In the fighting game community, you can easily stand out with a custom fightstick. The instructions in this tutorial will be based on the average fightstick with a standard layout. Thus, always refer to the instructions manual for your fightstick of choice. You will likely have to order parts. If you want to apply new artwork, you will probably need to go to a print shop. Your manual labor should take about an hour.
Buttons are just buttons, but, for joysticks, you might need a handle, shaft, and dust washer. As for tools, you will potentially need a flathead screwdriver, hex screwdriver, needle nose pliers, scissors, and a utility knife. You might be interested in this set of screwdrivers along with some pliers. For artwork, you can fire up your favorite image editing software. Some manufacturers actually provide silhouette templates.
- Detach the joystick by first unscrewing the top panel of the fightstick if you need to.
- Rotate the bottom of the joystick’s shaft counterclockwise with the flathead screwdriver.
- Complete the detachment of the joystick shaft along with the joystick itself.
- Remove the buttons by first disconnecting the button wires with the pliers.
- Pull the plastic protectors away from the buttons.
- Pinch the sides of each button to push the button outside the fightstick.
- Take the frame apart by using the hex screwdriver to loosen the plexiglass screws.
- Do not discard the stock artwork as you might want to use it for future reference.
- Download digital artwork from your manufacturer in your console version if needed.
- Print out the artwork at a local printing shop to the actual size.
- Cut the artwork to fit by cutting the outer border with scissors.
- Place the stock artwork on a flat surface to cut the holes with the knife.
- Apply your new artwork on the unmovable metallic frame at the bottom.
- Line up the button holes of the new artwork with the metallic frame.
- Put the plexiglass with the flat side facing down and lined up with the button holes.
- Set the plastic outer frame with the flat side on top and screw holes facing down.
- Press your new buttons into the holes from the top.
- Reconnect the button wires to your metal button contacts.
- Insert the flathead screwdriver back into the groove of the joystick.
- Install the joystick top on the opposite end of the joystick.
- Twist the joystick top until firm.