How much is TOO much for a stick?


So I just wished to start a discussion on how much is too much for a fightstick and, moreover, why are certain brands/models so expensive to buy off the shelf? I only ask as I am intrigued in that I have a modded F500 with a Sanwa JLF a 4lb spring a kowal actuator and 8 Sanwa OBSF 30 buttons and the whole lot was WAY less than £50 GBP but, I did once have the Capcom Street Fighter X Tekken stick that you could lock together with a 2nd and stupidly sold it and that was almost £200?! And the components were pretty much identical?!

Does anyone think that they are overpriced regardless of quality and as I have mentioned already, how much would people be willing to pay for an off the shelf branded stick? And what is the most that anyone HAS paid be it for the exclusivity, the look, the desoign etc?

I am VERY new to all this and would LOVE a collection as I have seen some people post pictures of but, I also realise that I would not be a good enough player to warrant a collection of my own!!

Be interesting to get people’s thought’s/ opinion’s please!!

Everything mentioned is based on at the time of writing, fair US prices and reflects the US market. European players are expected to pay much, much more.

Honest it depends what you are looking at and what is your needs.

If you want a competition level stick with real arcade quality parts, you are looking at $175 to $250.

El Cheapo budget sticks $50 to $75, and only go for them if the upgrade path on the parts are clear and not cost you more than the first group of sticks.

Collector and specialty sticks can go fron $300 to 500 or more depending on the stick. Like a New VLX is about 300 - 350 easy. Obscure niche sticks from japan for example can start at 400.

What you need to do is look at what console you are looking to play on, what’s the market like, and you still need to do your own research despite what people online might tell you.

Oh and customs, a custom stick can go 300 to 500 easy, depending on the workmanship and quality. B15 used to make some godlike sticks from scratch and goes for serious cash.

Hey Darksakul,

Many thanks for your input, it is VERY interesting in that yes, I can imagine if you were to “order” a specific design from someone who made it themselves, from scratch and loaded it to your hearts content with all the best quality parts, it would go for a lot of money, especially as no two sticks would I suppose be identical?!

However, I am guessing it is like anything, you wan’t expensive watches, go buy a Rolex or something similar, you want a fancy sports car, a Ferrari etc. I am just amazed at when you open these things up, there is so little inside them and the cost to replace the stock stick and buttons in my Mayflash was really a whole lot cheaper than I first anticipated?!

I am in Europe and yes, I do think that the cost is quite frankly ridiculous and that you are of course just paying for the name. I would put my modded stick up against a TE2 maybe not from the case perspective, like the Razer Stick that comes pre assembled with the same Sanwa parts I bought, the Green one, I forget the model but in seeing that in more details and the way the whole top just flips open so as it too can be modded, that in my opinion, sorry for maybe stating the obvious, is what you are paying for, well that and the name!!

I would LOVE to see a pic of someone’s one off never to be seen again sticks as from what you tell me, they do exist?!

And in watching a whole bunch of times, videos of tournaments with the beast v’s Justin etc, it’s hard to tell which models of sticks and which components they prefer be it Sanwa or Seimitsu!?

It’s all good though and I will probably just stick with what I have, at least for now!!

Love this website and the whole community though!!

Many thanks, man!!

Mass market sticks are probably priced fairly. Yes, you can buy the parts yourself, and possibly find or fabricate a case. Then you’d have to fab a PCB, get your LEDs, wires, and other ancillary items that we tend to forget about when pricing out a custom stick, and then you have to assemble it. Now do that 100 more times. And pay any licensing fees. And try and turn a profit.

Custom sticks are their own animal entirely. One thing I will say about a custom is you don’t get one to save money. How much you spend and whether it’s ‘worth it’ is absolutely up to you. Are they any better or worse than an off the shelf stick? Functionally, no. But if you want something specific, be it functional or aesthetic, then whatever you spend is worth it.

All the sticks I have are custom. The first one was out of necessity (I wanted a stick with iL/Happ parts, and no mass market stick made them). The others were because I liked assembling them. As for cost? One case I bought was more than my PS4 (when they first came out). That was before parts. By looking at it, you wouldn’t understand why. And it’s not the only case like it (though it is 1 of only 5 made). Was it worth it? To me, yeah


Theres no one answer.

All depends on the buyer.

For example some veteran players whether casual or competetive, will happily pay $350 for a VLX, and keep it sealed and pile it in the rest of the collection. For them its worth it. Even they dont use it.

Someone new to the fgc, gets caught in the hype may pay $200 for a VLX and use it for a few weeks, months and find sticks not for them. Pack tge stick away, but everytime they see it they reminded of the money wasted.

Dont forget theres also the convenience and clean finish of these retail offerings.

Some people cannot or do not have time to mod and design from scratch. The cost to buy or even the ability to borrow or hire tools etc


I say the takeaway is this,
Don’t pay more than MSRP for a mass market stick that is currently on the market.
If it’s in short supply don’t get caught up by people who buy out supplies enmass and flip it on eBay.

Collector pieces are going to be worth whatever people are willing to pay for it.

When I’m having a tough day at work I sometimes whip up eBay and search “Mad Catz TE2+ for parts”

Shit makes me LOL (at work) EVERY time :rofl:

How a creaky hunk like that can maintain retail value(+)…w/ many listings with no boards included…when most people feign picking up a soldering iron, is why I’m convinced reality is just a simulation.

There’s no such thing as too much for an arcade stick. It’s only too much if you either don’t use it, can’t afford it, or don’t want to spend that much on it.

That said, the maximum should probably be $600 USD. For that, It’d have to be a custom job made out of an aluminum gun case, have both a UFB and a Retro Board, 2 neutrik ports [1 usb 1 ethernet], a Magenta stick with a detachable shaft, and a painted wood or metal frame that the buttons sit on inside the case. There’d have to be a way to store the cables I want to use for cable swapping, spare buttons, and the detachable joystick inside. When done, you detach the stick, detach the cord, drop it in the case, close the case, and it’s impossible to tell that it was an arcade stick in the first place. Bonus is that since it’s a combination gun case, you can lock it. No need to share. You can also add LED buttons as well. All this would STILL be well under $600.00. Let’s price this out in an overblown fashion…

JasenCustoms Ultimate RETRO BOARD Kit
-This includes the Stack version UFB, the Retro Board, 8 RJ45 to game console cables, a neutrik rj45.
-You also need wires, but since having all those console cables is unnecessary since you can make them, I will treat these internal wires as included since I’m lazy. Each of these 8 console cables is probably $15.00, so just one or two of these cables will cover the wiring.

Magenta Arcade Stick

An Aluminum Gun Case

Sanwa Buttons [silent]
$100.00 for 16

All this and I haven’t even breached $550.

As for me, my personal maximum cost-wise is $200 Canadian. $250 Canadian with shipping.

Keep in mind most people who asked about price is doing this under a budget.

Which means midrange to lower side of upper tier sticks. Mostly mass produced retail sticks with a set MSRP. None of this collectors edition stuff.

Or if they are going DIY, they are trying to do this on the cheap. Not high end customs.

Agreed. I would probably go with for entry level a Mayflash F-300, F-500, Qanba Drone, Hori Real Arcade Pro. These aren’t expensive, so that if you find you like it, you can upgrade it with Sanwa parts.

An important side note is that the PS5 and XBox 2 are coming out this November. As such, it’s a bad idea to buy or build an expensive stick until we see what the compatibility of current sticks are, and what the new sticks that are coming out will have to offer. We can then mod the stick, or if we find it unsatisfactory, you can sell or give it away, and buy what you really want when the next generation comes out.

I happen to have a Madcatz Tes+ [with an octagonal gate, and a link JLF], and a modded Hitbox. I don’t know if I should call it modded, as I ripped out the PS360, and replaced it with a Brook UFB, a Brook Retro, and a multiplier. I also dug out 3 buttons, and 2 holes for Neutrik ports [one USB, one Ethernet]. Basically, it works on almost everything. This is a pretty expensive mod.

1] Determine what consoles you plan to play on.
2] Decide which PCBs and sticks you think work best for you.
3] Determine how much you want to spend after you’ve figured out which kind of features you want.
-I recommend pad since things have changed alot, or wait till a mid-grade $150-250 stick comes down in price and snag it. This is how I got my Madcatz TES+. I modded the stick shaft, and the previous owner installed an Octagonal gate.
-Also be mindful of the Hitbox since it’s a good stick. It’s a bit barebones, but I like it. It is kinda wierd because there’s no stick.
-That said, I still recommend waiting for the new generation of PS5 / XBox 2 sticks.

Here’s a guide or 2 I saw that I like.

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I say the two exceptions for this is if you are going for a collectors item, or a much older console (anything from the Atari 2600 to the PS3/Xbox360 and everything in between).

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On the plus side: I don’t think Brook is going away within the next console gen, and I’m pretty sure their board layouts will not change for the next gen either. The way I see it, a stick is just a case (even with a daughter board with aux functions). As long as you can follow traces and solder (cleanly), I say buy whenever.

Someone here once asked, “How much is TOO much for a stick?”.

To which i reply… THIS f’in thing:

$350?! Christ!

Do I think arcade sticks are overpriced? I mostly view them the same way I view other specialty peripherals, like flight sticks, steering wheels, and plastic instruments: you get what you pay for most of the time, but sometimes there’s a limit. I mean, design-wise, I love Hori’s RAP Premium VLX sticks, but, well… the MSRP is around $300 to $350 USD, and I tend to see them go for more than that. And I’m honestly not fond of the Vewlix button layout, truth be told.

As for how much I’d be willing to pay for a commercial arcade stick? $150 is my limit, shipping and tax included. Hell, I only picked up my fifth stick–a Soulcalibur VI-branded Real Arcade Pro N–about three months ago because it was on sale for about $100. And before that was a Soulcalibur V-branded TE-S for… about the same price.

Highest I paid was $115 USD for the aforementioned Soulcalibur VI stick, taxes and two-day shipping included. This was mostly for the design, as I slept on the PS3 HRAP N and its licensed variants when they came out due to different priorities. That, and as far as I can remember, my TE-S didn’t exactly have the clearance to install the Hayabusa lever.

I dunno, man. You don’t need to be good at fighting games to have an arcade stick collection. I mean, I’m dogshit at the games I play; it hasn’t stopped me from owning a few sticks. I just feel more comfortable playing fighting games, beat-em-ups, and shooters with them, that’s all.