Is it possible to replace a the Joystick and buttons of a US MVS for Japanese ones?


Hi there,

I found this local seller who willing to part with his NEO-GEO MVS system for $600 which is a good deal in my eyes. My only problem is that I can’t play with American “Bat” style Joysticks, only Japanese “Lollipop” style. So I was wondering if it’s possible to buy Japanese MVS controller kits and make a replacement?



You can put a Sanwa JLW-TM-8 on there. It will mount in place of the Happ (American) sticks.

I just bought a Neo-Geo cab as well. Small world.


Small world indeed. I don’t know much about arcade cabinets minus the fact that they’re expensive. So tell me, do I need to solder anything to change the Joysticks or are they like plug-and-play parts?


Swapping the joysticks/buttons should not require soldering. You will unscrew the old joystick, remove the quick disconnects using either your fingers or a pair of needle nose pliers and hook things back up. Here’s what he QD looks like.


Great, thank for the info, now I just got to sleep on it to see if the idea of spending that much money for games that I can play on my Dreamcast still sounds crazy tomorrow morning :stuck_out_tongue:


Sorry for reviving this old post and for double posting, but I got an answer from saying that I wouldn’t be able to use Japanese Candy joysticks on an American MVS because it’s made out of wood.

I don’t want to argue with the people who actually sale arcade parts for a living, so can anyone confirm this?


What was the exact question you asked Lizard Lick? The only Japanese joystick you can easily swap into an American cab is the Sanwa JLW (that Lizard Lick sells). Do you have a wooden or metal control panel?


I believe that the “Japanese Candy Joystick” is a LS-32. At any rate with a wooden control panel, all you need to install any japanese joystick in there is a router and a drill.



Well I showed him a pic of the cabinet and I asked him if I could swap out the American Sticks for Japanese Candy Sticks. He said that the cabinet is made out of wood so it wouldn’t work. I haven’t bought the cabinet because of this.


Have you ever tried swapping controls? I’m asking because if this doesn’t work, I’m kind of stuck with a cabinet that I can’t play.


I built a lot of Joysticks, both Happ, and Japanese style and a Korean too. If the control panel is wood and can be removed, then carving it up and drilling holes is only a matter of tools.

Like I said, you won’t be able to get the exact joysticks that come on a Neo Geo Candy Cab “LS-32-01” unless you do some wood work to the CP witha router and drill.

But the Sanwa JLW-TM from Lizardlick will be a the closest replacement without router wood work. The mounting holes on the default JLW plate line up perfect with Happ/iL too. Maybe instead of asking Chad for the “Japanese Candy Stick” you should ask if a JLW-TM will fit in a wooden control panel. I saw a forum post where a guy put a JLW-TM in his SFII World Warrior Cab, and they where proper height. The control panel from a American SF2 and Neo Geo should be the same depth and same mounting holes.

And, if for some reason the JLW is too short on the shaft, you can extend it with one of these.