Not all joysticks are created equal. It is always true in the case of hardware and equipment. The disparity between the low, mid, and high-end top-of-the-line technology is quite prominent in the gaming industry. You can generally gauge the number of features you will receive by assessing the price associated with hardware. The pricier tech will always have more features and better performance than the less expensive equipment.
The Qanba Dragon Joystick is one of the tops of the line, arcade stick, or fight stick as they are commonly referred to as. The gaming industry always puts focus on new and high-end products. For those of us who pursue total perfection in our gaming experience or for those of us that are always willing to experiment with new tech, the Qanba Dragon arcade stick brings with it new possibilities along with satisfying features.
This enthusiast level product has excited us with its possibilities for a while now. The Qanba Dragon has been one of the main ruling forces in the market for a few years. We aim to look at some of why that is the case.
Unboxing of Qanba Dragon
The Qanba Dragon joystick comes in a standard PS4 themed box with a blue-accented color scheme. The entire box includes PS4 themes, product logos, specifications, and other advertisements. The top slides off, and afterward, the box opens like window doors, upon which you are greeted with the user manual and the Qanba Dragon resting in protective foam.
The fight stick comes with reasonably standard packaging, nothing out of the ordinary here. Consequently, the joystick itself was well encircled by protective foam separately. This thoughtfulness was a nice touch which we appreciated. We would have liked some extra goodies considering we paid a premium for this product, maybe if the cable was detachable. Especially if we got some different buttons or even some stickers, this would have indeed been great. Any accessories could and probably should have been included, as this is a big buy.
The first thing that everyone will notice regarding the Qanba Dragon joystick is that it is a big boy. It is one of the largest, if not the largest, arcade sticks out in the market today. The fight stick weighs about 11.6 lbs. and measures 20″ x 12.5″ x 5″ (all in inches). It comes with a braided wired USB cable that can wrap around two shiny posts at the back of the Qanba Dragon. The Qanba Dragon joystick feels top class, but it also feels highly durable and sturdy. The moment you pick it up, you will feel its presence, literally. Most of the design concept is black and silver with some red accents. You get a complete line of eight Sanwa OBSF- 30 buttons. Along with the buttons, you get a shiny, critically acclaimed JSF joystick with a square gate.
The joystick sports a chrome ball at the top, adding to the appeal and class of the product. The buttons are 30mm and are of the highest quality in the market. The top area of the joystick is covered with a black shiny pixel glass sheet, and at the very top, you will see the LED panel. The screw holes of the pixel sheet are also covered so that they don’t stand out. There are also LED lighting effects on the sides of the joystick. The unnecessary or seldom-used settings buttons are located at the center or the LED panel at the top.
These can control lighting effects, game functions, and various other aspects. The base of the Qanba Dragon is made out of metal, but the big thing to notice here is that it sports two large rubber anti-slip mats. It enables the large joystick to stick to its position on a table during intense gaming sessions. The frame of the joystick is made of high-grade aluminum.
All of this makes this not only feel and look high class but also enables the Qanba Dragon arcade stick to dwarf all other joysticks you may have seen. There is also a 3.55mm headphone jack at the front near the bottom. The Qanba logo is situated at the bottom of the black pixel glass sheet, covering most areas. Underneath the LED panel, you can find a touchpad. You can use this touchpad to control the Consoles.
Quite possibly, the best feature of the Qanba Dragon joystick is that it is very easily adjustable. The device can be modded incredibly easily by just flipping open the joystick. It can be opened with one move, after which you will be greeted by all the buttons and the joystick in a transparent plastic container. You can open the container to remove or replace buttons or the joystick itself quite quickly.
One particular thing to notice about this is that such modification does not void the product’s warranty as you work around anything that could do so. Secondly, the cable management of the buttons is done remarkably. No extra cable is left dangling from the buttons. You can swap buttons quickly at any time with one motion. Space here is large enough to store your extra buttons, headphones, or snacks. It is elegant indeed. We liked the storage or modding area because the base was covered with what Qanba calls the aluminum dragon scale interior. What this interior does is that it saves anything you put inside from damage.
All in all, we liked what we got here. It is a well-made machine, designed to match the price tag of about 300$ that it comes with. It is eye-catching and stunning in all aspects. The designers gave thought to most of what you see on the joystick. Everything was done with some intentions behind it. It was deliberately made to be significant. The Braided cable gives a very premium feel. Some people may have liked a compartment for the USB cable instead of wrapping the cable. Some may even like the cable to be detachable to enable portability and quick replacement of a worn-out cable.
Shifting unnecessary buttons towards the top and out of the way is also a good improvement. You don’t want them getting in your way when you are gaming. However, this is probably not a portable joystick considering its large dimensions and about 5 kg of weight. Realistically you won’t like to carry something this heavy or oversized, even if you can find a bag big enough. Perhaps more rubber padding could have been added as this is a large joystick and can sometimes slip on slippery surfaces. The availability of modding is also effortless in the Qanba Dragon arcade sticks for arcade cabinet machines, as explained above.
Features and Modding
The PS3 and PS4 support the Qanba Dragon Joystick, but it also works flawlessly with a PC. The PlayStation consoles can quickly identify the product upon plugging in, and once you install its drivers, it will run seamlessly on PC. Via the buttons on the LED panel, you can switch between PS3, PS4, and PC modes; you can also turn the LEDs off or on. Share option, settings button, and L3, R3 buttons are also situated simultaneously. The turbo feature is also available and can be turned on via its button. With this, you can do big combos and button-mashing without too many hassles and play more effectively.
The Qanba Dragon does not come with built-in games but is compatible with games on other platforms like PS3, PS4, and PC. The importance of an audio jack cannot be overstated; you can plug your headset in the 3.5mm jack on the Qanba Dragon instead of the game platform. You can enjoy online communication in any game without getting a larger wire or having to resolve to less optimal means anymore.
Speaking of headphones, they can be stored in a massive compartment under the Qanba Dragon joystick. It is perhaps the best feature in this particular model. You can easily access the button and joystick chamber, protected by a plastic cover. Remove the plastic cover easily, swap the buttons or even the joystick to whatever kind you want, and put it back.
The cover protects the already installed equipment from damage, and it allows you to store additional buttons or anything else you want without worrying about damage. You can also mod its pixel glass sheet simply by removing it and replacing it with one of your own choices. However, it is a personal choice; it can also be challenging. Adding buttons or joysticks of your choice has never been easier. Now you can add led buttons or your preferred buttons at your leisure.
Performance of Qanba Dragon Joystick
You get what you pay for with the Qanba Dragon, and since you are paying the premium highest amount for one of the most expensive arcade joysticks around, the performance you are getting is also tailored to match that fact. The machine offers perfect pro-level responsiveness. The Sanwa buttons are very effective and provide the proper pushing down or pressing effect.
One of the reasons people buy such products is for a more hands-on or physical approach to gaming. It delivers a hundred percent on that front as you get the appropriate response from the button presses and the joystick movement. Games like Streetfighter and Tekken 7 worked exceptionally well, there was no noticeable input lag, and the use of the Qanba Dragon felt rewarding. Old arcade fighting games such as King of fighters also delivered the appropriate results. The JSF Joystick and the Sanwa OBSF-30 buttons ensure that what you get is the best in performance and equipment durability. The world’s best tech goes into making this the excellent arcade stick that it is.
Size of Qanba Dragon
Although we loved the large size of the Qanba Dragon, we believe it might just be too big for some people. It might also not be feasible for some people to use this heavy device for long gaming sessions on their lap; remember, it does weigh about 5 kg or 11.6 lbs. to be exact. A table might be required in such a case. No matter what games we tried, we did not lack any move execution. The joystick was also fantastic to use. There are no issues in this regard; the Qanba Dragon is almost too good to be true.
Qanba Dragon vs. Qanba Obsidian
Naturally, you will end up comparing this joystick with the Qanba Obsidian. Not only are they from the same manufacturer, but they also offer similar specs both in platforms supported and their size. You can think of the Obsidian as the predecessor to the Qanba Dragon. The Qanba Dragon is 20 x 12.5 x 5 inch and the Qanba Obsidian is 18.1 x 10.2 x 4.7 inch. So, it can be seen that the Qanba Dragon is much larger in all dimensions. The Qanba dragon is also significantly heavier than the Qanba Obsidian, and there is about a 5 lbs. difference between their weights. There is an obvious difference in the shape as well.
The Obsidian offers a more simplistic box-like shape, while the Qanba Dragon is a sleek, mean, and stunning machine. The most significant difference is in the individual price of the two products. The Qanba Dragon is about 100$ more expensive than the Qanba Obsidian, priced at close to 200$. The Qanba Obsidian might be more portable, though, only because it weighs less than the Qanba Dragon. The Qanba obsidian arcade stick and the Dragon are both straightforward to customize. The Dragon, however, takes customize-ability to another level due to its one-touch access to the storage panel, which contains access to the buttons, etc. Lastly, the Obsidian has a longer USB cable than the Qanba Dragon. The cable of the Obsidian is 8.8” whereas the Dragon is at 8.5“.
Top-of-the-line Sanwa Denshi buttons also add to the higher value of the Qanba Dragon. The Dragon looks more stylish and modern and offers better customizing abilities; it also delivers a better satisfying gaming experience with better Sanwa products installed.
- Easy Modding
- 3 mm Audio jack
- Sanwa Denshi OBSF-30 buttons
- Storage possibilities
- Quite Expensive
- Limited portability due to size and weight
The Qanba Dragon is an all-around top-of-the-line product that offers prominent fight sticks. It introduces new features such as the compartment and the easy modification ability. While this is an expensive product, we feel that its price is reflected correctly in its kind of product. The buttons are 30mm, and all eight buttons are top-of-the-line Sanwa products. The buttons are incredibly satisfying to use and press, the joystick feels sublime and works to expected efficiency levels. The product is durable, looks stunning, and cannot find any real direct issues.
The only drawback would be that the Qanba Dragon is not realistically portable. You would probably not want to travel to tournaments with a 12 lbs. arcade stick holding you down. It is big and heavy, so it is best suited to home use. If you have the bank to spend, you go for the Qanba Dragon. Keep in mind its lack of portability. It is better than the Qanba Obsidian.
If you can afford to spend that much more for the Dragon, you should. If you are not interested in regular modding, storage space, or other specific differential features on the Qanba Dragon, you can switch towards the Qanba Obsidian. If you go after the very top-of-the-line, high end and the most premium products, then the stellar Qanba Dragon is the one for you.
We believe the Qanba Dragon is the flag bearer of this particular industry area as far as joysticks go. There is no real equal; it is a beast that offers extremely pleasing visuals and perfect performance. It holds features that are second to none, and its performance is exemplary. The Qanba Dragon is one of the best, if not the best, and will continue to be so for years to come.