Magpi: The Micro Arduino Gaming Platform Interface

Picture of Magpi: The Micro Arduino Gaming Platform Interface

Here's a retro hand-held gaming console I built with my son. It uses an Arduino micro-controller, a small LCD screen, push-buttons, a 3D printed case and home-grown "PC" board. It's really pretty easy to solder and put together. My son & I wrote two games and a drawing program for it. See the video for a quick demo. Enjoy!

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Step 1: Parts List

Picture of Parts List

Here's the parts list for the magpi itself:

In addition you will need the following tools:

Soldering iron, flush cutters for trimming wires after soldering, wire-strippers, needle-nose pliers to bend wires into place, hot-glue gun.

You will also need an FTDI adaptor to program the Arduino Pro Micro. I use this one from Sparkfun:

(removed by author or community request)

I think that should work just fine.

Kante Tech8 months ago

Can I use any arduino the current one I have is arduino uno r3

zippy314 (author)  Kante Tech8 months ago

You can use any arduino, but then you will have to modify the project in three ways:

Power source: The r3 runs at 5v not 3.7v, so either you have to just plug it in or if you want to use a battery with your r3, then you have to use a voltage booster for the battery like this one:

Level shifting for the LCD: The display ( is designed for 3.3v. This means that you have to level-shift the 5v lines coming from the r3 arduino. Fortunately when you buy the LCD from adafruit, they include a level shifting chip, and their tutorial tells you how to hook it up.

Case: obviously the case won't fit because the r3 is so much bigger so you'll have to design a different case to hold it all.

Good luck!

Okay I got it thanks!
nerd747311 months ago

pretty cool!!!

Towtow1011 months ago

Could some one please tell me the dimensions to print.

zippy314 (author)  Towtow1011 months ago

One thing is that your printer is most likely not big enough to print all three parts in one go. What you can do is either split the file in Repetier Host to print each separately, or, I also have the parts available for download as separate files at:

Towtow10 zippy31411 months ago
Thanks anyway but im using a website to print (
qubist Towtow1011 months ago

All files are here:

Final dimensions seem to be about 144x50 mm

If you doubt me: I'm the guy in that video.

Towtow10 qubist11 months ago


zippy314 (author)  Towtow1011 months ago

I'm not sure what you mean... It's in mm, not inches if that's what you mean.

kmclaws11 months ago
I got a little confused when I read "mail" header instead of "male" header on the initial parts list. :)
wliu311 months ago
Will be better if you can use a small UNO replica ( think there are a few out there ) and programme games on ATMega328Ps which can be swapped like "cartridges"? This shall be a more flexible way to make a mobile game console to have more games but this will certainly sacrifice some mobility ( but this is the trade off ).
zippy314 (author)  wliu311 months ago

I wanted to add an SD card reader for future versions, and write bootloader code that could let you load the game you want off the SD card, but didn't get around to it. I think that's what the Gambuino folks do....

haruspex wliu311 months ago

That would be a completely different project.

carfin3311 months ago

i thought this had something to do with the raspberry pi magazine, MagPi

zippy314 (author)  carfin3311 months ago

Yah, didn't know about that when we chose the name...

nex_otaku zippy31411 months ago

Call it GamPi ;)

Gat511 months ago
zx lee11 months ago

Hi, may I know how you program the Nokia GLCD? Do you use any library?

zippy314 (author)  zx lee11 months ago
Yes I used the Adafruit GFX and Nokia libraries. You can see my code here:

ASCAS11 months ago

Now that's an AWESOME setup!

I want one... Super great job

alexpatz1 year ago

It was so fun to try out playing with your Magpi Will and Eric. Congratulations and thanks for sharing the instructions.

azharz1 year ago

Very good instructable.