Raspberry Pi enthusiasts and gamers wanting to build their very own USB games controller may be interested in the latest issue of the awesome HackSpace Magazine which takes a look how to use the new $4 Raspberry Pi Pico microcontroller to create a USB connected Arcade joystick and buttons controller.
We’ll use CircuitPython for this as it has excellent support for USB interfaces. The sort of USB devices that we interact with are called human interface devices (HIDs), and there are standard protocols for common HIDs, including keyboards and mice. This is why, for example, you can plug almost any USB keyboard into almost any computer and it will just work, with no need to install drivers.
We’re going to use eight buttons: four for direction, and four as additional ‘action’ buttons. We’ll connect these between an I/O pin and ground. You can use any I/O pin you like. We’re going to use slightly different ones in two different setups, just because they made sense with the physical layout of the hardware. Let’s take a look at the hardware we’re using. Remember, this is just the hardware we want to use. The whole idea of this is to create a setup that’s right for you, so there’s no need to use the same. Think about how you want to interact with your games and take a look at the available input devices and build what you want.”
Issue 42 of the excellent HackSpace magazine is now available to purchase and download directly from the Pi Press website by following the link below.