Hotrod joystick : LUSENET : MAME Action Replay : One Thread


I was thinking about buying a Hotrod joystick to get a better 'arcade-feeling' than using the keyboard all the time.

I was wondering if anybody on MARP already uses a Hotrod joystick and could tell me some of his experiences with it. Should I buy one, or are there better options available?

Thanks, Arjen...

-- Arjen Gnodde (, October 15, 2000


Hi Arjen,

I bought a Hotrod (the one with more buttons) last year - it's sitting in the sitting room connected to a dedicated MAME PC on a 32" telly.

It really is the final part of the 'arcade feeling' - it's quite common for friends to come over and play arcade games on it, especially as it works so well with 2 players - and I've found out it`s wine-proof (thank goodness!).

I don`t think I've played with MAME properly since I bought the HotRod.. no point - it's just not the same!

They're expensive to get over here (I assume you're in the UK with that e-mail addy) - it cost me about 250 quid in total (40 quid customs bill + P&P) but now I have it I don`t regret it! I also made a special version of WinUAE so I could play Sensi Soccer on it.... it just uses keys, so any open-source emulator will work on it.

I certainly don`t think you'll regret buying one - and it should last for _years_.


-- Ian Gledhill

-- Ian Gledhill (, October 15, 2000.

I don't think hotrod will give you a purely authentic arcade feel for older pre-90s games, but it does a very good job (much better arcade-feeling) than a keyboard or joypad could never do. The hotrod is an 8-way joystick, this means that you send a distinct input when a diagonal is pushed, this makes many older 4-way joystick games difficult to get used to because you have to train yourself to NOT hit diagonals if the game interprets the diagonal ambigously. Which is certainly not an authentic arcade feel.

For neogeo games and later it is authentic, primarily because i think they use a very similar (if not the same) joystick.

The buttons themselves are the best thing about the hotrod, wonderfull spring action and a illustrious feel.

I ordered my SE a few months ago and had a big problem with it not working and not being able to get a new board because support is very sluggish. however they finally got around to shipping me a new motherboard (for the hotrod), after unlatching 12 screws i installed it and now everything works very nice.

The only complaint i have (and it's not really a complaint) is that i still don't have a good (tempest) spinner. But i do have a very good joystick in the hotrod. I would recommend learning the differences first hand of 4-way and 8-way joysticks before you buy though.

-- Chad (, October 15, 2000.

Arjen , Two words......" buy one "

More words, one now. Why ? A: Because the thing rocks. Try playing Robotron on keyboard VRS Hotrod......only one winner ! B: don`t mind Chad ( no offence Chad ! ) , it DOES bring about 99% of original arcade feel.

Cheers, AL

-- AL (, October 15, 2000.

I have to agree with Chad and say that the Hotrod does not work too kindly with 4-way directional games like Pac-Man. What I did was take mine to someone who had a bit of ingenuity (begged Dad to fix one of my toys again!) and "convert" one of the joysticks to a 4-way by removing/repositioning some internal parts. Then depending on what game I am playing I used the 4 or 8 way joystick. After making this modification I am very happy with the purchase.

-- Zylquin (, October 15, 2000.

zyloquin: what did dad do to make the 8-way in to a 4-way, i've been reading the board that someone can flip an 'actuator bit' to make the 8-way into a 4-way, but there were some doubters on the board.

but i'd like to have your dad post here and tell us what he did to make one 4 way and one 8 way that would be cool.

-- Chad (, October 16, 2000.

I'll do my best to explain here. First unscrew and remove those 4 white rectangular switch boxes that surround the base of the joystick. From each of these switch boxes remove the silver metal strip as you wont need it anymore. Now you reattach these 4 switch boxes so that the little red buttons that protrude from them are directly N, E, S, and W of the base of the joystick. On mine the red buttons are now about 0.2 cm (~1/12") from the rubber base of the joystick. You'll need to file some little plastic groves off before you reposition and reattach the switch boxes. When reattaching the switch boxes you'll need to use two screws instead of one because the plastic groves that were holding each one in place are not there anymore. Well, that's all I can think of while I sit here looking at the guts of the HotRod.

You should have a four way joystick if all went well.

I'd only attempt this is you're comfortable in doing so and you really cannot live with an 8-way joystick. The worst that could happen is you do more harm than good, and we don't want that happening to this wonderful piece of equipment.

Hope I explained this well enough.

-- Zylquin (, October 17, 2000.

Thank you guys, for all these answers.

I have made my decision: I will definitely buy a Hotrod SE joystick. I am going to move soon, and it will be my first purchase in my new house. Now, how am I going to break it to my girlfriend that the new sofa we had planned has to wait another 2 months? :-)

Bye, Arjen...

-- Arjen Gnodde (, October 18, 2000.

You`ll think of something......we all did !

-- AL (, October 18, 2000.


-- Otto A, Toalnd (, November 30, 2000.

6 months eh ? A bit harsh alright , but I bet the fact that you have the thing in front of you makes the wait worth the while : )

BTW , Tommi from Finland ( your next door neighbour ) got his in a few weeks , so maybe the Norweigian postal service ( like the Irish one ), is partially to blame ? Look for the dispatch date on the box from the US. Mine left the US after 2 weeks, but took @ 2 months or so to get here.

Just a thought.....

Cheers, AL

-- AL (, November 30, 2000.

Well Arjen, I think that I must wholeheartedly recommend the hot rod joystick. "Cocktail" Lindsey at work says she never leaves home without it. "Bagotelle" Ted says it's a must for any serious gamer, even with the missing nails. Buy it and try it.

-- (, January 11, 2001.

Well, my friend David (Oakster at MARP) got his Hotrod in less than a month.. and he lives in Sweden.



-- QRS (, January 11, 2001.

well Arjen (...and Otto), pay a little extra for the Express shipping and you will have it in less than four weeks, it´s worth it...

and Otto, Do you know how to sink a Norweigen submarine? Just dive down to it and knock...

Ok, sorry about that but pretty i´m sure that you know some bad jokes about Sweden to, i´m i right?

-- Oakster (, January 11, 2001.

I think I might have a software solution to the 4-way joystick problem but I haven't got a hotrod so I can't fully test this.

In the later versions of MAME you can define the keys with logic such as 'P1 Left = LEFT not RIGHT' and this can also be extended to 'P1 Left = LEFT not RIGHT not UP not DOWN' etc. Hence to make it impossible to go 'diagonally' in a game do the following:

1. Select the hotrod option in the controllers tab and then run Pacman or whatever the game is.

2. Press TAB and go down to 'Input (this game)' by pressing 2 or 8 on the keypad which are the keys the hotrod uses for up and down.

3. Press which is the key the hotrod uses for SELECT.

4. Go down to P1 Left (using keypad 2 and 8) press then press these keys in quick succession: keypad 4, keypad 8, keypad 8, keypad 2, keypad 2. This will define P1 Left as 'Pad 4 not pad 8 not pad 2'.

5. Define P1 Right, P1 Up and P1 Down in the same way ie. P1 Right = Pad 6 not pad 8 not pad 2, P1 Up = Pad 8 not pad 4 not pad 6, P1 Down = Pad 2 not pad 4 not pad 6.

And hey presto a 4-way joytick definition for Pacman. Let me know if it works!

-- LordGaz (, January 20, 2001.

Great, now I know anything in angled brackets doesn't appear. In steps 3 and 4 the key the hotrod uses for SELECT is LEFT Ctrl.

-- LordGaz (, January 20, 2001.

well the hell do you get the hot rods from.

ive been searching for a company for hours!!!

Are there any other companies that do arcade sticks - budget ones. Ive heard of stick-it and v-sticks?

Could someone post / email me some URLS where i can buy an arcade joystick.

many many thanks

-- rob redshaw (, February 13, 2001.

Sure , here ya go !

My tip ? Go for the Hotrod !!

Cheers, AL ( Hotrod owner + proud )

-- AL (, February 13, 2001.

Or better still, goto

They still(?) have HotRodSE joysticks for US$99 instead of US$199 and the shipping cost to New Zealand was only US$68 instead of Hanaho's US$99 price - and what's more it was here in 6 days!!!! :))

Ok, so converted to NZ$ it came to a whopping $371 which is rather a lot for a joystick but absolutely worth every penny.

Would I recommend it... absolutely. The first night I had it I tried a test game of Xevious. I'd been struggling sometimes to get close to 100,000 points on this game. The first game with the HotRodSE I got 178,000 points on my first life and 382,000 on my first game - which ended rather too soon because it was so long since I'd been that far into Xevious I couldn't remember what was coming next..

Cheers, BeeJay.

-- BeeJay (, February 17, 2001.

Update: My friend liked my HotRod so much he decided to order one for himself from and his arrived in 8 days as well so it looks like they're the bees knees when it comes to fast delivery.

Cheers, BeeJay.

-- BeeJay (, February 27, 2001.

Damn, I ordered a Hot Rod SE from on a Tuesday and received it on Thursday!! I certainly don't think that you have to worry about them....

-- boxster (, March 09, 2001.


I cant seem to find the Hotrod joystick on website?! Where do you see it there? :-/

-- Rasmus Nielsen (, March 11, 2001.

Unfortunately it looks like they have now sold out of the last of their shipments of US$99 HotRods.

They were plainly visible on the main page and have now been removed so it looks like anyone who was thinking of getting at that price has now missed out.

Cheers, BeeJay.

-- BeeJay (, March 12, 2001.

It seems website is down... been for several days now :-( But anyone who would like to purchase can find it here:

-- Rasmus Nielsen (, March 12, 2001.

Whatever you do, DO NOT BUY IT FROM:

These guys have actually cheated a lot of people of their money, by claiming to sell the joystick, and just take the money - but never ship anything.


-- Søren Trautner Madsen (, May 03, 2001.

Here is an official statement from Hanaho, concerning the company on


We are aware of them screwing people. We are also trying to contact that company to get them to stop. We will also try to post something on our site about the fraud activity of that company. I'm very sorry that you were taken advantage of by them. What can I do to try to help you?


Conway Ho HanaHo Games

-- Søren Trautner Madsen (, May 04, 2001.

Did you order via credit card?

If so, simply tell your bank or credit card company that they did not ship the product, tell them you expect a refund and let the credit card company sort them out for you. I'm not sure what the legal standings are in your country, but here in NZ if you did not receive the goods the credit card company is obliged to give you your money back and the problem is then their's to extract the money back from the company that diddled your order.

They will very quickly remove this companies secure authorisation rights and take the appropriate legal steps against them to recover their money.

If you used mail order or cheque.... well you're unfortunately probably screwed in which case you have my sympathies.


-- BeeJay (, May 04, 2001.

I ordered my Hotrod SE on the first of June from the web site... We are the 5th and it was already delivered (in Paris - France) this morning by UPS !

The hotrod I ordered was the USB version but in fact, this is the standard version bundled with a handy keyboard to USB converter....

I plugged it on my laptop under W2K, and the USB converter was recognised... really plug & play ! I then switched on my video projector (2.4m x 1.8m wide screen), started mame, changed default keyboard layout to HotRod SE ... and guess what:

A lot better than a real arcade ! Waow that's real fun to play these old games on a huge screen at home with arcade quality controls... My first test was WonderBoy... and I did my best score !

-- JMJ (, June 05, 2001.


I'm sure this thread is long out of date, but I was wondering... Is there another arcade stick out on the market that is similar in function and feel to the HotRod, or does Hanaho have the market cornered? (Please don't mention the one from ACT). Please send responses to my e-mail address as I will probably loose the URL to this thread.


Ryan California - USA

-- Ryan (, July 10, 2001.

hello how do i keep fish from smelling

-- Dan Hassall (, September 01, 2001.

Put a clothespin on its nose

-- idiot (, October 10, 2001.

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