Create a Joystick Using the Arduino Joystick Library 2.0




Since I released the original Arduino Joystick Library (see for more details) I have received numerous requests for enhancements. Most of these requests fall into the following two categories:

  • Increase the precision of the axes.
  • Make a version with only a specified set of features.

To accommodate these requests (and a few others) I have release Version 2.0 of the Arduino Joystick Library.

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Step 1: Arduino Joystick Library 2.0

Out of the box the Arduino Leonardo and the Arduino Micro appear to the host computer as a generic keyboard and mouse. This article discusses how the Arduino Leonardo and the Arduino Micro can also appear as one or more generic Game Controllers or Joysticks. The Arduino Joystick Library Version 2.0 can be used with Arduino IDE 1.6.6 (or above) to add one or more joysticks (or gamepads) to the list of HID devices an Arduino Leonardo or Arduino Micro (or any Arduino clone that is based on the ATmega32u4) can support. This will not work with Arduino IDE 1.6.5 (or below) or with non-32u4 based Arduino devices (e.g. Arduino UNO, Arduino MEGA, etc.).

Step 2: Features

The joystick or gamepad can have the following features:

  • Buttons (default: 32)
  • Up to 2 Hat Switches
  • X, Y, and/or Z Axis (up to 16-bit precision)
  • X, Y, and/or Z Axis Rotation (up to 16-bit precision)
  • Rudder (up to 16-bit precision)
  • Throttle (up to 16-bit precision)
  • Accelerator (up to 16-bit precision)
  • Brake (up to 16-bit precision)
  • Steering (up to 16-bit precision)

These features are configured using the Joystick_ class’s constructor.

Step 3: Installation

The latest build of Version 2.0 of the Arduino Joystick Library can be downloaded from the following GitHub repository:

The library can also be downloaded directly using the following:

Copy the Joystick folder to the Arduino Libraries folder (typically located at %userprofile%\Documents\Arduino\libraries on Microsoft Windows machines). On Microsoft Windows machines this can be done by executing deploy.bat. The library should now appear in the Arduino IDE list of libraries.

Step 4: Included Examples

The example Arduino sketch files listed below are included in this library. These will appear in the Arduino Example menu when the Arduino Joystick Library is installed.

JoystickTest – Simple test of the Joystick library. It exercises many of the Joystick library’s functions when pin A0 is grounded.

MultipleJoystickTest - Creates 4 Joysticks using the library and exercises the first 16 buttons, the X axis, and the Y axis of each joystick when pin A0 is grounded.

JoystickButton - Creates a Joystick and maps pin 9 to button 0 of the joystick, pin 10 to button 1, pin 11 to button 2, and pin 12 to button 3.

JoystickKeyboard - Creates a Joystick and a Keyboard. Maps pin 9 to Joystick Button 0, pin 10 to Joystick Button 1, pin 11 to Keyboard key 1, and pin 12 to Keyboard key 2.

GamepadExample - Creates a simple Gamepad with an Up, Down, Left, Right, and Fire button.

DrivingControllerTest - Creates a Driving Controller and tests 4 buttons, the Steering, Brake, and Accelerator when pin A0 is grounded.

FlightControllerTest - Creates a Flight Controller and tests 32 buttons, the X and Y axis, the Throttle, and the Rudder when pin A0 is grounded.

HatSwitchTest - Creates a joystick with two hat switches. Grounding pins 4 - 11 cause the hat switches to change position.

Step 5: Running the JoystickTest Example

The JoystickTest example sketch is included with the library. I recommend using this example to verify everything is working properly before beginning to write your own sketch files. Load, compile, and upload this example sketch file to an Arduino Leonardo or Micro using the Arduino IDE (version 1.6.6 or above).

Once you have uploaded the JoystickTest sketch file to the Arduino Leonardo or Micro, perform the following steps to verify everything is working properly. Note: the following steps are for Windows 10. If you have a different version of Windows or a different operating system, these steps may differ.

Open the “Devices and Printers” window. This can be done by clicking the Start menu or pressing the Windows Key and typing “Devices and Printers”.

Step 6: Arduino Settings Menu

The Arduino Leonardo or Arduino Micro should appear in the list of devices.

Right mouse click on the Arduino Leonardo or Arduino Micro
to display the settings menu.

Select “Game controller settings” to get to the “Game
Controllers” dialog.

Step 7: Select the Arduino

The Arduino Leonardo or Micro should appear in the list of installed game controllers. Select the Arduino Leonardo or Micro and click the Properties button to display the game controller test dialog.

Step 8: Testing the Arduino Joystick

While this dialog has focus, ground pin A0 on the Arduino to activate the test script.

The test script will test the game controller functionality in the following order:

  • 32 buttons
  • throttle and rudder
  • X and Y Axis
  • Z Axis
  • 2 Hat Switches
  • X, Y, and Z Axis Rotation

Step 9: Simple Gamepad Example - Hardware

Once the Arduino Leonardo or Micro has been tested using the JoystickTest example, I suggest making a simple gamepad controller. You will need five buttons to build this simple example. Each button will correspond to one of the following joystick functions: up, down, left, right, and fire.

Connect one end of each button to the ground pin of the Arduino. Connect the other end of each button as indicated below:

  • Up Button => Pin 2
  • Right Button => Pin 3
  • Down Button => Pin 4
  • Left Button => Pin 5
  • Fire Button => Pin 6

Step 10: Simple Gamepad Example - Sketch File

Upload the GamepadExample example sketch file to the Arduino Leonardo or Micro. This example is included with the Arduino Joystick Library.

Step 11: Simple Gamepad Example - Testing

Open the game controller properties or use the joystick testing application of your choice to test the behavior of your gamepad.

Step 12: For More Information

More information about the Arduino Joystick Library Version 2.0, including the complete API documentation, can be found at

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    44 Discussions


    Question 1 day ago

    Can I change device name seen in gamepads menu? (Device name that will be saved on arduino not windows)


    2 days ago

    Hello, I am new to this arduino, but I have a certain base in electronics and very simple programming, I am currently designing a steering wheel for PC, using your library I have been able to create a code that handles 4 potentiometers such as axles, clutch, brake, accelerator and hand brake, I also have a rotary encoder to use on the steering wheel, and 8 microswitch inputs for the gearbox. but I have a problem, if I use a potentiometer for the steering wheel it recognizes me in almost all games (DIRT, F1, ASSETO CORSA, PROJECT CARS, RFACTOR, AUTOMOBILISTA, ETC) but if I use the rotary encoder on the steering wheel, I only know it recognizes a game, LFS, in the other games when I want to assign the direction axis of the encoder does not recognize me, is there any function or special code for the encoder to be recognized as a potentiometer?


    7 weeks ago

    if you could add code to handle encoders it would be perfect for aviation simulators


    7 weeks ago

    If you could add code to handle encoders it would be perfect for aviation simulators

    Edson LourençoB

    Question 3 months ago

    Congratulations on the great work and beautiful explanation. Got to test the use of vibration and / or forcefeedback?


    Question 5 months ago

    hola estoy recien empezando en el mundo de arduino estoy interesado en construir un volante de pc con encoder y la verdad me gustaria que me ayudaran con ideas de como hacerlo. el proyecto estaria basado en 3 entradas analogicas para freno, embrague, acelerador. encoder con y motor de 12 v para el eje de direccion con un driver controller BTS7960B y siete entradas digitales. Les agradeceria mucho la ayuda


    6 months ago

    How do you make a second joystick axis on the same gamepad? Is that even possible, if I make another Joystick, it just makes a second entry HID, which isn't on the same controller, or am I missing something?

    Another thing I would like to know is, how can you make it bluetooth compatible? I have an Feather 32u4 Bluefruit LE.

    Thanks :)

    Chris Beeves

    Question 6 months ago

    Hi there!
    I have a controller that need to use two separate analog inputs to control an axis (steering). If one is pressed (analog reading), it should go left, if the other one, right. They shouldn't be pressed simultaneously, but if they were, the sum of them would be the input.
    Is this possible to accomplish in the Joystick library?

    Thank you!


    8 months ago

    This is EXACTLY what I've been looking for!!
    Thank you SO much.


    8 months ago

    is there a wiring diagram available for 32 button functions and a joystick tia


    Question 8 months ago


    How are you getting 16 bit resolution for the analog inputs since the board is only capable of 10 bit resolution?

    Are you just padding the last 6 bits with zeros?
    Are you oversampling?

    Thank you,


    Question 9 months ago

    Hello first of all, thank you for the great library.

    I made a controller with a PS2 button layout for my smartphone/PC.

    It works fine on my laptop and old smartphone (android 7), but when I try it on my new phone (android 8) the joysticks don't work correctly. They kind of mix up with each other, as if they were only one. Could it be I'm doing something wrong with the multiple joysticks? I'm not sure I wrote that right, I think it works a little "by chance" on the old phone.

    Here's my code:

    #include <Joystick.h>
    #define JOYSTICK_COUNT 2
    Joystick_ Joystick[JOYSTICK_COUNT] = {
    Joystick_(0x03, JOYSTICK_TYPE_JOYSTICK, 15, 0, true, true, false, false, false, false,false, false, false, false, false),
    Joystick_(0x04, JOYSTICK_TYPE_JOYSTICK, 0, 0, true, true, false, false, false, false, false, false, false, false, false)
    void setup() {
    #if defined (__AVR_ATtiny85__)
    if (F_CPU == 16000000) clock_prescale_set(clock_div_1);
    // End of trinket special code
    pixels.begin(); // This initializes the NeoPixel library.
    // Initialize Button Pins
    pinMode(2, INPUT_PULLUP);
    pinMode(3, INPUT_PULLUP);
    pinMode(4, INPUT_PULLUP);
    pinMode(5, INPUT_PULLUP);
    pinMode(6, INPUT_PULLUP);
    pinMode(7, INPUT_PULLUP);
    pinMode(8, INPUT_PULLUP);
    pinMode(9, INPUT_PULLUP);
    //pinMode(10, INPUT);
    pinMode(11, INPUT_PULLUP);
    pinMode(12, INPUT_PULLUP);
    pinMode(13, INPUT_PULLUP);
    pinMode(14, INPUT_PULLUP);
    pinMode(15, INPUT_PULLUP);
    pinMode(16, INPUT_PULLUP);
    pinMode(A0, INPUT);
    pinMode(A1, INPUT);
    pinMode(A2, INPUT);
    pinMode(A3, INPUT);
    Joystick[0].setXAxisRange(-127, 127);
    Joystick[0].setYAxisRange(-127, 127);
    Joystick[1].setXAxisRange(-127, 127);
    Joystick[1].setYAxisRange(-127, 127);
    // Initialize Joystick Library
    // Constant that maps the phyical pin to the joystick button.
    const int pinToButtonMap = 2;
    // Last state of the button
    int lastButtonState[15] = {0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0};
    void loop() {
    // Read pin values
    for (int index = 0; index < 15; index++)
    int currentButtonState = !digitalRead(index + pinToButtonMap);
    if (currentButtonState != lastButtonState[index])
    Joystick[0].setButton(index, currentButtonState);
    lastButtonState[index] = currentButtonState;


    Question 1 year ago on Step 1

    There are 3.3 and 5V boards on AliExpress, what should I choose?

    1 answer

    Answer 9 months ago

    good question did you ever find out?
    how does one choice the correct version for a project?
    I assume 5v would be save since i want to use a already USB device
    but open it up to reconfigure the layout and salvage buttons


    11 months ago

    Thank you for this library! It really solved a problem for me. I now use it to connect my DX6i radio control transmitter to my flight simulator(s). After some experimenting it now works fine.

    1 reply

    Reply 9 months ago

    Hi I was actually trying to transform my USB RAILDRIVER (trainsimulator unit) into a Generic gamecontroller since the default driver and software only allow me to map 32/34 buttons but won't allow me to use the 4levers and 2rotary switches, so while I haven't studied how to do this I started reading through the comments, then stumbles onto yours Intresting!! since I also own a Spectrum Dx6i which i have never used since i got it al these years back, but reading your comment realized i might finally have a use for it... could you please share your completed program?? THNX alot!


    10 months ago

    I would like to make a 8 axis-32 button joystick controller card. The Joystick library would appear to be able to handle it. I am a beginner to Ardunio and was hoping to find someone that has written a Sketch File to do that as well as a diagram on how they hooked everything up. I have tested out the Ardunio Leonardo card using the gamepad example. Any information or projects you could refer me to would be appreciated. I am a retired guy just trying to stay active with some projects. One of which is to MOD am old joystick and add some axis and buttons to it as well.


    Question 10 months ago

    Hi iam new to arduino stuff but i wanna build a Controller for my Raspberry pi console. But i dont know how to add more buttons to the simplegamepad scetch, i tried but it didnt worked. Can you please help me and tell me how i can have 5 additional "FIRE" buttons so i have : up down left right A B X Y L R.

    1 answer

    Answer 10 months ago

    There is an example sketch included in the library, called JoystickButton (, that includes 4 buttons. If you take the concepts from this example and combine it with the GamepadExample (, you should be able to accomplish what you desire.