When searching for the best joystick on the internet you can find many different price and quality ranges for an arcade joystick. Most of the Chinese knockoffs are cheap and will not last you through the month, and the more professional builds are not feasible on my budget. The X-Arcade Dual Joystick is right in the middle, super affordable and great build quality! Just to let everyone know, I did purchase this myself and was not given this by X-Arcade.
For layout there are 8 buttons and 1 joystick on top the left, 8 buttons and 1 joystick on the top right, 1 button on the left side, 1 button on the right side, 1 programmable button and mode switch on the back with USB and PS2 cables on the back. You will only be using the USB cable, ignore the old PS2 style cable. In MAME Plus UI there was a given xarcade.cfg file you can use for button layout which worked fine on Windows 7, but using it on Windows XP required some tweaking as the X-arcade joystick didn’t work. Downloading the X-Arcade.cfg v2.0 script from the site and copying the joystick configuration to the old v1.0 script got it working.
The manual included with the X-Arcade Dual Joystick was EXTREMELY dated! It even states the new “Nintendo Revolution”, which was later changed to the Wii. They have yet to change it! Either way, there are still no adapters for Wii U, Xbox One or PS4. Maybe some day there will be, but for right now that’s disappointing. Although, the dual joystick comes with lifetime warranty and the company has been around for years so that is reassuring. You can also follow their Twitter account and Email listing to watch for new products like adapters and arcade cabinets. By the way, their arcade cabinets are VERY expensive! I have seen old arcade cabinets that can gutted on re-used on Craigslist for around $100 – $200 USD, so don’t bother purchasing them.
The package that this arcade joystick was shipped in was well padded, and the box was unique for the product being sold. A nice outer printed design that makes you feel like you bought a nice expensive product. They do ship it in a brown packaging box with the X-Arcade logo printed on the outside, so keep that in mind if you plan on shipping this to a place of business. For most of you this will not be an issue, but I feel I should warn those who ship to these places.
I only saw one issue with the joysticks and that is the movements between the corners was not smooth. This dual joystick only moves in 8 directions, so it will not be like the joystick on a console controller. Using this for fighting games and old arcade games is fine, but this may not be the best joystick for console games where movements are exact.