TL;DR How to customize your arcade stick
- Get new buttons
- Get a new lever
- Buy or make your own artwork
- Remove your old parts
- Install the new ones
- Get an Arcade Stick Shaft Extender
- Get a special Arcade Stick Travel Bag
Make sure to be prepared and gather your tools, before you start customizing your arcade sticks! This includes a flat head screwdriver, sandpaper and other depending on your case!
First, do your research and make sure what type of buttons are you using currently (dimensions). Then you need to buy your next pair of buttons you want to swap with. If you haven’t already, you can buy them from focusattack.com.
When your done with your purchase, you can move on to opening your arcade stick (usually from the screws beneath or on top of it) and disconnecting the buttons from the wiring. When removing the wiring, make sure to do so with a flat head screwdriver, since some connectors have glue attached to them, so you don’t damage anything in the process.
In order to remove the buttons from the case, you have to examine them and see how they are attached to the case. In the example of Sanwa buttons, they have two “snap ons” that hold them to the case. You can remove them by squeezing them together and removing them.
Now you can install your new buttons by following their instructions (different buttons have different installation technique) Note: Make sure to remember which wire goes to which button!
Swapping the Stick
Swapping the lever (stick) starts by opening the case and removing the wiring connecting the lever and
the PCB (be gentle when doing so, because you can do damage to it).
When you open your case and look at the lever from below, you will find a spot to place your flat head screwdriver in. When you do so, all you have to do is unscrew the lever by ball/bat top and start turning it counter clock wise!
You can now place your new lever the same way you dismounted the old one and make sure to connect the wires from the PCB again!
Making your own artwork
You can go in different ways when you are placing your artwork. You can either order one, or you can make one yourself by using for example Photoshop. In both cases you are going to need to know your case dimensions, in order for the artwork to fit your case. If your using some of the best arcade sticks or the more known ones, there will be plenty of resources online for you!
From this point on it is relatively easy. You need to remove all the pieces from your arcade stick and then place you artwork on top of it. When your done, just place everything back in order and you are good to go!
Arcade stick accessories
If you wish to add a little more spunk to your build, there are a wide range of possibilities to choose from! One idea is to replace your Arcade stick parts with LED (light-emitting diode) ones.
Building a LED Arcade stick is fairly easy, as there are parts that usually have the needed components inside them, and require little to none effort to install.
There is of course the option to buy LED separately and simply put it inside the case or around the
Arcade stick components. If you choose this path, you need to take into consideration the fact that
different buttons affect the way that any LED can mount them.
Here is an example of a person that bought buttons with built-in LED and how he installs them:
Another example are the different types of Battops available, including Glass, Bi-colored, clear, hollow, see-through. There are even custom hand-made Arcade stick Joysticks on website like etsy.com with unique artwork.
Arcade stick Joystick Shaft Extenders
People with bigger hands, that aren’t comfortable with the regular Joystick shaft sizes, usually find comfort in purchasing a Joystick shaft extender which helps out with their grip. I would suggest purchasing this if you find trouble with a comfortable grip.
Arcade stick bags
A good way to protect your Arcade fight stick during travel is investing in a backpack made specifically for that. A regular duffle bag just isn’t going to cut it, taking into consideration the amount of money that you’ve spent on your Arcade stick.
There are professional bags made for Fight sticks with protective paddings, semi-rigid built-in joystick shields, large interior storage and even laptop sleeves and extra pockets, which make it useful in other instances aswell! The design of bags in this calliber is also a nice added bonus.
One of the best backpacks I’ve come across is on Amazon