Arcade Stick Advice

Thread in 'Hardware' started by Ken_P, 6 Nov 2007.

  1. Ken_P

    Ken_P Unregistered

    I've been thinking about giving an arcade stick another shot, but I can't justify spending the money to get a Sega VSHG. I'm willing to spend up to about $50, which looks like it'll get me a HORI Fighting Stick 3, or if I get lucky one of the old Dead or Alive 4 sticks off eBay for less than that. What is the general impression of these sticks here? What can I expect if I decide to try one or the other. How difficult will either be to mod, first to a 4-way stick, then maybe to better parts? How much can I expect to spend if I want to mod it? Answers to any of the above questions will be appreciated!
  2. From what I've read, the HORI FS3 is pretty awful. At least compared with the likes of the VSHG and the HRAP.

    Difficulty in modding depends on how it's put together, and if it'll require soldering or not, and if the guide can change easily from 8-way to 4-way.
  3. the cheap hori sticks are ok if you don't know any better. There is no comparison between a FS3 and a stick with real sanwa parts. People usually get them because they're cheap and so they figure they can just take a cheap box and put in sanwa parts but usually people don't realize the headache that's involved in moding these sticks and they usually end up spending about what they would have for a real arcade stick. Not to mention even though a modded cheaper stick has sanwa parts but the quality of the box isn't the same as VSHG/hrap/custom box. The stick in the cheaper horis can't be changed to 4 way you'd have to maybe fabricate your own gate and find some way to put it on there securely.

    Here's a link to a DoA4 mod

    Fight Stick 3 mod:

    and just to brag here's my custom Sanwa stick, I fit the bottom with a hinge so I can easily change the gate. [​IMG] ... C04479.jpg ... C04481.jpg
  4. Honestly.. I think you'll regret not getting a more expensive stick in the long run. I have both the VSHG and a Hori Fighting Stick and the latter feels very plastic in comparison to the VSHG, the build quality is not nearly as good and I'm thinking you'll end up having to replace the entire stick eventually, seeing as it has proprietary components not easily replaced.

    On the VSHG or the HRAP you'll have very high build quality to begin with, the highest in the industry. So not only will they last longer, they also use standardized components that you can easily replace should they break down. That, and they're also alot nicer to play with.

    Yes, they're a bit pricey.. but I very much doubt you'll regret it if you save up for one of them instead of going for a cheaper model.
  5. Ken_P

    Ken_P Unregistered

    I'd love to have a VSHG, but the $150+ it would cost to import is prohibitive. I'd like to experiment with a decent stick, but if it can't be done cheaply, then I'll have to live without. I have other hobbies and real life needs that I'll spend serious money on before tetris. Thanks for the advice!
  6. Out of curiosity, where do you live? Maybe we can help you find a cheaper place to buy the stick.

    The VSHG+Shipping to Sweden (for me) was more like $130
  7. And it's less than $120 USD for me in Canada. I think the problem might be that he's less "interested in getting into a stick" and more "simply just curious about what this stick thing is all about". It's a lot to pay just to try something new.

    When you get a stick, spend late nights together, grow strong together.... You develop quite a bond and it becomes a deeply satisfying purchase that is worth every penny. If you're more than just curious Ken_P, I recommend saving up for a good stick. If you never learn to use it though, then it would be a $120 paperweight. As much as I strongly agree with the stick lovers, I can see how it's not a wise purchase for all people. Only you can make the call.
  8. mat


    i just bought a VSHG, so... yay!

    final cost $121.20 thanks to the $5 coupon from the great Lee_N. thanks a lot for that.

    i can't wait to suck at tetris again.
  9. mat


    it's awesome! i love the stick, wonderful feel. i'm surprised how easy it is for me to adapt to it. i was able to get to 936 master in TAP, which was pretty nifty. i've realized that my preferred button layout is not A B C, but B A C. doesn't really matter i guess, but kind of interesting.

    i have trouble when i DAS to the wall and move back a space... especially at low gravity. 1:22 0-100.

    i was using joy2key to heboris to detect the joystick movement, but it takes the buttons natively. is there something i need to do, or is this the solution?

    switching out the guide was way more difficult than you guys made it out to be. took me an hour. i felt like i was going to break the thing. it was ridiculous. kept pushing way harder than i thought i should have to. i don't think i'll be switching it back, which is too bad. although maybe if i practice it... i get nervous with the pieces exposed. meh.

    very glad i did this.
  10. You should have asked for help with the guide! It actually takes almost no effort to change it if you're doing it right. Trust me, at first I wasn't... I took a long time like you, and even took a hammer to it (!!).
  11. Ken_P

    Ken_P Unregistered

    I made what will no doubt be considered the "wrong" choice, as I managed to pick up a FS3 to play around with. I got it at a local computer retailer for $40, so it seemed worthwhile to try, as I have a no risk 30 day return period. If I don't like it, I'll simply bring it back and nothing lost.

    I like the feel of a stick as compared to my preferred D pad, but it's going to take a lot of getting used to! One thing I am going to do is order a Sanwa restrictor plate, so that should hopefully take care of some of the misdrops I'm having now. As far as I can tell, I can just unscrew the current plate and screw in the new one with no other work needed. If that goes well and I get really brave, it looks like I can replace the whole stick with not too much difficulty. I have no problem with the buttons, so I don't see any need to replace those.

    I did a lot of hunting, and I didn't find any possible way to get a HRAP or a VSHG for under $100. I got the FS3 for $40, and the mods I'm planning to make won't total more than $30, and I don't have to do those right away. This may not be the absolute best out there, but I think it'll be good for me as a first step.
  12. Let us know how easy installing the restrictor plate is. I'm guessing you'll have to epoxy it directly and hope for the best, but hopefully it's a better fit.
  13. schnappy

    schnappy Unregistered

    I could swear you copy and paste that into every "I want an arcade stick... cost to much...maybe..." thread.

  14. It's true. The only real good stock stick is the namco arcade stick. Also the Street Fighter Anniversary stick does a decent job at mimicking the happ competition stick but the buttons are terrible. Other than that stock sticks are pretty bad. If I couldn't afford a real arcade stick I would rather do a usb mod to a saturn controller.
  15. Ken_P

    Ken_P Unregistered

    A few impressions having spent some time playing with the stick: How does this thing work? I know there's an adjustment period, but I can't figure out how people get anywhere with this thing, let alone why it's the preferred method of input. Is there a joystick 101 out there somewhere that can at least show me how to hold the thing comfortably and still maintain control? Is there a special trick to double taps, because I'm hopeless trying to do them. I really want to learn, because so many people swear by them, but I'm very confused right now.

    shows TGM HOLiC playing. Another popular way to hold ball top sticks is to hold it like a wine glass. Palm up and the shaft of the stick between your middle and ring finger. Seimitsu sticks are easier to do double taps with. It has a shorter throw, engage and it has a higher tension spring. I'd also think that 4 way wilcos or happ sticks would be good for double taps.

    Also adjustment period isn't a couple of hours or even a couple of days. It can take months for some people to get fully adjusted to sticks. I've also seen people take months just to make the switch from american to japanese arcade parts.

    You have to also keep in mind that your stick is pretty bad. I would much rather play with a saturn pad than a cheap hori stick. Playing on a sanwa and seimitsu is not even in the same ball park. That's why people say it's worth the investment. A hori stick is ok just to get a feel for arcade sticks but if you want to make any real improvements you have to step up to real arcade parts.
  17. Maybe a slight trick to double tapping is that you don't have to move the stick to it's extreme limit. I usually do so for the second tap out of habit, but the first one is just a tiny twitch of pressure. It comes with practice.

    As for general pointers on how to hold it, I suggest using whatever comes naturally. I think I push right with my palm, down with my fingers, left with my thumb, and up with my thumb joint. Watching the TGM3 GM video might help also.
  18. i've an old hori capcom fighting jam edition stick and it's true that it feels very plastic but when you get used to it, it's ok. Its better than playing with the keyboard anyway [​IMG] .
  19. Ken_P

    Ken_P Unregistered

    A quick update: I got a Sanwa JLF stick, which, with a little bit of work, fits perfectly into the FS3 casing. The difference is amazing. Not just that I now have a proper 4 way gate, but the whole feel of the stick. Much more solid, and infinitely more responsive and accurate. Now I can start relearning properly, but I expect big things once I get a handle on it!
  20. Isn't it a bit of a hassle to connect the Sanwa stick to the circuit board of the FS3? Seems like it would be less than trivial.

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