A Lego Game Controller; Just For The Hack Of It


[StrangeMeadowlark] decided one day to create this badass Arduino-based gaming controller. Not for any particular reason, other than, why the heck not?!

It looks like a tiny Lego spaceship that has flown in from a nearby planet, zooming directly into the hands of an eager Earthling gamer. With buttons of silver, this device can play Portal 1 and 2, Garry’s Mod, Minecraft, and VisualBoy Advance. Although more work is still needed, the controller does the job; especially when playing Pokemon. It feels like a Gameboy interface, with a customizable outer frame.

Sticky, blue-tack holds a few wires in place. And, most of the materials are items that were found around the house. Like the gamepad buttons on top; they are ordinary tactile switches that can be extracted from simple electronics. And the Legos, which provide an easy way to build out the body console, rather than having to track down a 3D printer and learning AutoCAD.


Communication between the PC and the Arduino inside is done by having the controller pretend to be a USB keyboard, allowing for in-game mapping of the keys. Key presses are sent to the Serial-to-USB chip in buffer specific to the firmware. Not to mention, it gives the option to browse Imgur if the urge arises.

For future iterations, Joysticks might be added. It will take some time to integrate them into the controller, but it will be worth the effort. Another implementation will be the utilization of gamepad firmware instead of emulating a keyboard, which doesn’t report analog values.

Other Lego projects similar to this include this two-axis panning time lapse rig, this custom electronic Lego microcontroller system called the LegoDuino, this obstacle avoiding LEGO rover with CD wheels, this Lego Drawing Machine, and this DIY Spectrophotometer.

2 thoughts on “A Lego Game Controller; Just For The Hack Of It

  1. There are cheap ($7) arcade controls controller boards available. USB, pretend to be a gamepad, and ‘mapping’ is as simple as plugging your switch into the appropriate socket.

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