My Favourite Joystick: TAC-2

Everyone has a favourite gamepad or joystick. I’m no exception. Some like the controllers for the Playstation 2, others love the ones for the Sega Genesis, while a few still favour the good old joysticks instead of pads.

My all-time favourite is the TAC-2 (Totally Accurate Controller MK2 – isn’t that an awesome name by the way?) joystick from Suncom Technologies.

TAC-2
The TAC-2 from Suncom Technologies, photo by Phaser.

Let’s have a look at the specs:

  • Two fire-buttons
  • An eight-way stick with four digital switches
  • Available in either black or white design

I got my first one in the 1980’s for my SVI Spectravideo (MSX) and used it for games like Salamander, Knightmare and Blow-Up. Later on I used it on the Amiga. Sadly it broke after years of use, but it served me well through hours upon hours of gaming. I’m now considering finding one on eBay to replace my Competition Pro joystick.

One thing I like about the TAC-2 is the accuracy. In old-school shooters you must often avoid clouds of bullets, and in such situations, precision is the key to survival. I believe this joystick helped me through some difficult stages in Salamander for example. The TAC-2 knocked the socks out of the Quickshot models in those kinds of games.

Salamander
Salamander for the MSX

I also like the design. It’s the 80’s through and through.

The TAC-2 can be used resting on the table or in your hands. Compared to other 80’s joysticks, this was an advantage. It might seem a bit strange today, but it was not uncommon that you had to place the joystick on the table to make it work properly. If you didn’t, the ease of use would sink dramatically.

To sum it up, I can recommend the TAC-2 for use with retro systems like the Amiga and the Atari. It looks good, it feels great in your hands, and it gives you the edge you need to beat those old-school games.

3 comments

  1. Hi, as the author of the photo you’ve used in this article, I’d appreciate if you would honor the photo licensing conditions (mainly the part about attribution). As you know, you took the photo from Wikipedia / Wikimedia Commons and the conditions are visible there. Thanks.

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