Arcade-style joysticks

Note: I have rebuilt these joysticks since this page was posted. See the new page for details.


I don't play much for video games these days, but when I do, I like the classic arcade games. You can't play an arcade game with a gamepad, though -- that's just wrong. So I made these.


There really isn't much to say about these. The joysticks and buttons are easily available from online suppliers. To interface with the computer, I just hacked apart a couple of $10 gamepads, and soldered wires directly to the button pads. I've seen other people on the internet go to great lengths to use an expensive keyboard controller, but I think the hacked gamepad approach is better. This way, I retain all those nice features like USB, plug and play, native support in Windows, and it only cost me $20 worth of gamepads.

thumbs/joysticks_front_thumb.jpg thumbs/joysticks_close_thumb.jpg thumbs/joysticks_inside_thumb.jpg

The construction is 1/2" MDF for the top and bottom, and 3/4" MDF for the sides. The finish is grey Rustoleum Hammered Finish. It's plenty durable... no sign of wear even after over a year of use. The tops are angled at about 12 degrees, which I find quite comfortable. The total cost was about $75 for the pair, while comparable commercial offerings sell for $100 each.