Basic USB Joystick?

I am doing some work with adapted gaming and am looking for a basic, inexpensive USB joystick that is commercially available.

Ideally something no more than $20-30, works in either hand, and has a stable base.

The standard sources (Best Buy, Staples, London Drugs, Amazon) have plenty of gamepads or fancy right-handed sticks, but not what I’m looking for. The closest is an Atari-inspired one:

The other option would be a DIY custom job based on an arcade or analog joystick with a suitable USB HID interface

Any other ideas?


Most cheap kits I believe have a basic USB PCB that will work on PC, Raspberry Pi and other things, but obviously there’s no enclosure.

That could be 3D printed but is extra work on your part, plus you seem to want it to be ambidextrous, which I guess could be this if you just used two buttons set up like the Atari.

I have a C64 mini and it uses a USB joystick like this, you may be able to get this separately, if not it may only come with the C64 mini.

Somebody made a printable stick that sounds like what you want, but you’d need to build the rest of it from scratch.


Good call @GraphicJon. They do sell the joystick separately.


If you’d like I can test mine out later on my PC to see how it works. I didn’t bother trying it outside of the mini.

I used it once at a London Drugs where it was taped to the table and felt super sturdy. Joysticks that have suction cups do help it stay stable. You could get some base or 3M velcro strips to have it lock onto a table if need be.


Thanks! - The C64 Joystick looks like a good match.

Sony PlayStation DualShock series? The one for the original PlayStation can be used as a USB HID with an adapter that was and presumably still is commercially available. If I recall correctly, the DualShock controller for the PlayStation 2 or later use a standard USB connector so do not need an adapter but I only have the original DualShock. I guess this is not the type of controller you want, though, because it seems you want something like the C64 joystick discussed in this topic.

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Yeah, in this case I’m looking for something that can be operated using the whole hand for someone with limited mobility. (And typically is unable to use a standard gamepad thumbstick effectively).

This will be used with the Xbox Adaptive Controller, which enables someone to emulate the left and right thumbstick using a USB Joystick HID.

(Similarly, we have a DIY mouth operated joystick based on an Arduino Micro that enables someone to control one of the thunbsticks using their mouth:

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I just ran a quick test with something manageable, the Sega Mega Drive & Genesis classics and it works just fine. Mapping is pictured below with the two largest buttons being 1 and 2, while running the C64 they usually have the same one function, but just so you know they can be mapped to differently. Otherwise it plugs in and plays just fine as a controller as long as the game doesn’t need analog support.

I do feel like holding it with two hands, that’s kinda how it was made. Like I mentioned though, if you tape it down for your Adaptive controller build somehow, it should stay put.

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