Whether you can’t afford a USB controller, or you just want the the challenge, making your own retro game controller is a great idea!
This controller will use the GPIO pins on the Raspberry Pi, so you will need some experience working with electronics. Otherwise, you might fry your Pi. Also, this is an excellent way of learning how to work with the Pi’s GPIO pins.
We will use the GPIOnext software to interface the custom controller to your Pi.
Also, I will simply mount buttons to a breadboard, but if you want to make it ergonomic, and not be open, you can solder buttons to a board and 3d print a case for it. I won’t.
Also, you can use this to make a arcade system, with pushbuttons and a joystick.
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Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.