I've got a custom stand up arcade cabinet and it came with a pair of zippy joysticks. I think they work "fine" but I read that Sanwa joysticks are best for fighting games. I called a local repair shop and they tell me that while they agree that Sanwa are great for fighting games, they're not good to use as a universal joystick for everything. They'll be great for fighting games, but really bad on other games.
I'm curious for those of you who have custom made arcade cabinets, what brand joystick do you use and what do you prefer?
WeirdH last edited by WeirdH
@Retro-Arcade-Fan I have Sanwa JLF's and I think they're fine. "Really bad on other games" is quite a stretch, imo. The sticks feel smooth, responsive and premium. I don't recall what kind of microswitches are in there, but I changed the standard spring to a 2lb. version. I also briefly played with a bigger actuator, but that left me with too small of a deadzone for a lot of games (made shmups super snappy, though). Point is, you can still do some tweaking to Sanwa's.
I'm not that much of a fighting game fan, so I couldn't even tell you if the claims are true. I have octagonal gates, so I can't even perform a Shoryuken to save my life, but they get the job done in pretty much all other games. I tried square gates and that makes some SF-style moves easier to perform, but I don't like them on other genres, so I quickly switched back to the octo's.
And yeah, 4-way games are still not ideal, but hey... A switchable gate is something for a future project.
No amount of describing them lets you sample the feel, though. The ideal thing would be to try them for yourself, but that can be needlessly costly if you can't try/test/borrow them anywhere, have to buy your own and then end up not liking them... Don't know how helpful that is to you, but that's my take.
Darksavior last edited by
@Retro-Arcade-Fan It's a personal preference. I grew up on happ and then switched to sanwa maybe 10yrs ago and I love it. I heard seimitsu sticks are better for shooters but I'm not that picky. Sanwa are quality and a good investment.
My madcatz sanwa stick came with a square gate. I have no issues doing moves in older games like sf2 and newer games like the 2021 guilty gear strive but I have been playing fighting games for over 30yrs. My happ experience made me hate ball tops so I easily screwed in a bat top.
@Darksavior Thank you both for your responses. When you say you hate ball tops and went to a bat top, what do you mean?
Ashpool last edited by
@Retro-Arcade-Fan Ball Tops have the sphere on Top of the shaft as you know it from your sticks, whereas a bat-top has a baseball-bat like shape ... From the AWUK Website:
@Ashpool ah yes. Bat top was more conventional for fighting games like SF.
Teh_Lurv last edited by
I've got a custom stand up arcade cabinet and it came with a pair of zippy joysticks. I think they work "fine" but I read that Sanwa joysticks are best for fighting games.
I hadn't heard of Zippy joysticks before, but a quick Google search shows that they look like Sanwa clones. Honestly if they feel fine to you, then switching the real Sanwas probably won't net you much benefit. If they start feeling harsh or dropping inputs, then it'd probably be time to swap them out.
I have Sanwa sticks in my fightsticks as well as in an old A1U I converted into a MAME cabinet. The repair shop guy was kinda right with his opinion. Sanwas JLFs are by default pretty loose. The only genre I find this to be a detriment is with shmups. For my MAME cabinet, I swapped in a 2lb spring which gives the Sanwa a pretty good feel for any arcade game I throw at it.
One of the posters above mentioned the GRS switchable gate. I got one through a pre-order, but honestly I wouldn't recommend it. I found there is a tiny bit a wiggle in the gate that made fighting games impossible for me on my MAME cab.
@Teh_Lurv Thanks for your response. Yes, my current joysticks work pretty well universally. As an avid fighting game player, I do find that I struggle with some SF moves. Sometimes they go off, sometimes not. Especially after playing them exclusively in the arcades all those years ago.
The final resolution was unless I can feel them for myself, it's not worth the time and money of experimenting. But I really appreciated everyone's opinions here!