Mayflash F500 Review: Universal Fightstick

Mayflash F500 Review
OVERALL VERDICT
The Mayflash F500 is an excellent beginner fightstick that isn’t too expensive and can easily be customized.
PROS
+ Excellent value for money
+ Customizing fightstick is a breeze
+ Universal Fightstick

CONS
- Parts are non-Sanwa
- Buttons feel slightly mushy


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The Mayflash F500 is the bigger brother to the Mayflash F300. I’ve already reviewed the Mayflash F300 and found it to be a competent and reasonable entry-level fightstick.

The F500 is more expensive than the F300. The price is justified, however. Not only is it better than the F300 but it’s arguably better value than fightsticks that are twice the price!

Read on to find out why.

Unboxing and set up

Included in the box is what you would expect: the fightstick, manual, micro USB cable and interestingly an octagonal plate. I find it a bit strange that the additional plate isn’t really mentioned in the product description, but whatever; it definitely was a nice surprise.

Swapping out the plate on the joystick was pretty simple, it took about 10 mins.

For the uninitiated, the Mayflash F500 has a square gate joystick by default so an octagonal plate changes that. It just means that the joystick feels different. For some, this is ideal because it’s probably what they’re used to playing in the arcades. For others, it will be strange and they will want to stick with a square gate.

The rest of the setup is pretty similar to the Mayflash F300. On console, you connect the micro USB cable to the controller and then connect it to the fightstick which is connected to the console. On PC you can connect natively. Make sure to put it in the right mode for the appropriate platform using the switch in the top left corner.

For the Xbox 360, you have to connect to a wired controller.

I already mentioned in my F300 review that this setup is a bit awkward and fiddly at first which is no different here. The extra wires can get a bit messy and I don’t appreciate having to do this every time I want to play.  

The design and feel of the fightstick

I actually like the design of the fightstick. It’s not as plain as the F300 and has a nice ‘cracked’ design which looks kind of cool. If you don’t like the design however, customizing the stick with your own artwork is very simple. In fact, its even more simple than the F300.

The Mayflash F500 has acrylic plexiglass which makes it easy to remove the old design and put in your own custom artwork. A very nice feature indeed.

Of course, this fightstick is bigger than the F300 which is a welcome plus. It’s also better quality as well. At the top and bottom, you have two metal plates. This makes it feel more secure and heavy.

I also like the fact that there’s a small compartment built into the stick to store the USB cable when not in use. This is something that you only really see on more expensive Fighsticks so it’s a nice little addition.

What does it feel like to play?

Mayflash F500
Mayflash F500

I think the appropriate phrase would be good but not great. Like the F300 the Mayflash F500 has third-party parts meaning the joystick and buttons are not Sanwa. The buttons, therefore, feel quite mushy and loud when playing.

This isn’t too big of an issue however as I think it plays good enough, especially for the beginner or casual player. The response times are fairly good, better than the F300 that’s for sure and they are slightly better quality.

Besides, swapping the buttons is a breeze. There are just 6 screws on the bottom panel that need to be removed followed by 4 smaller Philip screws. Even a beginner could easily customize this fightstick to their liking. Adding Sanwa buttons and joystick will make this stick a beast!

I also like the fact that it has a headphone jack, something which the F300 lacks. It’s not a game-changer for wireless headset users but it’s definitely a nice to have.

I already mentioned this sticks universal feature and it’s definitely quite useful. I tested this on a friends Nintendo Switch and Xbox One and, it worked great.

The only issue is using this fightstick in tournaments. The setup is a bit awkward and I would hate carrying around an extra controller just to play. Therefore it’s difficult to recommend this is a tournament-worthy stick.  

The Good

  • Excellent value for money
  • Bigger and better quality than the Mayflash F300
  • Headphone Jack
  • Customizing fightstick is a breeze
  • Octagonal plate included
  • Universal Fightstick

The Bad

  • Parts are Non-Sanwa
  • Buttons feel slightly mushy
  • Setup is awkward

Overall Verdict of the Mayflash F500

The Mayflash F500 beat my expectations and is an excellent beginner fightstick that isn’t too expensive and can easily be customized.

Mayflash F500

8.1

Design

8.0/10

Performance

7.5/10

Modding

8.5/10

Value for money

8.5/10

7 Comments

  1. Thanks for the review. I am curious about input lag. Your review says response is fairly good, better than the F300. Was this related just to the buttons? I have a 55ms lag TV so I really want to get the lowest lag stick I can. It is my first one though. Debating do I build one, is a Brook UFB worth it for the low input lag and compatibility (basically over a hundred for the pcb and wires), or do I buy a F500 or Hori RAP4 Kai Blue (would have to get an adapter if I ever play on an Xbox). The idea of diy is appealing because I can easily change the layout and upgrade the case to a whole different style If I want. Does the f500 audio work on PC? Really wish that reviews covered using the sticks features on PCs more.

    So how is the lag? Is it comfortable to put in your lap?

    1. Hi Matthew,

      The F500 and F300 and supposed to be identical in terms of reponse time as they share the same PCB and buttons. The only real difference is the F500 feels heavier and better quality- probably due to metal plates added to the F500.

      In terms of the response times that I felt; it was definately better on the F500 for some reason although I couldn’t exactly why that is the case. As mentioned, on paper they’re supposed to share the same parts apart from the case.

      The F500 is defiantely more mod-friendly thought and if that’s important to you then I’d say go for the F500. Although, if I were to choose between the F500 and HORI Rap 4 then, in terms of input lag, the HORI sticks are noticably quicker so I would go for the RAP 4.

      Apologies about not covering the PC more. I’ll be honest I play most of my fighting games on console, but I recently got a new gaming PC and will be playing more on that platform. In terms of the Audio, I had no issues with the F500.

      Thanks for your comment and apologies for the late reply.

  2. I forgot to mention they sell small “MagicBoots” usb devices you can use in lieu of a controller. On amazon the PS4 version is $27 and the Xbox One version is $23, both with shipping included for amazon prime.

    Hope that helps!

    1. Thanks for your comment.

      As far as I’m aware the Carbon only works on the PS3/PC.

      The Mayflash F500 is definitely a good choice as a budget stick and you upgrade it quite easily. There’s also the Qanba Drone which is another good alternative.

      Check out my post on best budget sticks if you’re still unsure –

  3. Thank you so much for the review i really like this arcade stick but i would like to konw wich is better this one or the Dragon Slay?

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