Modding the HORI EX2 – with Genuine Arcade Parts

ex2It’s no big secret that HORI’s Fighting Stick EX2 has been a miscarriage right from the beginning. The low quality of the stick becomes especially hurtful when it begins to break down after a short time. From what I’ve gone through, the buttons of both EX2 of mine refused to register inputs just after two weeks of normal usage. And that happened just in the midst of a tournament match (admittedly, online).

That there’s a fix to this problem is old news: simply replace the low-quality parts with better ones—preferably from Sanwa. That that “simply” isn’t so simple becomes visible when we unscrew the rubbish that came to a royal price. One hardly knows where to start, screw, or dremel first.

But there’s help: a comprehensive how-to guide has hit the surface and provides you with the ins and outs of fixing up what is—or soon will be—broken.

Jangofett’s HORI EX2 Mod Guide comes with plenty of pictures, a much needed parts and purchase list, and easy-to-follow instructions. It is in itself the yet most complete guide you can find on the web for fixing what came broken right out of the box.

But not everything in the guide is as elaborate as I had thought at first. As you’ll be playing Virtua Fighter with it, you might want to change around two things:

  1. KoD and Akuma on VFDC, two VF guys who’ve modded quite a lot of sticks in their life already, advised to not replace the default micro-switches of the EX2 with Cherry ones. “The engage is deeper,” says Akuma. Replacing the default switches with Omron, getting the Sanwa actuator and cutting it to the size of the Hori, or just buying a better stick would be better alternatives according to him. Or more bluntly expressed as by KoD: “EX2? Throw it in the trash and get a real stick!” Such as the Hori Real Arcade Pro EX, or the top-notch Street Fighter IV FightStick Tournament Edition by MadCatz probably?
  2. Also, Virtua Fighter players may want to leave the default square gate of the EX2 where it is. Octagonal gates will greatly restrict your input for Virtua Fighter as they are more recommended for 2D fighting games (see Street Fighter) requiring a lot of quarter- or half-circle directional input.

Happy modding!

4 thoughts on “Modding the HORI EX2 – with Genuine Arcade Parts

  1. I’ve found my stick still works fine after a couple of months play, but one of the buttons went.

    I went for a super quick fix… the hori button casings are decent quality, it’s just the internal switches that die or get stuck. Luckily the SANWA switches are just the same size. Once desolered from the PCB, pop out the hori switches and clip in the SANWA ones. No grinding or dremel involved.

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