HORI’s Fighting Commander 4 Controller Review

HORI nails it with the Fighting Commander 4 Controller

If you’re like me, you like to dabble in fighting games but you’re still a casual player. That meaning you can’t justify the reason to pick up an expensive fight stick for the PlayStation 4, not that fight sticks are bad. Because some of them are flat out sexy. You just aren’t that deeply involved to simply get one. Enter the Hori Fighting Commander 4, which could be exactly what the doctor ordered.

Let’s get to it, shall we?

Platform(s): PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PC
Manufacturer: Hori
Release Date: May 26, 2015
Price: $44.99 (currently)

Update: If you’re checking this review to find out if this works for the PS4 or PC for Street Fighter V, it does work for the PlayStation 4. The PC requires some extra assistance. While Capcom hasn’t provided any support as of yet, you can get it to work using x360CE on the PC. Just download x360CE here, extract it to your Street Fighter V install location “\Steam\steamapps\common\StreetFighterV\StreetFighterV\Binaries\Win64” and then run it. Accept the ini creation and then it should check for your controller, so make sure it’s plugged in. After that, just click apply and save, and your set. Close out the program and play Street Fighter V with your Hori Fighting Commander 4 with zero issues. Check out our guide to getting the controller setup with X360CE here.

The first few things that you’ll notice is that the controller features 6 front facing buttons; Square, Triangle, Circe, X , R1 and R2. It still retains the top trigger buttons as well for the L1, L2, L3 and R3 buttons, which is pretty especially if you want to map special moves to the trigger buttons. As you would imagine, this was created and marketed to the fighting game crowd, so this is a huge feature. And if you need even more buttons, if that was possible, you can use the toggle switch on the top of the FC4 to change the L1 / L2 to L3 and R3 buttons, respectfully.

Next up you’ll also notice that there are no analog sticks anywhere to be found on the controller. This goes back to this being for the fighting game fans, so you definitely don’t want to pick up this controller if you’re looking to play any other game, well other than shoot em ups and side-scrolling titles that DON’T require an analog stick, as this would work fine with those as well. For everything else; RPGs, Sports Games, Racing Games, well you get the idea… do not attempt to play with this controller. It should be obvious but I’m stating it just in case.

The Fighting Commander 4 has a nice feel to it, it’s not too heavy or awkward and it feels great sitting in my hands, while the 6 front facing buttons few responsive and give a nice click every time they are pressed. The gamepad doesn’t feature any micro/cherry switches, but that doesn’t change the fact that they get the job done. The same can’t be said for the top triggers. They simply don’t give enough impression that you’re pressing them, they just felt like it was too easy to press. They’re functional but I’d rather some sort of feedback as sometimes when I was using the controller, I had to do a double take to make sure I was, in fact, pressing down on them. They do the job, however, I wish they were more like the front 6 buttons. Lastly, it is a wired controller, so there’s no issue with lag when you’re  in battle.

Another interesting spin on the Fighting Commander 4 is the digital pad or d-pad as it’s commonly referred to. You’ll notice that the hori-fc4-dpad-knobcontroller actually features and option to rotate the d-pad ever so slightly at 10 and 20 degrees. Why you ask? Have you ever found yourself holding the controller at an angle, just to miss a button due to the orientation? Hori’s solution to this is to angle the d-pad and not the entire controller and it works. You simply move the knob on the button to the right to loosen the d-pad and then rotate it to the right, ever so slightly. Some may like the idea, others may not even touch it.

It’s all how you play and if you decide if you’ll want to take the time to adjust the d-pad or not. There’s also a sensitivity adjustment tool that is located under the controller in the same spot as the d-pad. I didn’t play with this as the controller felt decent in its stock form. I’d imagine that is something that may be helpful as the controller takes its beatings and wear and tear will eventually take its toll on the FC4.

You’ll also notice that the controller has an odd shape, with the left side having a slightly elongated leg, which serves to sit between your palm and your fingers, giving you a solid grip in your hand. Besides that, the controller offers the standard affair here with the share, options button as well as a turbo selector (Can you even use turbo in fighting games anymore?) and a side selector (DP / Left Side / Right Side).  

An added bonus with the Fighting Commander 4 is that it’s 100% compatible with the PC. No fuss or mess, I just had to plug it into my PC (Windows 10) and it instantly recognized it. When I loaded up Ultra Street Fighter 4, I had no issues configuring it and it also had recognized the Fighting Commander 4. The only thing I had to do to get it working was re-map the light and heavy attacks.  Same deal with Skullgirls;  however, with Sky Force Anniversary, I did have to change the position setting from DP to LS (Left Side) and I was able to get to business, so I can’t imagine anyone else having any issues using the gamepad on other fighting games on the PC. 

For everything that the HORI Fighting Commander 4 Controller does right, there are several details that it gets wrong. For those online warriors, I sadly report that the FC4 does not include any microphone inputs, so if you want to talk online you’ll have to use a

Also thanks to its matte black color, this thing gets dirty and often. Had it been a high gloss instead this would prevent that. This may not bother many people but at the same time, I’ve seen countless complaints about gaming hardware having issues with fingerprints. Lastly, the FC4 doesn’t have any sort of grip in the back, it’s completely smooth, so if you start sweating while you’re gaming there’s a chance that the controller may slip out of your hands.

Other than this, the FC4 is the pinnacle of fighting gamepads available for the PS3, PS4 and PC currently.

So is the Hori Fighting Commander 4 worth buying?

The HORI’s Fighting Commander 4 Controller is hands down the best gamepad available for the PlayStation 3/4 and even the PC, if you’re looking for usage in a fighting game. It’s cheap, features more than enough buttons for a fighting game, including the 6 front facing buttons. Throw in the ability to rotate the d-pad, adjust the d-pad’s sensitivity and the angle, an option that I haven’t seen on any gamepad before. I can’t recommend this controller enough for anyone who has a slight fancy with playing fighting games or every those are live, eat and breath fighters.

The FC4 is a perfect solution for those who can’t or don’t want to shell out the big bucks to enjoy their games, however there is no microphone input so your online communication will have to take a back seat while you use this if plan on using this online.

  • HORI nails it with the Fighting Commander 4 Controller
Overall
4.5

About The Author

Keith Mitchell
Editor-in-chief and all-around good guy!

Keith Mitchell is the Founder and Editor in Chief of The Outerhaven. A grizzled IT professional during the day, but a passionate lover of video games after his 9-5 grid. Loves playing the Dark Souls series and has been gaming since he was 6 years old. You can find him on Twitter as @Shadowhaxor or you can email her at keith.mitchell@theouterhaven.net.