How to Start an Arcade Stick Business?

Last Updated on by William J. Lopez

The arcade stick business is a niche yet growing market that caters to a dedicated community of gamers. Whether for fighting games or classic arcade titles, a quality arcade stick can make all the difference.

Remember that quality is king for those serious about diving into this industry. Whether you’re a gamer looking to upgrade your equipment or an entrepreneur aiming to break into the market, focusing on quality components can make all the difference.

This article will explore the steps to start your own arcade stick business, from market research to legal considerations.


  • Starting an arcade stick business requires a deep understanding of the gaming community.
  • Quality components are essential for building a reputable brand.

The Basics of Starting an Arcade Stick Business

Market Research

Understanding your target audience is crucial. Are you targeting casual gamers or competitive players?

Knowing this will help you decide on your arcade sticks’ features and price points. For more insights, check out our guide on Arcade Fight Sticks.

Business Plan

A well-thought-out business plan outlines your business model, target market, and financial projections. It serves as a roadmap for your business and can be crucial for securing funding.

Learn how to upgrade components in our article How to Upgrade Mayflash Arcade Stick.


Whether you’re bootstrapping or seeking external funding, you’ll need capital to start your business. Consider your options carefully and plan your budget accordingly.

Read How to Clean Plexiglass in a Fightstick for tips on maintaining your equipment.

Building your First Arcade Stick

Components Needed

  • Joystick
  • Buttons
  • PCB (Printed Circuit Board)
  • Enclosure

Assembly Process

Follow a step-by-step guide to assemble your arcade stick. Make sure to test each component for functionality and fit.


Before selling, rigorously test your arcade sticks for durability, responsiveness, and overall performance.

Quality Over Quantity

Importance of Quality Components

Quality components not only improve the performance of your arcade stick but also contribute to its longevity. Source your components from reputable suppliers to ensure quality.

Where to Source Them

  • Local suppliers
  • Online marketplaces
  • Direct from manufacturers

Designing Arcade Stick Artwork

Arcade stick artwork is more than just a visual treat; it expresses personality and a branding statement. Whether you’re a gamer looking to personalize your stick or a business owner aiming to differentiate your products, the right artwork can make all the difference.

  • Artwork adds a personal touch to arcade sticks.
  • Design principles like balance, contrast, and unity are crucial.
  • Software tools can simplify the design process.

Why Artwork Matters?


Artwork allows gamers to add a personal touch to their arcade sticks, making each piece unique.


Custom artwork can be a branding tool for business owners, setting your products apart in a crowded market.

Aesthetic Appeal

Well-designed artwork enhances the overall look and feel of the arcade stick, making it more appealing to potential buyers.

Designing Arcade Stick Artwork

Design Principles


Ensure that the elements in your design are balanced to create a harmonious look.


Use contrasting colours and shapes to make the design elements pop.


All elements should work together to create a cohesive design.

Tools and Software

Adobe Photoshop

The industry standard for graphic design, Adobe Photoshop, offers a range of tools for creating detailed and layered designs.


A free alternative to Photoshop, GIMP is another powerful tool for arcade stick artwork design.

Vector Software

Tools like Adobe Illustrator are ideal for creating scalable vector designs.

Step-by-Step Guide

  1. Conceptualize: Start with a concept or theme for your artwork.
  2. Sketch: Create a rough sketch to visualize your ideas.
  3. Choose Software: Decide on the software you’ll use for designing.
  4. Design: Use the software to bring your sketch to life.
  5. Review: Get feedback from others and make necessary adjustments.
  6. Finalize: Once satisfied, save your design in the required format for printing.

Marketing Your Arcade Stick Business

Online Marketing

Use social media, forums, and your website to reach your target audience.

Social Media

Platforms like Instagram and Twitter are excellent for showcasing your products and connecting with the community.


Collaborate with gaming events or influencers to get the word out about your arcade sticks.

Legal Considerations

Business Structure

Decide whether you’ll operate as a sole proprietor, partnership, or corporation. Each has its own legal and tax implications.

Licenses and Permits

Ensure you have all the necessary licenses and permits to operate legally.

Intellectual Property

Consider trademarking your brand and designs to protect them from infringement.


1. How much does it cost to start an arcade stick business?

The cost can vary depending on the scale of your business and the quality of the components you choose. Initial costs include sourcing components, manufacturing, and marketing.

Preparing a detailed business plan to estimate these costs accurately is essential.

2. Where can I source quality components?

Quality components can be sourced from various places, including local suppliers, online marketplaces, and directly from manufacturers.

Always opt for reputable suppliers to ensure the quality and durability of your arcade sticks.

3. How do I market my products?

Marketing strategies can include online advertising, social media promotion, and partnerships with gaming events or influencers.

A well-rounded marketing plan will help you reach your target audience effectively.

4. Do I need any special licenses or permits?

You must obtain all necessary business licenses and permits to operate legally. The requirements may vary depending on your location and the scale of your business.

5. How do I protect my designs and brand?

Consider registering your designs and trademarking your brand name to protect them from infringement. Consult a legal advisor for the best course of action.

6. Can I start this business from home?

Many entrepreneurs start their arcade stick businesses from home before moving to larger facilities.

However, check local zoning laws and regulations to ensure you can operate a business from your residence.

7. What are the best platforms to sell arcade sticks?

Online platforms like your website, Amazon, and specialized gaming forums are good places to start. You can also consider physical locations like gaming events or local stores that sell gaming equipment.

8. Is it cheaper to build an arcade stick?

Building an arcade stick can be more cost-effective if you already have some components or tools.

However, the cost can increase if you opt for high-quality components and specialized features. It’s essential to compare DIY costs vs. purchasing a pre-made arcade stick.

9. What do you need to build an arcade stick?

To build an arcade stick, you’ll need the following components:

  • Joystick
  • Buttons
  • PCB (Printed Circuit Board)
  • Enclosure
  • Wires and connectors

10. Is building a fight stick hard?

The difficulty level depends on your technical skills and the complexity of the design.

Basic arcade sticks can be relatively easy to assemble, but more complex designs with additional features may require advanced skills.

11. What makes a good arcade stick?

A good arcade stick should have the following:

  • Responsive and durable buttons
  • A sturdy and comfortable enclosure
  • High-quality joystick
  • Reliable PCB for low input lag

12. Are arcades dying out?

While traditional arcades have seen a decline, there is a resurgence in niche markets and barcades. The arcade culture is evolving but not necessarily dying out.

13. Do arcades make money?

Arcades can be profitable, especially with other revenue streams like food and beverages. The key is to offer a unique experience and a diverse range of games to attract a broad audience.


Starting an arcade stick business is not just a venture; it’s a journey into a passionate community that values quality and performance.

With the right approach, you can create a brand that stands out and becomes a staple in the gaming world. From sourcing top-notch components to crafting a compelling marketing strategy, every step is crucial in building a successful business.

Check out our guide on Best Arcade Fight Stick For Fighting Games to understand what gamers want in an arcade stick.

Legal considerations are equally important. Make sure you have all the necessary licenses and permits to operate. You can read our article on How to Update Hitbox Controller, which covers some legal aspects of hardware modification.

Lastly, never underestimate the power of effective marketing. Whether through social media, partnerships, or your website, getting the word out is half the battle. For marketing tips specific to arcade sticks, our article, Qanba Dragon Arcade Stick Review, offers valuable insights.

In summary, the arcade stick business is a challenging yet rewarding field that offers endless opportunities for those willing to invest the time, effort, and resources. You can turn your love for gaming into a profitable business venture with passion and dedication.

Additional Resources for Aspiring Entrepreneurs

If you’re serious about starting an arcade stick business, you must continue learning and stay updated with industry trends.

Here are some external resources that can help you on your journey:

Online Courses

Industry Reports

Legal Advice

  • LegalZoom can assist with business formation, contracts, and other legal needs specific to starting a business.

Component Suppliers

Gaming Forums

By leveraging these resources, you can gain a competitive edge and make informed decisions as you build your arcade stick business.