Hori EX2 Sanwa Mod

Last time, I suggested that one could improve the Hori EX2 – and that’s saying a lot. As those who own it and have used it before can tell you, the Xbox 360 Hori EX2 Arcade Stick is a very high quality home console arcade stick at an affordable price.

The Hori EX2 is a wired USB arcade stick for use on Xbox 360 and Windows. It features six full 30mm arcade-sized face buttons (A B X Y LT RT) as well as smaller secondary buttons (LB RB Start Back and the Xbox Guide). It also has a headset jack so you can fully use it on Xbox Live. The stick comes standard with a Japanese style balltop joystick with a square restrictor plate.

My stock Hori EX2

My stock Hori EX2

The Hori EX2 measures 11″ x 8″, is 1 ½” tall and it weights in a only a couple of pounds. This means unlike the monterious $150 sticks it is both small enough and heavy enough to be perfectly suited to rest on your lap rather than being forced to be played on a table. I don’t know about you, but I find using setting up a table while on the couch to be extremely awkward. Yay for the EX2.

The real reason the Hori EX2 stands out from others is the maker – Hori. Hori is a Japanese arcade manufacturer and have been making console peripherals for years in Japan. Hori products usually mean high quality and the EX2 is no exception. From the stick to the buttons, every part of the EX2 is authentic Hori parts.

However, as good as Hori parts are, they are not the highest quality you can get. For that, most turn to Sanwa, another Japanese arcade part manufacturer. Remember those arcades kiddies? Chances are if you were playing a Japanese game,you were using Sanwa parts. So why settle for Hori when you can have Sanwa?

Well, it seems a lot of people have had this idea, and there is a fantastic tutorial you all should check out if you want to replace the stock Hori parts with much better Sanwa. parts.


This tutorial focuses on the Wii version of the EX2, but it is almost identical to the 360 stick.

Having preformed the mod, I feel I can better share some insight into avoiding some mistakes and clearing up somethings that the tut makes a little misty.

Differances between the Wii and 360 EX2’s interiors:

-The Wii has only one main PCB for the buttons. The 360 has a daughter board. The tut calls for 18 gauge wire and it is unneeded in the 360’s case. Just normal wire will do.

-You can desolder and remove the common ground PCB rather than slice it up. Fitting the Sanwa microchips in place without it will reduce space and make fitting it inside the small Hori casing easier.

-The Wii tut says that you should be able to slightly grind away the metal base with a dremel until you don’t make contact with the base. The EX2 for 360 doesn’t have enough room for this, so completely drill a hole through it and then widen it until you no longer make contact with the joystick. Use simple electrical or duct tape to cover the hole from the bottom. This is an easier solution and since its on the bottom of the stick, it won’t matter if its unsightly.

And thats it! Once done, you will have an even better EX2!

Japanese balltop anyone?

Or are you more of an Amercian bat top style gamer?

...Or are you more of an Amercian bat top style gamer?

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