Arcade cabinet


Sanwa Denshi is headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. Sanwa parts have been the industry standard since the dawn of time. Top-of-the-line fightsticks usually come readily with Sanwa parts or at least boast about being Sanwa-compatible.

Oftentimes, fightstick enthusiasts do not mind fightsticks that are only lacking in the joystick and/or buttons department because they know that they can go with Sanwa parts instead. Some are even willing to buy a bad fightstick if they know they can switch its parts to Sanwa.


Sanwa joysticks are known for their flexibility and precision. Some joysticks are too flexible to the point of sacrificing precision, and the opposite is also true, but that is not the case with Sanwa.

A Sanwa joystick hits each edge as intended and snaps back into position after each input when let go of. Expect a smooth experience doing moves from Zangief’s spinning piledriver in Street Fighter to wavedashing in Tekken.


Sanwa buttons are responsive to the point that the slightest touch triggers them, but simply resting your fingers on them should not cause an accidental trigger. That is because of the genius travel distance implemented by Sanwa. Simultaneous button presses register well in addition to pianoing.

You can expect to use the same Sanwa buttons for up to a decade or even more before noticing that a button has possibly gotten lazy, so they are durable. Our favorite Sanwa fightstick is the Mayflash F500 Elite.