Building an arcade stick with a d-pad instead of a stick?


A friend and I have been brainstorming this idea for a while now, and he really loves his pads, but he wants something with the durability of a stick, while still using an analog stick or a d-pad.

We’ve come up with an idea, we’re just not sure how to go about making it work. The right half of the control is simple 6-8 24mm Sanwa buttons, laid out like an arcade stick. The left half however would feature a groove to place your hand on the bottom and allow you to use a directional pad with your thumb on the top, like a controller.

We know that the idea is doable, but with our limited experience, we’re not quite sure how to go about doing it. We’ve considered the idea of placing 4 small Sanwa buttons (about 18mm or so) in a cross layout, then placing a plastic or wood disc over them in order to form a makeshift d-pad. The issue we see with that is that we cant find any screw-in 18mm buttons, and if the wood is thin enough to support snap-ins, we’re afraid it may break.

Another idea we’ve come up with is that we could simple transfer a d-pad (or analog stick) from a pad onto the new device, but that would also likely take much work we’re unsure how to do.

We have some time before we can actually do this thing (broke college students :tdown:), but we want to make a good plan over the next month or two so we can kick things into action when we’re ready. Any ideas, tips, or tricks are greatly appreciated. And I’ll be sure to post any sort of visual or creative progress here when we make some.

I’ve also read much of slagcoin, so no need to post that.


its been done…


Yeah, I would totally build you one. It would save you money if I built them for you instead of you rushing out to buy all the tools needed.
My photobucket album can be found here.


Need to bring it up with my friend, but it’s not quite what we were thinking. We were toying with the idea that it’s one solid device, opposed to having half a controller sticking out the side.


You’re likely going to need a CNC machine to get the kind of accuracy you need to build your own d-pad side. Ben Heck has done quite a few projects where he recycled the PCB and d-pad from existing controllers. May be a benefit to read up on his work.


Tried to do this…

One thing I can tell for sure is that 18mm(and probably 20mm) sanwa buttons are too stiff to actually play. So I’d suggest trying 24mm or the square sanwa buttons if you can cut the square holes.


I sent a message to rtdzign, but my inquiry is for anyone it applies to. Is anyone here currently building one of these. I’m willing to buy and try it out.