My first joystick

I’ve always used a 360 pad (analog stick) to play SF and after recently buying Arcade Edition, I’ve started going against such skilled players online and when I imagine their setup, they’d have the crazy 180 quid joysticks.

I’ve never used a joystick in my life and I feel that before investing such a crazy sum of money for a controller I’d have to ask some questions about it.

My first and probably biggest quesion is, whats the durabilty on a joystick? I don’t want to buy a joystick then after a few months of using it, the stick to become ‘wobbly’ or the buttons to get jammed.

Secondly, what stick should I go for? I’ll be honest the thought of shelling out 180 for controller I’d only use for SF4 (SFxT soon) seems a little crazy to me, but I can’t bash it till I’ve tried it.

Lastly, this is kind of similar to my first question but warranty… I’m guessing the standard warranty for a high end stick will be just a year? I mean if it was more than a year I’d buy one instantly then I could at least feel some comfort if it was to break or become faulty.

Just make sure you buy a stick with Sanwa or Seimitsu parts and you should be good.

Also know that switching from pad to stick will actually make you worse in the short run because there is a period of 1-3 months where you will need to re-learn how to play with a different controller. A lot of players got a stick because it is what they are used to in the arcades, and a lot of new players thought that a stick will somehow make them more competitive, but stick with it and now won’t go back.

There are a lot of good players that play with a pad, and often beat stick players. I’m willing to bet a lot of the players you faced online that are crazy good are pad players. I’ve been to many local tournaments and just because a guy uses a pad doesn’t mean they can’t win and place well. I do hear that the pad players to suffer from finger fatigue as one of main disadvantages of using a pad, along with difficulty with multi-button moves.

Warranty is dependent on your local laws. I know in Europe they have stricter laws on warranty for the most part than the US, and companies put warranties on depending on the minimum required by the local governments.

As rtdzign said, buying a stick won’t magically make you better, but if you do decide you want to get one anyway, there’s no need to spend £180 on a retail stick.

Thehut/zavvi websites have a decent selection for £100-£130, just search on there for “fight stick” (and “arcade stick” if you want to see the Hori stuff too)

Gremlinsolutions also sell the Quanba sticks which I believe are in the £130-£150 range (the prices on their website are excluding vat so you need to take that into account) but work on both 360 and PS3 out of the box if that is something you’d find useful.

As far as durability (and again pretty much echoing what rtdzign said), the madcatz/hori real arcade pro/Quanba sticks all use parts from Sanwa that are as you would find in a Japanese arcade machine, so the stick and buttons are pretty sturdy. If you go for a cheaper stick, that tends to be where you might run into joystick/button issues.