Introduction: Game Gear Pi

Hello everyone. It's my first Instructables so if you have question or commentary, don't hesitate to let me know.

I always wanted to do a portable project with the raspberry pi and recently i bought 2 broken Game Gear for 5$ at a pawnshop and I decided to do a project with them. I wanted to used the original power board and the original audio board salvaged from the consoles. I was lucky because I got one working power board from one game gear and one working audio board from the other.

Step 1: What You'll Need

1 - Raspberry Pi 1/2/3/B+

2 - Game Gear Donor

3 - Power Board (Game Gear Donor)

4 - Audio Board (Game Gear Donor)

5 - Button and PCB (Game Gear Donor)

6 - LCD Screen Composite 3.5in 12v (from a dashcam)

7 - Slide Switch (to poweroff the screen when not in use)(It's the little piece on top-right corner on the picture)

8 - Speaker (Game Gear Donor)

9 - Female Jumper Wire

10 - Male Jumper Wire

11 - Dremel Multi-tool

12 - Screw Drivers

13 - Power Supply for Game Gear (I used 9V 1A)

14 - Shrink Tube

15 - Solder Station

16 - Aviation Snips - Straight Cut

PS: I used jumper wire to be able to replace everything easely in case of something break.

Step 2: Disassembly and Prepare the Case

You have to completely disassemble the Game Gear and keep all pieces on the side including screws. Be careful, inside the Game Gear there is a little neon. Handle with care.

Then, you'll have to glue your screen in the case (I used hot glue).

You'll have to do a hole a the buttom for the SD card slot like the picture. Use your raspberry pi to help you figure where to put the hole.

When you'll do the hole, you will have to hot glue the raspberry pi to the bottom of the case and make sure it fit the hole that you just made for the SD card.

Step 3: Prepare the PCB

Now you have to cut the PCB if you want to reuse it like me. Otherwise, you can design your own PCB with your own buttons.

On the picture you can see where to cut, but for the side of the D-pad, I decided to keep the 'Ext.' Connector. Otherwise you'll be stuck with a unfilled hole on the Game Gear. You can cut the PCB with the Aviation Snips. In my case, I made a mistake and some of the button did not work after cutting the PCB. So I was forced to solder each ground pad to each other with jumper wires. Next, you'll have to solder jumper wire on the solder points of the buttons as seen on the picture. When you finish, put the D-pad and Buttons in place and screw it to the case.

Step 4: Power Board, Audio Board and LCD

For this part, I checked a video on youtube that explain how to use the power board with the audio board with a raspberry pi.

For the LCD (that is normally powered by 12V power supply), you'll have to use the 9v output on the power board since it will work at this voltage.

Step 5: GPIO and Wiring

D-Pad / Solder Points / RPI pin:

UP - M10 - Pin15

RIGHT - M13 - Pin27

LEFT - M12 - Pin16

DOWN - M11 - Pin28


1-2-Start / Solder Points / RPI pin:

START - M16 - Pin11

2 - M15 - Pin33

1 - M14 - Pin31


Step 6: Installation

In this step, you'll have to burn a fresh image of retropie with win32diskimager. Then you"ll create an empty file name 'ssh' on the root of your SD card to be able to ssh later. When you are connected

sudo raspi-config

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install -y proftpd

mkdir /home/pi/Adafruit-Retrogame

Copy the 'retrogame.c' file to this directory. I did it with proftpd.

cd /home/pi/Adafruit-Retrogame

make retrogame

sudo nano /etc/udev/rules.d/10-retrogame.rules

Add lines :

SUBSYSTEM=="input", ATTRS{name}=="retrogame", ENV{ID_INPUT_KEYBOARD}="1"

CTRL+X (save and quit)

sudo nano /home/pi/

Add lines :


gpio mode 3 out

gpio write 3 1

gpio mode 4 out

gpio write 4 1

gpio mode 22 in

gpio write 22 0

gpio mode 23 out

gpio write 23 1

gpio mode 0 out

gpio write 0 1

CTRL+X (save and quit)

sudo chmod +x /home/pi/

sudo nano /etc/rc.local

Add lines before 'fi':

/home/pi/Adafruit-Retrogame/retrogame &

/home/pi/ &

CTRL+X (save and quit)

sudo amixer cset numid=1 100%

sudo reboot

Step 7: Configure Input

When Retropie ask you to configure input, you'll have to configure (as keyboard) like this :





1 = B

2 = A

Start = Enter

Select = S

And for the rest, you can ignored them.

Step 8: Finish

And it's completed. You'll have to add some game and you'll be ready to play.

Please leave comment.

Thank you.