1st Time building my own arcade stick


My girlfriend got me a copy of SF4 when it came out. I haven’t played in a long long time, but when I started it up I got right back into it. Unfortunately, playing with the controller is hell, I can’t stand it. I started looking into buying an arcade stick; I was pretty disappointed with the prices and availability. I’m sure both are being effected by the SF4 release, but nevertheless I found this site and building my own sounds fun. I want to build two arcade sticks, and from what I’ve read here it doesn’t sound like too difficult a process. That being said, I’d love any advice or tips anyone might have. I’m looking at getting the following parts:

I already bought 2 Cthulhu board’s. (Thanks Toodles these sound awesome for all us PS3 people.)
22 Sanwa OBSN-30 Pushbutton with Vertical Microswitch
2 Sanwa JLF-TP-8T Ball Handle Joystick, 4 & 8-Way Adjustable

If anyone has any critiques of those parts please let me know.

One thing I don’t know is if I’ll need to buy the wire separately or not, but I don’t imagine that to be a big deal one way or the other.

Do I need to buy any kind of grease for the joystick, or should it come ready to go?

I haven’t made any real decisions on the case yet, but there’s a ton of examples out there that I’m still browsing through.

Anything I left out?


Your stick should come ready to go. Once you get your cases, some wire and simple tools you should be about ready to go.


One thing that just occurred to me that might be an issue is how short those buttons I chose are. Does anyone know how thick the top of the case can be, and still use the short buttons?

Is there any quality difference (besides height and direction of the switch) between these two buttons?

Sanwa OBSN-24 Pushbutton with Vertical Microswitch vs. Happ Competition Pushbutton with Horizontal Microswitch

I went with Sanwa originally because the description on Lizard Lick said they were some of the smoothest and quietest around, and they had a nicer looking range of colors.


Read this page, it should explain a lot, including measuring and mounting.


Cool, thank you sir.


That site is also a treasure trove for everything joystick. I’m a newbie to building arcade sticks too, it seems like a good place to start to me.