This fightstick has a bit of a legendary reputation, both figuratively and literally. Figuratively, its one of the priciest fightsticks you can get your hands on. Literally, it weighs 12 pounds and measures 20″ across – dwarfing any other fightstick you set beside it. You probably wouldn’t want the Qanba Dragon
The Qanba Dragon is Qanba’s first foray into the market of premium fightsticks. Retailing at $300, the only other fightstick competition with the Dragon is Hori’s RAP 4 Tekken 7 or VEWLIX. We were very excited going into this review, so let’s get started.
Aesthetics and Design
Being so massive, the Dragon is probably the most imposing fightstick we have played on. It doesn’t have any crazy designs or fancy art, but the sleek lines and metallic tones are pleasing to the eye. The color palate of the Dragon is silver, black, and red. The faceplate of the fightstick is made of a black, glossy plexiglass with black screw cover caps to create an uninterrupted smooth surface. A Qanba Dragon Logo sits quietly in on the bottom left of the plate. Flanking the fightstick are red LEDs.
On the top center of the Dragon is a small touchpad, a convenient add-on. Above that are your control buttons with you standard control options and sliders for switching between PS3, PS4, and PC.
All in all, we don’t think the Qanba Dragon is the prettiest stick, but it sure is the most imposing and impressive looking fighstick in recent memory.
Qanba might be a Chinese company, but its construction quality has always gone against the national stereotype of producing cheap knockoffs. The Dragon is no exception and feels like one of the most soundly built fightsticks on the market today.
At the back of the fightstick, there are two large metal studs for you to wrap the USB cable around when the stick is not in use or in transport. We think Qanba made a great choice in forging the messy and annoying way cables are usually stored on fighsticks – an interior compartment with a lid. The cable is braided and well built, so it’s won’t be an ugly sight being stowed on the exterior of the fight stick.
Pushing two latches under the front of the stick, you’ll be able to open up the stick to reveal the well labeled and neatly organized internals ready to be customized. The stick and buttons are encased in a clear plastic shell, which can be easily removed after removing one screw. Due to the large size of the stick, there is tons of volume inside the stick to store extra parts. The button wires are color coded and there is even a button map to make switching out parts pain and worry-free.
Fitted with all Sanwa parts, the Qanba dragon is an excellent performer by any metric, as you would expect after shelling out 300 dollars for a stock fightstick. The eight 30mm Sanwa Denshi OBSF-3 buttons are very responsive and the stock Sanwa joystick is just as good.
The Dragon also includes Turbo as a feature, meaning that pressing down continuously on a button allows you to rapid-fire (you won’t need to rapily spam the button anymore). You won’t be able to and shouldn’t use it a lot of times for obvious reasons, but the option is there for you on the Dragon.
On the bottom of the stick, there are two massive rubber traction pads which, in conjunction with the sheer mass of the stick, pretty much means the stick won’t ever be at risk of moving around and slipping when in use. Be as rough and as aggressive as you want with the joystick, cuz the Dragon won’t budge.
An issue that might affect performance is the placement and design of the command console. All the control buttons are confined to a small space, which might be good choice for aesthetics, but it might not be the most user-friendly design element during an intense gaming session.
There’s no doubt the Qanba Dragon is high-quality product designed with tournament gaming and modding in mind. Whether you should pick one up depends mostly on how much you value the unique features the Dragon provides in weighing the costs and benefits of the fightstick compared to its competitors.
Overall Score: 87/100