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What's the BEST Atari 2600 joystick.

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Not trying to start a runmble, but BITD, it was the Wico sticks. However, I bought a NoS one a year or so ago and the stick was so stiff because the rubber bushing had hardened, then it "broke" or whatever and became so loose it was pointless.

 

So, TODAY, 2019, what is the best joystick.

 

I'd say there are two catgories:

 

1. Sticks from BITD that have held up and can still work well today

2. (Relatively) Modern controllers that work well.

 

And ... GO! :)

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When I was 11 years old, I would have said Wico. Today, I think it is the CX40 (or the flashback version). Nice short throw let's you get serious about high scores. When it is working, it can't be beat. Just try to beat your high score on Frostbite or Dragonfire with a Wico vs a CX40.

 

I wish there was a CX40 design with 2 buttons that worked on the NES and 8 bit computers.

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CX40 all the way. Anything else is just weird.

 

I have 2 from Best Electronics with the PCB and silicone boot upgrades, hopefully these will stay in better shape than my original sticks.

 

I am interested in trying the microswitch board posted here in the forum though.

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I'm a Wico guy all the way but I also really like the Slik Stick

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I've tried most of the 3rd party sticks/controllers from BITD and for me, it's no contest... good 'ol CX40 with Best upgrades.

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Wico has way to long of a throw. Best I've used is one I built with arcade sticks. I'm sure the Edladdin controllers would work the same. Strong so you don't have to worry about breaking them in the heat of game play. Shorter throw, excellent response. I have beat a lot of scores using this stick.

 

Tac-2 is ok and the Epyx is pretty good for certain games. Best all around stick, definitely one built with arcade parts.

 

I've attached a photo of one I have built. Build your own or buy one from somebody. There are lots of sellers on the boards. Just my 2 bits worth ;)

post-38599-0-38778400-1557410070.jpg

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Always thought Wico sticks had too long a throw, good to see when others recognize that. If only their sticks were a tad shorter.

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The Slik Stik is my number one. After that the TAC-2. The CX-40 is a distant 3rd (I've never actually used a CX-10 that I can remember, so I can't rank that).

 

The Wico sticks are terrible. I've never understood why people seem to love them so much.

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I've tried quite a few different ones and in my opinion, you can't beat upgraded CX-40s. I rebuilt a couple with the Best Gold parts and they are amazing. I want to build a set with the new micro switch boards, but I haven't had the cash. I'm not a fan of the Wico stick either. I have built a few controllers from NES and Genesis gamepads. They work pretty well, but don't have the same nostalgia. I do have a few other customs in the works that might turn out to be decent and I've got some vintage controllers I need to mess with a bit more before I decide how I feel about them.

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Wico has way to long of a throw. Best I've used is one I built with arcade sticks. I'm sure the Edladdin controllers would work the same. Strong so you don't have to worry about breaking them in the heat of game play. Shorter throw, excellent response. I have beat a lot of scores using this stick.

 

Tac-2 is ok and the Epyx is pretty good for certain games. Best all around stick, definitely one built with arcade parts.

 

I've attached a photo of one I have built. Build your own or buy one from somebody. There are lots of sellers on the boards. Just my 2 bits worth ;)

 

 

where can someone like me get one of those arcade style contraptions- is your model you like still available for sale?

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Not to sound like a self-serving shill, but Im my own favorite customer.

 

The Twin FTW

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Not trying to start a runmble, but BITD, it was the Wico sticks. However, I bought a NoS one a year or so ago and the stick was so stiff because the rubber bushing had hardened, then it "broke" or whatever and became so loose it was pointless.

 

So, TODAY, 2019, what is the best joystick.

 

I'd say there are two catgories:

 

1. Sticks from BITD that have held up and can still work well today

2. (Relatively) Modern controllers that work well.

 

And ... GO! :)

 

Hands down the best joystick I have ever used for an Atari is the original controller in the very earliest Atari 2600 units. That later cost-cutting joysticks we are all familiar with pale in comparison. Atari should have never did away with these sticks. They are so much easier on your hands. I can play a lot longer without any hand cramping with these early sticks. Unfortunately, they are incredibly rare and not easy to identify in pictures.

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Didn't know so many disliked or had problems with Wicos. I don't know what people mean by "throw" but I've always found them very responsive and comfortable to use.

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Throw is how much travel(movement) is required to actually get a direction to register. Typically, less throw provides the potential for quicker response times.

 

I never had an issue with the throw on Wico sticks either though. I'll have to dig out my 'Boss' and see if I still feel that way.

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The Slik Stik is my number one. After that the TAC-2. The CX-40 is a distant 3rd (I've never actually used a CX-10 that I can remember, so I can't rank that).

 

The Wico sticks are terrible. I've never understood why people seem to love them so much.

 

Out of curiosity, I just ordered a Slik Stik on ebay. I don't think I've ever tried one before.

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Out of curiosity, I just ordered a Slik Stik on ebay. I don't think I've ever tried one before.

Slik Stiks are great! Nice short throw and seem indestructible. I have a pair that I’ve owned since 2008 and have never had to do a thing to them.

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I'll have to dig out my slik stick and give it a try. Well once I get my game room back. It's currently the storage room for a bath tub, toilet, vanity, trim, and anything else needed for an end of the month bathroom reno.

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Posted (edited)

These days there are plenty of people making Atari 2600 joysticks with real arcade parts, so take your pick. My preference is a Sanwa JLF joystick with an octagon gate and a Seimitsu PS-14-KN button, though Happ buttons with soft touch microswitches are great too if you like the more American classic arcade feel.

 

In any case I don't think there's any topping real arcade parts for smoothness and precision, and while there's a ton of people building Atari 2600 joysticks with arcade parts these days I've had really good experiences with Edladdin so I'll toss his controllers my vote. You get top quality parts and a really sturdy well-made housing that's big enough to sit comfortably across your lap with his controllers.

 

For a more budget-conscious option I really like AtGames's Atari Flashback wired joysticks. All of them from the Flashback 4 onward are really well built (earlier revisions had overly long contact tabs inside that were prone to snapping off, but the later revisions are rock solid) and feel a lot like Best Electronics' upgraded CX-40s but with a slightly smoother joystick and a lot less actuation force required for the button. They're my favorite non-custom Atari joystick. :)

Edited by Jin
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