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Old 09-09-2010, 12:09 PM   #4
Argnoth's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 164
Which Stick or Pad Should I Buy?

For Pads

If you decide to use a pad, I recommend getting a MadCatz SF4/SSF4 Fight Pad.

Like this!

They are sturdy, tournament legal (not wireless), and have all six of the action buttons right on the face. They far outpace the 360 or PS3 d-pad, and are better than any analog stick will ever be.

I would NOT recommend however using the 360 controller or the PS3 analog stick. Most tournaments also do not allow wireless controllers either (SOME allow a dualshock 3 or six-axis but few will allow this), so if you decide to attend a tournament at some point, bear in mind that if you use a wireless pad or stick you will likely not be able to use the precious instrument you have become accustomed to.

For Sticks

There are basically three price ranges sticks come in: around $50, $60-$130, and $150+.

Around $50

Get the Mad Catz SE Or The Tekken 6 Wireless Stick (note that wireless sticks are not usually tournament legal, so if you ever go to a tournament this stick would be wasted money)

Like This one!

In the $50 range, you first need to understand that these sticks do not have real arcade parts in them, they use knock off parts. If you want an entry level stick, or aren’t sure how serious you are about fighting games as a hobby, they are good options. This is especially true if you decide that you do not enjoy playing any type of fighting game, you won't feel like you have blown your load on a $100 + dollar stick.

Why the Mad Catz SE? It’s very easy to mod. If you ever decide you want to move on to real arcade hardware, Sanwa and Seimitsu parts more or less drop right in.

Around $100

The around $100 range generally features sticks with arcade parts, full or partial. The big sticks to look out for here are from Mad Catz and Hori.

Like this one!

Mad Catz offers the TE, TE Round 2, and TE - S stick, which feature a Sanwa stick and buttons, in the official Street Fighter Cabinet layout. Hori offers the Real Arcade Pro (HRAP) line, which also comes in a few flavors. Normal HRAPs have a Sanwa stick, but have Hori (read: knockoff) buttons. HRAP SAs are full Sanwa, stick and buttons. HRAP SEs are full Seimitsu. Both the Mad Catz and Hori sticks are easily modded with other parts, so those Hori parts in the HRAP3 line can be easily replaced. The HRAP and TE lines also have slightly different button layouts.

To be honest, you can’t really go wrong with any of them. However, there are certain specialty mods (dual console modding) that are much easier to do on the TE than the Xbox 360 HRAP line.


The $150+ range is generally reserved for custom builders. Building a stick yourself or paying someone else to build it for you.

Like this one!

Sticks in this price range are for people who aren’t satisfied with off-the-shelf sticks, or want to have something unique. If you are just getting started in the arcade stick world, these might be more than you want to pay for. They are worth every penny though!

Sanwa? Seimitsu? HAPP? What are you talking about?

Sanwa and Seimitsu are the two largest producers of Japanese arcade hardware. Which should you get? Ideally, try both out and decide which you prefer. If that isn’t an option for you, just get a stick with Sanwa parts. The Madcatz TE stick is full Sanwa stick and buttons and most of the Hori Real Arcade Pro (HRAP) line has a Sanwa stick at minimum. Seimitsu parts also have a lot of fans, but really, you can’t go wrong with Sanwa.

HAPP is an American arcade part manufacturer, their buttons and sticks take much more effort to engage and require an enormous amount of internal real estate, so you don't see many arcade sticks for home usage using these parts.

Last edited by Argnoth; 09-09-2010 at 12:23 PM..
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