Mayflash is a company that makes really awesome joysticks for Retro Boxes. Well, OK, they work on PCs and consoles, etc. but in my mind, they are made specifically for my little toys. I did a review on this device’s big brother a few years ago, and I also own their F500, though I can’t recommend it due to the price ($149 for a single player stick. Might as well cough up $200 for an X-Arcade Tank Stick).

As you know, a lot of classic Arcade gams, like Donkey Kong and Pac-Man are a bit of a challenge using regular game controllers or joysticks. This is because those games, when in the arcades, had a joystick that only moved in 4 directions. Modern game controllers all move in 8 directions, so when you hit a diagonal on games like these, they get confused and don’t know what to do.

I ordered the F300 Elite because the Amazon description says it is a dedicated 4 way joystick. Well, yes and no. Out of the box, it is a standard 8 way joystick. I tested it on several Arcade games, and there were still dead zones in the 4 way games, while my diagonals in games like 1942 worked perfectly. After doing some research, and opening the device up, I discovered there is a restrictor plate on the joystick. This is a little plastic piece that is mounted to the bottom of a joystick, and restricts the ways it can move. This particular type had a feature that would turn it from 8 way to 4. You have to remove the bottom plate, but a standard Phillips head screwdriver is all you need there. Below is a video that shows how to remove the restrictor plate, and rotate the insert to change it.

Once I changed it to a 4 way stick, results were much different. In games like DK and Ms. Pacman there were no dead zones, and the moves were very natural and responsive. I still stink at those games, so could only play a few levels of each, but at least now I stink because of me, not my equipment. I fired up 1942, and could not make a diagonal to save my life, so it is definitely set to only 4 directions.

The stick itself is comfortable to use, whether on a table or on your lap. Don’t use it on your lap if wearing shorts; that metal plate on the bottom is cold. You have been warned. In 8 way mode, diagonals are easy, and special moves in fighting games like SFII flow very naturally. And as I said earlier, in 4 player mode it is the best option out there.

It is a little pricey, however, at $110. A lot of controllers out there use Sanway joysticks, including less expensive Mayflash controllers, and a restrictor plate can be had for $5-10. This is, however, and excellent quality choice, and it has everything you need to play 4 or 8 player games, if you are willing to do a little tinkering. I may considering offering it as an upgrade, pre-configure for 4 player games, if I can get an account with the company, and if there is enough interest.

Here is the link to purchase:

As always, have a Skeptical Day,