POLL: -Stick reliability data- (Please Everybody Participate)

This thread is meant to find out how long the different components of an arcade stick last. It also sorts the failures in several basic categories:

3-Internal wiring (including soldering points)
4-PCB failure
5-controller cord failure (including the connector you plug in the console/PC)

Of course, if you’ve bought a stick and it’s still going strong, post it as well. The data will be flawed if only people who have broken sticks answer. This data has several uses. Less experienced stick makers can use it to make their sticks more reliable. Consumers like me can figure out which components to avoid and what to expect from a stick. Ducks can use the data to plot more accurate migration routes. Don’t ask me how, those ducks are a crafty bunch.

To keep things clean, please use this format :

Brand of stick
Stick model.
Button model. (only list the action buttons, ignore start, select, 1p, etc.)
How long you had it before it broke? What component broke?
If it didn’t break, how long have you had it for.

Note: If more than one component broke. Treat them as separate issues and use several lines to list them like so:

Gozulin custom stick.
Seimitsu LS-32
3 days before internal wiring broke
4 weeks before PCB broke.
2 months before button broke.
7 months before another button broke.
8 months before seimitsu stick broke.
14 months before controller cord broke.

Oh, and before you start saying how crappy my stick is, keep in mind that it is a FICTICIOUS example. If I had really built a stick, it would never have worked to begin with:rofl:

Here is a more realistic example:

Finkle custom stick
Sanwa JLF-TP-8Y
15 months without breaking.

If you have more than one stick, list as many of them as you can.
I tried to make it short and sweet because I know many of you are busy pwning scrubs. So please participate! This kind of data is only reliable if we can collect a big enough sample. I’ll collect the data when there is enough of it and give you interesting stuff like average life of a Happ stick or how often buttons break, etc.

Thank you for your time


PS: If you go to a different forum with high usage of arcade sticks (maybe mame related) and it’s not against the rules, link them to this thread. The more feedback the better.

Here is a review for one I had gotten a while back.
Dreaded Fist Custom**
Sanwa Standard buttons (obsn?)
Sanwa JLW stick

Case is still strong and all buttons are working after lots of abuse. Rubber feet came off in a week, but it’s only cosmetic. very sturdy and reliable. owned for a year, no issues other than this.
Red Octane Arcade stick**
Baolian stock stick was broken when it got to me.
PCB was also damaged
buttons worked fine, comparable to x-arcade.
owned for about a year.

Hori DOA4 Arcade Stick
Imitation Japanese Competition Buttons
Generic Stick
3 buttons don’t work after 2 weeks of use. Stick does not go left at times

SlikStik Solitaire
Dual Perfect 360’s with Japanese Competition Buttons
Never Broke. Rock solid. 2+ years and going.

Custom SNAAAKE stick.

Happ Competition 8way Stick
Happ Competition Buttons

1 button went bad after about a year, never used it again

Hori Tekken 5 stick

PCB went bad after 18 months or so.
Select button just began to stick a few days ago.

I replaced the stick with a Sanwa, it still works fine but it is beginning to squeak a bit after about 6 months or so. I’m going to have to spray some WD40 or something into it.

Pelican Universal stick (big black one, not the small crappy one)

Worked fine when I got it. However, after a couple of months, certain buttons would randomly fail to work. I sold it after I got my SFAE stick.

SFAE stick

Got it on July 2005. Everything worked fine.
On September 2005 I modded it w/ Happ competition stick and Happ competition buttons. So far, I haven’t had any problems and everything has been working perfectly.

Hori Fighting Stick SS, model number HSS-07
Hori pushbuttons with rubber contacts
Had no problems with the wiring.
Had no problems with the circuit board.

The copyright date on the box is 1995, but I purchased the stick in 1999. (I am currently assuming the stick was made in 1995.) The only issue I had with it is the stick section itself. Several months ago, the stick mechanism started to feel very odd and made squeaking noises during use, so I opened it up and discovered plastic flakes and mold had built up inside. (To be fair, short-term storage in a somewhat damp garage = bad idea.) I disassembled the mechanism, cleaned it, applied new grease, reassembled everything, and the stick feels just like new again.

One thing of note about this stick: While it’s a Sega Saturn stick, it can be modded to work with PS1/PS2. I gutted a PS pad, soldered the appropriate wires onto the circuit board, and the stick now works with the Saturn, PS1, and PS2 (for non-Dual Shock specific games). I won’t dare risk using the stick on both a Saturn and a PS1/2 simultaneously, though.

US T5 Stick****

Have had it since Nov.2005. Up until now everything works fine, but the stick is dying out on me since its so hard to get off motions as smoothly as when it was new. Other than response deficit from aging, its working fine!

(Hori Real Arcade Pro 2) x 2
Stock(Sanwa JLF/Hori buttons)
Have had it for 3 months and the buttons have gotten a bit mushy

Hori Real Arcade Pro 1.0
Stock (Sanwa JLF, Hori buttons)

Had it since March/April of last year, so about a year and a half, and it works just as well as it did the day I got it. It’ll take some mild cosmetic damage tho, as the mirror top is prone to getting scratched, but it makes no difference in it’s performance. Two of the rubber feet also came off within the last few months, but again, cosmetic.

Hori DOA4 stick, stock

1 button doesn’t work, but the stick seems okay, as does everything else. Bought it in january.

Dreamcast agetec.

Buttons all work fine, stick feels a bit wierd though, sometimes sticks to the left.
everything else ok, although very occasoinally the Dreamcast thinks no controller is detected so there may be a bad connection somewhere. This has been used A LOT though. Bought second hand over a year and a half a go and had been used a lot before that.

Red Octane (Anime convention special) 20$ joystick.
Chi-Long Imitation Happ balltop (yea weird I know.)
Chi-Long Imitation American buttons (non-concave)

2weeks before PCB died inside, but suprisingly the Stick and buttons never gave me trouble I could pull out all my CCs and roll cancels perfectly on the stick.

Later Replaced with DS1 H series PCB, HAPP P360 and HAPP competition Buttons. Works like a dream, it has never had any problems and has been working for 4 years now with out a single hitch.

ASCIIware PS1 Specialized arcade stick (Made in Japan version, case design looks like a PSX)
Levered Omiron Microswitches with Lollipop stick
Direct contact on PCB, style buttons (just a big playstation controller)

I got 2 of these for free from winning a KOF tourney in Mexico. I got then 6 years ago and have been working fine ever since. The buttons are really hard to get used to as they are not really arcade buttons, no microswitches. The stick works fine and because of the levered microswitches has a suprisingly small dead zone.
On a good note, these sticks hated as they are, have great PCBs. They worked with all the converters that I have tried out and the PCB has big solder points making it very easy to hack. If you ever need a PCB to hack and extra levered microswitch jap-style stick, pick one up for cheap. AVOID the made in Thailand ones, I hear they do not have levered switches and are complete and utter trash.

SFAE Stick
Owned since birth and modded a day later.
Happ Comp Stick
Happ Comp buttons.

This stick has worked great up until I lent it out a week ago. I used it with the inovation converter to DC and lk(short kick) would depress twice byitself during rom. Only on the Down part of the combo. I also used this on mame with SF2HF and it did not replicate the prob.???

Custom Metrock Stand 2-player with DC Official pad hacks
Happ P360
Happ Comp Buttons.
Ive owned this for about 6 months and it has gone thru tremendous abuse. The 360s give squeekish sounds after a few months. I applied grease a month ago to the inside where the stick pivots around,works better. No squeeks although I think I applied to much grease to the second players side. its hard to dash or jump somtimes. I need to check if the grease is blocking some the optical parts. I may have applied to much grease and when I slid the shaft thru it may have collected around the actuator and block certain directions.

With all the abuse these have taken its time to replace them. Normal wear like in an arcade enviroment where the buttons are seldom replaced. I have to press on them harder to get an action

Pelican Universal Real Arcade Stick

Stock Pelican Buttons and Stick
Only used on Xbox
Worked fine for about a year, then one button stopped working.
Still in use due to lack of Xbox Alternative

PSone ASCIIware stick
Stock Everything
Works fine, though rather low qaulity, as stated above.

Dreamcast Agetec Stick
Stock Everything
Works great, no problems.

T5 Hori Stick
Just purchased.

Wow great thread, hopefully everyone can contribute. Remember, these are my own experiences. YMMV.

Solo X-Arcade


  1. Good Beginner Stick.
  2. Built like a tank.
  3. Easy to Mod.
  4. Good Weight.
  5. Lifetime Warranty. Haven’t needed to use it, I modded 2 of these and they’re still alive and kicking after 2 years.


  1. Button Placement is horrible.
  2. Stock stick/buttons are crap.
  3. Even when modded with happ comp stick/buttons, it just doesn’t feel right…
  4. The quality isn’t worth the expensive price.
  5. PCB issues? Not sure on this one, I’ve only heard about it.

Dreaded Fist Custom P360 Stick


  1. Good weight.
  2. Clean wiring.
  3. Sturdy Box + easy to replace parts (for noobs anyway)
  4. Responds to emails quick. Customer service is awesome.
  5. Very quick to receive. Got the stick around 2.5 weeks after sending payment.


  1. My P360 was acting up after a couple of months, had to buy a replacement. Haven’t had any problems since. I’ve had this stick for 10 months.
  2. The button placement for 1 button was a little off. Not very noticeable though.

Stanley’s Custom P360 Joystick


  1. Very Sturdy. I got this about 7 months back and haven’t had any problems.
  2. Placement between joystick and buttons is large. (Good for people with big hands?)
  3. Clean Wiring.
  4. Customer service is top notch. If you live near Salinas, this guy is always down to help anyone with stick problems!
  5. Very good price on a custom P360. (Only paid $80 for mine!)


  1. Costs $20 for your own artwork.
  2. Can’t exchange your artwork once he makes it. He doesn’t bolt down the plexi, I think he hot glues it to the sides or something. Still looks professional though.
  3. Very heavy, if you like to play on your lap then this isn’t the stick for you.
  4. Paint on the side feels rough.

Hori Tekken 5 Joystick


  1. $30 bucks for the bundle at Ebgames or Gamespot. Good deal.
  2. Relatively easy to mod, since there’s a guide on how to do it.
    (Haven’t played on it enough to post anything else.)


  1. Buttons suck.
  2. No cover for the artwork, so it’ll wear and tear as you use it.

Finkle’s Custom Seimitsu Joystick with Sanwa Buttons
(Haven’t received stick yet, will update when I can.)


  1. Customer Service is awesome! Responds to e-mails with the quickness. Also gives picture updates as soon as he can.


More feedback would be GREATLY appreciated. We’re looking at adjusting our warranty period and this kind of data is exactly what we need.

Hey, I sent you guys an e-mail at your site and a PM to you. Still waiting on a response.

Thanks in advance,



Pelican Universal Arcade Stick (Xbox, PS2, GCN)

  1. Bought for 40 dollars at Gamestop
  2. Y Button eventually stopped working, took out the Analog/D-Pad button and placed it in the Y Button slot.
  3. Buttons stuck slightly after a while of non-play, but unstuck after play continued.
  4. Worked fine on PS2, Xbox microphone slot worked fine, no problems. Never tried it on GCN.

Just as background information, I pretty much only play Guilty Gear and some Tekken / Soul Caliber every now and then. In terms of wear and tear, I doubt I am a good indicator.

Pelican Universal Arcade Stick
Paid: ~$40

Generic POS Stick
Generic POS Buttons

Pros: Somewhat cheap.
Cons: Returned this POS in 2 days. The generic joystick did not recognize the corners very well and it was not damaged in any way. It just plain sucked.

MAS Systems Arcade Stick
Paid: ~$200

P360 Happs Stick
Happs Ultimate Buttons

Pros: Built like a tank. Still works perfectly.
Cons: P360 stick was too stiff for me. Since it’s built like a tank, it’s pretty heavy. Paint on the wood is rather rough. Price.

SNAKE Custom Stick
Paid: ~$160

Happs Competition Stick
Happs Competition Buttons

Pros: Built like a tank. Custom art. Xbox/PS2/Gamecube compatible.
Cons: Competition stick was a little too loose. One button died after 3 months, haven’t used since. Side art was paper wrapped around the wood. Waiting time. Price.

Hori Fighting Stick 2
Paid: ~$80 (Liksang)

Hori Joystick
Hori Buttons

**Pros: **Compact, lightweight, mediocre durability.
Cons: Buddy busted 2 buttons after 2 months but he’s the type of guy that shakes the entire arcade cabinet when he plays. Trashed. Pretty pricey since it has to be shipped internationally.

Hori Real Arcade (Original)
Paid: ~$110 (Liksang)

JLF-TP-8Y Sanwa Joystick
Hori Buttons

Pros: My favourite stick. Feels great as-is. Still works perfectly.
Cons: 2 buttons got sticky (probably because I spilt soda) but it was hella easy to take apart and clean after checking this forum. Pricey after international shipping.

Tekken 5 Hori Arcade Stick (US)
Paid: $25 (After selling back Tekken 5)

Hori Joystick
Hori Buttons

Pros: Dirt cheap. Feels just like the HRAP. Hands down best bang for the buck.
Cons: Ugly panel art. PCB is soldered to the buttons.

Posted in the sequence I bought it. Bought the Pelican about a year and a half ago.

Excellent submission. Thanks. You forgot a couple of things though, could you edit your post and include:

How long have you had the MAS stick and the Hori Real Arcade sticks?
What broke in the Hori Fighting stick 2?