Fight stick for Switch part 1

Published 2020-02-02

I’m currently getting my ass kicked in Garou: Mark of the Wolves, a Neo Geo classic fighting game. I’m blaming it on the controller, and thus I decided to make my own Switch-compatible fight stick.


The idea is to sacrifice a cheap wireless controller, removing the original buttons and replacing them with connections to an arcade stick and buttons. This will be installed in a black laquered wood case.


I bought a wireless Switch controller for about 20 Euros. It’s low quality of course; the D-pad is horrible, but it works and I won’t be using the original buttons anyway.

As for the inputs; I’ve heard a lot of good things about Sanwa sticks and buttons. Since I’m too lazy to form my own opinion, I just ordered a Sanwa stick and a couple of buttons from Starcab.


Here’s the PCB of the controller.

From now on I will refer to the cross button as the “fork”.

Soldering the connectors

The PCB has enormous test points for the buttons and the directional pad. I soldered connectors to the D-pad and button test points as well as the common net. I replaced the shoulder button connections with my own.

The black wire on the shoulder button connector is the common net and goes to all the buttons and the stick. The common doesn’t seem to be ground as in a normal system, I’m wondering why.

On the female connectors I attached quick disconnect connectors, that mate to the Sanwa buttons. The wires going to the stick were soldered directly since I didn’t have the right connector.

The first test turned out successful: I was able to move, punch and kick wirelessly!

I did manage to mess up the stick though: down and right were swapped. A quick fix.

Check out part 2 to see how I created the fight stick housing.


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