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October 6, 2011 / Jett

How-To Replace the Joystick on a Mad Catz TE

The last time I opened up my Mad Catz TE, I switched out a broken button with a brand new one. This time, I swapped out the joystick. After hundreds of hours of use, it didn’t feel as crisp as it used to. If you’re interested in trying the procedure yourself, I have documented my experience as a step-by-step manual, which may be helpful for you.

What You’ll Need

1) Joystick

I was comfortable with the default stick that came with my Mad Catz TE, so I decided to go with that one again. In case you’re wondering, that stick is a Sanwa JLF-TP-8YT. I picked one up at Fan Expo this year, though they shouldn’t be too hard to find at a niche gaming store or online.

If you do not like the Sanwa style, you may want to go with Seimitsu, another popular Japanese brand of button, or Happ, which is the brand synonymous with convex-shaped buttons traditionally found on North American arcade machines. Just make sure you get the correct size.

2) 3/8 Allen Key
Most guides I found online did not specify the specific-sized Allen Key you’ll need to open up the casing. Through my own trial and error, I found that 3/8 is the way to go. Though most places won’t sell you one Allen Key, you can get a set of Allen Keys at any hardware store for relatively cheap.

3) Phillips-Head Screwdriver

You’ll need one of these to unfasten the stick from the casing. Odds are you happen to have one of these lying around your house.

4) Flat Head Screwdriver

You’ll need one of these to loosen up the ball-top. Odds are you happen to have one of these lying around your house.

Step 1: Open the Casing

While there is a metal panel on the bottom with screws on it, this will not allow you access into the guts of the fightstick. You’ll need to open it up from the top. Use your Allen Key to remove the screws from the top of the case. Generally, I have a problem with stripping screws. However, I was able to get these ones off and back on before I completely ruined them. Please be careful unscrewing these, as trying to find replacements can be a pain.

Once the screws are off, you can lift up the top panel to reveal the insides of the TE.

2) Disconnect the wire attached to the joystick

This wire is glued to the joystick connector. Simply scrape off the glue and pull the wire out from the connector. Be careful not to bend or break the plug as you do this.

3) Unscrew the ball top from the joystick

You will need your flat head screwdriver for this. At the bottom of the joystick is a flat head screw. Place your flat head screwdriver into the screw, and with your free hand unscrew the ball from the joystick. Also set aside the joystick guard and the washer.

4) Unscrew the joystick from the casing

There are four screws that hold the joystick in place. Simply unscrew them using your Phillips-head screwdriver. There’s some glue that holds the screws in place, though you shouldn’t have any problem unscrewing the unit anyway. Please note that these screws have mini washers with them that aren’t solid rings. One of mine broke in half during this process. My fightstick should be fine despite the minor setback, but it’s something to be aware of when you do your mod.

Once all the screws have been removed, you can remove the joystick from the casing.

5) Remove the ball-top and washer from your new joystick

In order for you to install the new joystick, you’ll have to remove the ball-top and one of the washers first. Just unscrew the ball top with you hand and set aside one of the washers. Leave the other washer on the joystick, as its meant to sit inside the casing.

6) Insert the new joystick into the casing and screw it in

Now we’re simply putting everything back together. Put the screws back in with their respective washers. Make sure you place the joystick in the correct way, as placing it the wrong way will completely mess this mod up.

7) Insert the top washer, stick guard and ball top

Another straightforward step. Just place the washer and stick guard on top and with the help of your flat head screwdriver, screw in the ball-top.

8) Connect the wire to the joystick

As straightforward as it sounds.

9) Close up the casing

Use the Allen key to tighten up the screws and your mod should be complete.

I found this process to be easier than switching out a button, though both are relatively easy to do. This took me about 20 minutes to do, and I’m not a handyman by any stretch. Let me know if you found this helpful!



Leave a Comment
  1. John McClane / Mar 22 2012 10:34 AM

    Thanks. Your guide made it really simple.

    • Jett / Mar 22 2012 11:18 AM

      You’re welcome. Thanks for the comment!

  2. Kris / Aug 7 2012 3:17 AM

    Damn, perfect guide man. Just what I was looking to do. Thanks!

  3. thisRalf / May 14 2016 11:43 AM

    Hey, I was looking for a guide to mod my stick as it is getting a little sticky and not as responsive. This is perfect. Thanks for posting this!!

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