If you’re looking to get a starter fightstick for a PS4 or PS3, look no futher than the Qanba Drone. For a fraction of the cost of premium arcade sticks, the Qanba Drone delivers really good performance.
Aesthetics and Design
The Qanba Drone is entirely built out of hard black plastic. Printed on the top plate is a honeycomb-pattern-like design. There’s no way to customize the artwork so there’s not much you can do in terms of customized artwork — not that anyone would want to customize a $60 fightstick that much.
The stick measures 14″ x 6″ x 9.5″ inches and weighs in around three pounds, which is smaller than all the higher end fightsticks but still larger than many other budget fightsticks.
Qanba always does weird implementations of cable stowage. Instead of having a compartment inside the body of the fightstick to store the cables, there is a open compartment under the palm rest to store the cable: no annoying plastic door anymore!
On the top part of the stick are a strip of buttons including the standard PS4/PS3 switch, Share button, L3 button, Turbo button, PS button, Mode button, R3 button, Options button, and a lock switch. There is no touchpad, but that’s probably too much to expect from a fightstick at this price range.
There are rubber anti-slip pads underneath the stick, but they aren’t very big and the stick is not very heavy so don’t expect the Drone to anchor onto the surface like the big high end sticks do.
While most people who buy a $60 fightstick won’t be looking to mod it, the Qanba Drone is upgradable. While I would recommend that you to get a larger and better quality chassis to mod, replacing the proprietary components on the Drone with higher quality parts is not a terrible idea especially if you want a good performing fightstick for cheap.
However, generally this fightstick is not designed to be modded because it is so cheap. No matter how much you mod the Drone, you won’t be able to change it’s cheap build quality and inadequate size.
Get someone like the Qanba Obsidian or the Razer Panthera if you’re interesting modding.
The Drone is mainly a PS3/PS4 stick, but it is compatible with PC if you do a lot of needed calibration.
The Drone is cheap, but it is not a bad performer. The proprietary 30mm buttons and lever are noticeably inferior than parts on higher end fightsticks, but they work and serve their role. The buttons especially are pretty good for being so cheap, though the joystick isn’t that good.
Qanba has two other low-end fightsticks. They are the Q1 and Carbon. The Drone is a lot better than both of them. When the Drone was released initially, the MSRP was actually pretty high at $90. Today, you can get the Qanba Drone for under $60 and there’s not much reason to consider any other budget fightstick because they are far inferior to the Drone without being much cheaper.