Comparision - Japanese, Korean, US sticks

Hi everyone. I’m working on an article about arcade sticks where I’d like to summary the differences between types of sticks we all love to use. I have personal experience with Japanese (HRAP) and Korean (modded Saulabi) but I might not catch all the differences with them, so I ask you to contribute with me.

I also think this thread might become useful for some people new to sticks, so let’s start… I care only about sticks, not buttons.


  • accuracy
  • short throw


  • excellent for f,n,d,d/f motion
  • gummy feeling (quickly in neutral position)
  • short throw


  • durable
  • harder spring

American sticks are shit?

American sticks - are durable and probably the best choice for American arcade owners.

Never used real American Parts and only knock offs but I would say:

+Harder Spring
+360degrees like without having a restrictor
+Bat Top?

  • Generally, American sticks require you pump iron to use them well. They have a much stiffer spring (generally) than Japanese sticks that most find undesirable.
  • American button faces are generally smaller than Japanese ones.
  • American button faces are more often concave |( than not, while Japanese buttons are usually convex |).
  • I’m not 100% sure which is more sensitive but from my experience Japanese buttons are. Seriously. You fart in the joystick’s general direction and the buttons will go off.
    -Japanese joysticks come with a square gate while most American ones are circular. Many Japanese arcade part companies offer parts that allow you to switch up the gate if the default square one does not suit you. This is generally not the case with American sticks.
    -American sticks and buttons tend to be less expensive than Japanese sticks and buttons.
    -In general, American sticks use bat-tops and Japanese use ball-tops, but most Japanese and some American companies offer the other (or are moddable for the other).
  • The general consensus is that Japanese parts are better, but it really truly is up to each individual end user to decide that for his/herself.

Don’t have much experience with Korean sticks so I guess I can’t help you there.

Thanks guys for your replies. I mostly want to cover the differences. Domz, nice thread, I can find it easily but there’s no word on how is the stick different against other types. I mean - if someone comes and asks me - why are JAP sticks better than KOR? And why are KOR sticks better than JAP?

BTW thanks for writing about American parts.
BTW2 I know about how the parts look (bat-top / ball-top) ^^

Japanese and Korean, Short Throw Sticks.

I proclaim that there are no American sticks. It should be Japanese, Korean, Chinese and Spanish in your comparison.

I have a korean and it is also very stiff to me it feels like an american stick but with better parts like a stock hori to a jlf but this is my opinion so don’t go berserk on me.

now yes no american stick only Ultimate “live” and P360
but 15y ago Wico and CoinControl make many stick
Typical american joystick:
coincontrol (aka Casino Stick) 4ver. 8way microswitch, 4way microswitch and 8way leaf switch and 4 way leaf switch 2 vers shaft long for wood and short for metal panel.
coincontrol (aka Competion pro) very short throw stick
4ver. 8way microswitch, 4way microswitch and 8way leaf switch and 4 way leaf switch
Wico microswitch joystick 3wer. rubber grommet, wico conical joystick (first ovaltop? SF2 Cab and MVS), wico conical with improved actuator (floating actuator)

I found on net Patent new stick Wico It looks like Ultimate.

and next strange thing I have found old ver Happ Super with square restrictors the same base used on old Happ Rotary Joystick, not have logo iL and all shaft is steall

Yeah, that’s much what can be guessed just by looking at all the pictures around. I really wanted to talk about feelings from the stick and usage - advantages and disadvatages. Like JAP sticks are being described as the most accurate.

Korean sticks are my favorite for the most part. I like the short throw and gummy feel, and Tekken being my main game they really do help in doing EWGF. Some things I don’t like about them are they use those tab microswitches, which are usually hard to hit direct diaganols with. In Tekken it’s no big deal but I found myself missing a lot of crouching blocks because the activation point was so small.

There are the Crown Korean sticks that use an actuator and microswitches like a Happ Competition but they just aren’t as good as the Fantas.