Pacman proper control?

I’m dying to play Super Pac Man and the others and other 4 way Mame games. Is the only true way to get proper control buying a x arcade or some other pre made arcade stick and then modding it out with a true 4 way stick. It sure seems that way. I’ve been wanting to properly play for over decade yet every where I look I can’t find a pre made stick that will do it justice. I get why most are for fighting games and need 8 way stick. But jesus seems crazy to me that at least there would be one option for true 4 way and 2 way play. You got x arcade charging up to $200 for a controller and their slogan is “Xgaming doesn’t settle and neither should you.” yea right up to where you want to sell me stuff with knock off parts. Seriously $200 and you can’t put in cherry switches you cheap …Anyway do you have any thoughts on this and a solution. Paradise Arcade Shop has cherry switches for $1.40. Ultrimarc sells tracballs and spinners(for like tempest or Tron proper controls). But no one place offers a true experience from what I can tell.

Also last few days I been looking around. I see it’s bascially a DIY hobby it seems like. Every single person damn near anyway says they replace this or that from x arcade they buy. Then I came across this place and see loads of knowledge about such things. I’m 45 I remember the glory days of old and wanting to throw something out the window because controls suck wasn’t part of that glory.

I sent out two PM’s on building or modding an xarcade or something and I see or read I think you have a sale section where maybe just maybe someone modded something for true 4 way and I could just buy that. I mean really I’d buy something just for pac man types games alone , I don’t care about being able to play fighting games. Not that big a deal I’ll use xbox controller plugged into pc for that stuff. But don’t torture me with utter crap pac man controls. You’re killing my childhood x arcade.

Moved to Tech Talk.

You can rotate the restrictor gate on your bog standard Sanwa JLF that’s in almost any retail stick and Japanese candy cab nowadays.

P.S. X-Arcade’s are horrible.

Brings up an interesting point. We have the know-how, but are we really going to bother with a dedicated 4-way stick (case and all) for these type of games? And if not, how can we swap levers in the shortest amount of time?

My main lever is the Hayabusa so I demoted my Sanwa JLF to 4-way duties. I got a whole bunch of M4 x 12mm thumb screws for my Mad Catz TE so it only takes me about 10 seconds to open up the panel. And I’m seriously considering getting this Black & Decker AS6NG Alkaline Cordless Screwdriver to save precious seconds unscrewing to swap levers. Am I nuts?

Possibly, you could be possibly nuts or you have a great idea.

I seen one forum user made his panels detach with magnets, and have various panels can can be hot swapped
For the wiring, 2 DB25 connectors are used to disconnect and connect all the wiring to the panel.

I believe @FreedomGundam took that a step further, and even made the PCB into a modular box

I don’t have that kind of know how. But I actually seen that video last night and people said just like the X Arcade that it doesn’t truely work like the x arcade you still hit the diagonals and it screws up gameplay. Up and left I believe. Which they say you can still do 20% of the time. That’s awful. I’d guess 40% of the time on an 8 way stick it happens in pac man. And Super Pac Man forget it. That game is blinding fast compared to the other pac mans when you eat super power dot and hold button for super speed. In that case 8 way is unplayable completely really.

And yea I know x arcade sucks. Every where I look people just replace its parts with proper sticks and cherry switches. I just have zero clue on how to do it. I’ve seen videos sure. I’ve done some research but I don’t feel great about taking on the task. I guess I’m just annoyed that some company hasn’t taken to task to make a proper setup unlike x arcade who uses crap parts if you ask me. If you’re gonna charge someone $200 spend the F’ing $1.40 and put cherry switches in you cheap bastards.

And I get why they don’t bulid tons of 4 way sticks. Most games aren’t 4 way. But they should least have a solo stick version with the option.

So it really does come down to buying something and building it yourself or paying someone else to do it. Oh I seen somewhere that you could set MAME to 4 way in the settings but I’ve never seen that option. I also actually use MAME32 is my setup. Maybe that’s why, not sure. And yea dedicated stick, play super pac man or pac man on your restrictor to get 4 way and see how many times it still screws you and you die in the game. You’ll want to throw it all out the window.

And thanks everyone for your insight and feedback.

Thinking about it now, and since the original Pac-man joystick long since been discontinued.
I Feel a Seimitsu joystick set to 4 way using the sub-gate would be the closest approximation
Unless someone made a clone of that Pacman joystick.

Here is what I found first last week while researching options.
Scroll down to almost bottom of page till you see Ms Pac Man listed
Ms Pac Man & Dragons Lair Joystick
It’s $33 shipped for true 4 way stick. Video on youtube showing it in use and what not. He has his Ms Pac Man set to the speed mod too so precession is key.

Also there are the Mag-Stik Plus Ball-Top sticks from Ultimarc or their ultrastick I’m not really sure which would work best but I’m pretty sure the true 4 way from terry would work to perfection. So I was considering an x arcade solo then swapping out the terry true 4 way with xarcades stick. Or having someone do it from here in the mods section. Either way I’m trying to find the best real solution to control on these classic games of my youth. Thanks again for your input and help.

Seimitsu LS-40 with 4-way restrictor

Yea but every time I look , which is hard to do because there isn’t tons of topics on playing pac man, I also see someone say restrictor plates don’t work well enough and the diagonals can still be hit messing up the controls.

I have the idea of buying x arcade tank and gutting it completely by replacing right sides player 2 to a true 4 way pac man stick. Replacing all buttons with IL concave buttons w/ cherry switches. And player 1 stick maybe an IL or sanwa 8 way stick. Probably what $70 for replacement parts on top of $200 for tank. I won’t really play fighting games that much. The stupid button layout on an x arcade actually works better for the games I’d be playing. Plus I play pinball games a lot too now that I think about it , It’s side buttons might be great for that for a real type feel.

I’m just nervous about restrictors because every time I read about them and pac man I read it doesn’t work.

Links to where you saw that restrictors don’t work?

I’d find it hard to believe that restrictors aren’t doing to their job of, well, restricting. I’ve played Pac-Man with a JLF with the restrictor twisted over for 4-way control, and while I’m no Pac-Mac expert, it felt just fine to me. My gut feeling for those who say that restrictors aren’t working for 4-way play are people who are purposefully trying to forcefully hit diagonals. If a 4-way restrictor is allowing you to hit diagonals, you’ve most likely broken the restrictor.

I seen several comments in last week or two in my searching that have mentioned up and left I believe it was still wasn’t being restricted and it causes issues. Now I can’t recall what stick they were using I forget. But every where I look they say just to get a true 4 way.

Now if a 8 way with restrictor will work ,that’d be fantastic. Saves a lot of hassle. Maybe it was the crap x-arcade and their restrictor gimmicky fix. But I know I seen a person with a real proper stick using a rectrictor and they said it still messed up sometimes. If I’m going to pay $300+ to have someone build one from here. I don’t want any screw up when it comes to controls. So I’m just trying to gather on what I should do.

Most people here play fighting games there is very very little thoughts here on proper pac man controls. Hell there is very little to find anywhere frankly. It’s all about fighting games when it comes to these things for the most part.

Also I care about super pac man more than I do pac man. And Super pac man is way harder to control when Super most super fast. I mean I hope there is a 4/8 way solution that works. I don’t want to spend $300 to have a controller built that’s just 4 way for pac man. That would suck.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but based on your posts here, it sounds like you’ve done a ton of research on the subject, but have yet to actually try anything in-hand.
Maybe you can find someone in your area who already has a JLF in place, and switch the restrictor to 4-way, and you can try it out to see how it feels before you make any decisions?

You’re totally correct last time I used a joystick was the arcade. I’m 45 yrs old now. Yea there isn’t a lot of research to be done. Most people here don’t care about playing a 35 year old game. I hoped to get a few people to flip their restrictors and test 4 way. But I get it but I still have hope that someone will chime in one day. I pretty much have zero chance of trying someone else’s setup out.

Someone has offered to build me something but for $300 and a true 4 way making it worthless for any other type games. Not sure I’m that into bringing back my childhood. Now if I got dual sticks, trac ball and spinner with pinball buttons on the side, I’d drop $300 in a heart beat haha. Which still brings me back to my buying xarcade tank setup and replacing all the parts with proper sticks and buttons. That would almost be what I wanted and still be in the price range. IF i learned to replace all the parts myself.

It just sucks something that should be so simple is overlooked by the market. They are classic games afterall.

I wouldn’t be surprised if JLF is poor for Pacman. The four-way restrictor is a diamond, literally the square restrictor rotated 45 degrees. That, and take it from someone who has tried the JLF with MAME, the far engage distances make it poor for retro gaming. That stick was designed for modern fighting games, and modern fighting games only.

I’d be more interested in seeing how well the LS-32 or LS-40 with the plus restrictor work for four way. The plus restrictor appears to have more difficult to access corners than the JLF diamond restrictor.

Here’s the Seimitsu restrictor people keep telling you about:

What about something as simple as this thing.

Yea I know its replica parts but I wonder how much something like that would cost. Seriously $300-400 to play pac man 4 way proper I mean seems insane.

The Seimitsu or Sanwa set to 4 way play is a better option than that stick from the eBay link.

Oh yea I totally get that , I just mean something that simple. I’d never buy that thing from ebay. I’m just trying to figure out what would work and I don’t want to limit myself spend $300 and only be able to do 4 way. I don’t want to waste money, but I don’t mind spending a lot if it can be done right. I’m just wondering if something nicer like you guys use for fighting, when set to 4 way it works just fine. Mag-Stik Plus able to switch easy would be sweet if it worked good. I just need to figure out what actually does work well and then go from there and I’m still trying to figure that out.

There anyone here with an LS-32 or LS-40 that can help this guy? Using the stock triple restrictor?

Yea it’s so hard. Most serious custom stick people use 8 way and don’t care about pac mans of the world. Thanks for trying to get me some more feedback on what works well. I spent 10 hours yesterday reading anything I could find on sticks and pacman and different setups.

I think I’ve ruled out totally the mag stick plus ball top, although it would probably work just fine. After spending hours reading I don’t think it’ll feel right , all silent, little resistance really short throw. Basically a fine working one just total unlike real arcade feel.

So I think J-Stik (Japanese) Ball-Top with restrictor plate(not sure if it comes with the 4/8 way included but anyway. And I’m not sure did the old arcade games of my day have cherry switches on the sticks or just the buttons. Either way might have them swapped out on the stick to so cherries all around. I don’t have great need for everything to be exact , as I know they can’t be the old sticks aren’t made anymore and well the more I think about it the more I’m certain I need a 4/8 switchable that’ll work good instead of a straight 4 way. Cause how the heck would I play Tron(not the crap disk version haha) and the other games that use 8 way with just 4 way stick. Also yea checking both those sticks you mentioned too LS 32/40 as I was up way to late 5 am last night trying to find info. From here , mame forums and wherever I could find info, youtube.

Then I got sidetracked for layouts for custom config. Here are few I came up with.

So I think that’s close to what I’m looking for dual sticks, spinner and track with the near button layout of one of my all time favs Stargate. Crude cut up job moving the things around layout wise but you get the idea. Might have to slide things to right some and the 8 buttons would be game buttons I wouldn’t need player one and start all that on it. I don’t mind using xbox controller or keyboard to start a game. I say that because I can’t remember the total number of buttons one can have, but coin button and start would be nice. And buttons would be concave like old arcade games with cherry switches. Would keep the color scheme of red , green and white buttons in the one part. Maybe rest just white.

And really I could probably be talked out of the track ball all together because I don’t care all that great about centipede games honestly , I always sucked at them haha. It would be a way to keep cost down. But a spinner for Tempest and Tron is a MUST.