Retail Arcade Stick Tier Listing/Discussion (WORK IN PROGRESS!)



Not 100% done. I’m putting together a grid/chart that shows which parts are used, PCB info, and build info.

Not many changes will be made ranking wise, but if anyone has any opinions/arguments they’d like to bring up, I would like to hear it. And no, this post is not for me to spill out reasoning/info on why I think the SF4 sticks are ranked so high -_-

Also, I don’t know where I should put MAS sticks… There are so many different types/builds. But I do agree a Happ MAS is equivalent to that of a HAPP anniversary stick. Not to mention the deteriorating quality of parts used for those sticks over the years… -_- … Oh well. I’ll probably put the MAS at A or A+. Cuz I don’t know if anyone is old enough to remember way back… there WERE definite issues with them.


For people who are lazy to click:


MAS sticks always kinda seemed like customs to me. Since there was some customization involved and plus you have to wait for who knows how long nowadays for one to be made. When I think “retail stick” I think of one you can just walk into a store and buy or buy from Amazon or something.

There was a Happ edition SF Anniversary stick?

Maybe I missed it but is X-Arcade in there? It should definitely be added as it is probably one of the most sold sticks out there (unfortunately).

Also the Sega Saturn Virtua stick. Haven’t used one but have heard some good things about it.

Pelican Real Arcade stick.


lol, good job.

That list is awesome. But is the Mayflash really -D rank?

I’d think it’d be at least grouped with the -C ranked joysticks just because of it’s ‘out of the box’ PS2/PS3/PC compatibility.


hori fighting stick 2 (blue-fadish vinyl top version)

for comparsion i have a hori fighting stick wii as well… so ill compare to that

slightly less quality, but about a full inch higher in the case…

buttons are rubber contact to that fun black strip

modding buttons: they arent attached to pcb at all, but theres lil metal tabs youll hafta grind down (dremel = easy to do… hand grinding file = possible but a pain… -_-)

soldering to pcb isnt bad, but insides look ugly since you kinda just hafta let the pcb float in the box

seimitsu/sanwa screw-in buttons needed the connectors bent and it was a hard fit from there
seimitsu/sanwa snap-in buttons didnt need to be bent, much easier to work with (metal top so snap ins work just fine)

stick wise, i heard puttin in a sanwa was pretty simple (remove mount plate and 2 of the holes line up perfect or something?)… i put in a seimitsu… yaaa… LOT of work for a seimitsu (dremel a shitton of plastic and 4 screws thru the top… looks like a mini grenade owned the inside of my case)

features, turbo mode via button… not via switches… has buttons for L3/R3, and the stick can function as dpad or either analog stick


stock wise, the wii fighting stick feels a lot better… but mod wise FS2 is a lot simpler for japanense parts (sanwa in particular) then the wii fighting stick (FS2 has extra inch+ of height, and buttons are only rubber contact… so they aren’t connected to pcb at all)

id say between b and c, depending on whats important to your list


Thanks, I forgot about those. I typed this up real quick!

Also yea, the X-Arcade had several versions too… They used to make a Happ one but stopped, don’t know why.

The Pelican Real Arcade stick will be added as well. I have one for each console + the universal one! lol.

And I agree with you on the MAS thing, they essentially are customs… -_-

I even saw how they made them when I visited their shop years back lol.


Great argument, this is the type of feedback I need.

I have the Elecom/Mayflash and use it from time to time. But the main reason I listed it so low was the actual casing and parts used. I don’t take into consideration the compatibility thing. While it may be a ‘feature’ it can also be something to fault it for. So it was not added.


amazing thread, gathers all the info someone new to the scene could use!


By no means is this a solidified listing! This is purely my opinion!

It doesn’t have all the info I want the chart/listing to have yet. That will come in time (probably during winter break when I have more time).

I plan on taking pictures of the sticks and the insides to back up my rankings.


Just out of interest whats the reasoning behind seeing compatability as a liability?


The way I see it… if a stick is made for 360, I review it in such way.

Everyone knows that all 360 controllers will work on PC as well. But what if it doesn’t work ‘great’ with PC? I don’t want to step into that realm/reasoning.

Pretty much every stick on the market that is USB will work with a PC and some might require more work than others. But I don’t think it would be fair for me to review them based on that. I want to rate/rank them based on the console they were mainly intended for.

Same with the PS2 arcade sticks. Will I give them a lower rating because they don’t work too well with converters for use with PS3? Nope. I will rate them on how well they perform on PS2. It would be unfair, in that aspect.

Too many factors with compatibility. That is why I’m not taking it into account. Hope that somewhat clears things up.


talk about life’s great ironies.

the best fighting game stock stick ever is made by…madcatz.

if you told me this shit in 2003, my head would probably implode.

speaking of which i need to pre-order that shit, stat.

i also sort of expected the namco arcade stick to at least hit an a-.

I land more moves on that than i did with the hrap3. then again it could just be an adjustment problem on my end.


Yea, the Namco arcade stick is my personal favorite, but in reality it is more of a preference thing. It can’t compete based on the grading criteria I put forth above the other sticks. But it does rate very high still IMO.


I thought the FS3 and the Hori Fighting Stick Wii were basically the same thing? Don’t they have the same layout, parts and all?



The FS3 face buttons are mapped out differently.

They are listed like this:

L1 [] /\ R1
L2 X O R2

If you look at the way the buttons are curved then you can see that the four main face buttons (square, tri, x, circle) are curved in a downward slope, which is NOT the standard for arcade sticks. They are either straight or curve upwards.

There are only two retail arcade sticks that curve that way, the Hori Real Arcade Pro EX(360) and this stick.

The Wii stick has it mapped out in a normal button layout. Especially when using it with games like Street Fighter II via VC or Tatsunoko vs Capcom.

Now a lot of people can say, who cares, you can map buttons in software menus etc. But the out of box/default experience has a problem, then you have to take note.

That’s is the main reason it is lower than the FS3.


BTW, I didn’t move the HRAP EX (360) down from A-, mainly because quality/actual arcade parts (in this case a Sanwa JLF-TM-8T-SK-K stick lever) IMO is more important of a factor to the arcade stick than button mapping.

As you can see if you hit the A tier, all those sticks ranked A and above have real arcade parts.


Oh yeah, the button layout… I have a FS3 and after remapping once for each game, I seem to always forget it has that weird ass button layout.


i think the
* Hori Fighting Stick 3 (PS3)
is D Rank, because many people have the problem that it just randomly doesn’t work anymore.
don’t know how it’s with the xbox360/wii one.


There was a retail Happ SF Anniverary stick?



Like everyone else who posted I’m curious as to why you think the nubytech anniversary stick came with happ parts because it didn’t. Arcade stick monk did post a how to thread on replacing the stock parts with happ parts. But there was no mass production version of that joystick that came with happ parts.