What to look for in a stick?

First a small intro: I’m a console gamer, looking now to make the transition to arcade, and as such, I’d like to practice using a stick naturally, but when it comes to purchasing one, I have no clue.

I’ve looked through the forums and I’ve read through most of the posts about which parts people like to use, and the various mod guides and suggestions. I also am aware that it’s the general consensus that modding is the way to go.

But what should someone with little experience in a stick be looking for when looking at getting a stick? I know little of the ins and outs of sticks, and when I’ve read through the threads I don’t tend to get a sense of what everything means, only generally what people like and don’t like. (No real system for gauging the qualites of a good stick.)

Preferably I’d like, like prolly a lot of people, not to spend a whole lotta cash if at all possible, and since I’m also quite foriegn to the whole modding thing, preference would be given to something that would not require modding to be good enough, or direction to any and all places where modded sticks could be bought without having to break the bank. (If those are mutually exclusive ideals, than I’d appreciate any advice on what stick would be good to try out for my first mod, that would get the job done.)

(The uses I’d like to be able to get out of the stick would be PC, DC, and PS1/2.)

I apologize if this sort of thread is misplaced, or if I just plain missed a thread that had all the relevant info, but generally the threads I found were about specific pieces, and it was hard to see if my needs mirrored people who were building their own.

modding is not always the way to go, go for it if you know what you are doing

You can grab a mas stick/custom, hrap. (depends on if you like the american controls, or jap controls) and get some convertors.


Thanks for the feedback, is there anything I should take into consideration if I’m trying to surmise if I’d like a ball-top versus a bat stick?

ball = japanese
bat = american style

the bat is usually associated with circular restrictor plates, ball usually with square and octagonal.

japanese are usually higher quality parts in my opinion, and well they just have a higher sensativity

Jap Sticks usuallly have a looser spring in them too, where American sticks have tighter springs. Chances are your local arcade will have American sticks so you might want to take that into consideration if you plan on frequenting the arcade and want to be used to the sticks there.

Oh yeah there are bat tops for japanese style sticks too.

On the contrary, a few people I know feel that Sanwa sticks require a bit more effort to actuate the microswitches compared to Happ sticks. I would agree.

Sanwa buttons are much easier to press than Happ buttons, though Happ buttons definitely win out in the longevity department.

Definatly. Sanwa sticks have a longer shaft from Siemitsus, so that explains the most part there. Apart from the obvious design changes, the tighter spring in the Happ sticks would make the dead zone seem shorter.

yeah I agree on this, if you’re planning on playing at actual arcades it would make sense to go for the stick that they use in your area. Although if you’re planning on playing mostly on PS2 and in console tournaments, it gives you more room for concideration.

Imo I’d reccomend a Japanese stick. I have tried both American and Japanese sticks, so it’s no bias either. While American sticks are good, I feel you can get far more control from a Japanese stick.

With Happ sticks the spring is pretty bouncy, if you tried it you’d understand. You could almost do a hard quater circle, let go of the stick and the spring would do the rest of the work for you to activate a super if you learned to. Well, maybe not that much, but it is pretty bouncy (actually to be honest you probably could if you tried hard enough).

But I find them imo quite unstable when you require to return to neutral. I like Siemitsu sticks because the spring is very tight and concentrated. It doesn’t move around as much as an American stick. Also the veriety of gates and easiness to mess around/install tips my liking even more.

Overall they’re both great sticks, you just need to try your self and see what you’re comfortable with. They’re both rated for their own reasons, it’s just as hard to compare the two as it is to find out how they compare, so that’s why it’s hard to understand. But equally neither is greater, it’s just what you prefer.

Okay, what would be an example of a good american styled stick? Just for reference. (Something that hopefully did not require much modding.)

Thanks again guys for the info.

Mass sticks are always good, but your better off getting a custom. I might have an american stick if your interested…

Yeah, If you got a MAS stick you wouldn’t have to do anything to it. An american style custom stick would probably cost you about the same as a MAS stick but you have the added benefit of a custom graphic to be put under the plexiglass.

While I’m asking, I may as well ask about buttons, when it comes to concave versus convex what are the opinions? Whatever is comfortable, or are certain types better for certain reasons?

You usually want a stick that has buttons, and a joystick. Thats as much as I know. Oh and it should work.

Edit: Never mind that was stupid

^ lol

Concave are much harder to mash on IMO. they can hurt your hands too if you’re not used to pressing them. the fingers on my right hand (especially the thumb) were in great pain the first time i went to an arcade in the US. now i have a MAS with concave, and it still hurts.

Convex are clutch in my opinion. On my stick the biggest reason for me getting them was marvel. They’re easier on the hands when mashing for damage. I can feel my way around them easier too but that’s just me. I would say go with whatever is more comfortable.

While we’re on the topic of buttons. Since the happ convex are labled as competition and the concave as ultimates are the convex buttons of higher production quality?

In my opinion they are of identical quality. Merely the shape is different to suit personal preference.

Happ convex are also smaller in diameter (28mm holes needed) than Sanwa convex (30mm holes needed). The actual button surface is also smaller on the Happ than the sanwa, which matters to some.

This is a good american style stick: