Updated: February 02, 2021
When it comes to choosing the arcade stick that is going to stay with you for a long period of time and give you the best performance possible, the choices seem to be overwhelming. Of course, a lot of factors start to come into play once you dig deeper in.
Factors such as, button type, joystick type, compatibility, lifetime and more. Regardless of the fact that you’re either a novice or a professional who’s been in this business for a long time, you always want to carefully study before you purchase your arcade stick.
In the fighting game community, there is a lot of debate as to which stick is the best. HORI, Razer, Mayflash are powerhouses when it comes to arcade sticks. However, one name that has consistently been responsible for putting out tournament grade arcade sticks is Qanba.
Qanba arcade sticks have been the choice of many professionals for years now, thus proving Qanba’s superior quality. Not only is it of great quality, it is a very reasonable choice because it will not burn a hole in your wallet.
In the Qanba fight sticks, there are 5 names that stick out. Not only because they are worthy of mentioning due to being in the Qanba lineup, but because of how great they are overall. So today, I’m going to be doing just that.
Below, I’m going to review the 5 best Qanba Drone joystick and arcade sticks that you can buy on a budget. At the bottom you can also find some FAQs that can come in handy for your information.
So, let’s dig right and get started on what are the 5 best Qanba drone joysticks that definitely should look into.
1. Qanba Drone Joystick for PC, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3
The Qanba Drone joystick is known for its great bang for buck performance. In the market where a good arcade fight stick is going to set you back more than $100, Qanba Drone stands out.
In Qanba’s budget lineup of arcade fight sticks, the Qanba Drone stands out for a number of good reasons. And this Qanba Drone review is going to explore that. From everything great about this fight stick to its shortcomings, let’s get right in.
Note: This fight stick is available in other variants too, a much favoured one being the Tekken World Tour Edition.
Build and Design
Heavy weight of an arcade fight stick is quite important because you want that weight sitting on your lap or your table. Should the gaming sessions get too intense, you don’t want your arcade fight stick moving around too much as it can cause further problems.
The previous two mentioned Qanba fight sticks do a good job at that because they do have that weight about them. The Qanba Drone however, feels a little lacking behind in that department. Luckily, it’s not totally devoid as it is an official Sony licensed product.
That means that the PS buttons such as Start, Share etc. Qanba Drone also has a toggle for Tournament Mode which will prevent these buttons from being registered when you’re in the middle of a game.
Qanba Drone too has the Taito Vewlix layout of the buttons. The 8 buttons are Qanba buttons, same as the majority of Qanba sticks. For a budget pick and the price that the Qanba Drone joystick has, Qanba buttons are quite decent.
They may feel a little loose but, rest assured they are going to work really well. There is not going to be any case of your Qanba Drone failing to register a button that you pressed.
Features and Performance
The Qanba Drone fightstick is fully compatible with PS3, PS4 and PC. Getting it to work on a PC does take a little bit of time and patience. However, we’ll get to that in the FAQs below. As for the modding, it is quite easy.
Honeycomb structure of the internal component makes for easy swapping of the buttons and the joystick. And should you want to replace the honeycomb artwork that comes with the stock version, you can do that too quite easily.
And lastly, there is also a little compartment where you can tuck away the cable and prevent unnecessary clutter. When using the Qanba Drone fight stick, you’ll find that this is quite an amazing catch.
For a reasonable price, the performance you get out of this fight stick is well worth the praise. It may not be the professional’s choice since it just does not have that tournament grade ooze about it.
However, for beginners and novice alike, the Qanba Drone is the perfect choice. Not only for learning your hand on a fight stick but for modding as well since Qanba Drone modding is quite easy.
Those who want the full arcade fight stick experience without having to spend too many big bucks, the Qanba Drone is the ideal pick. Due to the case itself not being too heavy since it is made of plastic, and the Drone lacking the weight required, it gives off an unsatisfactory feel that professionals are not into.
However, there is no doubt about it that you really get what you pay for with the Qanba Drone fight stick. This is an easy yes for beginners or even some veterans.
- Bang for buck performance
- Easily upgradable and moddable
- Qanba buttons and joystick are great for the price
- The case is plastic so it doesn’t have a lot of weight about it
- Running it on PC can be a bit of a drag since it requires additional work
2. Qanba Crystal Joystick for PC, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3
When looking for an arcade fighting stick or Joystick, an important factor is compatibility and portability. You can’t have separate fight sticks for each console that you may encounter in different tournaments. Not only is that not plausibly, it is also quite expensive.
The Qanba Crystal is a fighting stick that is easily going to leave its mark. Not only due to its 3-way compatibility but due to its performance and build. So, why does this fight stick deserve the spot of number two in this list? Read on to find out.
Build and Design
The Qanba Crystal arcade fight stick has a lot of real estate about and that is perfect. Its size, of course, does limit portability because it is difficult to carry this around. You’ll find the standard 8 buttons along with 7 additional buttons on the side.
Those additional buttons are for the stuff like PS Home, Start, Share etc. Like most Qanba sticks, this one has Qanba OEM buttons and joystick. Qanba OEM parts are not Sanwa grade in the sense that they are not as long lasting and responsive as them.
Despite being good enough to be used at high level gameplay, people still prefer Sanwa buttons and joysticks. Which brings us to the next point. Modding. The Qanba OEM buttons and joystick that come with the Qanba Crystal fight stick have LED functionality.
You can turn them on and they’ll emit lights which look really good. If you choose to go for Sanwa buttons, you will have to give up the LED functionality that comes with the stock version of this fight stick.
People who are familiar with what they are doing when modding sticks can find work around for that but beginners might have a tough time. As for the arrangement of the buttons, it also follows the Taito Vewlix layout which is pretty much what you can find everywhere.
And lastly, yes the Qanba Crystal does have additional buttons on its side which you can easily find. That includes a button for Tournament Mode as well.
Features and Performance
Qanba Crystal’s Qanba buttons are not really up to the standard of Sanwa buttons and joystick. Afterall, Sanwa has been in this business and has perfected their art. Qanba buttons are not bad per say, but they do resemble the feel and response of Sanwa buttons quite a bit.
But, Qanba arcade fight sticks do have a great reputation of working seamlessly for a long time. The Qanba buttons do feel a little spongy, especially if you are used to Sanwa buttons, but you can easily work your way with them.
At the top, you can find a touch panel that is integrated with Playstation titles and games. You can use it to navigate the menu or even play other games that will allow for such support. The Qanba Crystal is diverse that way.
I don’t think you’ll be spending a lot of time practicing your hand on games that aren’t arcade games on a fight stick.
But, the option is there should you want to avail it. This PS4 arcade controller looks really good as well and performs great, earning great performance and aesthetic points.
The Qanba Crystal arcade fight stick is a great controller that has both performance and looks. You can choose between three different modes of LED functionality. On top of that, it also has a magnetic handle and a USB cord compartment which really help with using this arcade fight stick for tournaments.
Thanks to the touch screen, this can be thought of as a PS4 arcade controller as well since it is quite versatile. It does seem a little pricey and for that, it would have been better had it been equipped with Sanwa buttons.
- Magnetic handle and USB cable compartment help in carrying this around
- LED functionality further adds on to the looks department of this fight stick
- Compatible with PC, PS4 and PS3
- Very low input lag and buttons are quite responsive for what they are
- Would have been better if it had Sanwa buttons for this price
3. Qanba Q1 Joystick For PS3 & PC (Fightstick)
For the last spot in our list, we have the Qanba Q1 arcade fight stick. The Qanba Carbon and the Qanba Q1 are actually pretty similar. In fact, the Carbon is an updated and newer model of the Q1. The Qanba Q1 is a very friendly priced arcade fight stick that is still viable. Qanba does not really cut a lot of things with the Q1. But, let’s dig in deeper.
Build and Design
The Qanba Q1 arcade fight stick is available in two different variants- black and white. The size of the Qanba Q1 is a compact one however, it is not small by any means. And boy does this fight stick look great. Even the default artwork is really soothing to look at.
In fact, there is enough space on the top panel for you to rest your hands while you play your game. The 8-buttons follow the Taito Vewlix layout so they’re centered somewhat around the middle. The material used is quite durable and feels like it can withstand rough use.
Qanba Q1 also has the traditional Qanba buttons and joystick. Given the price and the intended audience for this fight stick being mostly beginners and budget pickers, it gets things right.
Along with detachable table clamps, the Qanba Q1 also has PS Home, Share, Start and Turbo buttons on the top panel. Additionally, you can also find a little compartment to store the USB cable. Its smaller frame and compartment for storing the cable makes it quite easy to carry around.
Features and Performance
The Qanba buttons and joystick are far from being at the top of the market. However, they are going to be great for beginners. For those who are just starting out by using a fight stick for the first time, the Q1 is going to be a great choice.
It is compatible with PS3 and PC right out the box so you can have it up and going in no time. The 4ft USB cable might be a problem but you should be able to find a work around.
Modding the Q1 is quite easy as well. You simply need to unscrew a few screws and then pull out the case. However, there is one problem that becomes annoying. Since this was the older version of the Carbon, the PCB was not able to withstand long term use.
It does have a cheaper price tag than many and does not compromise on quality on a lot of departments. However, it does not have a very long lifetime.
The Q1 fight stick is a decent entry-level arcade joystick that beginners can really adore. It may not have very flagship features and components, but its ease of use, cheaper price tag and easy modding makes for a very pleasant experience for beginners and professionals alike.
- Comes with table clamps that can really stabilize this stick
- A great entry-level fight stick
- Size is not too small nor is it too big
- Qanba buttons are not the best for people who are looking to up their game
- Cable is quite short
4. Qanba Carbon Fighting Stick for PC and PlayStation 3 (Joystick)
When you think of a fight stick offering a versatile compatibility list, one thought probably never crosses your mind. Android. That’s not the case with the Qanba Carbon fight stick. This Qanba fight stick isn’t just for PC and PS3 but for Android phones as well.
Connect a converter to it, find a game that will work with this and you can use your Qanba Carbon fight stick on an Android device. But, that’s not the only highlight of this fight stick.
Build and Design
Despite having a cheap price tag, the Qanba Dragon doesn’t really take a lot of hits in terms of its design or looks. On the contrary, the stealthy black looks quite good and can go with just about anything.
Luckily, this fight stick does have sufficient weight about it that wins some points. In addition to that, this Qanba arcade stick also has table clamps on it. The clamps can help really secure the Qanba Carbon in position and you will not have to worry about it moving around too much. Clamps may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but the option to use it is there.
The Qanba Carbon follows the standard 8-button layout and so there aren’t any complaints there. The buttons and joystick are Qanba buttons. There is a problem with the joystick and that is that when you push it in one direction too hard, it gives off a clunky feel.
In addition to that, the Qanba buttons on this Qanba fight stick have a spongy feel about them. They do not feel as responsive as they should. Other than this, you can find all the additional buttons including Tournament Mode on the top section of this stick.
Features and Performance
Due to the joystick and buttons not being of a superior quality, the feeling of using this fight stick does feel a little tainted. For what the money is offering, the Qanba Carbon is a good catch. However, there are certain things that could have been improved.
Once you’re familiarized with the quality of Sanwa buttons and joystick and how responsive they are, the difference becomes quite visible. But, the fact still remains that this is a good joystick for casual gamers since it does give good value for money.
The Qanba Carbon is compatible with PC, PS3 and Android devices. This fight stick really shines when it comes to using it on PC. You can change the compatibility from D-input to Xinput as well, making its PC usage quite friendly.
Plus, the firmware updates are great too which is why the Qanba Carbon is the best arcade joystick for PC. However, the lack of PS4 support is quite disappointing. Had that been an option, this arcade fight stick could have earned a higher spot.
Lack of PS4 support and the spongy button feeling is a disappointing fact that you have to accept with the Qanba Carbon fight stick. This is a budgeted fight that is actually an upgraded model of the Qanba Q1 fight stick mentioned below. Its PC support and compatibility make it an excellent choice for those on a PC. However, there sure is room for improvement with this fight stick.
- Switch between D-input and Xinput on PC
- Stealthy black looks really aesthetically pleasing
- Table clamps should you want to use them
- Buttons feel spongy and the joystick also doesn’t feel as responsive
- Lacks PS4 and Xbox One support
5. Qanba Q4 Q4RAF Black Joystick For Xbox 360 & PC & PS3 (Fightstick)
In this list, the Qanba Q4 Q4RAF is among the more pricey fight sticks that you can find. However, for a high-end flagship arcade fight stick, it gets the job done really well. With Sanwa buttons and joystick, small size for portability, the Qanba Q4 Q4RAF is a great budgeted and high-end arcade joystick.
Build and Design
The first and foremost topic is the build quality and how the Qanba Q4 Q4RAF looks. The Mad Catz TE fight stick and the Qanba A4 Q4RAF look a little similar in terms of their frame. Much to my liking, the Qanba Q4 has a nice weight about it which is supported by a strong and durable frame.
However, the most important and distinguishing factor in an arcade fight stick is its buttons and of course, the joystick itself. Qanba Q4 Q4RAF has Sanwa buttons and joystick which is not very common in Qanba sticks since they usually use their own.
The Qanba Q4 Q4RAF has 8 Sanwa OSBF-30 buttons and a Sanwa JLF joystick. From all standards, the Sanwa buttons and joysticks have remained on the top of the arcade fight stick industry and market for a long time.
And they continue to do so. With tactile and very reactive responses, the Sanwa OSBF-30 buttons are as good as it gets. The buttons are positioned in the Taito Vewlix pattern which has remained to be an ergonomic choice. For games like Tekken or Street Fighter, the Taito Vewlix is preferred.
Features and Performance
When gaming on an arcade stick, once can sometimes get a little overwhelmed and end up pressing buttons that you may not want to. On the top panel, you can find a button that lets you switch on Tournament Mode.
When you have toggled on, the Qanba Q4 arcade stick prevents buttons like Start being registered. This is a very important feature to have as hitting Start and pausing the game during a tournament match can disqualify you.
For modding, you have to remove the plexi glass and sticker by unscrewing the screws and pulling it off. Once exposed, you can see that all the components are laid out pretty straightforwardly. Modding may not be a super cakewalk, but it is simple enough.
Although, you already have the Sanwa buttons and joystick so they should be good enough for even the most pickiest of gamers. As for how they perform, as exquisitely as ever. There is rarely going to be a case of the buttons sticking too much or not being registered. Sanwa buttons and joystick are designed to be able to withstand long term usage so you are really good to go.
The Qanba Q4 Q4RAF is a very excellent arcade fight stick that is designed to please everyone. It has Sanwa buttons and joystick and has easy modding capabilities. And the Taito Vewlix layout of the buttons not only makes it ergonomic, but makes it ideal for Street Fighter and Tekken games where there is different playstyle involved.
However, there is a downside to this and that is that it is only compatible with PC, Xbox 360 and PS3. If you want to use this PS3 fight stick on a PS4, you will have to use an external adapter.
- Sanwa OSBF-30 buttons and Sanwa JLF joystick
- A nice weight to it which assures that it can withstand long term use
- Features Tournament mode
- Modding is relatively easy and can be done by anyone
- Need to use an adapter to be able to play with a PS4 or Xbox One
Common FAQs About Qanba Drone
1. How to replace the buttons on a Qanba Drone?
When replacing the Qanba Drone buttons, you want to first unscrew and remove the screws at the bottom. Once done, pull apart the panels and the Drone should split up.
You should be able to see the PCB and the buttons along with the wires connecting them.When replacing the buttons, it is important to have ones that are compatible. Qanba Drone uses 30mm buttons so you’ll want to have those in hand.
Once you have unplugged the wires from the buttons, simply push them out and they’ll snap right out. In the cutouts, you will then push in the 30mm buttons on hand and they will snap right in. Next, all you need to do is plug the wires back and then attack the panel and screw it in place.
2. How to use Qanba Drone on PC?
While the Qanba Drone is compatible with PC, it can be a bit of a pain to have it be recognized on PC. Steam has updated their support for games like Street Fighter V so it shouldn’t be a problem.
If your Qanba Drone is still not being recognized then you will want to switch the Mode from the buttons on top. You can also reinstall your drivers for the arcade fight stick to resolve the issue of the Qanba Drone not being recognized, should you encounter this issue.
3. How to change Qanba Drone Controls?
Steam is now able to recognize arcade fight sticks as well. And you can see that the Qanba Drone has a Mode button that lets you switch between different input types. When using the Qanba Drone, switch it to PS4 and Steam will be able to recognize the Qanba Drone joystick as a PS4 controller.
That will let you remap the controls. If you do encounter problems despite this, go to Human Interface Devices in your Device Manager. From there, find the Qanba Drone joystick and disable the device while in PS4 mode.
4. How to use Qanba Drone on a Switch?
Switch has a pretty decent collection of arcade fighting games now as well, with more and more being added. Some Qanba joysticks, including the Drone joystick, are not directly or officially compatible with Nintendo Switch.
To use a PS3 or PS4 fightstick on Switch, you will need a PS4/PS3 to Switch converter. These things can be bought easily and are usually around $30-40. Simply connect the converter to the Qanba Drone and you’re good to go for using it on your Switch.
5. What laptop is compatible with Qanba Drone?
Same as a PC, laptops are also compatible with Qanba Drone joysticks. Provided you have the drivers, you can use your Qanba Drone or any other PC compatible arcade joystick on a laptop as well.
Having gone through this list, you should know by now which Qanba joystick is the best for you. All of these are great in their own way, but they are all pretty reasonably priced all things considered. When choosing one, you need to consider a few factors that can help you determine the right pick.
Factors like price, button type, modding, compatibility etc. If you want the edge in your arcade games, it is important that you pick the right one. Professionals and veterans who have been in this business for a long time are well aware of these factors. And they know how to measure them and determine which is going to suit them best.
Beginners can sometimes feel a little overwhelmed by all the factors that can end up coming into play. However, the fact also remains that you may not always pay attention to the most minute of details.
If you are just starting out your hand in arcade joysticks, you should look for a reasonably priced arcade fight stick. Sanwa buttons and joysticks are great and are the best of the best, but it can get expensive too.
So if you don’t have the money, going for a budget arcade joystick can be a great idea. Afterall, you can mod them and make them your own by adding your personal touch as well. Reading this list should help you decide which one to get and why to go for it. If you have further questions, feel free to let us know in the comments.