Sticks, Controllers, and TVs

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Joysticks[edit]

Joysticks are controllers used by many to replicate the feel of the arcades at home. They consist of a joystick normally on the left side and pushbuttons on the right. Below are what joysticks are readily available along with the type of parts and retail price range.

Madcatz[edit]

Madcatz Fightstick Tournament Edition (Round 1 and Round 2 and Tournament Edition S)
Description: Madcatz first venture into arcade quality sticks, the gold standard. A solid choice with a lot of community made customization options.
Parts Type: Sanwa JLF joystick and OBSF push buttons
Price: $99.99-$159.99
Madcatz Fightstick PRO (SFxT red, SFxT Black, EVO, Sanrio)
Description: A more slimlined stick, same general design, same quality parts as the TE.
Parts Type: Sanwa JLF joystick and OBSF push buttons
Price: $99.99-$159.99
Madcatz Fightstick VS
Description: A larger premium stick from Madcatz at 17" wide. Doesn't stray too far from the formula that's worked so well for them, but takes that and runs with it. A additional bottom plate can be purchased to connect two VS sticks together for a full 2-player arcade panel length dual stick.
Parts Type: Sanwa JLF joystick and OBSF push buttons
Price: $199.99
Madcatz Fightstick Standard Edition (SF4 White, TvC, WWE Brawl)
Description: The low-end stick. A small, cheap stick that comes with in house Madcatz parts. Not a great stick out of the box, but notable because you can install Sanwa or Seimitsu parts with nothing more than a screwdriver, and a bit of time. A great stick if you're on a budget, or want to learn if playing on stick is for you without a major monetary investment, with room to move up to better quality parts if you do want to continue playing stick.
Parts Type: Madcatz joystick and push buttons
Price: $39.99-$49.99

Hori[edit]

Real Arcade Pro. EX/3
Description: The Classic. An update on the HRAP from previous generations. Same body, same parts. Comes in a variety of themes, and in a few configurations for parts. The non SA or SE versions come with Hori in house buttons, and will require extra work and tools to install Sanwa or Seimitsu parts.
Parts Type: HRAP3- JLF and Hori buttons. SA- Sanwa JLF joystick and OBSF push buttons. SE- Seimitsu LS-32-01 joystick and PS-14-G push buttons
Price: $149.99
Real Arcade Pro. VX/V3 (SA,KAI)
Description: A more modern take on design, looks more like an arcade panel, complete with start button where you would find it on a Vewlix cabinet, and an cable compartment.
Parts Type: Sanwa JLF joystick and OBSF push buttons
Price: $139.99
Real Arcade Pro. EX Premium VLX
Description: Hori decided making an arcade stick that resembled an arcade cabinet wasn't good enough. A premium stick with a premium pricetag. Looks like they chopped the panel off of a Vewlix cabinet. Be warned this is a big case, and heavy.
Parts Type: Sanwa JLF joystick and OBSF push buttons
Price: $299.99
Real Arcade Pro NX/N3
Description: Hori's second new design for the current generation. Comes with a recessed start button with a door to cover it so you don't accidentally activate it when you're doing that marvel mash. Comes in a variety of themes based upon games from Soul Calibur V to Gundam Extreme VS, and even a generic Hori version.
Parts Type: Sanwa JLF joystick and OBSF push buttons
Price: $149.99
Fighting EDGE
Description: A premium stick, with premium Hori parts. Sako (that guy with his own Buletta combo) was brought in to design a brand new lever and buttons. You can only get these new parts in this stick!
Parts Type: HORI original "Hayabusa" stick and "Kuro" buttons
Price: $199.99

Qanba[edit]

Qanba Q1
Description: A PS3 stick that has clamps to allow you to attach it to a table or ledge.
Parts Type: Qanba designed joystick and pushbuttons.
Price: $59.95
Qanba Q2
Description: A unique stick for the PS3 that allows for both left and right handed play with the flip of a switch. To accommodate both styles it uses a completely straight layout for the buttons.
Parts Type: Sanwa JLF joystick and OBSF push buttons.
Price: $79.99
Qanba Q3
Description: A 360 stick with a body made from MDF. A barebones case (no stick, buttons or pcb)can be found online for around $60
Parts Type: Sanwa JLF joystick and OBSF push buttons except for the Start, Select, and Guide buttons- which are knock off parts.
Price: $129.99
Qanba Q4RAF
Description: Qanbas flagship stick. Works with PS3 and 360 out of the box and comes stock with Sanwa parts. Complete with a felt bottom and cable compartment located on the left hand side of the stick. Comes standard in Black or White, with special editions ranging from Red, to Blue, to Pink
Parts Type: Sanwa JLF joystick and OBSF push buttons.
Price: $149.95-$179.95
eightarc Fusion
Description: Rebranded Q4RAF, with the Start button moved off of the face of the stick, and located next to Select.
Parts Type: Sanwa JLF joystick and OBSF push buttons.
Price: $184.99

Other[edit]

Sega Virtua Stick High Grade
Description: Segas attempt at a PS3 stick, six Sanwa buttons, one JLF, simple.
Parts Type: Sanwa JLF joystick and OBSF push buttons
Price: ¥7329 (Original retail price, no longer in production)
Exar EXAPRIZE USB Stick
Description: A small arcade stick, stock Sanwa, six buttons. There is a Guilty Gear edition that comes with silent buttons
Parts Type: Sanwa JLF joystick and OBSF push buttons
Price: ¥5,800
etokki Omni Arcade Stick
Description: Laugh decided to have a go at an arcade stick. Steel body, choice between Korean and Japanese parts. PS3 and 360 support out of the box.
Parts Type: Sanwa JLF joystick and OBSF push buttons (Sanwa Edition), Myoungshin Fanta stick and Crown CWB203A push buttons (Korean Edition)
Price: $195.00

Pads[edit]

First Party Pads[edit]

Sony Dualshock 3/SIXAXIS
Description: First party Sony pad, very similar to Sonys previous models. This controller is banned at some tournaments because even after unplugging the controller, it can still activate on the previous system and interfere with a tournament match. An alternative worth looking into is a Playstation 2 Dualshock 2 and converter.
Price: $49.99-$54.99
Sony Dualshock 4
Description:

Yet another update to the Dualshock line. Works out of the box with Playstation 3s, not very dual mod friendly. Some pad players have moved to this pad with success.

Price: $59.99
Microsoft Xbox 360 Controller
Description: The official microsoft pad. Comes in wired and wireless flavors. Many players are not a fan of the d-pad, there is an edition that has transformable d-pad worth looking into.
Price: $39.99-$54.99
Microsoft Xbox One Controller
Description: An improvement all around from the previous controller. The d-pad no longer floats, common ground PCB, standard connector for charging (Micro-USB). Shoulder buttons and Analog triggers will take some adjusting to for players accustomed to other pads.
Price: $59.99

Third Party Pads[edit]

Madcatz FightPad (SD)/BrawlPad
Description: Madcatz six button pad, big floaty dpad, two shoulder buttons. SD version has a smaller body. Its PCB great for dual mods.
Price: $19.99-$34.99
PDP Versus Controller
Description: Another six button controller, clicky microswitches for the face buttons, and a Neo Geo CD/Pocket style lever switched dpad.
Price: $14.99-$34.99
Sega Saturn (USB) Controller
Description: A pad that people have sworn by for ages. The official Sega USB pad works on PS3, and is incredibly hard to come by, and hard to find in a market flooded with cheap knockoff controllers. Another option would be to make a converter for the saturn version to work on ps3/360.
Price: Vary wildly. Be careful of cheap USB versions, they are almost always bootlegs. Expect to shell out a fairly high price for a genuine one.

Converters[edit]

The converters in this section are generally regarded as "lagless".

PS3[edit]

iNPiN PS2 to PS3 Converter
Description: THE ps2 to ps3 converter. has a home button, LEDs for player number, and is plug and play on PC.
Price: $23.00

360[edit]

Xtokki 360 converter
Description: a PS2 to Xbox 360 converter that does not require an extra 360 pad. Supports 360 headsets, has a guide button on the converter as well as indicators for player number. Plug and play on PC as long as the PC has the 360 drivers.
Price: $26.95

How to pick out an Arcade Stick[edit]

Introduction[edit]

It's really easy to rattle off a list of arcade sticks that you "should" buy. What's more helpful to everyone is to help educate you what quality parts to look for in an arcade stick, and help you decide on the perfect arcade stick for yourself. This section of the wiki will help to outline types of parts commonly found in arcade sticks, the differences between those parts, and how to select the stick for you. A good resource for supplementary information is Slagcoin.

Types of Parts[edit]

The most important part when picking out an arcade stick is what kind of parts the stick comes with, and what kind of parts the arcade stick can accept. There is no universal solution, and some cases are not tall enough to accept parts such as american style parts.

Japanese Parts (Sanwa and Seimitsu)[edit]

Japanese parts have become the golden standard for retail sticks over the last few years, specifically Sanwa. Sanwa buttons are known for being very light, taking very little force to activate, these buttons come in two sizes, 30mm (standard face buttons), and 24mm (standard start/select buttons). Each size comes in two styles, snap-in for metal panels (OBSF/C), and screw-in for thicker panels (OBSN). Snap-in buttons are standard for retail sticks. Sanwa also produces a line of silent snap-in 30mm buttons (OBSFS).

On the joystick side of things, Sanwa one base model, with a few options. The standard JLF, comes with a square gate, and connects to the pcb with a 5 pin harness. The stick also comes in a variation with no mounting plate (not recommended for most retail sticks), as well as their newest version that comes with "silent" microswitches. If a square gate is not for you, there are options for octagonal gate, as well as a circular gate.

Across the table we have Seimitsu, the next largest manufacturer of arcade parts in Japan, Seimitsu is known for having a larger variety of colors for thier buttons, and previously having the only options to put art inside the buttons plunger. They fit into the same holes as Sanwa buttons, and come in both snap-in and screw-in styles as well. Generally Seimitsu buttons require more force to activate.

Seimitsu also has more choice for joysticks as well, and produce the go-to stick for SHMUP players. They include the LS-32, LS-33, LS-40, LS-55, LS-56, and the new LS-58. (Note: 01 at the end of the stick model means it's the 5 pin harness version. in most cases this is the version you're looking for). While that looks like a lot of models, they fit into two families. The LS-32 and LS-40 are almost identical mechanically (LS-40 is "the" Neo Geo cabinet stick), and offer a very small dead zone. The second style include the LS-33, LS-55, LS-56, and LS-58. These all offer a similar small dead zone, but have a faster return to neutral than the other Seimitsu sticks. Most of the second family are are newer versions of the sticks released before them, the LS-58 is the newest version and the most available.

American Parts (Happ and IL)[edit]

American parts are a bit harder to find in a retail package, but are still the preference for some players. Luckily the choice between two manufacturers is much easier. Both offer the same general product, much more resistance from the stick and the button than their Japanese counterpart, at the cost of being much larger parts, both companies offer very similar parts, with a spin. Happ parts are what you used to find in almost every American arcade cabinet in the 90s. The problem is that in the 2000s Happ spun off their production to China, started using cheaper plastic, and replaced the Cherry microswitches with cheap Chinese "e-microswitches" to save a few dollars.

Luckily, you have an alternative. Ironically, the superior alternative is from Spain, IL (Industrias Lorenzo) offer exactly what Happ used to, quality joysticks and buttons just like you used to find in arcades all across America- built to last. You have the same choice for buttons, convex and concave. They only come in one size screw-in, and will not fit into the holes for Japanese style parts.

Korean Parts (Crown and Myoungshin Fanta)[edit]

The style of stick that many Tekken players swear by. Not much was known of these parts in America until recently, they use rubber instead of a spring to give the stick tension, and have no gate so it's feels like a circular gate. Because it uses rubber instead of a spring, the stick wears in in the directions that you hit the most often. Crown has recently released a version of their arcade stick that fits into standard Japanese panels (CWJ-303A) without any modification. Both Crown and Myoungshin sticks feel very similar, the main difference being that the Myoungshin activates the switches a bit faster, and the Crown sticks rubber is a bit softer.

Crown buttons are the go to buttons for korean sticks. They come in both screw-in and snap-in buttons, and fall somewhere between the Seimitsu and Sanwa buttons as far as force needed to activate. They will not fit into a standard Japanese panel, they are too small.

"Stock" Budget Arcade Stick Parts[edit]

Generally regarded as uncomfortable to work with. Buttons that stick, and levers that have problems hitting diagonals, and parts that fail fairly quickly are not at all uncommon for budget arcade sticks parts. If for whatever reason you are looking at cheaper budget arcade sticks, you need to understand that in most cases the parts are not replaceable. In a few cases (for instance the Madcatz SE) you can drop in higher quality parts. In most cases it requires access to additional parts such as a soldering iron, and a dremel, as well as modification to the parts themselves to fit into such cases.

Price Range[edit]

You get what you pay for, up until a certain point. By buying a stick that comes with higher quality parts will pay off in the long run, in terms of both parts lasting, as well as parts replacement. A lower priced budget stick also may require additional tools such as a soldering iron, and a dremel to properly fit replacement parts, as well as modifications to said parts.

Once you move into sticks that come stock with quality parts, it largely turns into picking which of those sticks works for you. size, weight, button layout, number of buttons, options for customization- every stick is different. It's up to you to decide how much you're willing to pay for these extras.

Making your choice[edit]

Once you've narrowed down your options, it's time to get your arcade stick! If you're on the fence, or are trying to decide between multiple options don't be afraid to ask your local community if anyone has the stick or sticks you're looking at for feedback. Nothing helps more than seeing the physical product.

If you've examined the retail options, and none of them appeal to you don't be afraid to take matters into your own hands and build or commission a custom case! There are a number of talented builders in the community that can be found on sites like shoryuken or a number of other arcade enthusiast websites. You could also try to find a local woodworker to build one for you if you feel more comfortable with that.

Remember, it's your arcade stick, and your money. Hopefully now you can make an educated decision on which arcade stick is right for you!

Dual Modding 101[edit]

In this section you will learn the basics of modifying your stick to work on multiple consoles. Please keep in mind that this is only an outline, and there will always be some cases or situations that are not covered. By aware that by modifying your stick in this way you are voiding your warranty, please use your best discretion.

Golden Rules[edit]

The first thing to establish are some golden rules to follow while dual modding. These rules can NOT be broken under any circumstances.

All PCBs MUST be common ground! (Ground must be connected between all PCBs)
All of the PCBs that you use in your project must be common ground. Most PCBs that you buy specifically made for this (for instance a Cthulhu, or a Cerberus) are common ground. Retail PCBs are much more hit or miss. The stock 360 pad is not common ground, some Dualshock PCBs are, a great resource is Slagcoin.
What is Ground?
All PCBs MUST be powered at the same time (Voltage must connected between all PCBs)
This one is pretty self-explanatory. All of the PCBs need to be able to work, for this to happen you need to connect the voltage between all of the PCBs so they receive power. The PCBs must also be able to tolerate the voltage from any of the others. This is not an issue while working with PS3 and 360 sticks, as both consoles supply 5v for power to controllers.

Dual Modding, not Duel Modding[edit]

Now that you understand the two golden rules for dual modding, it's time to get to work. The basic idea is that you will connect the vcc and gnd between the two pcbs, and then connect likewise signals. This means you would normally want to connect (360 to PS3) A to Cross, B to Circle, X to Square, Y to Triangle and so on. Keeping a uniform layout is beneficial to you, the PCBs don't really care what the other PCB is doing as long as they both have vcc and gnd. You could connect A on 360 to Start on PS3, it doesn't make sense but you could.

After you've connected all of your signals, your ground, and your voltage between the PCBs (Don't forget to wire them up to your buttons!) you need to figure out how you're going to switch between the two PCBs. I'm going to present three scenarios. Keep in mind you may run into a scenario outside of this articles scope, I am only going to cover the most common scenarios.

Digital Switch
By using a digital switch, you do not need to externally mount any extra hardware or drill any extra holes on the outside of your case. A digital switch will either automatically detect the system or allow you to switch between PCBs by holding down a button. They come in two forms, in a standalone PCB like the Imp V1, or the Imp V2, or part of a larger PCB that is also a controller PCB such as the Chimp or the Cerberus. The installation of these vary (consult the documentation for your hardware), but they generally work by supplying the Data + and - lines from both PCBs (or just the 360 board in the case of a board like the Chimp or Cerberus).
DPDT Switch
A Double Pole Double Throw switch is a cheap and effective way to switch between two PCBs. They come in many styles- the important part is that it's a DPDT switch. This method works by attaching both Data - and Data + from both sticks to opposite sides of the switch, and the incoming Data lines to the other terminals.
Drilling a hole
This method is the ugliest, but it works. If for whatever reason you don't wish to drill a hole for a switch or install a digital switch, you can always drill a hole for the second cable to come out of your stick. Not really much to say about this.

Televisions and Monitors[edit]

Flatscreen Monitors[edit]

Asus VH236
Description: The "EVO Monitor". Low lag, 23" monitor. This specific model is out of production, there are newer models (need to be added to the wiki)
Price: $189.99 USD
BenQ RL2455HM
Description: The monitor/TV line used by MLG as well as by Level|Up productions. This specific model has a 24" screen and built in speakers.
Price: $219.99 USD

CRT Monitors[edit]

It's hard to go wrong with a CRT monitor. Always test the set before you buy it to make sure everything checks out, and use your better judgment when selecting a set.

Other Resources[edit]

There is a fairly large (and growing) database of what monitors have what lag over at DisplayLag.