Custom stickless arcade stick build question


#1

Hey guys, I’d like to build my own arcade hitbox because ordering one is a no go… the high shipping costs and customs fees are insane in my country (EU region) and I feel that I might be able to do this project myself. Now, having already built a fightstick before I have some spare 30mm pushbuttons lying around and I figure I use them instead of 24mm ones that are used in standard hitbox layout. My question is would 30mm be ergonomic and comfortable for use compared to 24mm ones? Please advise


#2

The people that came up with the official hitbox decided on 24mm buttons for everything but jump for a reason.
Go and find the original hitbix thread, check out the first few posts, they go over why certain design choices where made .


#3

The short answer is no. Unless you have gigantic hands it won’t be comfortable (or easy) to use 30mm buttons for all the buttons in the Hitbox layout. The smaller buttons are better and necessary to get the desired function/results you want from a hitbox. Just buy the 11 24mm buttons you need and you get used to it very quickly.


#4

I built some prototypes in full 30mm. They forced some very uncomfortable hand stretching and it was nigh impossible to do any kind of serious play. I don’t recommend it.


#5

As someone who’s never used a stickless/Hitbox before, I’m genuinely curious: how come layouts with 30mm buttons (and associated spacing) work just fine when using a joystick (though “fine” is a rather subjective observation), but force odd stretching when used on a Hitbox-ish layout?


#6

With a traditional arcade layout using 30mm bnttons or even the sometimes larger layouts using American style parts, you don’t always rest your hands on the buttons. The Right hand kinda hovers.
There no set rule of what finger has to hit what button.

Hitbox layout, you need to take a more of direct approach.

Each finger (of the right hand) covers the following in order
Index Finger: Low Punch and Kicks
Middle Finger: Mid Punch/Kicks
Ring Finger: High Punch/Kick
Pinky 3X Punch/Kick

The Left hand
Index: Left
Middle: Right
Ring: Down

That leaves the only 30mm Button, Up to be covered by ether thumb.


#7

To expand on @Darksakul’s points, there are some dealbreakers with the full 30mm layout:

  • Inputting left, down and right on larger buttons is a literal stretch and very uncomfortable to do. You do a lot of piano rolling, and that’s awkward to do – especially when doing half circle motions that involve pressing all three in one sequence.

  • If left down and right are 30mm, they’re located further away from the up button in the center. Too far away.

  • Some people try to do a hybrid design where they make the main action buttons 30mm but the left/down/right bank in 24mm. This also presents problems because the HitBox layout is structured to make the up button ambidextrous. Most people play normally with the left hand doing directions and the right hand doing action buttons, but an SPD motion is commonly done by doing QCB with the left hand, and then pressing up+punch with the right. Float cancels in UMvC3 necessitate spamming the up button alternating your thumbs quickly. Interestingly enough, HitBox Arcade’s official recommendation and intended use is for your right thumb to exclusively handle jumping.


#8

30 mm buttons for left, down and right are truly a dealbreaker? Are they too far away from the up button? Have you used a hitbox with all 30mm buttons to test this? I ask because It would be generally hard to come across one with 30mm buttons because both hitboxarcade and jasenscustoms have 24mm left/down/right buttons.


#9

Did you read the part where I said I built prototypes and tested it?

Yes, two 30mm variants in Vewlix and Noir (along with four other 24mm prototypes) were tested by a couple dozen people at my local, and it took almost no time for a consensus to form that the size didn’t play well. The overwhelming favorite was a refined Vewlix version of the 24mm HitBox layout, which is the variant that actually ships on Jasen’s Panzers and replacement panels to this day (I also open-sourced it, and a few other community members have utilized it for panels as well). This isn’t going to stop anyone from arguing that they’d like 30mm and therefore I’m wrong, but objectively speaking it is disadvantageous to HitBox techniques to use larger buttons, unless you have hands the size of Hugo or Abigail.


#10

Ok, thanks for the response, i was close to purchasing one from fightstickasia which has 30mm buttons. I think i’ll steer away from it.

Would you be able to comment if either hitboxarcade or jasenscustoms has better support w.r.t firmware updates? Which one would you go with? Jasen’s selling his customs for almost twice the price of a unit from hitbox!


#11

In the interest of full disclosure, I actually now help Jasen with fulfillment on various items in his shop (primarily the replacement panels for VLX and TE2), so I’m not a completely unbiased source.

The difference in price comes down to build quality and the sourced PCB. Jasen’s sticks are extremely heavy and contain specially-designed parts to make the entire assembly solderless, and he uses the industry-standard Brook Universal Fight Board (normally $80 on its own). I’m not 100% certain what HitBox uses, but it’s not specifically Brook as far as I know – and it only services PS4 or Xbox One depending which model you get (Brook’s UFB is PS3/PS4/360/X1). The casing for HitBox is also smaller (less room for palm resting) and not quite as robust. From a firmware standpoint, anything using the Brook UFB is going to be the most supported. Every time Sony’s PS4 updates cause 8-minute timeouts, Brook had a replacement firmware available in under 24 hours.


#12

Will major manufacturers like Hori or even SONY come up with a controller like this? It seems to me that a coupla guys making this can keep it waayyyy overpriced.

If i were to get a PS4 hitbox from JasenCustoms, i would pay USD 155 more than his competitor for just extra palm space (good) and a heavier enclosure (which is pointless). I could care less about button color or artwork, it doesn’t affect my quality of gameplay. And its not like he’s going out of his way on firmware updates, he completely relies on Brook, the PCB manufacturer to do it.

It comes down to a $155 more for palm space! Here’s a fine example of a guy who can pick up a novel idea from someone else (would be the original inventor: hitbox arcade in this case) and can charge almost twice as much as them for some irrelevant crap.


#13

The likelihood of Sony or Hori doing something like this: Never. It’s a niche design with comparatively low demand.

Relying on Brook to do firmware updates is by far the smartest thing for anyone not making officially licensed sticks. Rolling your own firmware updates is a recipe for disaster, because it requires expertise that your average stick builder does not have.

I’m honestly not interested in getting into a debate over features on Jasen’s sticks. There are more things you aren’t taking into account, and you obviously don’t value certain things like build quality or customization like other people do, so you aren’t the target demographic. You’re welcome to build a Hitbox yourself and see how much money you’ve saved, though. I’ve done it a handful of times - usually with the TE, TE2 or VLX platforms - so I know firsthand how much of a wash it comes out to be. At the end of the day, you’re free to build anything you want and there are plenty of resources in this forum to draw from.


#14

“refined Vewlix version of the 24mm HitBox layout”, does this layout lack an arch downward for the right li’l finger? (such that it better conforms to the hand’s shape)


#15

Yes. Vewlix has the last three-right buttons at the same height for both punch and kick rows.