Playing retro games is easy on a Raspberry Pi – and that pocket-sized computer is pretty good at it too! All you need is a little help to connect buttons and a joystick up and you can custom design your own arcade console, desktop or stand-up machine, even just a simple controller box. It makes for a fun weekend project that will last all year.
This Adafruit Arcade Bonnet is designed to make small emulator projects a little easier to build. Here’s what you can look forward to!
- It is the same size as a Pi Zero, so for really compact builds, this is super small. You can also use it with a Pi 2, 3, B+ or any 2×20 connector Pi.
- It has JST sockets so you can plug in six arcade buttons easily using our quick connects.
- Header breakouts for use with both clicky-type switched joysticks and…
- Header breakout and converter for using analog-type joysticks or thumbsticks with potentiometers inside.
- A 3W digital speaker output that can drive 4-8 ohm speakers for when using with a TV output, audio-less HDMI display or PiTFT. Works even when the Pi doesn’t have a headphone jack!
- Switches are all managed with an I2C-GPIO converter with interrupt out. The converter is very fast and frees up all the pins so you can use this Bonnet with a PiTFT or any other accessory/device that uses a lot of pins!
If you don’t need an amplified speaker output, analog-joystick input or minimal pin usage, check out our plain-jane Retrogame tutorial which just plugs all the buttons and joysticks right into the Pi directly.
This item as sold as a mini-kit, with a Bonnet and headers that need to be soldered in to attach it to a Raspberry Pi! It only takes a few minutes but soldering iron and solder are required.
It also does not come with any of the extras, so you can choose which buttons/joysticks/speaker you want! Here is a list of the items you can use:
- Small Arcade Joystick
- Mini Analog Joystick
- Assembled 2 Axis Joystick
- Analog Thumbstick
- 2 Axis Joystick
- PSP Analog Joystick
- PSP3000 Analog Joystick
To connect them, you may want some 20 x 12″ Female jumper wires.
- 4 ohm 3 Watt speaker
- 8 ohm 1 Watt speaker
- Mono enclosed speaker
- Mini Metal speaker (may need to turn the volume down in Emulation station)
- Thin Plastic speaker (may need to turn the volume down in Emulation station)
- The JST connectors on the Bonnet mate perfectly with these quick-connects, which we really like.
- Any of our Arcade buttons will work. You can use any switch you like, really – doesn’t even need to be a button!
- The translucent 30mm ones work nicely with the quick-connects and are recommended!