Set Up the Two Player Arcade Joystick Kit

Difficulty
Very easy
Steps
13

There are arcade emulators available in Retropie, including MAME (Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator) and it can emulate thousands of classic arcade games. But what about a controller that's true to form? This 2 Player DIY Arcade Joystick Kit enables you to quickly get started with creating your own arcade controller or cabinet.

In this guide, learn how to set up the arcade joystick kit in a few simple steps. 

Complete this guide to play all your favourite classic arcade games as you remembered them.

Parts Used in This Guide

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An Overview

Get started with building your own arcade cabinet with this Two Player DIY Arcade Joystick Kit. 

Included in the Kit are:

  • 20 LED Arcade buttons
  • A red joystick
  • A blue joystick
  • 2 USB encoders
  • Cables

In this guide, we'll set up the arcade buttons with their built-in LED functionality. 

Step 1  Connect Joystick to 5-pin cable

First, let's get started with connecting a joystick with the 5-pin cable.

Step 2  Connect second joystick to another 5-pin cable

Connect a second 5-pin cable to the other joystick.

Step 3  Prepare the 30mm Arcade Buttons

Next, prepare the arcade buttons.

There are two types of arcade buttons in the kit, the 30mm arcade buttons and 24mm arcade buttons.

Each type comes with a different plastic mounting nut that is to be screwed on.

  • Connect a black plastic mounting nut by screwing it onto the 30mm arcade button as shown. 
  • Do the same for all the 30mm arcade buttons.

Step 4  Prepare the 24mm Arcade Buttons

  • Connect a white mounting nut to a 24mm arcade button.
  • Do the same for all four 24mm arcade buttons.

Step 5  Connect an 2-pin connector to arcade buttons

The cables included in the kit will enable you to connect up the arcade buttons quickly without any soldering required.  On one end of this wire there is a JST connector. On the other end of the wire, there is a female spade connector.

There are four pins on the back of the arcade button:

  • Two of these pins are connected to the LED.
  • The pins that are closer to the edge of the arcade button are connected to the LED.
  • Make sure the blue wire's female spade connector is connected to '-'
  • Connect the white wire's female spade connector to '+' on the arcade button
  • Connect the wires to the arcade button as shown

Step 6  Overview of the USB Encoder

Let's take a closer look at a USB encoder. It has:

  • An interface to connect the USB cable to
  • The USB cable will then be connected to the Raspberry Pi
  • A 5-pin joystick interface to connect to a joystick
  • 2-pin joystick interface; this will not be used in the guide or kit
  • Arcade buttons interface: This is where the arcade buttons will be connected to!
    • There are 12 such interfaces to connect via JST connector found on one end of each wire (that we previously used to connect up the arcade buttons)
    • So to connect both the LED and button control functionality, each arcade button will require two such interfaces. A total of 6 arcade buttons can be connected to one USB encoder. 
    • Alternatively, up to 12 arcade buttons (without LED functionality) can be connected per USB encoder

Step 7  Connect 5-pin cable to USB encoder

  • Connect the 5-pin cable to the first USB encoder.
  • Connect the second 5-pin cable to the second USB encoder.
  • Now both the joysticks are connected to the USB encoders.

Step 8  Connect 2-pin connector to USB encoder

  • Connect both 2-pin connectors attached to the arcade button to the USB encoder as shown.

Step 9  Connect arcade buttons to first USB encoder

  • Connect six arcade buttons to one USB Encoder.

Step 10  Connect buttons to second USB encoder

  • Connect another six arcade buttons to the second USB Encoder.

Step 11  Connect USB cables to encoders

  • Connect the USB cable included in the kit to the USB cable interface found on the USB encoder.
  • Do the same for the second USB encoder.
  • The arcade buttons should now light up!

Next Steps: Retropie

  • Next, configure the arcade button controls in Retropie.
  • What is Retropie? Retropie is an application for retro gaming on the Raspberry Pi and other boards such as the Odroid as well as on PC. Follow our guide on  how to set up Retropie with Raspberry Pi
  • Note:  Already got a microSD card with Retropie on it? Jump to Step 7 in that guide to configure the arcade button controls.