Made My First Arcade Stick


Since retail arcade sticks aren’t readily available (at least not at a reasonable price), I decided I’d have a go at making my own.

Spent a few weeks studying up here and on xbox-scene (both forums have been a GREAT resource, thanks for all who’ve made them that way) and then jumped in with both feet.

I went with HAPP components because they were cheaper (didn’t want to spend a ton not knowing if I’d be able to make it all work) and readily available. I pad-hacked an official XBox 360 wireless controller (CG)… PITA but everything worked out.

Here are the pics (sorry, crappy camera phone pics are all I have at the moment). Its not as nice as some of the masterpieces I’ve seen here, but its functional. :slight_smile:

I had a blast making it and I’m already thinking about doing a nicer one for myself (with Japanese parts, once they are easier to get). I also made the mistake of telling my co-worker about it and now he wants me to help him with one. :rofl:

Let me know what you think, good or bad.


I think it’s great. I especially like how you incorporated the guide button! Good work for your first stick. I hope my first one comes out as nice (if I ever get my parts haha).




Thanks. Do your research and study the great examples here and I’m sure yours will turn out great.

Hah! I need to keep it at least until I make a second one. I refuse to play SF IV (or any fighting game for that matter) with a gamepad. :rofl:




+1 on the guide button integration. very nice touch if I might say so myself. great job for your first stick.

what version of wireless controller is that? matrix or CG? I was on xbox-scene forums and can only find a link to the matrix wiring points.

I’m just looking at your wiring and a bit confused at some of the points you have soldered.


OOO sweet I love the guide button the way you got it on there!


thats nice man what did you use for the case is that wood, and did you get that printed out at kinkos. thats looks much better than my first one which will be done in about two days when my joystick decides to get here haha. Did you solder to the analog points rather than the directional pad


great job man…and funny you posted this as im just starting my custom stick.

maybe you’d be able to answer some of the questions I havent been able to find.

  • What size bit did you use for the 30mm buttons?
  • What was the hardest part of the creation?
  • Did you do your own woodwork?

thanks man, keep up the great work


I used a CG controller. I didn’t necessarily set out to do that… just ordered a used controller on ebay and ended up with a CG one. The wiring is a bit of a mess… for the buttons I just went to the contact points but for the D-pad, the points were too small for me to solder to, so I put some small trace wire through the via points for those contacts and then soldered the normal wires to those trace wires. It was all somewhat delicate so I covered it in hot glue to prevent any of the traces and solder joints from pulling off.

The FAQ on the modding sub-forum has all of the diagrams. Scroll down to the controller section:

Hope that helps.


My case actually consists of a rough inner frame that was cut from 1"x6" pine and a more finished 1/4" maple for the outer surface. If/when I make another one, I’d probably forgo the inner frame and just use 2"x2" posts in the corners to hold the outer frame together and attach the top and bottom to.

I soldered to the directional pad, but the solder points were too small for me to get a wire to stick to. So I followed the traces back to the via where they went through the pcb, opened that up a bit with a pick tool and soldered trace wire through the board. That’s why you don’t see the wires coming from the d-pad points themselves. That was probably the trickiest part of the whole process, but everything worked so I can’t complain. :slight_smile:

For the artwork, I just printed it on an inkjet printer and glossy paper. It’s under lexan so it’s protected.


I used a 1 1/8" spade drill bit. It was about $7 at a home improvement store. I’ve since seen that you can get a full set of the forstner bits on ebay for slightly more than that, so I’d go that route instead. I think they’d be easier to use.

The soldering was probably the most stressful part. I had my friend who’s really good soldering lend me a hand at some of the tricky parts (the d-pad stuff), but I think I could do it myself next time.

I did all of the woodworking myself. It wasn’t hard, just took some time.


well good job man your first blows my first outta the water. i wanted to make my case out of wood i just have no place to do it seeing as im in an apt complex. and your right the direction solder points are quite small i almost fucked mine up doing it, following the traces was pretty smart i did the same thing except after had already soldered hahaha



That is one of the awesomer sticks I have seen. Great job. How did you connect the wires? I see that you added some glue over the soldering on the PCB.
Also, did you just wrap the wires around the microswitches? I’m looking to make my own, as well, but I’m really new to all this, so I want to have the best understanding that I can have. Thanks!


Looks good man. Welcome to the club, we have T-shirts and meet every 2nd Tuesday of the month.


Excellent first stick :tup:

I made the mistake of making my first abomination too high to play with on my lap, hopefully that one isn’t too bad.


I have a house with a basement and already had some basic tools (but nothing crazy). Definitely helps. :slight_smile:

Yeah, I hotglued over the solder connections on the pcb so they wouldn’t break. I also soldered the wires to the microswitches. Seemed cheaper and easier than crimping tons of connectors. Though it does make it a bit more work if I ever replace any components (but desoldering isn’t too bad).


Thanks! :slight_smile:

Its about 3 1/2" at the back and 2 1/2" at the front. I would’ve liked to make it thinner but the HAPP parts are TALL! If/when I make another, it will be with Japanese components so it will be thinner. That said, this stick doesn’t feel uncomfortable at all on my lap.


thanks a lot man, glad you could answer that bit question.


Mine was tall because of Happ components as well, 125mm all round, was massively uncomfortable :frowning: