My first time building a custom stick


Well, I’m entirely bored as of late and after having my finger scream at me for attempting to use the D-pad for SF4 constantly, I’ve decided to invest in building at least a cheap stick. No worries, I’m fully aware that cheap doesn’t mean $30 - $40 in this sort of project so I’ve got approximately $115 - $130 set aside for this project. I want this build to have 2 sticks and a good number of buttons (ie, one for every button on a 360 controller including the dpad buttons) which adds up to about 15 buttons including the guide button. After looking into Happ and Sanwa parts which I’ve come to understand are the best for their respective regions, I decided the cost would possibly be too high for my first time at building a stick. Thus I stopped by these forums as they’ve been incredibly helpful in my decisions thus far.

I’ve decided (unless someone can point me to somewhere drastically cheaper to get brand name parts) on Xgamings bundle of parts HERE. I know these are happ clones, but with my budget being semi-limited, I’d rather still be able to make a good case. So I was wondering, for a beginner stick, would these be at least half decent parts?

Also, I have a decent amount of electronics background, so wiring isnt a problem at all. However, woodworking surely isn’t a strong point of mine so. Would MDF be a good material for the top and bottom of my build and if so what would i make the sides/front/back of the build from, assume it would have to be something thicker as the mdf would have to screw into it? Lastly, I’ve gathered that a sheet of plexiglass over top would be best, can I drill this with a standard hand drill/cut this with a skillsaw if i go slowly?

Sorry for the influx of nooby questions, just making sure I understand everything. :wgrin: Thanks guys.


Have you ever visited this guide?

Slagcoin - Joystick Controller Page

Have a good read of that and then check out the various stickies/threads on this forum and you should have most of your questions answered already…

hope that helps!


No, hadn’t seen that guide (even after a good amount of googling) looks nice :slight_smile: Thanks!


Wait, you are planning to use the analog sticks? How do you intend to do this?


I’m sorry? I’m rather confused. I’ll be using Xgaming joysticks, which are Happ clones wired to a 360 pcb. I maybe misunderstanding something here, but i thought this was a usual method for making a stick for 360?

Something very much akin to this. If there’s another way that is more convenient then please let me know, however, i figured since i already had a few wired controllers laying about, this would be the best/cheapest route.


You said you were going to have two joysticks and then buttons for the dpad. That isn’t how it works.

Also the X-arcade sticks and buttons tend to replaced alot with real parts, so you can proably fine used sets cheap.


As Mojo hinted, it isnt how things are done. Analog sticks are obviously Analog. NOT Digital. This means you can use varying amounts of pressure to control how games act etc etc. For the joystick directions, you must use digital signals. See where im going? You need to use the D-pad. If you want to go around converting your analog sticks into digital go right ahead although Im not even sure if it can be done, and even if it can I can assure you it’ll be a lot work. I think you really need to put a lot more research into the subject, what would you have done when it finally came to wiring up your joystick?

You can use buttons for the D-pad. I wouldnt suggest it though, unless you like that keyboard feel.


I thought he mean’t that he will (eventually) build two seperate arcade sticks…?


Since my last post i’ve been doing a bit of reading (also looking at the 360 pcb) and stand VERY VERY corrected :sweat: looks like i’m SOL on that idea. suppose I’ll just stick with the standard 6 button stuff. and wire the joystick to the dpad area. On the upside I’ll be able to afford some sanwa stuff now. Lizardlick is closed and its past the date they were supposed to reopen, any suggestions on where to buy sanwa sticks/buttons in the US?

Also thanks a TON for putting up with my noobiness.


People are saying good things about at the moment. Why not try there? Be expecting delays in most places though, nearly everybody have orders they still need to send out and are awaiting restocks. Check the stickies in this forum, there are a few stores in there.

#11 and for parts.

Keep doing your own research and asking specific questions and you will get good answers. :tup:

#12 is also taking order. Although based in Germany, they have quick turn arounds.


normally the average user gets flamed for making a post like this WTF lolz


I’m hoping this is because I’m asking with decent spelling/grammar and kindly. I realize some of the things i’ve asked can be found but I’ve no clue where to look until now.

Modchipman is perfect :smiley: ill be getting Sanwa parts from there. Will I need a wiring harness for the type of stick i’m going to do? <Should be my last question as I’ve picked all my parts now.


I think it depends on which joystick you choose and where you get it from. Assuming you go with the Sanwa JLF you need a wiring harness, you just have to check whether the vendor you purchase from includes it or not.


Sanwa JLF-TP-8YT Joystick, thats what I’m ordering, no, its not included but its only another $5 to buy it so that’s no big deal. Suppose that’ll be all for now til the parts get here and I see what I can fubar in the process of building this thing. :slight_smile: Thanks for all the help guys, really appreciate it.


You aren’t the average user.