Custom Arcade Sticks

The origin

It all started in the mid-90’s, when I knew the existence of the arcade machine emulator M.A.M.E. (Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator). When I saw them I was impressed, it was like a return to the past, to be able to play at home to those old machines of the bar, of the arcade machine room. After the first games, I thought about creating a game control with the same components used in the arcade machines in the past.

Firstly I searched in Internet where these components could be got and finally I bought them in the main supplier of spare parts here in Spain.
The next thing was quick, get woods, wires and an old keyboard to connect it to the computer. With these ingredients, with my brother’s electronics knowledge and a bit of patience, we made our first Arcade Stick for 2 players. Unfortunately I do not keep any pictures of that jewel, although to be honest, it was not very beautiful aesthetically, we did it very fast because we wanted to start playing quickly. It worked wonderfully.

The new creation

Despite the good performance of the Arcade Stick, with the time some limitations appeared, as the PS2 connection of the old keyboard that was disappearing in the new computers (replaced by the USB port). So I decided to do something more aesthetic and with the best components that could be got. After searching the internet, I bought japanese components of the brands Sanwa and Seimitsu, which were the most used in fighting game competitions because of their great precision. After buying the pieces, I started building the second Arcade Stick. The result was wonderful, both from a functional and aesthetic point of view (you can see several images and a detailed description by clicking on the image).
From that moment, we began to enjoy the new creation and the truth is that the gameplay experience was, and still is, unbeatable.

Several years later and after many hours of use, I decided to show it uploading several images in a forum.
People liked it and I was surprising when several people asked me if I agreed to make some Arcade Stick on request. Thus I began to build up to a total of 13 Arcade Sticks , all of them completely customized. Components, dimensions, button layout, system in which it was to be used (PlayStation, PC, Xbox, etc.), color, illustration… everything was made custom. It was a challenge for me, each order had new things that made me investigate and learn many things: concepts of electronics, improve welding, design and make electronic PCBs, hack PCBs of different consoles, improve my DIY techniques… Of course, everything was done in no hurry, it was really a hobby that entertained me the little free time I had.


Some time ago I stopped making Arcade Sticks and the truth is that I do not have intention of make more. But the personal satisfaction with the works that I made is huge.
Below you can see all the Arcade Sticks that I made. Clicking on them you will access to the gallery of images and you can see a detailed description of each of them.

I do not discard publishing a tutorial about the construction of Custom Arcade Sticks in the future. In any case, with the information that exists in the network, with desire and with a bit of patience, anyone can make one.
If you like classic games, both on arcade machines and video game consoles, I encourage you to make an Arcade Stick. It is laborious, but the satisfaction of make it yourself is incredible.