The Qanba Dragon is the Chinese manufacturer Qanba’s newest premium level fightstick. Since it’s launch in 2017, the Dragon has made a bit of a name for itself. Being nearly two feet across and weighing in at nearly twice as much as other high-end arcade sticks, it’s unweidling enormous — and epic.
The two main design elements of the Qanba Dragon are it’s massive metal frame and it’s glossy black plexi top. There’s no artwork on the fighstick, apart from the Qanba logo design on the bottom left of the top panel. The joystick base and balltop have a nice shiny chrome finish. The overall glossy finish of the fightstick gives it a very premium feel, but also makes it really susceptible to smudging so you’ll have it wipe it down a lot to keep it looking nice.
If you’re a fan of adding in artwork, you’ll have to remove the faceplate, which isn’t exactly that easily since the screws are covered by low-profile black caps.
When turned own, the sides of the fightstick light up with LEDs, adding a pretty nice touch.
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.
Build Features & Quality
If the Qanba Dragon isn’t the best overall fightstick, it almost certainly is the best built fightstick ever. There’s no question about how much effort Qanba put into making the Dragon the Rolls Royce of fightsticks.
Instead of having a compartment to store the cables in, the Qanba Dragon has a two metal pegs that come out from the back of the fightsticks for you to wrap your braided cable around, similar to what we see on a lot of vacuum cleaners. The Dragon certainly has enough interior space to facilitate cable storage, but we recon this is a far better solution since cramming your cable into a small compartment is a pretty big annoyance.
The Dragon is easily the most customization fightstick we have ever seen. Push two latches hidden under the front of the stick and the fightstick will open right up revealing it’s spacious interior. Qanba must have put a ton of effort into the interior, because it looks almost as good as the exterior design of the stick. The buttons and lever are carefully protected under a clear plastic cover, one that can be removed with a simple phillips head screwdriver. As with any high end fightstick, every component is neatly placed and color coded so there is no confusion when you are switching in parts.
The buttons and lever don’t take up that much space, so there’s a ton of storage space left inside the fightstick to store whatever you want in it.
Since there is so much real estate on the Qanba Dragon, they could’ve put the central command console buttons anywhere they wanted — top, bottom, left, right, or even the sides. Qanba decided to pack all the button into a small patch on the center of the top bar of the fightstick.
The touchpad is situated a very good location just below the buttons both in terms of functionality and aesthetics — it doesn’t look like a tumor plopped on a random part of the fightstick.
No matter how hard you tug on the Sanwa fightstick, the Dragon is not going to budge. The Dragon’s massive heft along with the two large rubber grip pads on the bottom of the fightstick chassis.
In terms of being a performance fightstick, the Qanba Dragon may very well be one of the best fightsticks we’ve ever tested. The quality of this piece of equipment is superb and you can’t ask for a better gaming performance than what the Dragon provides.
Like the Qanba Obsidian, the Dragon comes stock with your standard Sanwa components. It has eight OBSF-3 buttons and a JFL joystick with a square gate restrictor.
The Qanba Dragon sits in a category of it’s own in terms of its price and size. It’s super well-built and mod friendly, but it’s also $300 and the size of a house. Is the Dragon worth it?
If you like the features that the Qanba Dragon provides, it’s almost definitely worth it. If you just want a reliable fighstick with Sanwa components, just get the most reasonable Qanba Obsidian or Razer Panthera. If you want a big imposing fightstick to sit in your living room in all it’s glory, the Dragon is a great option because you definitely won’t be able to carry this beast to any competitions.