, and customize buttons
- Lengthy and sturdy 3-meter cable
- Solid performance with stock or custom parts
- No physical user manual
- Custom buttons may prove difficult to remove
TJ Denzer posted a new article, Victrix Pro FS-12 review: The best built bundle of buttons
Nice. I would have customized it with Seimitsu buttons for extra clickiness.
That would be really fun. I do love good button feedback.
I think SF6 is the game- I’m going to finally learn how to hitbox
That's my vibe too. These controllers are coming at a great time. Our social media manager Denny is trying to decide if he should go for it now or wait to see if Victrix and Capcom team up for another special edition Street Fighter stick/pad the way they have before.
Those pink and gold buttons look fantastic. Great choice.