Up to this point you’ve heard a lot about joysticks, push buttons, trackballs and spinners, but what about the other good stuff? Well here I will discuss some of the other controls you have to choose from when it comes to playing your arcade games.
- Light Guns – A very popular choice to include with arcade cabinets as they can be used in many arcade shooting games, and let’s face it playing Area 51 or Time Crisis just isn’t the same with out a light gun in hand. Before running out and buying a light gun you need to take into account your display and system (computer or console).
LCD TopGun – Arguably one of the best light guns available for PC’s and consoles. Has the ability to work on all kinds of displays, a good authentic feel and is very accurate when properly configured. I plan on using two of thee with my MAME cabinet and will purchase them from Play-Asia (the guns used to be sold by Lik-Sang, but they recently were shut down by Sony lawsuits). Here is a pretty long thread at BYOAC about the LCD TopGun.
ACT Labs Gun – The ACT Labs gun is another alternative although it has a very ‘toyish’ look and feel to it. It has been said that this light gun is pretty accurate and fairly easy to install. Check out the RetroBlast review of the ACT Labs Gun.
- Steering Wheel & Pedals – Any USB or Game Port compatible steering wheel for the PC should be able to work in MAME, especially most newer models. Bestbuy usually has a pretty decent selection of steering wheel set ups. Another place to check out is Thrustmaster, they have a pretty big selection of products and can help you find vendors. Some people have used steering wheels made for consoles with their MAME cabinets, check out Dann’s Detachable Steering Wheel. Just like the other controls you installed for the cabinet be sure to properly configure it in MAME, or whatever program you are using, and everything should work fine.
- Flight Yokes – The only difference between a flight yoke and a steering wheel is a flight yoke operates on three axes (x, y, z) while a steering wheel only operates on two (x, y). You can check out Twisty-Grips Make Your Own Star Wars Yoke guide. Gamecab.com used to make Star Wars yoke replicas but as of May 2004 they suspended production. You may want to check out e-bay or purchase a PC joystick/ yoke.
- Dance Pad – If you are looking to get some DDR action in you could try using Play-Asia’s 3in1 Dance Pad which can be used with Xbox, PS2 or a PC. There are adaptors available to use a PSX/2 dance pad with a PC. Or if you would like to you can try to build one using Rip Tide’s Guide to Build an Arcade Style DDR Pad.
After you’ve added a few extra controls its time to add some artwork and finish up your arcade machine!