Raspberry Pi Portable Arcade Console (with RetroPie)

Find out how to make an easy portable arcade console (cabinet) using a Raspberry Pi! You can bring it anywhere, plug it into any tv, and play all your favorite classic ROMs. This arcade has 4 general buttons and a joystick, but you can also plug in any old usb enabled controller.

Teacher Notes

Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.

Step 1: Materials

You will need a few materials to build this project:

I've also modeled a 3d printable case that you can use if you have access to a 3d printer.

3D Printable Files

If you don't have access to a 3d printer, you will need some tools:

  • Drill
  • 1-1/8" Drill Bit
  • 1/2" Drill Bit
  • Sand Paper

For wiring, you will need:

  • Soldering Iron
  • Solder
  • Wire Strippers

Step 2: Instructions

I created a 24 minute step-by-step video on how to assemble the arcade console, load the emulation software, map GPIO buttons to USB, and install ROMs. I'm using RetroPie for the emulators and Adafruit's Retrogame executable to map GPIO buttons to USB. RetroPie is great because it works with many different ROM files.

Step 3: Diagrams and Resources

On the Github repository for this project, I've added all of the diagrams for wiring. I've also posted my modified retrogame.c file.

(*note - joystick diagram provided by Adafruit)

That's it! If you have any questions about the project, please post them in the comments and I will answer them the best I can.


Aaron @HackerHouse

Be the First to Share


    • Made with Math Contest

      Made with Math Contest
    • Multi-Discipline Contest

      Multi-Discipline Contest
    • Robotics Contest

      Robotics Contest

    3 Discussions


    3 years ago


    Really cool project. Is there a way to add more than 4 buttons in order to emulate controllers with more controls? I was thinking of using it for SNES but would need an extra 4 buttons past what you have there.


    2 replies

    Reply 3 years ago

    Yep, just plug the wires into any open gpio pins and add an entry in the retrogame.c file. You can also connect the ground wires together if there aren't enough ground pins.