Need advice about arcade sticks from a first time buyer

I need a cheap arcade stick that’ll last me at least a few month. Right now I’m using the Xbox controller D-Pad and not only are my inputs inconsistently read, some of the inputs are almost impossible preventing me from playing certain characters/strategies in MvC3. I don’t need perfect precision right now.

Will a Hori Fight Stick EX 2 hold together for at least 3-4 months?

That all depends on how much you play. The EX2 is decent, but you’re going to want an upgrade. Now, I’d say the madcatz SE is great for that, because you can swap the parts for authentic japanese parts with little to no trouble at all. But again, how heavily you play, the stock parts can fail sooner than that. If you want a great starter stick that doesn’t use authentic japanese parts, the WWE all stars SE is actually a great choice. Yes, I know, looks kinda icky, but the joystick uses omron microswitches (the brand used in (autheic japanese) sanwa sticks) and higher quality buttons than the SFIV SE. The SFIV SE has been known to fail with its parts. However, it is nice that the EX2 is 5 times harder to mod than the SE, and as opposed to buying a whole new stick, just buy a new joystick and 8 buttons (Generally, people like Sanwa JLF and OBSF-30 buttons, $50 together)

EX2 has been pretty cheap, though, I will give it that. But you’re going to want to save in the long run for a TE or a Hori V series (That is VX or V3, which represents xbox or PS3 respectively, and SA or SE, which represents full Sanwa or full Seimitsu respectively. TE is full Sanwa) stick if you want authentic parts, especially if you like playing on a joystick. The price reflects the quality.

Hori EX2 has a tendency for a button failure in roughly 3-6 months. Some people are lucky and they don’t go bad. It should be fine. With the more expensive TE, SE or HRAP sticks if a button or stick part fails, It is trivial to buy replacement arcade parts. A EX2 is not as easy to repair.

As a lucky owner of an EX2 that hasn’t failed yet, you will see the quality of the joystick start to degrade as well. It degrades at a much higher rate than arcade parts for sure. Like Nerrage said, you will save in the long run with joysticks using replacement arcade cabinet parts.

Also, check out the newbie stick guide in the newbie dojo:

Yeah, I plan on getting a TE stick or the Mad Catz SE sometime. I don’t really want to bother with upgrading a Hori EX2 as I don’t have or know how to solder, and looking through the thread here it seems like the first time is usually pretty disastrous for people. If I could find the Mad Catz SE for around $50, I’d buy it but the cheapest I can find it for is $70-80 and for that I might as well save up a little more for a TE stick.

Thanks for the advice.

EDIT: I did go through the Newbie guide but it had tragically little on the Hori EX2 and right now I’m strapped for money (but want something that’s not a default controller).

Look for a madcatz SE on the trading outlet… You can prolly find one for around 50 shipped.

I don’t personally think much of them. In my opinion, you’re much better off with a SE.

At some point in the near future, I’ll have a mostly Sanwa modded SE up for grabs. Probably Sanwa buttons and original joystick, depending on what I get sorted out on my side.