Rana Tadpole Review

Rana Tadpole
CompatibilityNS / GC / PS3 / PC
Dimensions7.1″ x 4.3″ x 0.5″

Large Edition

Rana Digital


The Rana Tadpole is a mini box controller for Super Smash Bros that sports the community’s favorite layout plus an extra button on the upper left. It is available in different colors for the case and buttons. When ordering from Tbox, you can use the discount code, THEARCADESTICK, to get 5% off.


With neutral SOCD cleaning and more consistent wavedashing, the Tadpole uses 3D-printed SLS nylon keycaps & Kailh GM 4.0 mouse micro switches that sound good and last a whopping 60 million presses.

The keycaps feel crisp & instantaneous, but they may stick and stay down. Because of the physical mouse click being off-center, it is best to press the keycaps as close to the middle as possible for the best experience.

You do get extra keycaps and rubber feet with the Tadpole, but tinkering with the Tadpole can be a hassle. Furthermore, the start button being above the down button may increase the likelihood of accidental pressing.

The Tadpole should not slide around during play, well, assuming you opt for an aluminum version, but there should not be an issue with a fully 3D-printed version as well, especially with the four rubber feet on. There is not much wrist resting space, but that is a mandatory sacrifice given how small the controller is.


The Tadpole runs on the Haybox firmware. It has a USB-C port, USB-C to GameCube cable, and USB C-to-A cable for PC. The cables are black and braided. Six bottom screws allow you access to the internals.

The Tadpole is slightly wider than a GameCube controller. The case is printed with an FDM printer, and it has a uniform matte finish. The chassis is made of CNC powder-coated aluminum. Furthermore, featured are:

  • Hand wiring
  • CNC ABS backplate
  • Gasket-mounted switch plates

With that, this is not the type of controller you can expect to mod, so you have to make sure you like the build from the get go. Moving on, there is a canvas zipper pouch for the Tadpole. There is also a limited run of a belt/pocket clip with a cable holder.


The Tadpole has a unique shape. Again, it can also come in different colors. The keycaps have a nice finish. The engraved foam pad of the bottom of the Tadpole has the text “The Tadpole” and “Rana Labs” with a tadpole mascot in between. There is an extra bottom panel you can engrave. If you can customize the art of the default bottom panel, you may be interested in our custom art service.


Rana Tadpole: Tiniest Smash Arcade Controller Ever? hitbox arcadestick fightstick supersmashbros

♬ original sound – The Arcade Stick – The Arcade Stick


Aside from sticky keycaps and accidental presses, the Tadpole’s unique shape & size make it stand out.

  • Color options
  • Unique shape
  • Smooth finish
  • Braided cables
  • Extra panel/keycaps/feet
  • Sticky keycaps
  • Accidental presses