While some of us in the younger generation may not have gotten to experience the arcade life, it’s undeniable that many of us long for it. And with the growing popularity of game consoles that you can use right at home, people are getting crafty.
When I was younger, our mother bought us a simple joystick controller that hooked right up to our TV and let us play games like Pac-Man and Mappy. One of my younger brothers, an artist with a penchant for vintage clothes and old games, has been consistently on the search for old game consoles and emulators since then.
For his birthday, all he wanted was Tetris for the SNES, a gaming console that he had hooked up to his computer to give him that Super Nintendo experience. His computer is his gaming space and has led him to reach the novice level in fighting games with the help of his other various hook-up controllers, including arcade joysticks.
For people like my brother, who enjoy that old school feel but must watch their budget, there’s a product out there for you. The Qanba Drone Arcade Joystick is the perfect way to get your start in the fighting game practice or to enter the fight without emptying your pockets.
The Qanba Drone is a compact controller compatible with the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, or PC. It features a sleek black look with a honeycomb design and authentic Qanba manufactured buttons and joystick. The product is licensed by Sony, has a cord storage compartment for on-the-go fighters, and a light but durable make for stable playing.
The console is currently priced at $75.00 on Amazon (with free shipping) but can also buy the controller from QanbaUSA.com for about $60.00. The low price and good quality make this perfect for those on a budget learning to get the hang of fighting controls.
The dimensions of the product are roughly 14 x 6 x 9.5 inches, making it the right size to play at your desk or the table. It shifts a bit in your lap, but if that doesn’t bother you too much, it can make a perfectly suitable lap controller also. The controller weight roughly 2.64 pounds, which is pretty light for its size.
Looking at it from right out the box, you would think it was at least a couple pounds heavier than it is in reality – which might be due in part to its glossy finish. It’s a fantastic size for the traveling player. I can be stowed away safely inside of a backpack (if you’re worried that your backpack might not be sturdy enough, Amazon sells backpacks specifically for carrying modern joystick controllers).
The Qanba features eight buttons and one joystick controller, each authentically made by Qanba themselves rather than being outsourced by a separate manufacturer. The buttons are comfortable to press and can easily be replaced if you should need to do so. The joystick, on the other hand, is a bit of an issue.
The joystick feels cheap in comparison to the rest of the controller and is a bit lose. Movements are triggered very easily, and the overall control of the game with the joystick isn’t easy.
Luckily, the joystick can also be replaced, albeit with more difficulty than the buttons. You don’t need an engineering degree or soldering talent to do so, though, just a 5-pin harness and a long enough attention span to get through a YouTube tutorial. For about $25, you can purchase a Sanwa JLF stick, which will fit right into your controller and give it a more comfortable feel.
Additionally, the controller features a tournament lock to prevent any accidents during your games.
As mentioned before, the Qanba Drone is compatible with PS3, PS4, and PC. The controller connects by USB cable and has both x-input and direct input drivers. A toggle switch on the top lets you switch between PS3 and PS4 compatibility with ease, but hooking the controller up to the PC takes a little more effort.
You may have to purchase an application to remap the buttons so that the control works correctly with the fighting game of your choice. While you’ll likely have to do this whenever you switch games, it’s worth the work if you’re a PC player without much experience on the PlayStation.
Some of the other extras that the Qanba Drone features are its cord carrying compartment, LED indicators, and it’s the anti-slip pad. The anti-slip pad is just as it sounds, a pad on the bottom of the controllers, which prevents it from sliding off your playing surface, which is why a desk or table is far sturdier than balancing the gadget on your lap.
The LED indicators are there for Turbo compatibility. Lastly, the cord compartment is there for storing your USB cord when you take the controller with you. The only downside is that the compartment is open and doesn’t shut the cable in, so make sure it’s tucked away in there well.
Also, if you order the controller off of Amazon, you’re guaranteed a one year manufacturer’s warranty.
The Qanba Drone is most suitable for beginners learning how to use joysticks for fighting games for the first time. It’s also a proper introductory tool for kids – think ten and older, but we all know that kids play games a lot younger than that – but isn’t a bad deal for professionals who need a backup controller on hand.
This controller e is overall quite good quality for its low price. It offers a decent amount of features, even if there’s a bit of workaround to get some of them to function correctly. With a bit of work, this controller can be upgraded, but to start out isn’t bad either. If you’ve got some money to spend but a budget to watch out for, and want to jump into learning your way around a joystick controller, the Qanba Drone is your ticket towards that education.