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Arcade Stick for PC that works well?

MalVeauX

Senior member
Dec 19, 2008
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149
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Hi all,

Anyone have experience with a good arcade joystick and button platform? I see all these DIY things and are mostly for emulators and what not. Would be nice if it also works for PC games like some platformers or something on Steam games? Any options that are decent? I see a few for $40 and that's totally fine, just have no idea if they really work well and feel good (to an 80's arcade kid's hands!) smashing them down or if they require a bunch of customization and mapping and other stuff that I'd rather not have to fool with over and over.

Any experience?

Very best,
 

Dranoche

Senior member
Jul 6, 2009
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91
If you want that old American arcade feel you're probably going to have to assemble from scratch. There are plenty of suppliers that sell cases, control boards, sticks, and buttons. The hardest part for an American style setup will be finding the case, the rest is pretty readily available. Happ (American style) sticks will be about $15 and buttons $2 each. If you only care about plugging into a PC then you can probably find a control board for about $25. The case is problematic, mostly because of the stick. You might be able to get the buttons to work in some available cases, but the stick fitment will be a problem. I don't know of anybody who sells cases ready made to fit Happ sticks.

Most readily available sticks (Mad Catz, Hori, Qanba) use Japanese parts, a couple other high end brands use Korean style parts. The Korean parts will generally swap with the Japanese parts without issue. American style parts won't.

For the most part American arcade machines have bat-top sticks with heavier springs and somewhat soft-clicking switches, and the buttons are slightly smaller, convex, have higher spring resistance, higher travel, and usually click. The Japanese sticks have light springs, clicky switches, and ball tops and the buttons are larger, convex, require low force, usually have lower travel, and no click. Korean parts are pretty close to Japanese parts, but Korean sticks use a rubber insert or grommet instead of a spring, and they don't have restrictor gates or square actuators so the motion is always perfectly circular. Korean buttons are almost identical to Japanese buttons.

Most sticks from the bigger brands and most PCB's for DIY will show up like an Xbox controller or generic controller in Windows. Button mapping should be just like it is with a controller.

Whatever options you're looking at should work fine, you just might not like how it feels.
 

TheELF

Diamond Member
Dec 22, 2012
3,290
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Case?! what case?
Drill holes into your table or at least a board and thread the components through, plywood...authentic arcade feeling...
You could also use a pi zero as a controller or a full pi to run emuelec and turn the stick into an independent (excluding the screen) arcade system.
 
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MalVeauX

Senior member
Dec 19, 2008
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nurturedhate

Golden Member
Aug 27, 2011
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MalVeauX

Senior member
Dec 19, 2008
618
149
116
I contacted https://gameroomsolutions.com/shop/arcade-control-panel-builder/ and had them make the cabinet and then did the wiring etc myself
Wow, if they are legit, I don't mind just buying a completed cabinet from them. Pretty affordable considering it's a complete thing to get a bundle with the guts and PC inside and everything. I like the idea of that much more than just a PC with a big controller box hooked up and in a living room. I'd love to have one or two arcade cabinets with some ROMs running. Squee! Thanks, will explore this.

Very best,
 

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