Best gamepads and controllers for Raspberry Pi
June 1, 2020
Whats a ‘Raspberry’ and what does it do?
Raspberry Pi is the name of a tiny computer that fits into the palm of your hand. Bare of any cases, this thing is simply a miniature motherboard with RAM, storage slots, USB ports, HDMI ports and networking capabilities. It can be used for a LOT of things, such as:
- Custom-made network firewall (using the software Pi-Hole)
- Multimedia station or budget Home-Cinema thanks to projects like LibreELEC, OSMC or Kodi.
- Web server
- Domotic controller
But the one use that exceeds at is retro videogames console, using emulators. You can play almost every system there is, including Playstation 1, Nintendo 64, SNES, Megadrive, Neogeo, etc. Except for PS2, Gamecube and the more demanding platforms, almost every game can be played on a Raspberry Pi.
And we realized that there is not much information out there regarding how to properly set up the gaming controllers for your Raspberry Pi, not even mentioning any recommendations for these.
Well, we have taken it upon ourselves to bring you the best selection (we believe, we have tested all of these) of gaming controllers for Raspbery Pi (versions 3, 3b and 4) and its emulators.
Can I play retro games on a Raspberry Pi?
Yes, you can, among a plethora of other things.
I have played Playstation 1 (PSX), Nintendo 64, Super Nintendo, Megadrive, Neogeo all in my Raspberry Pi 3b+ without stuttering and using a gamepad.
Should I buy a Raspberry Pi?
We have our own Raspberry systems and from our perspective, you are missing out on a LOT if you dont get yourself one of these. The potential is almost endless, from gaming to coding to IoT to networking. You can do a lot of things with these little artifacts.
Why should I a Raspberry Pi instead of a Playstation Classic?
There are many reasons but I like to give the two most important for us.
- Raspberry Pi is cheaper, more upgradable, has lots of uses, and will last longer than a single-platform console that has been refurbished and brought back with CA$H in mind, not for the gamers’ delights.
You can spend as little as 50 dollars on a Raspberry and you can have a perfect gaming station running by the time you finish assembling it. You can play multiple platforms on it and with greater control and capabilities than the Playstation Classic (instant save, on-the-fly disc change, screenshots, etc.).
- You can get almost any game for free. We are not going to link to any of those pages, but you know. Provided that you have enough storage in your Raspberry (a 128gb SD card will suffice for all your needs, guaranteed) you can download and copy over almost the equivalent of an entire room worth of games, for any supported platform.
All right I am sold. What do I buy and where?
We are putting some links below for your ease, but the essentials are:
- the Raspberry motherboard
- a case of your liking
- a heat sink (or fan) to alleviate the temperature of the motherboard (relax, its not a housefire)
- cables (HDMI, power)
- a microSD card, preferrably with high capacity (>128 GB)
- gaming controllers
Gaming controllers for Raspberry Pi: which to pick and where to buy them?
We have picked 5 (five) gaming controllers for Raspberry and tested most of them. These have shown absolutely no issues when pairing to the Raspberry. There is no input lag at all and we are confident that these will make you a very happy gamer for a lot less money than you expected. Read on and buy some, you won’t regret these purchases.
AmazonBasics Xbox One Wired Controller USB
Black wired controller for Xbox One plugs directly into Xbox One via 9.8-foot USB cable. Dual rumble motors create a realistic gaming experience.