SNES to Parallel Port




Intro: SNES to Parallel Port

The basic steps to modify your SNES controller to connect to your computer via the parallel port.

Step 1: Strip SNES Controller Cable

Strip the end of the SNES (Super Nintendo Entertainment System) controller cable (the end that connects to the SNES), and tin the ends of the wires. If you don't want to cut up your controller you can just stick wires in the end that plugs into the SNES according to the diagram in step 3.

Alternatively (what I did), you could replace the SNES cable with one from something else, that way you don't need to chop up the controller. In my case I had a broken NES controller that I borrowed a cord from. It is also recommended that instead of cutting the cable you get a SNES controller extension cable and cut that up. In either case the steps are the same.

Step 2: Powering the Controller

There are several ways to power the controller. The cleanest way is to draw power directly from the parallel port with diodes. You can also get power from the USB port or from an extra power cable inside of the computer (if you aren't using a laptop).

To draw power from the parallel port attach a diode to pins 4-9 on the parallel port connector according to the diagram below. The +5V end attaches to the white wire on the controller (make shore that the diodes are aligned correctly, the black stripe should point away from the parallel port).

Otherwise you can strip a spare USB cable and attach the controller's power (white) wire to the red 5V wire on the USB cable and the ground (brown) wire on the controller to the black/ground wire in the USB cable.

Step 3: Attach Everything Else

The yellow/clock wire connects to pin 2, the orange/latch wire connects to pin 3, the red/data wire connects to pin 10, and the brown/ground wire connects to pin 18 (if you are powering trough the parallel port).

Step 4: Install Software

You can find windows XP/2000 (PPJoy) drivers here:

PPJoy has fairly good documentation, including instructions on using different interfaces (the Playstation or Sega Genesis controllers for example). But here is generally what you need to do.

After installing PPJoy go to the control panel and click on the icon labeled "Parallel port Joysticks". In the new window click on the button labeled "Add...".

In the "Configure new controller" window set "Parallel port" to "LPT1", "Controller type" to "SNES or NES pad", "Interface type" to "DirectPad Pro/SNESkey", "Controller number" to "Controller 1", and "Controller sub type" to "SNES or Virtual Gameboy".

Hit "Add" and let windows install the drivers.

Step 5: Clean Up

Any your done _. You can configure your controller like any joystick/game pad in Control Panel - Game Controllers. This setup will work with pretty much all SNES/NES emulators, adding a level of authenticity a keyboard could never provide. And it functions like a regular game pad that you would buy in the store.



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    112 Discussions


    5 years ago on Introduction

    My laptop's parallel port did not have enough power for the controller, so
    i had to power it with an USB cable, that goes into the parallel connector enclosure. Everything working fine now!


    9 years ago on Step 3

    is it possible to just connect the snes wires straight to USB wires

    all i noe is that:
    Black(USB) = Brown(SNES)
    Red(USB) = White(SNES)

    where do i connect the other wires that are left on the SNES controller.
    If you noe please email me at

    please reply ASAP


    5 replies

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    hear use this ti warks grate


    Reply 9 years ago on Step 3

    No, you can't just connect the SNES wires to the USB wires. Well, except for the 2 that you listed that only provide power to the controller. The other wires need to be hooked up to the parallel port like I described. If you want to use USB you need to add some more complex circuitry (like a USB chip), which would be a whole other tutorial.

    BlackAngel999Mr. Squishy

    Reply 8 years ago on Step 3

    I'll do ya one better. They make these things called USB>LPT adapters. Most all of them use the PL-2305H USB>1284 bridge, which supports all of the pins from a parallel port.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    you'd probably be better off using the keypad hack, where you wire controller's buttons to keypad's buttons.


    8 years ago on Introduction

    I'm going to be adding an instructable soon for the original NES pad to printer port.


    8 years ago on Introduction

    any way to do this with a ps2/1 controller?
    cool instructable though, im gonna make one of these, it'll work the same way fro a nes, right?


    8 years ago on Step 3

    Would it be possible to do the wiring straight into a parallel-usb wire?


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    the sega Genesis\Mega Drive contrrollers use the same firmware in every version of the controller, it really does make a difference if use a Japanese pad in a genesis.


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Not sure why people like SANTY here need to cop an attitude with people that are only trying to help. You're obviously not intelligent enough to figure this out on you're own, so at least show a little respect to those who can.


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    No, you need to find the Sega to parralel schematics to do that. You might find them on here, otherwise, you got google right beside ya

    Hungry_MystCapt. Fat

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Not with the same software. There is probably a similar solution for N64 controllers but I don't know of it.