In this instructable, I will show you how to hook up a Nintendo Entertainment System control pad to an arduino, the arduino is in turn running a special sketch that allows it to show up to a PC as a USB HID joystick!

And if that is not cool enough, I will show you how to shove it all inside the NES controller shell for a simple controller + wire, "plug n play" device!

If you hook this up wrong you can fry your arduino, and or your usb ports, if you choose to biuld this project you assume responsibility for its proper construction

Sofar I have tested this on ... Windows XP pro, Windows 7 64 bit, and Ubuntu 9 32 bit

So far its not tested on Mac, I don't see why it should not work on Mac, but its untested, the only Mac I have in the house is a SE from 1986, I will test it as soon as possible, just gotta sweet talk a co worker into bringing his macbook pro into work :)

Step 1: Parts n Tools

Tools: your usual electronics tools... on this project I used

Soldering Iron

Solder wick


Small phillips (+ shape) screwdriver

razor knife

small needle nose pliers

electrical tape (or proper sized heat shrink, I just happen to be out)



Arduino (with atmega 168 or 328, other chips not tested)

and a EXTRA atmega chip, you dont HAVE to but I installed this inside the controller, so you may want to have an extra chip on hand with a boot loader installed on it to replace the one we will be using (especially for me since I use my arduino AS a avr programmer, I would be kinda stuck)

16mhz crystal (ceramic resonator works fine, but I had the crystal and caps already)

2 * 22pf for the crystal (if your using a resonator then its packaged in for you)

0.1uf cap (code 104)

2 * 68ohm 1/8 watt resistors (or smaller if you want, just not larger, its tight in there)

1k5 ohm resistor

2 * 3.6v zeiner diodes 500mw or smaller

USB cable you dont mind cutting one end off of

NES game pad

thin insulated jumper wire

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