Best single player joystick for PC, Sanwa sticks?

I’m looking to purchase a couple single-player joysticks to hookup to my PC running MAME, primarily for Street Fighter games.

I always preferred the joysticks with a “notch” in the corners at the arcades, and from reading around the web those are sticks which have a “square gate” from what I understand. I also am under the impression that Sanwa sticks come with these.

So, I’m looking for a couple single player units with Sanwa sticks.

What is my best bet - any suggestions?


PC wise…not sure. Gambling wise you should take in a PS 2 stick and a converter. Helpful section.

…but I’m having fun with my Tekken 5 HORI Arcade stick and Sector 7 converter combination. It’s a square gate one that has an eight button layout. Pretty good with an emulator because your setup is a WYSIWYG layout. Well, on Winkawaks. Once you understand which button goes where, you will be able to set it up without any difficulty.

Your problem shouldn’t be what joystick you wish to use but finding a converter that has good response and doesn’t lag like shit.

I’ve tried about 3 PS to USB converters and they were all horrific. Half circle moves will simply not come out and the lag is just too noticable. That was awhile ago so maybe now there is something better but I don’t know.

If you can find a DOA4 stick, you can connect it to a PC via USB. It has a cheapo square gate though, so folks here have done the infamous “Jumpsuit mod” to put in a Sanwa square or octagonal gate. The Hori stick has a shorter throw than a Sanwa stick.

Your other option is very expensive.

I don’t mind spending some cash on a joystick as long as it’s a good one. I was actually considering a SlikStik from, but after talking with them I don’ t think any of their sticks have a square gate.

I wasn’t thinking PS2 to PC adapter, I was hoping to find a native USB joystick.

I’d appreciate any advice.


Errrm . . . why not an HRAP3 or a VSHG once the fixed ones are available? Both are standard usb HID devices and work fine for mame . . .

Just order a custom stick from DreadedFist, finkle, or one of the other makers here. Also, just get the radioshack psx to usb. You guys are trying to make this too complicated :confused: You have choices on the stick though, but I say stick with Sanwa sticks (the end all be all stick, the jlf) and sanwa buttons. Shouldn’t cost you over $160. Also, that “gopodular” stuff is a goddamn ripoff. :rofl: Custom ftw.

Do both of these have square gates?

I found the Hori Real Arcade Pro Stick 3 on but it’s out of stock right now. I assume the PS3 versionis USB? I saw a thread saying to hook it to a PC you need to hold the HOME button for 5 seconds so it’s detected - is this a one-time thing? I wouldn’t want to do it every time… Also, is there anyone that has this in stock??

Also I looked at the Virtua Stick High Grade, but couldn’t find one that said USB specifically.

What “fixed ones” were you referring to?

Go with a custom. If you’re willing to thrown down some cash, it’s really the only way to go.


EDIT:oh, use these with the radioshack PSX -> PC converter. you’ll be good to go :smiley:

Am I the only advocate for the Real Arcade Pro 3 here? It is better than using a Dualshock pcb since it is USB native, doesn’t lag, comes with a Sanwa stick, and it is compatible with Sanwa/Semitsu buttons. Not only it is arcade style, it comes with turbo autofire and simulated analog stick controls just in case if you want to play PS3 games on it.

It may be more costly than using a PSX stick but since you want a PC stick; this is the best you can get with a warranty.

He said that he didn’t want to have to hold the home button for 5 seconds every time, which I believe you must do each time you plug it in.

The HRAP3 is a great stick though, and if you can find it in stock anywhere, go for it. :tup:

get one from finkle or DF (i’d reccomend finkle). Just ask for a sanwa stick w/ square gate and you’ll be good to go…

Radio shack converter is pure shit if I’m not mistaken, I know I’ve tried the smartjoy, random converter from Fry’s and I think the radioshack one was just as bad. If you are serious about playing on mame I’d spend the money on a USB native rather than going the converter route, trying them and end up canning the idea like I did after seeing how terrible the stick becomes on a usb converter. I seriously would rather use my keyboard than my stick on a converter.

HRAP3 looks like a good option, it’s a good stick.

Hm, the radio shack converter has never had any problems or lag for me. Using a PS1 DS pcb probably helped in that too.

I’m sure people can back me up on this.

I use the Radio Shack converter with a HRAP2 on MAME and it’s given me no problems, no lag at all.

I can make you one with a square gate sanwa & sanwa buttons specifically for PC for something like $135-140 before shipping. PM me if interested.

Haven’t had to do that in a long time myself.

I think I’m going to go with a couple HRAP3s - thanks for the advice!!

However - I can’t seem to locate any in-stock.

I’m not familiar with vendors to purchase this from - can anyone give me a few places to check?


Ever see or use one? I doubt it because then you would see it isn’t some cheap painted box. Make a parts list then guesstimate the amount of time to build it.

Our stuff is expensive because it takes a lot to build it and we don’t skimp out on anything. Hardly a “ripoff” when you’re getting your moneys worth.

I own 7 arcade sticks for multiple systems - both off-the-shelf and custom. My GoPodular stick is by far the best in terms of build quality, responsiveness and durability. I do not hesitate to recommend the GoPodular stick to anyone looking for a stick.

I’ve owned mine for 5 months now and I think it’s terrific.