Review by Kevin Steele
The XGaming Joystick
XGaming, creators of the X-Arcade, also sell the components they use in the X-Arcade console. The XGaming joystick is closely modeled after the Happs Super joystick: it shares many of the same specifications and is a dead-ringer in the looks department.
Interestingly, one of the main differences between the Happs Super and the XGaming joystick is the sound the joystick makes — the XGaming joystick's microswitches produce a unique "pinging" noise that I have not heard in any other microswitch.
All of the components in the XGaming joystick are custom-made for XGaming, and are all emblazoned with the XGaming logo.
Once again, the XGaming joystick is not difficult to install — you remove the shaft by popping off the "E" clip on the bottom, screw in the base, then reinsert the shaft. Like most of the other joysticks in this roundup, you can switch the joystick between 4- and 8-way operation by flipping a small plastic bushing on the bottom of the shaft. While it's not something you'd want to do on a daily basis, you can use these joysticks in a 4-way mode.
The XGaming joystick is a very light feeling joystick, even more than the Happ Controls Super joystick which it mimics. It is a fast, responsive joystick, with a very generous diagonal range (30°), which makes this joystick great for games that require diagonal movements, but not so great for use in games that need just 4-way movements.
There is very little difference in feel between the XGaming joystick and the Happs Super or Competition — the major difference is how they sound.
Sound and Size
Like all microswitch joysticks, there is a distinctive "clickiness" to the XGaming joystick. However, the clickiness is even more distinctive with this joystick — it almost "pings." This is a noisy joystick, almost musical in its "pinginess."
The Competition joystick is the yardstick by which I am judging the other joysticks, and the XGaming joystick is identical in size and mounting specifications. The only difference is the XGaming's handle shape (which is identical to the Happs Super).
The XGaming joystick is very similar to the Happs Competion and Super in terms of gameplay, the notable exception being the noise level.
The one distinctive gameplay aspect of the XGaming joystick was the diagonals. Diagonals were exceptionally "generous", with a 30° range, more than twice as wide a range as other joysticks I've tested. This is a double-edged sword — it makes it easier to hit diagonals, and a bit harder to hit straight directions.
The following chart lists the joystick test results, current as of this review. The chart will continue to fill in with data as the "Joystick Roundup" continues.
The XGaming joystick is a true bargain at $10.95 for two joysticks. Performance is good, and if you can get past the noise level, these are good performers with a lifetime guarantee.
Special thanks to XGaming for the joysticks used in this review.