It’s an age-old argument amongst retro gamers that continues to this day – are you a Zipstick or Competition Pro lover? Personally, I’ve always used Zipsticks with the Amiga so I am biased towards them.

I acquired this joystick for free from a friend who’s A500 I pulled apart and inspected/cleaned. That’s a fair payment I’d say. The unit itself worked perfectly and all the microswitches were on point, although the overall cosmetic condition was quite poor. It looks like it’s spent time on a farm!

I decided on clear feet as opposed to the large, standard black ones because I have an all white desk so didn’t want any suction marks leaving. This was a personal choice and I think they suit the joystick quite nicely and look a little neater than the larger diameter feet.

Let’s pull her apart and see what happens…

One dirty joystick, has it been in a field?

Chewed up and tatty suction cups.


Fairly clean inside.

Fire buttons removed.

Microswitches numbered before removal.

Gubbins removed.

All outer parts cleaned with soapy water + toothbrush.

New clear feet fitted.

Low profile.

Internals cleaned with alcohol (not Stella).

How does this go back together then??

Switches back in.

Assembled and ready to go!

A thing of beauty. 🙂

Sitting pretty.


Final thoughts

Looking internally at the Zipstick, it didn’t really need to be stripped down but judging by the state of the exterior, it was worth investigating.

I was also interested to see how the micro switch arrangement was laid out and the suction cups did need renewing, so it was all worth tearing down.

If any other users want to undertake the same cleaning project, I would thoroughly recommend numbering the switches like I’ve done here.
Once everything is removed from the case, it’s a little mind-boggling to understand – even with photos.

Let’s hear from you

Let’s hear about your joystick refurbs. Zipstick or Competition Pro? Do you have any other tips for those looking to bring an old joystick back to life?