24mm vs 30mm - Choosing the right Japanese Arcade Button

When processing orders, a frequent mistake we found among new players is choosing the wrong size for action buttons, such as punch and kick.

Within the fighting game genre, Japanese arcade buttons commonly consist of two diameter sizes: 24 millimeter and 30 milllimeter (mm). In most configurations, 30mm represents your action button.  These are front facing, appearing most prominent on your Fightstick control panel.  Option button, such as "Start", "Select", or more recently "Option", "Touch", or "Share" are usually 24mm and sit either behind the joystick or far from the action buttons.  

UPDATE: Owners of Neo Geo AES Joysticks will need 24mm pushbuttons instead of 30mm (Thanks SRK's DEZALB)

Below is a visual representation of a common Fightstick control panel.  Throughout this article, we will mark 24mm in green, and 30mm in Orange.

Common joystick configuration

Checking the Proper Size

button-30mm.pngAnother way that players can misinterpret the pushbutton size is by measuring the pushbutton plunger.  Have a look at the diagram at right.

The plunger - the part that you press down to represent an input - is 25mm or a bit smaller in most 30mm pushbuttons.  Often this leads to the conclusion that one needs a 24mm button and not 30mm.

Similarly measuring the button rim can lead to confusion, as it is intentionally larger than the button hole it is placed in.  You don't want to use these measurements.  Instead, review the button housing diameter, or the hole the button will be placed in.  You can do this with a caliper - a digital caliper is often quite helpful for this and other arcade-related projects.

Control Panel Configuration

Most Fightsticks from MadCatz, Hori, Qanba, and similar will use these two sizes.  How the buttons are used will depend on the model joystick that you own. Over time, we'll provide example configurations for specific popular Fightstick models and arcade cabinets using the color key for 24 and 30mm.  We'll also expand the key for future models if another size is introduced, and we offer for sale.

24vs30mm Hitbox Example HRAP and Qanba Model Configuration
MadCatz Model Configuration Qanba Q1 and Mayflash/Venom Model Configuration
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  • Avatar
    Tyler Schommer

    The main thing this article talks that the 30 mm is the switch to buy for fight sticks. My question then is can I use 24 mm for custom projects at home and use them for action buttons, especially if they contain the same internal switch.

  • Avatar

    @Tyler - yes in most cases you can. This article is for those who own a commercial, non-custom Fightstick, but choose the 24mm button instead of the 30mm for action buttons.

  • Avatar
    Tyler Schommer

    Just making sure, it seemed a bit specific but I am just making sure. My new build will be using 30 mm buttons anyway, there are no 24 mm low profiles lol.

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