"Fixing" the MadKatz SE Fightstick

This is for the benefit of anyone who bought an SE.

Mine came in the mail today. Sweet packaging, looked all shiny and pretty, but I knew all about the problems. In fact, I gave the stick a couple throws for giggles, and I heard a grinding noise! Swear to god, first throw. So, instead of plugging it in to my 360 or PC to play a few rounds and see how it goes, I busted the thing open.
I removed the screws and feet on the back, popped of the back panel, and was greeted by the stringy, gooey liquid plastic, practically dripping over everything. I peeled as much off as possible (note, this crap is so MadKatz knows for sure who voided their warranty, plus it makes the screws harder to get out).
http://img213.imageshack.us/img213/6155/dcp02673vn5.th.jpghttp://img14.imageshack.us/img14/9821/dcp02676jp1.th.jpg(what the hell is this burnt crap)
I went straight for the stick, I popped off the plate just for convenience, being careful not to strip the screws. The two screws on the bottom can be problematic, as they’re in an awkward position, right below the main PCB and wires, so careful with those.

Ah… the restrictor plate. Took me 20 good minutes of sticking a flathead in between the black prongs and the plate, working it back and forth before I could even get the damn thing off. Didn’t damage anything, just pushed the plastic back a bit. Goes on and comes off much better now.

The PCB w/ microswitches lifts right off. As you can see, through only a couple nudges of the stick and whatever bumps I gave it opening it up, my PCB was already scratched. Not 15 minutes after opening the box. Hoho.
So I took out the assembly and messed around with the stick a little to see what was causing the problem. Thanks to Ultima and whoever else, I knew the washer underneath the bit of plastic that houses the spring is meant to be cemented down, or stuck into place or something. Well, it’s not. Give the stick a couple nudges and you’ll see the washers size and placement makes it impossible to stay still…
Best solution? Rip the damn thing out. I say don’t cement it back down, there’s too high a chance of it coming up again. I thought it was possible to get to it by removing the plate - it’s not. The plate is not meant to come off, so leave it alone. If you’re replacing the stick, you need a stick with a mounting plate.

Check out Thirteens image here for a picture of the clip.

Look at this post by Byteblock for a little more info regarding the clip.

I grabbed a pair of snips and tried to cut through it, to no avail, but since the washer is relatively thin/malleable, after getting a grip and working it back and forth, I managed to break it. After another agonizing and awkward 20 minutes, I had the washer out. Apparently, that’s the hard way. As Buhbuhj says, if you pry out the e-clip, you can disassemble the whole thing.
There’s something some people haven’t mentioned. Here’s a picture of the upper part of the stick assembly. It’s blurry, but you can see a worn part at the bottom of the stick shaft. That bit of plastic juts up over the plate sometimes, which causes the stick to… “stick”, sometimes, not returning to neutral. I just rammed the stick around for a few minutes to wear that plastic down. That combined with the restrictor plate should be enough to prevent stickage.
Conclusion? Don’t buy one of these controllers unless you’re going to perform a similar fix or you’re swapping out the stick anyway. Now that I fixed it, to be honest, I think it’s a great stick, and probably doesn’t even NEED the Sanwa upgrade I’m giving it. But if you buy one expecting MadKatz’ latest to work right out of the box, congratulations, they have made you a shmuck. MarkMan, you designed a great stick. MadKatz, you fucked up yet again, to my chagrin and with no surprise to everyone.

As a side note, plugged it up to my PC and its working like a champ. :slight_smile: Definitely 2x the controller the EX2 is.

20 mins??? we just broke the damned thing off


That’s what irritates me. The controller, when it’s working is so damn nice for the money it’s insane. It really is the perfect first timer’s joystick. It just sucks the damn thing is covered with issues. This really was Mad Catz chance to turn things around reputation wise.

As much as I wish I could defend them, and as much as I enjoy my stick (It’s got zero issues), I honestly have to say I probably, after today, will never buy something from them again. And I’m a satisfied customer of the product itself! It’s the reputation that hurts them, and even though this particular Fightstick worked for me, I will not ever risk such a thing again. Especially since it appears Hori is finally giving a crap about releasing products in the US now.

Excellent write up, I would rep you if I could. It’s nice to see you’re looking out for other SE users, and it’s great that you kept things in perspective the minute you received your item. :slight_smile: Good freakin’ job, and great pictures. (What ARE those scorch marks though!?)


Daww, thanks. I have no idea what they are, it looks like MadKatz took a blowtorch to weld the mount for the stick onto the front plate of the controller.

And yes, besides some glaring manufacturing and QC issues, it is a great stick. I hope for the consumer’s sake, if they don’t know about the problem, that the stick DOES die within the 90-day warranty so they can return it and get one that actually works.

I said this in the other SE thread but I’ll point it out in here as well. Don’t bother trying to take the mounting plate off. You can’t access anything from that side anyway.

Once you remove the restrictor plate and the pcb, take off the e-clip(wedge a small flate screwdriver between the side of it and the shaft and pry that sucker out) and all the guts come right out with the shaft. Then you are free to do whatever the hell you want to do. I myself ground down the little indent the washer sits in, I figure the washer is there for a reason so I just made sure it was set in properly and wouldn’t move. You could probably just stuff a rubber O-ring on top of it or even replace the washer with a nylon washer too if you wanted.

Good solution, I wish I would have used my metal cutters to just rip the washer off. Well, doesn’t really matter. Getting new parts soon.

I got a new stick and having no issues, whats actually holding the working ones in place? Should we still attempt to do something with the washers?

80 bucks for a PCB and a case isn’t a bad cost in all honesty. But it does suck that this stick is very sub-par.

Tekkamansoul, watch your language please… Too much swearing.

I tried asking this in the other thread and I think you may have certainly answered my question. But can you update me and verify that the stick DOES NOT NEED the problematic washer?

I was always wondering if that could just be removed in the first place since it seems like it doesn’t serve a purpose. If it’s there for spacing purposes then a rubber o-ring (as a previous poster said) should suffice.

Please verify that it does not need the washer.

As far as I can tell, it’s to protect the plastic area that the bit that houses the spring articulates over… It kinda slides around, and I guess the idea was to make sure the plastic pieces wouldn’t grind each other away?

That’s my only theory, and I didn’t think twice about putting something else in there, firstly because the groove is so small, and secondly because I’m replacing the joystick anyway.

You think cutting out a piece of softer material some type of foam sheet or something to replace the washer would effect anything? Or does the washer just needs to be bolted down?

Just an FYI

The “Burnt metal” some are complaining about is a “spot weld” and is to be expected and will be present on everyone’s, all other issues aside, this is really not something to bitch about, that is unless the mounting plate breaks free, then the weld was faulty, otherwise that is an acceptable industry technique for accomplishing the goal of mounting the the mounting plate, yes, even on 150$ joysticks.

That said please dont think I in any way am trying to obfuscate or minimize any of the other complaints lodged here and in other threads.

Dude, just take the E clip off. Word of warning, anyone one who works with E and C clips frequently can tell you that they earn the nickname “jesus clips” as in “Jesus where the hell did it just fly off to?!” So be careful when you do it. Personally, I’d just replace the washer with a softer plastic or rubber one and still glue it down. As for putting the e-clip back on, needle-nose pliers are your friend. Half on the stick, half on the clip and SLOW. And as for that red gooey crap, I’m betting acetone would work to dissolve it, but I haven’t gotten mine yet so I don’t know exactly what it is for sure.

See, I’m an idiot. I couldn’t see any place to pry the thing apart. Do you (or anyone) have images that could help?

Got my stick slightly less than a week ago, and so far I’ve really had no problems. (Gaming on both PC and 360) The hardest part has just been getting used to a stick, since I’ve been playing pad up until now.

That said, I never saw a full confirmation here. If someone isn’t having any noticeable problems (I’m hearing no grinding, only the usual clicking the stick is supposed to make i hear) should they be opening it anyway and gluing down the washer?

After watching a video “review” of the stick, I’m probably going to crack it open and glue the washer down just to play it safe. I do get the occasional sticking problem, so I figure this will hopefully solve it!

I did this and it works great now, still can’t wait for my parts to get here but thanks for the help!

The best way to remove those clips, are by using precision screw drivers.

Grab a precision flathead screwdriver and insert the tip into the side of the clip that has a small indent and just pry it off. It’s not that difficult to get off, but can be annoying to put back on.

To put back on i usually press it up against something metal and just push in.

I’m guessing the the burnt marks are probably the welds they did as those buttons and the joystick clone of Sanwa are really meant to be mounted on a metal frame. so i guess those black burnt marks on the mounting plate are welding spots when they made the mounting bracket

I ordered the se stick and would like to put a sanwa stick in. Is it a simple “plug and play” process or do i need to solder/drill stuff? Also, what part #s do I need if going through lizard lick’s site(stick + 8-way gate thingy)? Looking for a noob level answer, if possible.

I also have an ex2 that works fine, but can I do the same mod to it? Just trying to figure out what my best option is. Thanks.