Building your own arcade controls isn't for everyone. Tools, expertise, time, convenience... some folks just want to buy something and hook it up. This page is for you!
READ THIS BEFORE BUYING FROM ANY VENDOR LISTED HERE!
Section being revamped!
|Arcade Control Consoles|
Generally though, the vendors currently mentioned in this FAQ are great people to work with. Several regularly offer their expertise for free on the message board, giving away advice and techniques that could conceivably be costing them in lost sales opportunities. Whenever possible, I post feedback both good and bad in the reviews section of the main FAQ.
The best place to get opinions on a vendor you're thinking of doing business with is on the message board. Also, I'd strongly urge you to do two things: 1. Pay by credit card - this gives you various protections. 2. Insist that the vendor not charge your card until the product actually ships.
SUGGESTION: Before you do business with a vendor, ask on the message board as to their current status. Things tend to change quickly :) Also - if you've had noteworth service, be it good or bad, post it for all to see!
HotRod ArcadePC Cabinets Mas Systems Arcade Solutions Arcade Cabinets -=* Not taking cabinet orders presently *=- Ultimate Arcade Machine's custom cabinets
Jump to all Arcade Control Consoles
HotRod Joysticks PowerRamp -=* No longer being produced :( *=- Mas Systems Arcade Solutions Joystick Controllers BACK IN BUSINESS! OzStick XGaming's X-Arcade
Not sure about this section. Probably redundant as all components
are discussed in their respective areas, controls, interfaces, etc...
Side-By-Side Comparison at a glance
This piece has been deleted. Keeping up with changes proved difficult rendering this almost worthless.Hanaho
(Click for a larger view)
(Click for a larger view)
HotRod, Stick-It, and CustomArcade Side by side
The HotRod site no longer sells this model of "The Ultimate Joystick Control." You might still find one in an aftermarket somewhere, but all new sales are of the SE model below. "HotRod plugs right into your PC's keyboard and needs no additional hardware, software drivers, or external power to operate." They have two versions of the HotRod available. The founder is another regular contributor to the message board and a great guy. From their web page:
This is HotRod's fighting style version of the joystick. This appears to be the most popular model, has 7 buttons per player.
Places you can get support on the HotRod
|Build Your Own Arcade Controls Message boards, of course!|
|The Hanaho site itself|
Unofficial Support Page
This site includes among other things a message forum, and downloadable configuration files for various emulators designed to work with the HotRod.
Places you can purchase the HotRod:
18 buttons, for any gaming situation. Includes two on the side for pinball, as well as player 1 and 2 selection buttons, fully replicating the arcade look.
The Home Arcade Joystick
is a PC based model on the original arcade control panel designed for home
use. It plugs right into the back of your PC, through the PS/2 keyboard
port in between the keyboard and the PC. The Home Arcade Joystick is a
low-level bios input device, and it simulates a keyboard to your computer.
It was designed to replicate that classic arcade feel using retrogaming
emulation programs such as M.A.M.E., Retrocade, and commercial release
titles such as Microsoft's™ "Return of the Arcade", and "William's Classic
Arcade hits". Home Aracde simulates that "real" classic arcade experience,
by using real commercial grade arcade components, that are actually”overkill"
for the home market. However, it produces a nice effect for that avid classic
gamer who demands that authentic play. It is a very unique joystick, unlike
any regular joystick you will find on the market. It is capable of playing
1 to 2 player games side by side with your friends, or complex arcade games
that require dual joystick usage and can take the newest title releases
to the next level. The unit has been rated the top controller for 2 PLAYER
GAMES, as it adds serious head to head action with it’s unique layout.<p>
The unit is recommended and highly suggested for users of the MAME Emulator,
which allows you to play virtually any arcade game on your PC.
I've been tracking this vendor for well over a year to see if they'd show any signs of life, and had given up hope. Lo and behold, I get an email from Glenise that they've finally done so, and in a big way! Thanks Glenise! Check out what they're pitching:Arcade Solutions
Mas Systems offers a lot more than this (check out their build-your-own Dreamcast VGA Audio/Video Adapter), be sure to stop by! UPDATE - good luck ever getting them to return an email - try the phone instead.
- Arcade cabinets! They have custom arcade cabinets available not only for JAMMA, but they can also accomodate PSX, Dreamcasts, N64s, etc... They feature Wells Gardner RGB monitors, come in a variety of sizes and options, and run from $995 to $1195. They also support . . .
- The Super Pro.Stick! This is a 10 button, single joystick controller designed to support multiple systems, including PSX, N64, Saturn, NeoGeo, Dreamcast digital and analog, and soon IBM-PC compatibles - fully programmable! Currently going for $79.95, with an additional $30 per each additional system.
This site offers an incredible variety of custom designed arcade control consoles. The founder is also a regular contributor to the message board and a great guy. A brief summary of the custom-built arcade joysticks:
Wow! An awesome looking getup if you want one but don't want to build your own :) Being a specialist in customized products, the above information may be out of date. Check their web site for up to date information. Check out reviews of their products.
ArcadePC Standard package
This site offers an incredible variety of ready-made products for sale. Way too much to fully detail here, but in a short nutshell... They offer full sized custom-built MAME cabinets, custom-built arcade joysticks, and genuine multi-game-switchable arcade cabinets. The founder is also a regular contributor to the message board and a great guy. A brief summary of the MAME cabinets:
Wow! Definitely pricey, but an awesome looking getup if you want one but don't want to build your own :) Being a specialist in customized products, the above information may be out of date. Check their web site for up to date information. Anyone with any experience with these folks, please send me FEEDBACK! :)
MrArcade is a regular
on the message board and has built numerous cabinets on the examples page.
As a sideline, he's built and is willing to build custom arcade cabinets
for folks. Email him for details, but to see samples of his work
check out his projects. Ultimate
Arcade Mark I. Ultimate
Arcade Mark II. Ultimate
Arcade Mark III (cocktail model). Ultimate
Arcade Mark IV. Ultimate
Arcade Mark V. Ultimate
Arcade Mark VI. Ultimate
Arcade Mark VII.
The Twisty Grip page started as a StarWars style yoke controller. They have since expanded to offer blueprints, spinners, and free build-your-own spinner instructions. The creator is a great guy, with quick responses to my emails, and is another contributor to the message board. Nothing but good reports on TwistyGrip.
From their web page:
By 1997 the game was headed towards oblivion. Fortunately, today's personal computers were able to play the original Star Wars program for free. They used a special program called Mame. But that special controller was nowhere to be found.
Twisty-Grip is a yoke that acts like an analog joystick! It uses a two-handed grip to control the X and Y position of a game. It has a trigger for each finger and a fire button for each thumb. The electronics of the yoke are identical to a 4-button, 2-axis joystick. Currently, some MAME-emulated games have trouble with a joystick (e.g. RoadBlasters and Super-Sprint ). If you want to use the yoke with an unlisted game, make sure you can play the game with a joystick first. The Twisty-Grip connects via joystick port.
Anything here is kept simply to avoid 404's. The vendors here are not in business.
The heart behind CustomArcade is modularity... Their control systems can be purchased in a variety of ways - a control panel top only (controls, no interface or box), panel with interface (no box), or panel with interface and box. They have 4 different panel configurations presently, all which use the same interface and fit the same box. Purchase one complete system, and all you need to purchase from then on is the control panel tops, saving you the cost of the electronics and box should you want multiple control panels. Additionally, their control panels fit into their CustomArcade cabinet should you choose to upgrade!
The consoles range from $135 to $325 depending on which options you choose and whether you purchase the panel alone or electronics/box. Available options include multiple joysticks (4 way, 8 way, and top fire), spinners and trackballs, as well as "vibration detection" technology for pinball games.
The interface is a KE72T keyboard encoder from Hagstrom Electronics, which is capable of 72 discrete inputs meaning no ghosting. The consoles come in an incredible array of colors, literally hundreds of choices, some at the standard cost, some at a premium.
CustomArcade is also the only place you can purchase the StarWars Yokes originated by TwistyGrip.
CustomArcade is the brainchild of Ray Iddings, a great guy and regular contributer to the message board. Definitely a system to consider, and on my short list! Visit their reviews.
site has disappeared!
This controller is made specifically for MAME, using a keyboard hack with a controller from Fry's Electronics, and parts from Happ Controls. With 3 weeks of testing, he has found no problems with keyboard ghosting. Read my review for another perspective. 2 joysticks, coin up, escape, 1 plr, 2 plr, and 6 control buttons (3 each joystick).
I was fortunate enough to get my hands on one, check out my hands-on review here :)
BUYER BEWARE- Stick it has not responded to emails or delivered their new product in several months. I would avoid purchasing from them until they are heard from again.
The PowerRamp is a stand-alone
joystick available from Actlabs.
It has an arcade quality "digital ball and rod" joystick with 14 programmable
buttons. It uses the keyboard port with a passthrough interface meaning
you get both joystick and keyboard functional via the keyboard port. From
their web site:
It has gotten decent reviews from the folks at Dave's Classics, both to be used "as-is" and also as a start for designing your own controls.
of the PowerRamp.
See head to head reviews of the PowerRamp vs. the V-Stick.
The POUNDER apparently is no longer in production. The old information on it will be left for aftermarket info and/or in case it comes back.
The POUNDER is another stand
alone arcade control set made by Douglas Prinn, and is available
From his web page: "The POUNDER has 8 real arcade buttons, a steel shafted
arcade joystick. The chassis is metal, and the top is wood, just like a
real arcade machine. No plastic here. OK, so the buttons are nylon. All
controllers are fully tested, and have a 1 year warranty." The prices range
from US $89 to $160 depending on model, and he will customize a product
for you if desired.
The creator of the POUNDER has submitted an admittedly biased review which will help you get more of an idea what it's about - thanks Douglas!
The RetroStik is no longer
for sale. The creator of the RetroStik passed this message along
I'm leaving up the old information for RetroStik in case there's any aftermarket sales or it ever comes back...
RetroSTIK is an impressive looking stand alone arcade control system. The creator of RetroSTIK is the one who suggested the diode solution to eliminating ghosting problems, and frequently lends his wisdom to the message board. One of the great things about RetroSTIK that you can totally specify the configuration you want for your system. The price may be outside of some people's range however. Nothing but good reports from folks on RetroStik.
From their webpage:
If your RetroSTIK™ is equipped with "mouse-like" devices (like trackball, rotary joystick, spinner) this requires a serial port and any standard mouse driver to function.
To program your RetroSTIK™,
you must be able to run a DOS program. The program has been tested
under DOS and Windows 98/NT, but it should also work in OS/2, UNIX and
The V-Stick is not presently accepting orders, and has not been for some time. The old information will remain in case they do begin selling again.
The V-Stick is a stand alone
arcade control set. It is a very slick looking product with a full-sized
arcade cabinet control set feel. From the web site:
PC-ARCADE SEEMS TO HAVE DISAPPEARED
Another newcomer to the scene, PC Arcade is selling an arcade joystick for the pc available in two styles and 3 colors. It's either a 1 or 2 joystick configuration, 4 buttons total either way, and I'm guessing a joystick hack though I could be wrong. I've emailed the seller asking for more information. It's $69.99 for the 1 stick, $99.99 for the 2 stick, and $10 for shipping domestically, $16 out of the states.
VENDOR OUT OF BUSINESS. LINK KEPT HERE FOR POSTERITY AND TO AVOID 404 ERRORS!
<< No longer in business >>
VENDOR OUT OF BUSINESS. LINK KEPT HERE FOR POSTERITY AND TO AVOID 404 ERRORS!
<< No longer in business >>
Arcadium Arcade Gaming System
Arcade Gaming System by ArcadeWare is available with an impressive,
albeit pricey, list of features! It's a 74" tall arcade
cabinet with a Pentium computer inside. Right off the bat I'll
share that it costs $5999
(yes, that's 6 grand), so it's mostly targeted at businesses and the idle
rich! Some of it's impressive features:
There's a 30 day money back guarantee (10% restocking fee == $600) with a 1 year warranty. Price does not include tax/shipping/handling. Their web site still shows signs of being new, with several unfinished sections. It's worth a visit even if the price tag scares you away :) Anyone ordering one, please let me know!
Here's a product that
apparently's been available since 1999 for housing game consoles in an
arcade cabinet. From their web page:
Standard Cabinet Features
The Hovok System Master includes the standard cabinet, the 25" television, and the five speaker sound upgrade. The cost is $2040, with $160 for shipping. Anyone with experience with this cabinet please let us know! Thanks to X-ian for the heads up!