GRS Super Joystick Review

GRS Super Joystick | Ikari Warriors Limited Edition
PriceThunderstick Studios
ReleaseSeptember 1, 2023
CompatibilityPC / RPi / Linux

International Edition

GRS Super Joystick | Ikari Warriors Limited Edition (International Ver)


Hear ye, hear ye! Thunderstick Studios AKA tsticks has acquired the international distribution rights to SNK’s GRS Super Joystick | Ikari Warriors Limited Edition. Games like SNK’s Ikari Warriors were trending in the 80’s, and that series made use of a rotary joystick, which you can utilize again with the GRS. Besides Linux, compatibility includes PC (including Steam) and the Raspberry Pi (including 3 & 4).


When it comes to the GRS, the star of the show is the joystick. You see, the joystick includes a push & pull spinner knob and an encoder that supports up to a dozen buttons. The rotating knob has the switchable modes of gamepad hat, keystroke, and mouse. The mode button blinks accordingly. The joystick supports three switchable rotational detents.

Admittedly, the practicality of a rotary joystick seems outdated by now, but the GRS still does the best that it can to function as one. However, does that mean that the GRS pulls it off perfectly? Well, your joystick may get stuck in one position or have a faulty spring, and in that (hopefully) rare situation, your best bet is probably to contact Thunderstick.

When it comes to the GoldLeaf buttons, they work well for arcade games, and their concave shape should make arcade veterans feel right at home. The buttons are made of PA6, which is a nylon plastic that is self-lubricating. They are conveniently 10 mm deep, and their actuation force is only 45 g due to the lack of a plunger spring.

You can use the GRS for other games too, including contemporary ones. The GRS not only recreates the gaming experience from back in the day but innovates as well. Its technology includes:

  • Software-defined joystick control key values
  • Hybrid USB protocols
  • Hall sensors

The TS-RJConfigurator is a special Windows x86 application designed for the GRS in order to customize functionality as well as provide an interface for firmware updates. The six key features include:

  1. Joystick orientation customization
  2. Keyboard mode customization
  3. Mouse movement customization
  4. Mouse mode adjustment
  5. Controller tester interface
  6. Firmware update

While the GRS is big enough for wrist resting space, it remains lighter than desired. That coupled with the lack of anti-slip feet can cause the GRS to slide around if you do not deliberately try to hold it in place during play, which can be a challenge as you move the rotary joystick about. DIY solutions could include taping weights inside the GRS and applying feet to its bottom.


The GRS comes in a rig box shaped as a control panel with drilled holes in hopes of allowing easy assembly of the GRS, especially due to the spacious interior. In reality, though, the inexperienced may struggle to put the GRS together without spending a few hours, trial & error, and potentially consulting the internet.

Not only do you have to be diligent when using the GRS due to its lightness and lack of feet, you also have to be careful not to damage the case as it is questionably made of cardboard.

In addition to cardboard being easy to damage, it can perish as well due to environmental elements and other causes, such as spilling coffee on it. Other than that, here is a list of what you should be receiving with your order of the GRS:

  • Joystick shaft, knob, base, and dust washer
  • Manual switchable joystick restrictor gates (2)
  • Switchable knob covers (3)
  • Knob caps (3)
  • Mounting spacer
  • GoldLeaf buttons (6)
  • GRS TOS 2-in-1 button
  • Harnesses (2)
  • USB cable
  • Allen key


The licensed Ikari Warriors artwork from the arcade cabinet does the source material justice. The joystick and buttons have a pleasant shadow of yellow to them. The degree text surrounding the joystick is a nicely added touch. The mode button, although it is there to serve you functionally, brings a bit of the arcade spirit as it flashes in accordance with your activity.

More about the art: the vegetation extends beyond the top of the GRS, but hopefully, the cardboard of your GRS won’t degrade in a way that diminishes its beauty.


The GRS Super Joystick fills in the rotary joystick market gap, and you should consider applying feet to its bottom.

  • Rotary joystick
  • Arcade-style buttons
  • Spacious interior
  • Authentic art
  • Made of cardboard
  • Can slide around
  • Tougher setup
  • Quality control



See Also

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