Nacon are a specialist hardware gaming company that makes gaming accessories and controllers.
The Nacon Daija fightstick (Amazon) is their first official fightstick and what an impression they made! The Daija is one of the best fightsticks I’ve had the pleasure of using.
This is no surprise as it was built in collaboration with Kayane, a prominent pro player in Soul Calibur and other fighting games.
In this review, I’m going to break down what makes the Daija so special as a premium fightstick.
Unboxing and set up – what’s in the box and how to set it up
Like with other premium fightsticks, such as the Razer Panthera, unboxing the stick feels like an event with the nice packaging. But I appreciate how Nacon go the extra mile. For instance, included in the box is an extra piece of artwork so you can change the cover of the stick straight away. In addition, the stick was packaged in a nice polyester bag which added to the fact that this is indeed a premium fightstick.
Setting up is a breeze, just simply use the switch on the side to assign the stick to the correct platform, which will either be PS3, PS4, or PC. On PC, it should download the necessary drivers and you should be good to go.
The design and feel of the fightstick
At 8 pounds (3.7kg) it’s a fairly heavy stick. This is probably due to the metal plate at the bottom of the stick. Although not as heavy as the Qanba Dragon (that’s a different beast altogether), it still feels quite solid and isn’t going anywhere on the lap or table.
The actual size of the Daija is probably comparable to the original Razer Panthera, which was also a fairly large fightstick.
The design is quite similar too. It has a sort of, rectangular boxy shape. It’s chunky and thick. Whilst not pleasing aesthetically, it’s certainly comfortable to hold, and easy on the wrists.
The rest of the fightsticks is made of solid plastic. Along the top, you have a thick textured panel that can easily be removed (more on that later) and on the back, a nice matte black finish.
Overall, the stick has a very clean design, and the solid base adds to its premium feel.
This is where the Daija really shines. Opening the fightstick is as simple as pushing the two buttons on either side of the stick. This will pop open the top and allow you to access the inside. This is also similar to the Razer Panthera and Madcatz TE2+ fightsticks.
On the inside, you can easily swap out the buttons and joystick. Nacon even has a screwdriver and tools included inside the stick, so you can get modding straight away.
In addition, there’s also a bat top joystick included which you can swap out for the ball top.
My only gripe is changing the actual joystick lever itself isn’t a piece of cake. Also, you’ll find it very difficult putting in anything other than a Sanwa JLF lever joystick. Semitsu joystick lovers will, therefore, be disappointed.
Finally, you can easily swap out the artwork. Just simply unscrew the top panel using the included screwdriver, and swap it out with your desired artwork. That’s it.
Overall, apart from the small nitpick about the joystick lever, the Daija pretty much gets top marks for modding.
What does it feel like to play?
The Daija also gets top marks for performance. No surprise really with genuine Sanwa parts. It’s pretty much expected on a premium fightstick these days.
I have seen some people online mention a little bit of input lag on this stick. I believe Nacon has recently patched this. Playing Tekken 7 and DBZ FighterZ with this stick, I didn’t notice any lag, however. In fact, the performance was on par with some of the best fightsticks on the market.
The main function buttons like the PS button, Share button, etc, are on the right side of the stick. I have to say, the placement of the buttons took some getting used to. Initially, I had to look at what button I was pressing every time, which was a little annoying. After a while, however, I got used to it. Although I would have preferred the function buttons to be on the face of the stick, it’s not a big deal.
I play all my fightsticks on my lap, and the Daija was no exception. Even though it’s quite a chunky stick, I still found it comfortable to hold. Besides, because of its size, it’s more likely to withstand a lot more punishment. Not that I mistreat my fightsticks, but say I drop it accidentally, I can rest assured that it won’t break.
There is some anti-slip padding at the bottom of the stick, so no matter how crazy I got, it still wouldn’t fall off, which is good. I imagine it would be similar on a flat surface.
Finally, the Daija has some additional extras like a headphone jack and a cool LED strip across the top of the panel, which acts the same as the one on a PS4 controller. It’s something that they didn’t have to add but it’s a cool feature nonetheless. It also has quite a spacious storage compartment for the wires, which is nice.
- Solid and sturdy size
- Clean looking design
- Comfortable to hold
- Sanwa joystick and buttons
- Very easy to mod
- Can easily swap out artwork
- Performance is excellent
- Headphone jack
- Spacious internal storage for wires
- Hefty size for some
- Difficult to swap out lever for something other than Sanwa
It’s hard to fault the Nacon Daija. It pretty much ticks all the boxes in a premium fightstick. Yes it’s big and the fact that you can’t easily swap out the lever for anything other than Sanwa might put off some, but these are minor issues.
Honestly, this is one of the best fightsticks on the market.