Force feedback for the Nintendo DS

This cool mod brings force feedback to the Nintendo DS. There’s a motor with an offset weight mounted inside the DS for vibration and some nice SMD LEDs plopped in there for good measure. The force feedback is being controlled via a picaxe mocrocontroller and triggered from the analog audio signal. While using the analog audio may not be the most precise method, he says that the results are pretty decent.

[Thanks Dan, via HacknMod]


  1. Alpha says:

    I love me some DS hacks. DS rules!

  2. Alexander Rossie says:

    I’ve done the same thing except externally ina spare GBA slot cover. The audio signal trick does work very well as with all consoles!

  3. speps says:

    Typo: “mocrocontroller”

  4. anon says:

    It would have been nice if there was no background music on the video.

  5. hamcake says:

    Pretty cool. I’d like to see someone implement *real* force feedback. ie: a heavy weight inside the device is shifted left/right and forward/back when you’re turning, accelerating, braking, shooting, etc. Imagine playing a motorcycle game where you need to physically lean into the turns.

  6. Doug says:

    cool mod, yes. Original? no :(

  7. Whatnot says:

    Rumble != forcefeedback
    Forcefeedback is when you press a controller and it pushes back like steeringwheels and joysticks can have, rumble is just vibration and another thing altogether, and obviously much cheaper to make and easier to cram into small controllers and needing less power.
    So please don’t use the wrong term, it only causes confusion and a world without forcefeedback because if the manufacturers think it’s the same to people they will pick the simple and cheap solution instead of supplying and implementing the real thing.

  8. Amos says:

    Actually, [Whatnot], there are two types of force feedback: this kind, called “tactile” feedback, and what you call force feedback, which is called “haptic” feedback. You can get both types in all kinds of consumer devices. Now we can /all/ start using the right terminology.

    Also, it doesn’t matter what you call stuff, corporations will never stop being cheap :P

  9. Mike Lawson says:

    Nintendo did an official version of this a long time ago, and it isn’t dependent on the audio feed. I know that at least metroid prime hunters and metroid prime pinball supported it, possibly others. The fact that you can find them for $1.25 on ebay right now just makes the lack of a hack here all the worse.

  10. MS3FGX says:

    Well I think the point is that this works on every game and not just the handful that support the official rumble pack. Though obviously the official one works much better than this.

  11. Rachel says:

    I really like the SNExbox method of force feedback: it watches for the actual game condition, and triggers the rumble accordingly. It works much like a game genie, PEEKing at memory addresses for the right set of conditions. It takes about as much time to program as finding game genie codes, but it’s very effective.

    I bet this could be done entirely in software, given enough effort.

  12. Whatnot says:

    I don’t think so amos, the word describes it ‘force’ + ‘feedback’, and a separate word ‘rumble’, obviously language has a handy feature that it has various different words to describe various different things :)

    Seems wikipedia’s article comes close to my view:

    Although that’s not ‘conclusive’ of course
    (but I can tell you I was not involved in editing that article.)

  13. bothersaidpooh says:


    my $0.02 worth, obtain two vibrating pancake motors from a defunct samsung or motorola ‘phone.

    these can be run at three distinct speeds using a voltage doubler run off a PIC pin, allowing far more of a range of signals to be sent by the host.

    they are also handy for haptic feedback gloves for the same reason.

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