Customizing one’s fightstick is a time-honored practice within the Fighting Game Community. For those that wield them, custom fighsticks are the ultimate show of appreciation for the genre, and for good reason. The process of fully customizing one’s fightstick can be tricky, but there are still plenty of reimgs for people to make it as simple as possible.
While creating a custom stick always takes some amount of effort, online reimgs has made it easier than ever to do so. Before the popularization of pre-made fightsticks, aficionados spent a hefty amount of time and money hunting down quality parts. Now, people can order all the necessary parts individually for relatively cheap online. With today’s reimgs, even the most demanding creations are comparatively easy. It all depends on how much time and money an interested player would like to spend.
For those who want to spend very little of either, pre-made fightsticks can be bought on pretty much every popular marketplace, such as Amazon. Those who prefer a more personal touch to their equipment can find a detailed part list and build guide on the dedicated fightstick site, Focusattack. Regardless of whether or not it comes pre-made, every fighstick comes with the same basic parts: a case, a joystick, the printed circuit board (or PCB), the buttons, and the internal wires.
Aside from the wires, cases can be the simplest fightstick part to consider. Anything that can house the fightstick’s internals will work. People have made fightsticks out of everything from cardboard boxes to hollowed-out game consoles. However, they become increasingly more complex the more a person wishes to stand out aesthetically. Many players settle for switching the art on their existing fightstick with a custom design, but the savvy builder can make their fightstick as stylish as they want using whatever artistic method they desire. Those who desire a simple art-swap, however, can easily order custom prints online.
The fightstick’s other parts generally require a bit more thought. The actual joystick itself is incredibly important, and different players often find themselves preferring different brands, stick shapes, and even spring tightness. However, the general gold standard joystick amongst stick uses is the Sanwa JLF. It’s a quality joystick, and it is found in most of the quality pre-made sticks on the market. Conversely, buttons are considerably less confusing despite having many more options. They come in many different shapes and colors, but are almost always cheap to acquire and easy to install. Most of the time they can simply be pushed or screwed in and wired up in moments. Players building their own cases will need to drill the right sized holes to suit their buttons.
Finally, PCBs (the part of the fightstick that sends and receives information from the console) can be the most intensive part to acquire and install in a Fightstick. PCBs that work on one (or even multiple) of the latest consoles can easily be acquired, and are often incredibly easy to install. Players can also rip the PCB out of any standard controller if they wish, but integrating these PCBs requires some delicate soldering work. Once the PCB is installed, players are free to connect their buttons and stick to it using the wire, hook it up to their Xbox, PlayStation, or PC of choice, and start playing.