Noob Joystick American Style Question


I looked at a variety of posts about modding joysticks and realize that for someone like me who grew up playing SF2: World Warrior and wasted hundreds of dollars in quarters that we were used to a certain style of controller. I have finally got back into playing SF after 10+ years off, just bought SF4 and the older SF2 version on XBLA.

Bought a Hori RAP Pro EX for the 360.

Realize that I may need a bat top and octo gate to get back to what I learned on.

My question though…and this is where I didn’t even know how to search the forums for the answer…
Buttons…what kind? The Hori feels super sloppy to me. Not a matter of sensativity, just too smooth feeling and not enough resistance or “pop” when I hit them. I like the look of the sanwa black/green OBSF 30 that I have seen on quite a few mods, but do these have different feels? I’m in no way good enough to notice sensativity issues that many claim between the stock buttons and the sanwa. I just want a better “feel” that i was used to back in the day.

Thanks to all who replay to this noob-tastic post! :pleased:


bat top lb30n
thread adapter
round gate order here
ls33 binded with ls55 spring
seimitsu ps-14 buttons


Sanwa OBS-30A or OBS-30B for the “pop” you want.




Coming from someone who learned SF on old American parts, I recommend you just get used to the Japanese stuff. They are simply higher quality stuff for reasons that have been discussed ad nauseum.

I’d skip the bat top and octo gate too. It doesn’t make it feel like an American stick. It just makes it feel like a shitty Japanese stick.


Agreed! Ive gone from happ (when i was a kid playing at the arcades) to now using the hrap3/TE sticks I have. It just takes time and tons of practice!!


dang hacksparrow, thanks for the list!
JDM, thanks for that info, glad to know what I was considering would get that ‘pop’ i was looking for

However…I must admit…
Out of all the responses Starcade’s was the best :slight_smile: It made me actually laugh out loud and consider if I should just practice on what I have now, stick-wise, and see if it grows on me.

Thanks so much to all your responses, great group of guys here.


Also coming from someone who learned on American parts I say, go with what you prefer and what you feel more comfortable with. I’ve gotten used to playing with Seimitsu parts (I do not like Sanwa buttons personally). If I was given the choice of Happ/iL parts or Japanese parts, I would pick Happ/iL everytime. That being said, I only play with Japanese style sticks…:wink:


Starcade RIP says the same to everyone.

He really feels that way for playing unmodified Joysticks and practicing.


I noticed that…lol I do have agree with him as far as the octogate goes. I cannot stand it. Nothing ever comes out right with it, at least for me.


Hehe, yeah pretty much.

The way I look at it, as much as we all like to think we’re all unique snowflakes, the fact is our hands and brains all work pretty much the same. Our ego wants us to think the execution problems we’re having are due to the stick not being precisely calibrated for our own magnificent hands, but really, we just need to go practice. We love taking the path of least resistance, but the truth is, almost everything in life worth doing is hard at first.


To answer the author’s question, Happ/ IL is the manufacturer of most arcade joysticks and buttons that were used on american arcade machines that you are talking about (concave buttons and bat top sticks)

Sanwa and Seimitsu are the most popular hardware manufacturers for arcade parts and are generally higher quality.

This website gives you a really good idea about how each product acts (percent of each active zone in various restrictor plate designs, deflection, spring stiffness, dead zone, actuation and absolute throw of the stick, etc.);

The Sanwa JLF joystick has the most available parts for it, including bat replacement tops. IL designed their joysticks and buttons primarily to be installed in wood cabinets, so they have a significantly longer installed depth over the Sanwa and Seimitsu parts. That’s not to say you couldn’t use Happ stuff for a stick, lots of people have. You just have more options with japanese parts. The nice thing about Happ/ IL parts is that they are a decent chunk of change less than others.

I like the concave feel and bat top on some games, but on others, I prefer the japanese parts. It’s just preference.


Ahh…thanks Dave.
I thought I remembered the buttons being concave and not like the smooth round ones on the stick and many others that I have seen.
Great website that you’ve linked…i feel a new obsession coming on!


StarcadeRIP understands. Why mess with perfection?!


I don’t mess with things either. :shake:
The JLF is Sanwa’s flagship Joystick for very long time with reason right?


I’m new around here, myself. I got a copy of Tatsunoko vs Capcom, played it for a little bit without a stick and couldn’t get with it. I’ve been playing arcades since I was four years old at my mom’s work, where they had a tabletop Ms.Pacman. Playing TvC brought back memories of playing fighting games with my brothers at arcades and convinience stores and I wanted it back, so I started looking for a stick. The initial price tag for a Tatsunoko vs Capcom stick was a bit of a shock to me and I realized at that point that I’d eventually want to play other fighting games on other consoles and not just the one I recently got.

At that point I started rummaging teh 1nt3rneT! for solutions to having a single joystick for every game console that I owned, which inevidably lead me here. I thumbed through all 400+ pages of the custom joystick thread here and it was over.

Now the trick for me is finding the time and means to do it. I’m so slammed right now it’s not even funny, but that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy!

Here are some other links you should consider reading on-


Wow! Thanks for the great links Dave. I’m really enjoying the slagcoin website too, I had no idea so much went into great controls.


i for one am in the minority of people who prefer american sticks to Japanese. there is no definitive this one is better than that. its all about what you prefer and feel more comfortable on. i used to play in the arcade back in the day and just like you, got back into it recently. i started out with a TE and eventually switched over to a us stick. i personally play way better and feel much more comfortable on US. and i was able to use the TE stick just fine.

with that said…if you want a US feel, the octo gates and bat tops DO NOT do the trick at all. you need to get a real american style stick. the best way to do this is to order one from MAS SYSTEMS. go to the website and call them. tell em you want a super pro with a HAPP competition stick and concave buttons. do NOT get the cheaper ultimate stick. and even though the website doesnt say it, they makes em for PS3 and Xbox360 now.


If you want the american feel, you need to get one with happ/iL parts, no question. No matter what you do to that HRAP, it’s not going to feel the same. I’m not even going to get into the ‘japanese-parts-are-better’ debate, because some people just prefer what they grew up on. MAS has been doing it for a while, but I’m not sure how long they take or how responsive they are. You could check Ed over at Arcade In A box ( who has been churing out happ style sticks for a while and is great at it.

The other thing you could do is build your own. That Slagcoin is like a reference bible for nOObs and pros alike. If you wanted an idea of what it may take to build one yourself, check here (shameless plug…)