Here’s a ROUGH guide of what you need, you can choose a lot of things to your preference. There’s a multitude of options, as you’ll soon see.
1 Joystick w/ balltop/bat top + wiring harness; usually included (Most common are Sanwa JLF or Seimitsu LS-32s, each differ in sensitivity, I prefer the JLF because there is the option for an octagonal gate) Balltops come in 3 varieties; bubbletop (more transparent with bubbles in the ball), meshball (textured), and standard balltops. Bat tops are an option, as well. They’re a different shape, but an option.
6/8 pushbuttons of your choice, usually 30mm (Sanwa OSBF-30s are the “snap in” standard used in Madcatz TE sticks. Sanwa Screw ins are available, model OSBN-30s. Alternatively, Seimitsu PS-15s for snap in seimitsu buttons, or Seimitsu PS-14-GNs. Alternatively, for transparent buttons, check out Seimitsu PS-14-Ks (retired snap in) or Seimitsu PS-14-KNs (screw in) These are liked amongst the community because you can put artowrk in them)
Usually 2 24mm buttons for Start/Select Again, Sanwa OSBN or OSBFs/ Seimitsu PK (Optional, dedicated home button. Usually 30mm Pretty much required for any 360 stick)
1 USB wire or wire to system. Self-explanitory.
1 Printed Circuit Board (PCB). Most common are either a madcatz PCB gutted from a madcatz 360 controller (as they have yet to be made by the community), or a Cthulu PCB for PS3. The Cthulu also has an MC version that supports all versions of the PLayStation, as well as Xbox, gamecube, and a few others. Meaning it functions on Wii that supports Gamecube controllers (Such as TvC or Smash Bros. The MC also features smash Bros controls). ChImp boards are a Cthulu board with spaces that can automatically detect a 360 controller connected to it, and allow it to be dual modded with only 2 boards and no switches needed. However, there is and won’t be an MC ChImp. But it is still possible to dualmod with an MC cthulu, but it requires an Imp board. If this sounds complicated, let me break down what you wanna buy;
PS3 only:Cthulu. ChImp is an option. The kit costs the same as the PS3-only Cthulu, but you can dualmod your system later much easier with a ChImp than a Cthulu. ChImp does NOT require a 360 PCB to work.
360 only:Madcatz controller, gut PCB (Do NOT use official Microsoft controllers. They are not common ground in the triggers, and are also more expensive. Plus you’ll have to spend more making them common ground with some of the options out there. JUst stick to the madcatz board. Save yourself money, time, and trouble)
PS3+360:ChImp + madcatz controller
PSX, PS2, PS3, GCN, Xbox (ORIGINAL), and a few others: MC Cthulu
All of the above + 360: Madcatz fightpad, Imp (NOT ChImp), and MC Cthulu
Wire. 22 AWG is the choice of the community. Higher gauges are smaller and easier to work with smaller parts, but quick disconnects usually can’t be used for anything smaller than 22 AWG. Braided tends to have less pull and resistance, but is harder to solder with (requires tinning in most cases), while solid core is easier to work with, but can be annoying because it has to be bent, as opposed to braided wire, which really doesn’t have to be bent. Your Choice. Both work.
1 Case. Style, button layout, etc. up to you. Most commonly modded is the Madcatz TE, followed by the SE. COmes with its own case as WELL as a PCB of your choice. I recommend a 360 version if you even have the slightest thought about using it for 360, even if you’re like me and play on PS3. I just like my dual modded stick so that I will never have a problem with systems if I go to a tourney/friend’s house.
Quick disconnects. This is the reason why most stick builders choose 22 gauge AWG. Allows you to put wires to the back of a pushbutton and be able to quickly pop them out. Also makes wiring sticks a bit easier. They’re not needed, but get 2 for each button, regardless of size (including start/select/home). .110" is the size of the lugs of all buttons mentioned
LED lights. Requires transparent buttons. VERY advanced mod. Requires much more than just LED lights. Not recommended for the faint of heart. (But TOTALLY WORTH IT)
Wireless adapters. This is an option if you wanna make a wireless stick. Most commonly used is the AXISdapter for PS3. Snaps into the back of your PS3 SIXAXIS (Or early model Dualshock 3s, the latest versions don’t work), and wire it into your stick to acieve wireless nirvana. 360 wireless mods are QUITE a bit more difficult, require an official microsoft 360 controller (the only wireless ones out there), which is hard to work with, as the triggers are not common ground, and a wireless dualmod is certainly not recommended for the faint of heart.
Neutrik adapters. Require an additional 24mm (or 15/16") hole on the case. Most commonly used are the USB A/B feed through and the RJ45 (ethernet cable). USB for PS3 and 360 dualmods, and the RJ45 for MC Cthulu variants (Will require you to make your own Ethernet/RJ45>USB A Male, RJ45>GCN RJ45>any other systems you’ll be making them for). The RJ45 is a bit technical, but totally worth it if you want to have every system of this and last generation covered in one stick. The USB feed through is perfect for the Cthulu or 360 boards. On the inside, plug (or solder) a USB A/B cable (“printer cable”) to the female A of the Neutrik, and screw it on to expose the female USB B end on the exterior of the stick. By using the USB feed through, you can have the option to carry your stick around without the wire sticking out. You’ll just need a USB A/B (“printer cable”) to plug into your stick to go to the system. An RJ45 is pretty much a requirement with ANY MC Cthulu set up…
Octagonal gate. A personal preference of mine. All sticks come with a stock square gate. Note, Square does NOT mean 4 way. A square gate means you’ll have a slightly different feel when moving the stick around. It’s hard to describe the difference, but definitely worth shelling out $5 to give it a try if you’re buying a JLF. NOTE: LS-32s do NOT have an octagonal gate option. You could make the gate for them, but if you really aren’t a hardcore Seimitsu fan, I’d just stick with the JLF.
Artwork. Not neccesary. Tons of guides are out there on how to do it, as well as plexiglass options for the most common sticks.
I think this about does it for what you need. ALL of this can be purchased at Lizard Lick (lizardlick.com), barring the case you want to use. I hope I didn’t scare you with all of the info and options, just didn’t want to leave any ends loose.