How to make SNES controller into plug-and-play emulator

What happens when you jam a Raspberry Pi into an SNES controller? Emulator magic, of course.

1 minute & 56 seconds read time

Have you ever wanted to make your own portable emulator arcade out of an SNES controller? Well, now you can.

DIY tech modder Anthony Caccese has created a DIY on how to stuff a Raspberry Pi Zero into an Super Nintendo controller, effectively letting you make your own all-in-one emulator and controller solution. The SNS-005 can be easily plugged into a TV via an HDMI cord, and is powered by its own 3.7v 500mAh internal battery that last about 2.5 hours, and can be charged up at any point via Micro USB.

This project is for all aspiring DIY tecchies out there who've always wanted to tinker with a Raspberry Pi and make something awesome. I have to say that this invention is pretty nifty, especially since mini emulator arcades are typically small handhelds or tiny set-top boxes you connect controllers to, so it's really neat to see an all-in-one solution made out of a controller.

How to make SNES controller into plug-and-play emulator 4How to make SNES controller into plug-and-play emulator 5

If you'd like to try and make your own SNS-005, check the instructions and links below!

I received a raspberry pi zero recently and thought it would be a fun project to fit it into an official SNES controller

I was inspired by these similar projects:



The main changes I was looking to try being:

- Use an original SNES controller

- Have HDMI out and power switch coming out the top

- Run it on an internal battery (with charging port on the bottom)

I am really happy with how it came out

It runs for about 2 hours give or take, hooks up to any TV with just an HDMI cable and it was a great way to learn/practice soldering and electronics

Wiring Diagram:


Case Modifications:


- Raspberry PI Zero (v1.3) -

- Super Nintendo Controller (model #SNS-005)

- Powerboost 500c -

- Lithium Ion Polymer Battery (3.7v 500mAh) -

- Slide Switch -

- Mini HDMI Male to HDMI female adapter -

How to setup up the gamecon driver to work with RetroPie:

- Blugoo's step-by-step -

--- The only difference to watch for is that we are wiring up an SNES controller instead of an N64

--- So based on my wiring diagram above the modprobe command to use is "options gamecon_gpio_rpi map=0,0,0,0,0,1"

- Also helpful is the readme file from the gpio driver here -

If you have questions please don't hesitate to ask in the comments below. I'll do my best to help out.


Derek joined the TweakTown team in 2015 and has since reviewed and played 1000s of hours of new games. Derek is absorbed with the intersection of technology and gaming, and is always looking forward to new advancements. With over six years in games journalism under his belt, Derek aims to further engage the gaming sector while taking a peek under the tech that powers it. He hopes to one day explore the stars in No Man's Sky with the magic of VR.

Newsletter Subscription

Related Tags