Best Arcade Stick

Best Arcade Stick – Bring Your Gaming To The Next Level

In Peripherals by GrahamLast Modified: / Leave a Comment

Searching for the best arcade stick (or fight stick) is a very personal journey at times. There are many factors that come in to play beyond the standard durability side of things.

We will be exploring the different avenues for each arcade stick but before we begin with our review – we want to explore the different parts of the arcade stick so you can make an informed decision.

The Joystick Vs. The Control Pad

There are two types of controllers out there, the Joystick and the control pad. A Joystick is typically installed on an arcade machine and a control pad that is used on a home console.

The main reason why home consoles have control pads is about pricing and size. It is not cheap to manufacture good-quality joysticks. Second is the size; even the smallest tournament-grade joystick is bulky. In general, a cheap control pad will work better than a cheap joystick.

The argument now is, are you going to be a good player if you are using a control pad? Most pro gamers say that if you are using a control pad, you’re not able to maximize performance.

And a lot of people think there isn’t a great difference between playing using a Control pad and using a Joystick. In my opinion, if you are using a control pad to play games, you are limited in terms of motion. It is not that intuitive.

Pro gamers will certainly agree that the best weapon of choice is a fight stick. However a player with an IGN of MD|Luffy defied this statement. In all his tournament appearances he uses a PS1 Control Pad. In the Evolution Championship Series of 2014, he was declared champion after winning against Bonchan in the finals.

MD|Luffy is the exception to the rule, Joysticks dominate high-level fighting games (to my knowledge, since 2014 all winners have been using fight sticks).

Range of Motion & Speed

Your fingers (rather than your thumbs) are so much faster at movements that you are able to fire off your moves just that bit faster than using a control pad which focuses on your thumbs primarily.

Using a joystick is much easier and more natural to navigate as well. Our bodies are much more aligned for speed with our wrists and forearms than with our thumbs. While we are exercising our thumbs constantly now on either our control pads and our phones (a lot of people can type faster on their phone than on a keyboard) – we’re still not at the level of speed.

Combos & Input Drops

Here is another the big advantage of arcade sticks over control pads – tying to master quarter circle turns is so much easier and reliable on an arcade stick. In addition, as it’s more natural you are able to hit those combos much better than when you think you’ve done it on the control pad (we’ve all been there, shouting at the game).

Negatives to Arcade Sticks

It’s not all roses for the arcade stick. The control pad wins out in dash movements and sometimes movements in general as the distance to roll from left to right on a control pad is minor compared to the larger side movements of an arcade stick.

The other minor negative is the learning curve, you may be so used to the control pad that it will take a lot of hours to retrain yourself for where all the buttons are again.

As mentioned, choosing the best arcade stick is typically up to user preference (the look) – we have broken out the list in the various sections in the table of contents below.

How to find the right Arcade Stick (The components)

Let’s first talk about the components of the arcade stick. I also will be referencing an awesome website that has tons of information on arcade sticks. Not the best web design, but don’t let that stop you.

Joystick/Lever

Arcade Stick LeverThis is the part of the arcade stick that looks like a shift stick on cars, a smaller version that is, this is also called a lever. The joystick allows you to control the character’s movement (up, down, left, right and diagonals).

There are several factors to consider when picking a joystick: the top, shaft, spring, restrictor gates and switches. There are some joystick models that use a PCB where the switches are installed like the Sanwa JLF and the Seimitsu LS-40.

When selecting a top for your arcade stick you have two common choices; the ball top and the bat top.

For fighting games, the ball top is much preferred over the bat top since it has a more natural grip to it. Although, there are still players that are used to the bat top, this is a matter of preference and what type of arcade stick they grew up with.

Springs and shafts determines how fast you can execute your movement and how well you can hold the movement down for. The weight of the shaft and the tension of the spring plays a big role when you are doing complex movements specially on a fighting game, so the lighter the shaft and the less tension on springs the easier it is for you to move.

Restrictor Gates

Fight Stick Restrictor GateRelative to executing movements are the restrictor gates, there are a lot of variations depending on the game you are playing, you have the square, octagonal and circular.

The gates determine the distance travelled and the engage distance. These factors affect your split-second precision movements.

Square restrictor gates do take the most time to master, but once you get used to them – you’ll find that you don’t have to move the lever that far to trigger the action.  The Slagcoin website has a very good explanation of restrictor gates should you want to read more about it.

Buttons & Switches

Arcade stick buttonsButtons have components as well, it has a plunger, which is either convex or concave.. This is the part that you push down to execute an action. Convex buttons are common and it looks like a small bump, concave ones are less common for arcade sticks and these are like hollow dimples.

The cylinder is what holds the plunger, switch and springs, cylinders can either be screw-ins or snap-in, I personally prefer a screw-in type since this is more stable and is easier to swap out should you need to.

Switches activate and executes an action when you push the plunger, there are also several types of button switches, IL and Happ use standard microswitches that looks like the ones used for the joystick,  Sanwa and Seimitsu use a center switch that allows the buttons to be more compact and easier to actuate.

If a button uses a standard microswitch it feels very tactile and it is loud. On the other hand the center switch does not impede engagement allowing a player to rapidly press it without a fuss.

Again preferences differ from one player to another. I just feel that Sanwa has a better feel to it since it has less tension and it resets slightly quicker than Seimitsu and Happ buttons. Still overall top choice of gamers will be Sanwa buttons followed by Seimitsu buttons.

And of course the switches, there are three types of switches available depending on the amount of force you need to apply, you have Soft (Cherry), Medium (Sanwa & Seimitsu) and Hard (Omron), there are also levered and non-levered switches depending on the manufacturer.

General

A lot of gamers  agree that Sanwa-Denshi’s buttons and Sticks are by far the best they have used. Controllers with these components are much responsive than ones that don’t. So if you are planning to make your own arcade stick it would be wise to get only the best parts.

Now, if you are not a tinkerer and you don’t want to get your hands dirty (or burnt) with the soldering iron, we have a few arcade sticks in this list that are great as is.

We also created a list of the best arcade sticks for the PS4. Unfortunately, there are a few fighting games that are exclusive to PS4, Street Fighter V is one of them. 

We have arcade sticks lined up for review, I may have ranked them differently from other sites but, I sorted them out based on how they perform and what platforms they support, I also took into consideration the ease of modifying them and the initial cost.

Multi Platform Arcade Stick
(Top 4)

4. The Mayflash F500 Arcade Stick

Want something easy to modify (and can be profitable if you are to resell it after modding)? The Mayflash F500 is an affordable fighting stick you can grab on Amazon.

Sale
Mayflash F500 Arcade Stick
  • Compatible with PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, switch, Xbox one, Xbox 360, PC, Android, NEOGEO mini
  • Supports the headsets to output the background music and online chat on ps4, Xbox one and Xbox 360
  • Supports the xinput and dinput when being used on pc
  • Supports the turbo functions with different speed settings
  • The d-pad and x/y analog axis mode can be exchanged

  • Cheap!
  • Easy to Mod
  • Need compatible controller to connect to arcade stick
Platform Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS4, PS3, Nintendo Switch and PC.
Buttons used Generic
Joystick Used Generic
restrictor gate Square
Customizable Doable but not easy

When I first saw the Mayflash F500 I saw a great potential in it. It Although it is really dull looking since it does not have the fancy artwork on the panel itself. This arcade stick is multi-platform and can be used on PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One.

But it’s too good to be true, in order to play on this arcade stick you have to plug in the different controllers on the USB port of the Mayflash F500 before it can work on your console (What a drag!). Alternatively, you can purchase an adapter called Magic boots that’s specific for the console you will use this arcade stick with.

This is exactly the same case if you will buy their Mayflash F300 arcade stick a cheaper option. The F500 and the F300 are basically the same board, but here are the reasons the F500 is better than the F300:

1. Supports headsets for the PS4, XBOX ONE and XBOX 360
2. The F500 is also made of Metal over the plastic F300
3. The F500 is also larger, many people have an issue with the lack of space on the F300.

You can also fully modify this arcade stick and use a UFB (Universal Fighting Board) from Brook Designs. You can then throw in a Sanwa JLF and Sanwa OBSF 30mm buttons to make them work really well on any console you’d use it with.

3. HORI Pro 4 Kai Arcade Stick

Having a good looking arcade stick is always important. This fight stick is sleek and Pro grade.

More than looks, however, the Real Arcade Pro 4 Kai from Hori is one hell of an arcade stick.

HORI Pro 4 Kai Arcade Stick
  • Officially Licensed by Sony
  • Compatible with PS4, PS3, and PC (XInput).New & Improved HAYABUSA Buttons:Beveled edges and slim profile for faster actuation and response
  • Touch Panel, Turbo function, Button Configuration Mode, and Input Toggle Switch
  • Redesigned chassis and increased space between and below stick and buttons
  • Uses HORI original HAYABUSA stick lever and new HAYABUSA buttons

  • Storage compartment for the cable
  • Sony licensed
  • Solid build
  • Affordable
  • Buttons can be too responsive
  • Not easy to mod
Platform PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One and PC.
Buttons used HAYABUSA Buttons
Joystick Used HAYABUSA Arcade Stick
restrictor gate Square

Tournament grade, looks appealing, solid build, this is the Hori Real Arcade Pro 4 Kai fight stick. It measures 17 x 9.5 x 4.5 inches and weighs 4.8lbs. You can do serious combos with this arcade stick, as these come with very responsive Hori Hayabusa buttons and Hayabusa Stick.

It uses a square gate so your movement with this stick is less fluid compared to the ones using circular or octagonal gates. If you are used to the clicky feel of the sanwa button then this one is going to give you less satisfaction. Plus these buttons are too responsive for some people.

It has a turbo setting of 5/12/20 hits per second and has a cable length of 3m/9.8ft. This works with Playstation 4, just make sure that your console is using the latest firmware. It also will work on the Playstation 3 using the V2.80 or higher firmware. You can also use this on PC, however this is not going to work on the PS2,and PS1.

It’s easy to switch from PS3 to PS4 by pushing the button on the right hand side of this arcade sticks; It’s somehow concealed so, you can’t push the button accidentally.

Using it on a PS4 you can easily navigate through the options using the touchpad on the top near the cable compartment. It has the share button on the side as well if you want to upload your video clip or broadcast your games.

It is not that easy to modify the Hori RAP 4 Kai arcade stick. You will really need to dismantle the the bottom plate in order to get access to the buttons and lever. Other than that, this arcade stick is fully compatible with sanwa components. So you can easily stick in a JLF Joystick, Sanwa Denshi OBSF 30mm and the restrictor gate of your choice.

2. Mad Catz Street Fighter V TE2+ Arcade Stick

Probably the best arcade stick around, with the lowest input lag. The Mad Catz arcade stick is a great choice…other than price and the soon to be lack of availability.

Sale
Mad Catz TE2+ Arcade Stick
  • Genuine Arcade Layout: This PS4 FightStick uses extremely accurate and durable Sanwa Denshi parts. Vewlix-style design with 8 action buttons to drain your enemy's life bar
  • Easy to Mod: Chassis hinges open for clear access to inner parts. Removable bezel and top panel for creating a custom arcade stick with unique artwork. Includes screwdriver with hex and flat heads
  • Ideal for ALL Fighting Games: Multiplayer action in Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat, Persona, Dead or Alive, Injustice, Tekken, Skullgirls, BlazBlue, KoF, Marvel vs. Capcom, Guilty Gear, and more

  • High-quality Sanwa parts
  • Extra L3 and R3 buttons
  • Effortless modding
  • Mad Catz Bankrupt…
  • The position of the select/start button
  • PC compatibility limited
Platform PS3, PS4, Xbox One, and PC.
Buttons used Sanwa Denshi OBSF-30
Joystick Used Sanwa JLF ball-top stick
restrictor gate Square

Mad Catz is one great brand when it comes to the world of arcade sticks. The TE2+ costs fluctuate a lot (was $500 not long ago).

Right out of the box you can see that the parts are all Sanwa-Denshi, It has the Sanwa JLF ball-top stick and Sanwa Denshi OBSF-30mm buttons. So you are guaranteed to get good quality from this arcade stick.

This arcade stick has an option to switch between PS3 and PS4 by selecting the correct mode using a switch on the top of the panel. It also has a lock mode, so you don’t press the Start button by accident. You also have a touchpad that you can use for the PS4 when navigating through the options.

It has a big compartment that can fit in spare buttons, tools, the 9.8 ft screw in cable, and you still have enough space for other stuff you want to put inside. And this is easily accessible with just pushing a button.

Though it has Sanwa parts installed on it, you may still get that itch to modify this arcade stick. You may want to change the square gate that originally came with it to an octagon gate, or possibly you want to replace the buttons or the dust washer, the color of the ball top, etc. It all depends on who uses this stick. But like I said this works perfectly as it is for most people who already got this stick.

The biggest upside to this stick and most likely the flagship of this arcade stick; is speed. This has very minimal input lag (1.45ms). So combo after combo you are certain that it will execute and ram your opponent.

Unfortunately, we won’t be seeing any more of the Mad Catz arcade sticks as the company declared bankruptcy and ceased all operations back March 31st 2017.

So in a sense, you can call these arcade sticks “limited edition” or “collector’s item” . This would explain why these sticks fluctuate in price and can be so expensive.

1. HORI Real Arcade Pro 4 Premium Arcade Stick

Another fantastic arcade stick from Hori. This fight stick is a great option, while having a little longer input lag than the Mad Catz TE2+.

Hori Pro 4 Premium VLX KURO Arcade Stick
  • Officially licensed by SCEA and Taito
  • Perfect replica of the Japanese VEWLIX arcade cabinet
  • Featuring HORI original HAYABUSA stick lever and KURO buttons, touch pad, and program functions
  • Easily open top panel for maintenance and internal access. Compatible with PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3
  • Kindly click the Main Image and refer to the other Images for User Manual

  • Perfect replica of the Taito Vewlix Arcade layout
  • Panels are metal
  • Does not use a break-away cable
  • Minor input lag
Platform Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS4, PS3 and PC.
Buttons used Kuro Buttons
Joystick Used Hayabusa Joystick
restrictor gate Square

I like the way they made the Hori Real Arcade Pro 4 VLX Kuro, it looks exactly like the Taito Japanese made cabinets, so it has that real arcade feel to it. It does not have any fancy artwork on the panel though so for some it might be boring.

This arcade stick is heavy, weighing 11.9 pounds. So this thing may not be good for a long gaming session if you are to put it on your lap. This arcade stick measures 22.4 x 10 x 5.5 inches, and the panel is made of metal, so this thing is really solid.

Same as other Hori arcade sticks, they did not use a break-away cable. They included two extra buttons though they added an L3 and R3 for your gaming convenience.

The VLX Kuro has the Hayabusa stick for its lever and Kuro buttons (still no Sanwa components), now according to some the Kuro buttons have more resistance than the Sanwa OBSF 30mm buttons, so it takes time to get used to it. But as for the Hayabusa stick, it is more responsive compared to the Sanwa sticks. Perhaps it still depends on what buttons and sticks you are using before.

Should the Mad Catz TE2+ arcade stick in our number 2 spot be less expensive than this one – go ahead and grab that one!

Arcade Sticks for the PS4 (Top 6)

The below list is for strickly PS4 machines. Although people with PS4’s have more options available since they can also choose from the muli-platform arcade sticks above.

6. HORI Fighting Stick Mini 4

Beginning our list for the best arcade stick PS4 edition is the Hori Mini. A compact and affordable option for those on the go or starting out.

Sale
Hori Mini 4 Arcade Stick
  • Officially licensed by SCEA
  • Compatible with PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3
  • Compact design with all the features of a typical arcade stick controller
  • 8-button layout and micro switch activated joystick
  • Share button included

  • Compact
  • Most Affordable
  • Not tournament arcade stick
Platform PS3 and PS4
Buttons used Generic button
Joystick Used Generic stick
restrictor gate Square

If you are a “social gamer” on the go, or someone who wants to play using a joystick without the hassle of using a big bulky arcade stick. The Hori Fighting Stick Mini 4, might just give you that satisfaction.

Everything is generic for buttons and lever, this arcade stick measures 8.27″ x 5.9″ x 3.43″ and only weighs 1lb. This arcade stick may be compact in design, but you still get the arcade features from just like the regular/premium arcade stick; it even has a share button if you are using it on a PS4.

There are some downsides to this arcade stick though. You do not have a turbo button, which is a disapointment. In addtion, you cannot easily modify this arcade stick. On a side note, the action buttons are just 24mm, you’ll need to use a Dremel on the holes for you to fit in a 30mm button (seriously doubting this method). Not to mention the switches are soldered instead of clamped.

Like I said earlier, this arcade stick is for gamers just starting to get the hang of using a fight stick. The price tag for this arcade stick is around $45. Definitely a good option to buy and just purchase a better one later on.

5. Mad Catz Fight Stick Alpha

Another small form arcade stick that you can bring with you for a game night with your friends. Good for entry-level gamers. But is it worth the price?

Mad Catz Arcade Stick
  • Ultra-Compact Design: Arcade Fight Stick Alpha maintains the tournament-quality look and feel of its big brothers, while remaining streamlined and portable
  • 6-Button Arcade Layout: Our Mad Catz Fight Stick boasts a Vewlix-style design with 6 action buttons to drain your enemy's life bar. Stay focused on the match with tight, core gaming controls
  • Versatile Gamer: This PlayStation 4 Fight Stick has a button enabling the joystick to emulate a left or right analog stick or D-Pad to unlock gameplay for other gaming genres
  • Ideal for all Fighting Games: Multiplayer action in Street Fighter, Mortal Combat, Persona, Dead or Alive, Injustice, Tekken, Skull girls, BlazBlue, KoF, Marvel vs. Capcom
  • Reliable USB Connectivity: The world's best fighters prefer the assurance of a low-latency USB connection

  • Portable
  • More mod friendly than the Hori Mini
  • A bit expensive
  • Not making any more
Platform PS3 and PS4.
Buttons used Generic off the shelf
Joystick Used Generic off the shelf
restrictor gate Square

The Fightstick Alpha from Mad Catz is a small arcade stick that is lightweight and compact. It measures 8.75 x 7 x 2 inches; weighs 5 pounds. It is slightly bigger than the Hori Fight Stick Mini and a bit heavier. Getting them head to head this arcade stick is a better choice.

Unlike the Hori Fight Stick Mini, these arcade sticks from Mad Catz uses 30mm Buttons, not 24mm. So this is better if you consider modding this arcade stick. You won’t have to use a Dremel to get the buttons to fit. The buttons and lever installed in this fight stick are not from Sanwa. However, the buttons are almost a perfect clone of the OBSF 30mm and JLF stick.

It has a square gate, so this is another thing that you might want to replace down the road. This arcade stick has a six-button layout same as the Hori stick. It has all the buttons on the face of the panel itself, and you have the share and lock buttons on the top as well as the L1 L2 buttons. However, if you push the Lock buttons, the L1 and L2 do not work.

On the upside, if you get this arcade stick for like a starter stick and get yourself one of the big fight sticks like the TE2+ or the VLX Kuro you won’t have a hard time transitioning since the button size and the spacing is the same even the position of the stick is the same. The only thing different is this lacks two more buttons since most of the premium sticks have an 8-button layout.

As mentioned above with the TE2+, Mad Catz as a company has filed for bankruptcy so they will be ceasing production of these fight sticks (if not done so already). This means that the pricing of the fight sticks may increase over time.

4. Qanba Drone Arcade Stick

Another Mini arcade stick for our list, so far we covered the Hori Mini, the MC Fightstick Alpha, and now we have the Qanba drone.

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Qanba Drone Arcade Stick
  • Qanba buttons and stick
  • PlayStation 4 compatible
  • PlayStation 3 compatible
  • Wired USB

  • Great for an initial arcade stick
  • Expensive given no Sanwa parts
Platform PC, PS3 and PS4.
Buttons used Qanba buttons
Joystick Used Qanba stick
restrictor gate Square

For pros, most likely they will say this is not a good buy as it’s an entry level stick. However, a lot of the pro gamers would still say that this is a good initial fight stick.
With the notion that it should be priced lower than its current price tag. I have to admit $80.00 puts it in place wherein you’d be better off getting another stick for $150 since this arcade stick still needs modding to get this up and running.

Now, we still consider the fact that yes, you need to mod; and yes it is expensive, but right out of the box the parts that came with it which are all Qanba-made works fine. I guess it would still boil down to the person using it and his level of experience in gaming. But even for a total beginner, this stick is still going to perform admirably.

I do like the layout for this stick. This is compact, but it still has 30mm buttons, eight of them to be exact. Feels comfortable when placed on your lap since this is not one of those heavy arcade sticks like the VLX Kuro or the Obsidian, this arcade stick only weighs about four pounds.

Now don’t get me wrong, this stick may be light, but it can still take a beating. This arcade stick is made of solid plastic and would be able to withstand the countless pounding. If you line up the Hori Mini, the Fightstick Alpha and the Qanba drone; the Drone would stand out from the rest, this is bigger than the other two, and it measures 5.4 x 10.4 x 6.6 inches. Not to mention the ball top for its lever is colored yellow.

If you are in luck and you get this arcade stick at under seventy bucks, then that’s a steal.

3. Qanba Obsidian Arcade Stick

Flashy, sleek and outright cool. The Qanba Obsidian is just one of the few arcade stick made for the PS4 that you will absolutely approve of.

Qanba Obsidian Arcade Stick
  • Sanwa buttons and stick with square gate
  • PlayStation 4 compatible
  • PlayStation 3 compatible
  • Wired USB Cord.Sanwa OBSF 1.18 inch butons
  • LED lighting

  • Sanwa parts
  • 3.5mm headset port
  • Solid build
  • Fingerprint magnet
Platform PS3 PS4
Buttons used Sanwa Denshi OBSF 30mm
Joystick Used Sanwa JLF lever, square-gated
restrictor gate Square

The Obsidian by Qanba is a one sexy arcade stick. It has the right curves in the right places. And even with a plain looking design it still looks good.

This arcade stick has a Sanwa JLF using a square gate for its lever and Sanwa OBSF 30mm buttons for all eight action buttons. Talking about the case you have a solid build and it almost feels like it is a unibody case. It weighs 6.6 pounds; you won’t see this flying off of your lap or your table even if you are playing intensely.

The Obsidian is 18 x 10 x 5 inches and is a bit lighter and slightly smaller than the Qanba Dragon. It has a shiny chrome finished ball top, which may not be that attractive for all. I do prefer a black ball top. The Obsidian

You have all the buttons on top especially the turbo and the mode button (although, there might be just a few people who’d use the mode button). One cool feature is that if you move the lever, the left side of the case lights up blue and if you press a button the left side will light up. This is barely noticeable, and if it is that annoying, you can turn it off permanently.

The Obsidian has an 8’10” cable, and it is not break-away. It sits nicely inside its compartment, and the door compartment has two holes where you can have cables positioned according to your preference The lock for the door is rigid which is good since it only means it won’t just fall off.

The $200 price tag is just right, considering that you don’t have a lot to modify with this stick. What’s there to hate? I guess the downside of it is that it is glossy and it will attract dust and fingerprint like it’s a magnet for those things, while this is evident in most arcade sticks. You’ll rarely see a matte finish on a fight stick.

2. Razer Panthera Arcade Stick

You’ve got to get your hands on the Razer Panthera if you wanted to get a wired premium arcade stick. This fight stick is sick!

Razer Panthera Arcade Stick
  • PREMIUM QUALITY SANWA HARDWARE COMPONENTS: 10 highly responsive buttons and an 8-way joystick
  • FULLY MOD-CAPABLE CONSTRUCTION: Built for modding enthusiasts, customize the joystick and buttons to suit your playstyle
  • INTERNAL STORAGE COMPARTMENTS: Internal compartment opens to reveal dedicated slots to store the detachable screw-lock cable, screwdriver, and two extra buttons
  • TOURNAMENT GAMING MODE: Deactivate the Start, Back, and Xbox One Guide buttons
  • COMPATIBILITY: Compatible with major fighting games

  • Detachable cable
  • spacious compartment
  • Bat top. Sanwa parts
  • Artwork is not easy to replace
Platform PlayStation 4
Buttons used Sanwa Denshi OBSF-30
Joystick Used Sanwa Denshi JLF-TP-8YT
restrictor gate Square

The Panthera is not your entry level arcade stick this is tournament-grade, and it is evident by the way it is built. This fight stick is 18.6 x 12.5 x 6.7 inches and weighs 7.4 pounds; the case is made of aluminum, so it is really rigid even on the top panel.

The Razer Panthera can be considered the PlayStation equivalent to the the Razor Atrox that only works for the XBOX consoles. This is also a good looking arcade stick, it has a glossy finish with the Blue razer logo. It is somewhat a dust and fingerprint magnet, but arcade sticks are known to have a glossy finish instead of matte.

It has a 9.8 ft, 5-pin, screw-on, detachable, braided USB cable; which can be stored neatly inside the spacious compartment along with the other stuff you want to put inside like extra buttons or tools.

This arcade stick has Sanwa stick and Sanwa buttons installed for all ten buttons, including the Start, Select/Option, Share on the right-hand side of the case.

This arcade stick is mod-friendly, If ever you have plans modifying this arcade stick or if you will be replacing any parts; all you have to do is to pop the top panel open, and you’ll be able to access the switches inside. The compartment door has a hydraulic arm that supports the opening and closing of the top panel to reduce the tendency of wear and tear on the hinges.

The artwork of this arcade stick already looks good, however, if you like to get your own artwork on your top panel then it would be a serious task to do. The transparent cover is glued to the top panel so it won’t be easy removing it. This probably is the only con for this arcade stick.

Switching from PS3 to PS4, as well as locking and unlocking the buttons is quite satisfying since it does not use a push button but a metal slide switch.

1. Qanba Dragon Arcade Stick

Premium quality arcade sticks that you’d kill for, our top pick for the PS4 arcade stick is the Qanba Dragon. What makes this a remarkable fight stick? There are tons of reasons.

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Qanba Dragon Arcade Stick
  • Sanwa buttons and stick with square gate
  • Compatible with all video game titles for the PS3, PS4 and PC
  • Braided, wired USB
  • LED lighting.Stunning aluminum dragon scale interior

  • 3.5mm jack for your headset
  • Spacious layout
  • Arcade Stick doesn’t have a cable compartment
Platform PC, PS4 and PS3.
Buttons used Sanwa’s OBSF-30s
Joystick Used Sanwa JLF
restrictor gate Square

Qanba is my top pick for PS4 arcade sticks for a lot of reasons that I can think of, and most of the pro gamers would also appreciate. This arcade stick is a premium quality stick has a case made of aluminum.

This fight stick is built to last, you can hammer your hands against it, and it can take all of the pounding head on. This arcade stick is also one massive piece of equipment. It weighs 11.6 pounds, 22.7 x 15.5 x 7.2 inches for its dimension. Caution! Be careful playing against an opponent with this stick you can get serious injuries in-case they hit you with this.

RIght out the box, the Qanba Dragon needs no modifications for parts, unlike the other Qanba arcade sticks this fight stick has Sanwa parts (JLF lever, OBSF 30mm buttons) and a square gate; same as the Obsidian. It has this minimalistic look since it does not have that big artwork on the top panel.

I like the color contrast for this arcade stick; the panel is black as well as the buttons. However, the stick is chrome finished and has a shiny ball top and dust washer; although some gamers who’d like to change the button colors as well as the ball top.

If you open up the compartment you would see how much space you would get from this arcade stick; also, the switches and the lever is covered by a clear plastic, which protects it from getting damaged by the things you put inside the compartment like a bulky headphone.

You also have all the buttons and the switches on the top of the panel, you have the Option, Share, Turbo, and a button to turn the LED light on and off. It’s just like the lighting for the Obsidian. However, the lights are on the top panel. It also has the slide switches for PS3/PS4/PC and the mode. It does not have a lock function though.

You can plug in a headphone to this arcade stick; it has a 3.5mm jack facing you on the left-hand side, which is another great feature of this arcade stick.

The 8.5 ft cable is reinforced and braided, the only thing I don’t like about it is the way you keep the cable, unlike most arcade sticks that have a compartment where you can keep the cable; this arcade stick has two metal pegs where you can wrap the cable around it.

You might ask, is it worth it paying $290 for this fight stick? Well, there are other sticks that cost more considering the amount of modding you’d need to do with it. This arcade stick is already perfect right out the box. So, yes. It’s definitely worth it.

Have another gaming console?

For some other people who have Xbox 360 and own sticks that are not supporting cross-platform functions but wanted their fight sticks to work with a PlayStation console, there are a few alternatives that you can do.

First off, you have the converters, these plug to your USB connector and you connect it to the console that you are about to use. It is an easier solution for those who don’t want to dismantle their expensive arcade sticks.

The second option requires a bit of tinkering. You can purchase a UFB from Brook and solder the PCB to your buttons and joystick replacing the old PCB you have in your arcade stick; you can also use the Akishop Customs PS360+; however, there are reports that it times out every 8 minutes (such a drag).

Conclusion…

An arcade stick is to a gamer; as the Excalibur is for King Arthur. You may have the best of the best equipment, but you won’t be able to do any magic if you don’t put in the work to learn.

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Thanks for reading.

Best Arcade Stick – Bring Your Gaming To The Next Level was last modified: October 29th, 2017 by Graham

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