Building my own "stickless arcade" thingy (like a hitbox, not being one)


For those who’d like to build their own “stickless arcade” stick/pad/hitbox (whatever you call it) like me, it could be great to have a full list of parts to buy, and an explanation of why.

I’m kind of a noob here, so my goal is double:

  • make sure I’ve the complete list of parts in my order…
  • make sure another ppl who’d like to do the same as me has already a well defined list.

Amount of buttons:

  • 8 buttons for the commands (24mm) -> Why? According to hitbox, it’s easier to use than the traditional 30mm
  • 3 buttons for the D/L/R directions (24mm) -> Why? Because it’s the purpose of the stickless!
  • 2 buttons for home/start + select (24mm) -> Why? You still have to press start/select.
  • 1 larger button for the Up (30mm) -> Why? Larger button for thumb
    While you could reduce the number of buttons for commands, or adapt the size of them according to your wants/needs, this is considered as a “reference” of what I read in different forums.

Model of the buttons:

  • You should stick with the same type of buttons
  • It completely depends on the your preferences
  • You should have easy to press buttons

I will personnaly stick with Sanwa OBSF buttons (instead of Gamerfinger Cherry MX or Sanwa RG). It’s louder, but nobody complains about it.

Buttons total:
13 OBSF-24 + 1 OBSF-30 ().


  • 1 “daisy chaining” cables for common ground like this one -> Why? It seems easier to wire 1 longer “daisy chaining” cables with the same ground and chop down the excess cable, rather than having 2 large daisy chaining cable all accross your box or pluggin 14 grounds cables…
  • 14 cables for data input
  • 14 Sanwa AT-110 (for easy connection) & 14 SR-110 (for protection)
  • A crimping tool
  • A screwdriver/soldering iron to connect the data input into your PCB

Uplink to console:
You do whatever you want there. It’s most likely part of the PCB. The most elegant are the Neutrik plugs. If you are looking for multi-console, then go for RJ45. If it’s only for standard consoles, go for USB.

The box:
That’s where stickless shines: you can do whatever you want, you don’t need a large box! Go for plexi/MDF/metal/whatever. I haven’t read a recommendation of what to NOT use.

This could be a thread on its own. While there are lots of possible PCBs, only a few of them mention supporting SOCD. This is what you need to play with a “stickless arcade” thing. I’ll try to list them in the future.

No idea. Anyone?

List of other topics on the matter:

Example of process to build your own:


You have two choices there:
[] Use a standard “non-SOCD cleaned” PCB and add the SOCD part with some kind of hardware
] Use a SOCD cleaned ready PCB

Here is a list of “hardware SOCD cleaners”:
[] @Toodles [SOCD cleaner](SOCD Cleaner Kit Now Available
] GUIDE: Preventing SOCD on any common-ground PCB by using 7400 chips
[*] Arduino like system + code

Here is a list of popular PCBs that directly comes with SOCD cleaning (no further need for hardware SOCD cleaner):
[] MC Cthulhu
] ChimpSMD
[] Marios Satanas F401RE with custom code
] latests PS360+

Popular list of “not SOCD cleaned” PCBs:
[*] Zero Delay Arcade USB Encoder

Or you could not use a box at all. Ain’t that right, @Epi?

You mixed up Up and Down in your parts list. It would seem.

Thanks for the catch! Fixed now.
I’ll try to add a pros/cons for the PCBs later today if I have time…

@Kwiskas I would check-out @dfyb 's post below to see how cheaply you can get one of these builds off the ground.

Do a few test runs/tweaks on the cheap, figure out what works for you, and then finalize your build with all the pretty shiny stuff that’s 100% tuned to your preferences.

Check Out My New Arcade Stick! - Page 580


More PCB intel here too from @Toodles

[SOCD Cleaner Kit Now Available](SOCD Cleaner Kit Now Available

While the link you’ve posted show an interesting series of pictures (I’ll add them to the first post to show a kind of process), it doesn’t explain the choices taken.
I’m sad there isn’t more information about the choice of buttons on the specific case of stickless arcade thing.
(For example, @dfyb has chosen to go the screw-in buttons instead of the snap-ins, I wonder why)

He used screw-ins because Tupperware!!!

Button choice is very subjective per user, you’re better off getting a bunch of different ones, and seeing what feels good to you after playing for 1~2 hours on them. Hence going cheap on the case until you are happy with the layout and buttons to use.

I prefer screw ins because it allows flexibility in the the thickness of the panel. When I built my hitbox I used a metal panel plus thick plexi, which made for a sturdy top panel. But the combination was too thick to support snap ins, screw in however fit just fine.

Here is how my hitbox turned out:

buyproduct: nice work. Do you have link to how you build it? Or can you build one for me with slightly different button layout.


This thing is:
14x 24mm pushbuttons (I wanted an actual home button)
1x 30mm pushbutton
1x PS360+
15x wires with .110" qcd
1x ground wire
4x pcb feet
1x 18" USB cable
1x Neutrik USB thing
1x case from Art’s Hobbies
1x 10’ USB cable

To assemble this, I needed a wire stripper/cutter, a normal-sized Phillips head screwdriver (for case screws), a really small Phillips head screwdriver (for the Neutrik screws), and a really small flathead screwdriver (for the PS360+ terminals). I didn’t need a crimping tool because the cables already had quick disconnects on them. Great. I think this thing is like super easy to build. I can’t offer much advice on these parts vs. other parts. Good luck!

If you care about other consoles, you should use RJ-45 instead of USB, as noted in the OP.

Is there a particular reason you’d want an actual home button? Did you experienced any issue in the past with the software way to do it?

System menu navigation

Either way works. It’s preference and/or build/modification limitation based. Example: The MC Fightstick Pro has a dedicated button for Start and Select. The home button has it’s own PCB in addition to the main PCB. If you wanted to bypass the Fightstick Pro’s PCB’s, the software Start+Select=Home lets you use the existing button layout without needing to add a third 24mm button or wire into the existing Home button’s PCB.
It’s just there if you want or need it. :slight_smile:

I haven’t had any problem with the S+S=H shortcut. I just wanted a home button.

Why would anyone want 24mm buttons for hitbox buttons? They are definitely stiffer than the usual 30mm buttons. I own a PS3 hitbox but always wished it had larger buttons. Ergonomic placement of the buttons really shouldn’t be priority. In order to double-tap properly, you have to move your two fingers around anyway, so button layout doesn’t really matter. Also, double tapping on smaller buttons so tightly packed and you have a higher chance of hitting the other buttons. The furthest you’d have to stretch is pressing four buttons in a row and the thumb button, but that’s not very far and doable for most hands. I would suggest 30mm buttons.

Well, not everyone double taps and in some games double tapping is actually detrimental. As for the size of buttons, you want them small because you don’t want to move your hand. Its more like typing than piano playing.

For what it’s worth, I built one with a 360 pad pcb, and when I press left and right at the same time on windows, it inputs down+back. Not sure why, but if it’s like that on consoles then I can’t imagine that being against any rules. Up+down gives no input.

Also, you can put some dirt cheap buttons in for start, select, and home. It’s not like they are gonna wear out. I used OBSCs with silence pads for the main buttons and the work pretty awesome. Worth the extra $2 imo.

It sounds like you’re doing everything right, so you’re in for a real treat. I love mine.