Need FightStick Help

Here’s the deal… I am a complete nub to SF4. My main problem lies within the fact that I am getting bored of the game due to playing with my xbox controller. I NEED A STICK(as I believe that is where the fun truly begins). The problem is, the internet is filled with many options and biased reviews… I figured I would come to the best of the best to ask my questions…

The internet did agree that the MadCatz TE stick is the way to go for a person like myself(new, but wanting a solid setup). Every site I go to(besides amazon, which has them for $280 = nono) is sold out, and every other stick doesn’t seem to match up!!! So my question to you is how should I go about purchasing a standard(good) setup or whether to buy a crappy setup and modify it… I am also looking for insight on buttons/sticks… I will be having the box on my lap while playing. This has become a hassle to me as I am very unclear of what everything has to offer, while associating which parts are worth the real money.

Quick background history as I’m new here: I have been a competitive FPS player most of my serious gaming life. In recent years, developers have placed more emphasis on making too much money/dumbing down FPS titles, leaving us competitive players behind. My early days of MK on Sega are what brought me to the decision to switch back to fighters(SF4 more importantly). Recently, I have been watching a lot of gameplay via, youtube, forums, and other avenues to learn more about SF4. This title grabbed my attention because of the dedicated community and emphasis on competitive play/individual skill… I understand a game like SF4 will take an immense amount of dedication and time, but I am more than ready to take the plunge.

BTW, I play on 360. Lolz ))Not sure if this matters((

----Also, I’m sure you guys have seen this dude, but I almost dropped too much money to have one of these setups, but backed out due to my lack of knowledge(why I’m here). I am not sure if the price he’s asking is worth what he has to offer… Could someone verify if what he’s asking is reasonable?? Thanks a lot.

-His youtube for demos/website with prices/specs-

Customs take a while and is personally for you. So if you have the money it’s worth it.

The Gameshark store has TE sticks in stock, and for the regular MSRP as well.

It doesn’t say where you are from, but if you’re in the US, Amazon have stock of different TE types at differing costs, from 129.99 up (BlazBlue). Search on TE madcatz.

Meanwhile, b15sdm is an awesome stick builder, with a massive body of quality work to his name. Custom gives you a uniqueness that you cannot get by just buying a stick, and you will end up with a product that is a wonder to behold.

If you have the money, go for it - you will never look back.

B15 is THE best custom stick builder.

plus do a search, theres a thread for your situation, i think its what stick should i buy.

you may not want to drop big money on a custom stick if your just starting out.

imo go for a tournament edition, because if you decide you wanna go back to fps or whatever, at resale you can recoup most of your outlay as they hold value some will say go for a standard edition, see how it goes and then mod it for better parts if you get serious in to playing,

if your in uk, try ebay, although prices are inflated atm, but they are starting to drop.

theres plenty of info here, youll be an expert in no time

PS welcome to the community

I’d just buy a stock TE or one off of the trading outlet first and then customize it later if you re-kindle any fire you have for fighting games. Especially since going to a modder and having them build a custom stick will usually take a while.

Thank you for the speedy responses. Myb on not listing my location yet… I am from South Carolina. I came to my senses and don’t think I will be going with b15 as a solid setup is roughly 550$.

Thanks for the gameshark link, but I have a question… Is the MVC TE the same as the SF4 TE that is sold out everywhere? Also, is the BlazBlue TE at $129 a quality product?

Thank you for the welcome Anzhar. I will definitely be coming here for tips and advice.

The only difference between TE’s is the art and color parts used. They all have sanwa parts. Some have different case design like round one and chun li te. And some have a new PCB version, but i am not sure which ones. Dark sakul has a stick noobie thread…check it out.

All TEs are pretty much the same in terms of quality Sanwa parts. Can’t go wrong with any.

Customs are pricey, but always a nice touch. Most people will say to go ahead and snag one if you’ve got the money, but first, you may want to play on a stick to really get used to it. There are a lot of great pad players out there, too.

The TE is by far the most recommended stick for its price point, initial quality, and ease to mod later. You could definitely play it stock and never have a single problem. Other top sticks include most of the higher end Hori Line. Note, there are a lot of bad Hori budget sticks, too. I’d look into the VX-SA or VX-SE, or the VLX for the premium factory stick. SA is the Special Addition, meaning it uses all Sanwa, while SE (not to be confused with the Standard Edition Madcatz stick) is the Special Edition, using all Seimitsu. The TE is all Sanwa in all versions of the TE. The VLX also uses all Sanwa, but you can open and swap parts in the VLX without voiding your warranty. Modders have also been able to use this to Dual Mod the VLX without voiding their warranties, however, the VLX is the highest costing manufactured Arcade Stick.

As far as parts go, the most preferred are the Sanwa JLF joystick with Sanwa OBSF-30 model buttons. These are the stock parts of the VLX, VX-SA, and TE, as well as most customs. Of course, with a custom, you can choose any parts you like, but Sanwa is a favorite. The other version of high-quality parts are Seimitsu. I personally prefer these, but it’s like comparing Pepsi to Coke. They’re just slightly different. For example, Sanwa buttons are more sensitive than Seimitsu buttons (Not the same as being more responsive). However, whenever playing on Sanwa buttons, the lightest tap of my finger on an unintended button can cause accidental inputs. Therefore, I prefer my buttons to require just a bit more force to be pushed down, therefore, I use Seimitsu buttons.

Also notable is the Quanba Q4 stick, as it’s the only manufactured Arcade stick to come with all Sanwa that is Dual Modded from the factory. However, all of the sticks listed can be dual modded, but it may be difficult to do if you have no experience. You can, however, also hire a modder later to do so. Though you exclusively play Xbox 360, you may want to enter a tournament one day that is on PS3 format, so having it dual modded for you is helpful down the line.

Hi There & Welcome !

I agree with what most are saying on here, I like you have been gaming for many years and I started my love of fighting games on the Sega Mega Drive (Genesis for my American mates) and SNES. Classic titles like Mortal Kombat & Street Fighter 2. So im definitely not a noob when it comes to fighters, I also had a pretty decent arcade stick back in the day that was SNES & mega drive compatible. (Wish I could remember the bloody name of it !)

As for sticks, IMO defo get a TE stick, the stock buttons & stick are good and its very easy to mod if/when you want to. Plus it keeps its value, I didnt pick up a TE when they came out I went for a SF4 SE stick which I really regret now. I have modded the buttons in my SE for sanwa ones and the joystick too and its alot better now.

Check out this thread its got some great info about sticks

Hope this helps

Thank you everyone! My weeks of googling and researching have been nothing compared to the info you have shared.

I never stumbled across the Quanba Q4 stick and just did some researching… At the moment, I have no reason to play on ps3 but with the upcoming SFxTekken game, I might have to pick up a PS3(depending on it’s popularity/gameplay of course). I think I am now leaning towards the newer Quanba 4RAF. Could you share your thoughts on the TE sticks vs the Q4RAF, and whether I am missing a Hori stick or some other fightstick to my list of possible choices?

Big ups to Nerrage for explaining the two major button styles… I am thinking I might be in the same boat as you in terms of wanting Seimitsu buttons, but will probably buy a Sanwa setup because of the joystick? Hoping my choices come with the Sanwa JLF stock…

Yes, those come with JLF stock. Most good sticks, such as the TE, use standard 30mm size holes, which accommodate all Japanese-style buttons. Good sticks, like the TE, also have Universal Mounting Brackets, to accommodate for any style of Sanwa or Seimitsu joystick. Another thing about good sticks is that they use Quick Disconnects on the buttons, so that you can simply unplug the old buttons and plug in new ones. Likewise with the joystick, they use a 5-pin harness that unplugs from the old joystick, and plugs into the new one.

Not entirely sure if the Quanba Q4RAF has these functions, but the TE and high-end Hori sticks do (There are lots of good Hori sticks, and about as equally many bad ones, just look at the price. The HRAP 3 aren’t nice, though. They come with a JLF, but Hori buttons, and are more difficult than drop-in replacements like the TE). I would be more surprised if the Q4RAF didn’t have these. I’ve never had my hands on one, and they are relatively new, but the big thing is that it’s full Sanwa and Dual Modded.

TE, however, is higly documented, and has some very nice PCBs (Printed Circuit Board) out there to dual mod your stick. Toodles’ Kitty PCB can be dropped right into your stick without the need to solder or anything. It also can take any kind of buttons, and there are a lot more options to mod later. Not to say that the Q4 isn’t moddable at all, it’s just there are websites such as that will sell you fresh artwork and plexiglass covers straight to you to replace your artwork later.

Here’s how I would decide:

Want a good stick that you never have to mod for full functionality: Quanba Q4RAF
Want a good stick, but maybe want to mod some later: TE

I’m pretty sure swapping out Seimitsu buttons would be almost exactly the same on the Q4 as the TE, just opening the case would be a little different.

I’ll second what Nerrage said: the ability swap sticks makes the TE shine. My gaming habits are a 60/40 split of shmups/fighters, and I love the TE and Sanwa buttons, but would be lost if I couldn’t have a Seimitsu LS-32-01. Since you’re so new to all of this, you may find the JLF doesn’t fit your play style, and the TE would allow you to sample the gamut of stick types.

Qanba Q4 RAF has Quick Disconnect and Wire Harness.

and also an additional plexi top in case you want to art mod

these people at qanba are pretty cool people for having that as an extra

I ordered a Qanba Q4RAF this saturday, and it should be here sometime this week, I will share my thoughts on the stick when i get it, and compare it to my two TE’s for you fellas who want a little more in depth info, but i bought the qanba for it’s out of the box system compatibility. A couple of my twitter friends have qanbas, and they love them. So I decided to give it a shot. It comes with all Sanwa parts, 2 buttons covers for 6 button layout, and an extra plexi to swap that art. I also like the design of it very much. Be warned though, the shipping costs on these things are outrageous, because you can’t find them from an american supplier. I ordered mine from and the shipping alone was $62, but it’s coming from hong kong, so this is understandable.

The madcatz TE was my first stick, and I still love it and play on it everyday. It’s super easy to mod, whether you want to change buttons, art work, or even dual mod. For a first time buyer, this stick is definitely one to consider.

In my opinion, for a first time stick buyer, The madcatz TE, Hori VX or Qanba Q4 are the best choices. They all have quality Sanwa parts out the box, good warranties, and provide you with an arcade like platform to play on. As you go down in price, you will lose quality (in parts or design) and precious real estate(hand space, important for us big handed fellas). But if you want to save a little money, and don’t need a huge stick, maybe you could purchase a madcatz SE and change the buttons and stick out. I’ve done this with two SE’s i bought from gamestop. It’s simple, doesn’t take long, and is a fun experience. The art is hard to change on an SE though, not extremely hard, just more difficult than a stick with a plexiglass top.

The last piece of advice i’d like to drop, is that you get what you pay for my friends.

you can get the Q4RAF from canada too you know
canadianjoysticks stocks them i think

They were out of stock when i went to order, but they sell it for a higher base price, and so does so I’m sure with the shipping it all evens out to about 190 for a qanba q4raf, no matter where you order it from, give or take 10 bucks at the most. So it might not be a great idea, to wait to see if you can find a better deal.

Also, The round 1 TE’s are now back in stock at store.

Just a heads up,

After digging a little deeper in Qanba, I realized the q3 is a far superior looking setup than the q4. I don’t need the ps3 functionality, and if I ever decide to attend tournaments, I will buy another stick… I decided to go with the Q3 and just confirmed my order of the last one in stock at play asia!!! I like the wood casing it offers with full sanwa(even the start/select/home button unlike the q4)… The q4 is only 10$ more and looks cheap compared to the q3… Thanks for all your help!

And as far as I can see, I just got the last Q3 on the internet(at the moment)… I feel somewhat proud. Haha