X-Arcade Tankstick Arcade Controller Review

Posted: Aug 30 2007, 12:00am CDT | by , Updated: Aug 10 2010, 9:14am CDT, in Reviews | Peripheral


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Features & Specifications
If you wonder why they call this controller the Tankstick, you won’t when you see it in person the first time. The thing is huge and it’s so well built it would take a Javelin missile to break the thing, that’s an anti-tank missile, hence Tankstick. I’m sure X-Arcade had a different reason for calling the beast the Tankstick, but my reasoning is perfectly plausible. The X-Arcade Tankstick is also backed by a lifetime warranty; if it ever breaks they will fix it and cover the shipping charges.

The X-Arcade Tankstick looks so much like the arcade controllers of my youth that they could have pried it right off Pac Man, the only difference is the Tankstick has more buttons and controls. Dual joysticks allow for two player action or you can use both joysticks for games like Smash TV, which is fantastic for realism.

In addition to the dual joysticks there are the one and two player buttons along with eight buttons arrayed near each joystick and a trackball that feels like it came right out of a Millipede game. There are also pair of buttons on each side of the Tankstick that are ideally suited for flippers if you are into pinball games.

I mentioned before that the X-Arcade Tankstick is large; it measures in at 30-inches across and weighs 20 pounds. You won’t want this thing sitting in your lap while you play. The Tankstick connects to your PC or Mac via USB and you can buy adapters that allow you to connect it to virtually all game consoles available.

When connected to a PC the track ball acts like a three buttons mouse and you can map any keyboard key to any button on the controller. This is without a doubt the best controller for your MAME collection around. X-Arcade also includes 18 full version arcade games like Smash TV and many more arcade classics.

Installation & Gaming
Installing the X-Arcade Tankstick is a snap on your PC, you plug it in, and that’s it. No drivers are required to use the X-Arcade Tankstick. The Tankstick requires two USB ports, one runs the trackball and the other is for the joysticks and buttons.

Once I had the Tankstick connected to my PC, I installed the arcade games from Atari and Midway and did some playing. One of my favorite arcade games form my youth is Smash TV. Playing Smash TV on the X-Arcade Tankstick is just like playing it in the arcade. The dual joysticks have fantastic accuracy and feel.

Missile Command was one of my favorite Atari games and I spent many an hour playing it in the arcade and at home on the Atari. The trackball used in the X-Arcade Tankstick feels just exactly like the one on the arcade version of the Missile Command game. It is weighted the same, rolls smoothly and is very accurate. The trackball also brings back memories while playing Millipede and Tempest.

If old school arcade games aren’t your cup of tea, you can play any current PC or console game with the X-Arcade Tankstick as well. Fighting games like Virtua Fighter are especially fun to play with the X-Arcade Tankstick.




  • Fantastic build quality
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Tons of buttons


  • Large size

If you are a hardcore MAME gamer, there is simply no better controller on the market than the X-Arcade Tankstick. If you are a console gamer into fighting games, the X-Arcade Tankstick is for you too. This heavy-duty arcade controller is built to last a lifetime and could well be the last joystick you need to buy. The X-Arcade Tankstick is easily the best arcade controller around.


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The Author

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/3" rel="author">Shane McGlaun</a>
Leading our review center, Shane McGlaun (Google) knows technology inside out. His extensive experience in testing computer hardware and consumer electronics enable him to effectively qualify new products and trends. If you want us review your product, please contact Shane.
Shane can be contacted directly at shane@i4u.com.




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