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Arcade Buttons - How Many? Layout?



  • I'm working on making an arcade controller (haven't decided on 1 or two player yet) to plug into my Pi and I'm wondering what everyone's thoughts are on the number of player buttons, 6, 7, or 8, and how you'd recommend laying them out. I've seen a few layouts that seem common

    L X R
    Y B A
    
    Y X L
    B A R
    
      5 6 7
    1 2 3 4
    
    1 2 3 4
    5 6 7 8
    
    Y X L1 L2
    B A R1 R2
    

    I am leaning toward a 6-button layout as that should cover most games the Pi can play, and most that I've heard of, but I've heard that some are using an 8-button layout to support some console games (PS1 I guess?) and I'm not really sure about the 7-button layout. Something about Neo Geo?



  • @obsidianspider

    I've been pondering this question as well and you will need to think which games systems do you want to play so you know how many buttons you will need and the theme of your cabinet might also play a roll. Like if you're going to build a Neo-Geo cabinet, then you'll need 6 buttons all numbers 1-6.

    I personally think 6 buttons: B, A, Y, X, L and R and then 3 more buttons: a Select button (for added coins) and a Start button (for picking/starting game) as well as a Special button (that's kinda like the Guide button on the Xbox/PS3 controllers that can be used as the Hotkey or other functions).

    I think a 2 player cabinet could get away with 17 buttons since the Guide button is just for Hotkeys to exit the emulator, going into the RGUI, save/load states, I think you could get away with just 1 button that's shared with both player 1 and 2.

    You'll also need a power switch of some kind.



  • @backstander I won't be making a full cabinet, just a controller to set on the coffee table to play on my TV through my SFC Pi. I'm leaning toward 6-button layout and plugging right into the SFC controller ports. If I need 8 buttons then I'll have to go USB.



  • @obsidianspider

    I won't be making a full cabinet, just a controller to set on the coffee table to play on my TV through my SFC Pi.

    Oh well that should be cool as well :-)

    If I need 8 buttons then I'll have to go USB.

    Maybe you could add a USB hub in your controller so you can plug in other controllers as needed (as long as it doesn't pull too much power).



  • I personally use my own 20 button layout design in my arcade cabs. Many people found it to be mostly intuitive over the hotkey option

     ---------------------------------------------------------
     ||	  E  R	            1  2             S  L       ||
     ||							||
     ||							||
     ||	O	 L R X		 O	  L R X		||
     ||	|	Y B A		 |	 Y B A		||
     ||							||
     ||							||
     ----------------------------------------------------------
     ----------------------------------------------------------
     ||	       C			    C		||
     ----------------------------------------------------------
            E - Exit		S - Save State
            R - Reset Game		L - Load State
    	C - Coin/Select (on front panel)
    
    

    Dedicated Exit/Rest/Save/Load is the new style
    It used to be Hotkey/Exit/Save/Load
    But I can use either method with the same layout so that works.

    6 buttons lets you play all arcade and all consoles up to some titles on PS1. But PS1 needs 10 buttons anyway (R2, R2, L2, L3) and you still wouldn't be able to do analog sticks. It's just not worth it IMO. Best to add usb ps1 controller for PS1 games or later.

    The dedicated Exit button is clutch. I just wish Retroarch would allow both dedicated AND hotkey alternatives at the same time. Then I could keep the other hot key features like save slot and ra menu but I can use a keyboard for those and those features would only confuse customers anyway.



  • A   B   X
    Y   L   R


  • Y   X    L
    B   A   R


  • Now I think the layout @Zigurana posted would be what I would expect when playing on a new Arcade cabinet I've never played on before and probably the most natural for me. The B and A buttons being used the most so they are the closest to you. Especially if most of yours games only used 2-4 buttons.

    Then again I see several enthusiasts that use some like what @lilbud posted on their cabinet builds.

    Another configuration that should be mentioned is the good old SNES "Super Advantage" joystick!

    Image

     Y   X
    L  B  A  R
    


  • @backstander said in Arcade Buttons - How Many? Layout?:

    Now I think the layout @Zigurana posted would be what I would expect when playing on a new Arcade cabinet I've never played on before and probably the most natural for me. The B and A buttons being used the most so they are the closest to you. Especially if most of yours games only used 2-4 buttons.

    Agreed about B and A being the most used and in that order because of NES. But I found the other buttons get in the way when you have B and A as the top-left most buttons. So to play SMB you have to basically crane your hand over the second row of buttons. With my layout, your palm can rest on the panel while playing long Contra sessions. But I'm not married to it. The L and R might be best in something like @obsidianspider first entry with L and R being on the end. Plus it still keeps a more standard MAME format. But also the SNES arcade stick could work with NEO GEO games for ABCD. So many options.

    @lilbud layout is just not right with A being before B IMO.



  • @dsstrainer

    @lilbud layout is just not right with A being before B IMO.

    I bet if these retro controllers would've been invented in the USA, the A button would be before the B but we're all accustomed to B then A. Now days Microsoft is trying to fix this with they're Xbox controllers having A then B and X then Y. On my RetroPie I have my Xbox 360 controller setup so that the A button is set to B, B set to A, Y set to X and X set to Y so I can get that SNES feel.



  • Here is what I've done on my bartop :

    Complete layout :

    0_1484311887282_2017-01-13 13_51_04-Projet Bartop -  Guide installation.docx - Word.png

    Hotkey functions

    0_1484311899098_2017-01-13 13_51_09-Projet Bartop -  Guide installation.docx - Word.png



  • Aren't the lower buttons in the way of playing?



  • No, lower buttons are actually in front of bartop:

    0_1484412665971_IMG_2320.jpg



  • Ah ok.. nice.

    Here's my latest panel I just sold. Tried a different offset for the buttons but don't like it. It turned out better on yours but mine feels a bit cramped. Customer didn't mind tho :)

    0_1484580246897_cubs-top-cpo (Medium).jpg

    0_1484580261401_cubs-front-cpo (Medium).jpg

    I used
    L R X
    Y B A



  • @dsstrainer
    I'm new to retropie .. I really like your button layout, can you share your button configuration file with me?



  • @rolrod66 I found that one here
    http://slagcoin.com/joystick/layout.html

    alt text
    I only used 6 buttons tho



  • @dsstrainer
    Can you send me your retro arch config file for your buttons so I have something to work from. I would really appreciate it thanks!



  • Do you reconfigure the keys in mame after the setup? I tried to, but it maps directly to the joystick, instead of retroarch.



  • Would some one send me their all/retorarch.cfg file that is setup for 2 players. So, I have a idea how to setup up mine. THANK YOU!



  • I'm in the process of a bartop build, and I'm adding side buttons as well, primarily to have these as pinball buttons.

    But what do you assign these for if not X,Y,A,B or L and R (my layout pr. player is 6 buttons)?

    And is there a cool functionality to have for side buttons in Emulation station, e.g. letter browsing or something like that?



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