The Dragon Slay Arcade Fightstick is a worthy Sanwa fightstick from a relatively unknown brand. If you can get past the fiddly setup then this is a great alternative to the more pricey fighsticks on the market.
+ Attractive design
+ Good size and weight
+ Sanwa parts
+ Easy to mod
- Unknown brand
- Fiddly setup
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Like the Mayflash F500 and F300, the Dragon Slay Arcade Fightstick is a mid-tier universal fightstick that can be played on all major platforms.
Dragon Slay is a UK-based gaming accessories company and is relatively unknown in the space of fightsticks.
The Dragon Slay Arcade Fightstick is their first major fightstick and It boasts genuine Sanwa parts and the ability to easily customize the stick, as well as the universal feature. Price-wise it competes directly with the Mayflash F500 Elite.
The specs seem impressive on paper but how does the fightstick actually fair? Let’s find out in my review of the Dragon Slay Arcade Stick.
Unboxing and set up
The Dragon Slay is neatly packaged and well protected to prevent any unwanted knocks during shipping.
Apart from the fightstick and the standard manuals you also get a number of other contents. These include:
- 2 faceplate prints
- Micro USB Cable
- Sticker pack
- Hex screwdriver
Quite a lot of additional accessories I have to say. I mean apart from the Micro USB cable these aren’t really a necessity but it’s nice that they’re included at least.
As this is a universal fightstick it has the ability to connect to a number of platforms inlcuding PC/Android, PS4, Xbox One and Switch.
Setup is fairly simple if you follow the instructions and is similar to the Mayflash line of fightsticks.
On PC(Windows 64 Bit) for example, I just simply plugged in the stick via the built-in USB cable and it automatically started installing the required drivers and played the stick in XINPUT mode.
On PS4, I plugged the stick into the console and then plugged in a PS4 controller via the supplied micro USB micro-cable to the back of the stick.
Make sure to follow the instructions carefully as the PS4 controller has to be off before you connect and also you have the press the ‘switch’ button in order for it to sync up properly. If you follow the instruction in the letter you should have no problems.
You could also use Mayflash magicboots in order to get rid of the fiddly setup and just plug in and play without connecting to another controller.
The design and feel of the fightstick
At first glance the design is impressive. At certain angles, It looks similar to the Madcatz TE2 Fightstick which was a beautiful design in its own right.
At about 16 inches in width, it’s a decent size but not overly so and is about right for this kind of stick. In addition, it weighs about 3.5kg which is a little bit hefty but at the same time, it feels strong and durable.
The artwork that comes with the stick is cool. You also have the option of adding more artwork with additional faceplates that come with the stick (more on that in the next section).
As I mentioned the fightstick comes with 2 additional faceplates which are nice but ideally you’ll want to put in your own artwork and this is actually rather easy to do.
Using the included hex screwdriver you just have to remove 6 screws to get the top panel off and then replace the artwork paper as needed.
Dragon Slay have even gone to the trouble of supplying a design template to use for your custom artwork. You can download it here from the website.
Replacing the buttons is also fairly easy. Again, using the hex screwdriver, just remove the screws from the button and you’ll get access to the inside of the stick. From here, you can go ahead and swap the buttons and also the ball-top if needed.
Somewhat Disappointing, removing the actual joystick plate is more difficult due to the fact that the PCB connectors are glued on.
I know some people might not like this but personally, I don’t really have an issue as I’m happy with the Sanwa Denshi joystick.
As I’ve already mentioned I would also get a Mayflash Magicboots adaptor so that you don’t have to mess around with connecting to a controller first. You can get these from Amazon here.
What does it feel like to play?
Firstly, because the stick is sloped downwards, it means that it’s really comfortable to hold and play for longer sessions.
In addition, I like the size and weight of this stick. It feels quite sturdy in my lap which is where I prefer to play. One complaint I have, however, is that the non-slip legs on the bottom of the stick are really sufficient enough to stop it from slipping, which it has on a few occasions.
It would have been better if there was a larger anti-slip surface on the bottom.
The Sanwa-Denshi buttons are actual official Japanese Sanwa buttons. I was a little afraid that they would be a knock-off considering I’ve never heard of this brand but they are quite good. The feel of the buttons is almost identical to some of the more expensive Sanwa stick out there.
The joystick is rather responsive too which is good.
One thing I don’t like – which I guess is the same issue with Mayflash F300 and F500 – is the fiddly setup. It can become a bit cumbersome to constantly have to connect to another controller and then have all these wires out which becomes a mess.
In addition, I’ve had some issues where the controller will just disconnect mid-game. Fortunately, this has only happened a couple of times in the 30+ hours that I’ve used the stick so it’s not that big of an issue.
Still, I feel as though this is due to the setup of the stick rather than the stick itself.
- Attractive design
- Good size and weight
- Universal fightstick
- Sanwa Denshi parts
- Comfortable to hold
- Easy to mod
- Easy to change the artwork
- Large storage space for cable
- Lots of additional accessories included
- Unknown brand
- Fiddly setup
- Difficult to change joystick
The Dragon Slay Arcade Fightstick is a worthy Sanwa fightstick from a relatively unknown brand. If you can get past the fiddly setup then this is a great alternative to the more pricey fight sticks.