Choosing Buttons For Your Arcade Cabinet

Button 101 – Which buttons are right for me?

A little while ago on our blog, we tackled the issue of choosing joysticks for your custom arcade cabinet. Just like choosing your joystick setup, choosing which buttons to use is one question which we can’t help you with until we find out your particular preferences. With this in mind, we thought we’d provide a simple guide to help you choose between the range of buttons which we offer for our arcade machines.

Happ / Suzo:

Using a microswitch, these buttons have a real authentic feel; making a familiar and reassuring click when pushed. Back in the day, all manufacturers of note used these butttons due to their solid feel and durability. Virtually every arcade machine released for the European market came with these as standard. Happ/Suzo arcade buttons have retained their popularity due to their quality and the memories of older gamers who yearn for that authentic feel. Coming in a wide range of colours, we use these as standard on all of our products. If you would prefer another type then please do not hesitate to ask and we’d be happy to accomodate you. We offer several alternatives, just keep reading to find out more.

happ suzo arcade buttons


We offer Sanwa as an alternative to Happ/Suzo. Historically more popular in Japan, Sanwa buttons are preferred by some as they are more responsive; making them the button of choice for fighting game enthusiasts. Sanwa buttons are based on the microswitch format. They come in 2 different sizes and a plethora of colours. All new commercial arcade machines use these as standard and we are happy supply them, it just depends on you. Our MD Phil Patsias is a big fan “particularly when playing new games”.

sanwa arcade buttons

Leaf Switches:

leaf switch for arcade machineLeaf switches are an alternative to the microswitch options which we examined above. The main differences are the feel and the sound (leaf switches don’t make the click as microswitches do). Although the leaf design is widely perceived to be a better feeling button, popularity has decreased over recent years due to the fragile nature of the buttons which often caused dead button syndrome. Repetitive use over time causes the mechanism beneath the button to get out of alignment. This is notoriously difficult to fix and can often require a replacement. If you are an ardent fan of leaf switches, we can now use the modern-day equivalent which accurately replicates the feel and operation of these niche buttons. The only difference is that these new versions are 100% reliable and won’t degrade over time. We are happy to offer them to clients as an additional option should they be desired.

Other buttons:

Although the main types of buttons which we sell are listed above, if you have any specific requirement or would like to customise the layout and size of your buttons and controller (e.g left handed), please do not hesitate to ask – we can even source illuminated buttons! For this and numerous other options on how to fully customise every aspect of your arcade machine, why not check out our arcade machine options section?

We hope that you have found this article useful…. HAPPY GAMING

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