Arcade Stick is controller on arcade games cabinet, the layout is using stick for controlling character on screen, and buttons for executing action. When Street Fighter hit the arcade, it became very popular and makes Arcade Stick as a standard controller for playing fighting games.
Now Arcade Fight Stick is become accessory for console and PC games, so we can enjoy fighting games better at home, just like the good old days 🙂
The most well known Arcade Fight Stick controller is:
- Hori with RAP series, this japanese manufacturer making Fight Stick for console since the begining. Recently they use their own lever and buttons for the premium model, some like it, some still prefer Sanwa.
- Madcatz with his legendary Tournament Edition 1, TE1 set new standart for Fight Stick and became the most popular quality fight stick, unfortunately recently they close their business.
- Quanba. this Chinese manufacturer make fight stick using Sanwa parts with lower price tag than competitor. they are become option for player who want decent fight stick at reasonable price.
- Razer Phantera, since the collapse of Madcatz, Razer became the best option for pro player who looking for top quality Fight Stick.
Beside that Factory Fight Stick, there are Custom Fight Stick made by Arcade Stick builder. the quality is depends on the builder, a good Fight Stick maker always use the highest quality parts, so the performance of the Custom Fight Stick he made can be reliable.
Fight Stick basically have 3 major parts:
- The Joystick Lever and Buttons.
It is pretty clear that Sanwa JLF joystick and Sanwa OBS- Series buttons is standard for Arcade Controller. They are sensitive and durable, Japan is well known for its quality.
- PCB Board.
This is where signal is processed, this part define what Console/PC it can be played. and the best Board is the one with the lowest latency. for the moment (PS4 era), brook PCB is the best in the market.
This is where all the parts is installed. Buttons + Stick installed in different arrangement called layout, most popular layout is Vewlix (SF layout), and Noir (Tekken layout). Different case offer different features, find the one you are comfortable with.
Fight Stick is an Investment, you will use it in long period, don’t choose the cheap one. at least find the one with SANWA parts or equal. cheap buttons and lever will ruin your experience and waste your money. TRUST ME, many people already waste their money and time by choosing cheap fight stick, and they regret it.
if you don’t have the budget, try find the second hand fight stick with Sanwa parts, it much much more better than cheap or fake buttons & lever.
- The Joystick Lever and Buttons.
All Buttons Controller is pretty new tech, it use buttons for directional input, especially cardinal direction (left, right, up, down). this will give the player unmatched precision compare to conventional joystick.
Using separate buttons for inputting direction enable you to input the opposite direction at the same time, which is not possible using joystick. This can make some “cheating” situation, for example in 2D fighting games, when the opponent doing cross-up attack we can simply press left and right buttons at the same time, and we can block it without guessing which way the attack come.
back then, this “issue” handle by software/games. and some games didn’t even notice this issue is possible and fail to prevent this “cheating”.
Lately, Game producer became aware of this situation and create condition while opposite direction pressed at the same time they will result Neutral. Then FGC starting to implement SODC Cleaner (Simultaneous Opposite Cardinal Directions Cleaner). and Now this issue is being handle by hardware (controller board) rather than let the game decide what to do when SOCD happend.
In SOCD cleaner, they implement rules:
- Right + Left = Neutral
- Up + Down = Up
using this formula, we can start formulating shortcut do execute difficult execution more simple/consistent. And this became interesting, not only we can get extreme precision, we also can shortcut difficult move. Many player start notice this advantage and give it a try, no we can find some top player using this controller in world class tournament like SuperAkoma.
keep in mind. ABC is not same with keyboard, they have different layout, and keyboard doesn’t have SOCD cleaner in it. But yes, keyboard warrior will be easier to adapt when using hitbox compare to old school joystick palyer.
So in the 90 era, there was Arcade Center in Korea called Fantasia. It use Taeyong Lever/stick which is have different construction compare to Japanese Sanwa. This stick is became standard for Korean Arcade, and when Tekken got popular, they play it using this stick. Eventually the Korean player compete outside Korea and people recognize the different stick they use and called it Fanta stick. (credit for Echofox | Saint who tell me this history)
So what makes Korean stick special?
when most stick/lever (including the most popular brand Sanwa) using Spring for tension. Fanta/Korean Stick use Rubber Grommets for tension, and they don’t use Gate for their stick, this mean you can move the stick freely and create circular movement when pivoting 360. this combination apparently create advantage for Tekken player, in Tekken movement is very crucial to create space in 3D arena, and this Korean stick make some advance technique such as Wavedash and Backdash cancel became easier. Also while Japanese stick using Balltop as default, Korean stick use Battop for better grip.
For now there are 3 major Korean stick maker:
- Myungshin, since Taeyong discontinued, Myungshin try to recreate Taeyong lever and fill the market.
- Taeyong, they stop discontinued a while back ago, but recently Etokki.com bring them alive again.
- Crown/Samducksa. They are very aggressive Korean lever maker, they make many version including signature lever from Korean pro player like Infiltration, Help me, Kaze, ect.
Simple Answer, Golden Fanta is Performance mod to custom your Korean lever.
Green Arcade in Korea is pretty popular Arcade Center in Korea, and may top Korean Tekken player playing there. Green Arcade have moded Korean Stick, and they very stick on their mod, and you can’t bought it anywhere else, even some guy in Europe went to Green Arcade offering 1.000 Euro for a Green Arcade Lever, and the owner refuse to sell it. Only few people have it in this world, and they got it for some reasons.
Then, through the Forum we start wondering if we can make our self a replica of Green Arcade Lever to answer our curiosity. Fortunately, someone in the forum have a Green Arcade Lever and share all the mod spec. Using this info we can duplicate all the parts, but rather than just “duplicating” we decide to expand our mod using various parts and make our own customized Korean Lever.
We start making the first batch, and we decide to use the best material available, industrial grade material. We use bronze and brass which have Golden look and name our mod as GOLDEN MOD. Thankfully forum member is super active and giving their feedback to perfecting Golden Mod. Finally we succeed providing custom parts for korean lever, and now everyone can mod their Korean level according to their preference.