The Big Arcade Stick / Fightstick Pushbutton Guide
- Be careful about buying on Amazon and other large retailers – they’re often notorious for mixing clones with the real thing (Sanwa buttons often have this issue).
- If you can wait, watch for sales around big fighting game events, Black Friday/Cyber Monday, and so on.
- While most buttons can be connected via 2.8mm quick disconnects, note that the switches used for American style buttons will usually need 6.3mm quick disconnects.
How do I know what I want?
If you’re new to buttons, it can feel like there’s a dizzying array of options out there, so narrowing down what will work with you can be a challenge. If the preceding material did not help, consider these questions to help you narrow down your selections:
- What sizes do you need? (24mm, 30mm, 28mm)
- What mounting format do you need/want? (screw-ins are usually preferred, but some sticks or otherwise don’t have room for them.)
- Do you want flat, convex (standard), or concave buttons?
- What’s your budget?
- What color(s) do you need for your application? If they’re not available in the buttons you’re interested in, will that be an issue?
- Do you know what sort of button “feel” you like? This can involve how much pressure is needed to trigger the button, how much travel is required to activate the button, and so on.
- Are there certain features you want that will exclude some of your options? (e.g. quiet buttons)
- Are there certain modifications you want to make (e.g. art inside the buttons) that some of your choices can’t do?
Basic Installation, Troubleshooting, Etc.
Installation is quite simple with most buttons; just identify the hole size you need to fill. For snap in buttons, just push the button in until the locking tabs engage. For screw-in buttons, remove the locking nut, then insert the button. From the other side, screw on the locking nut, with the “teeth” side facing toward the case.
To connect your buttons, you’ll need a ground connection and a signal connection (rarely, you’ll use a power connection as well). Normally, arcade pushbuttons operate on a “normally open” principle;
2022-05-08: Initial version published.