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!! Note: This project is no longer being maintained !!

General information (FAQ)

What is Retrodapter?
Retrodapter is an adapter that lets you connect you old retro gamepads to your PC via USB.

It is fully plug-and-play with no drivers needed and has been tested to support the following gamepads:

  • NES
  • SNES
  • SEGA Master System
  • SEGA Mega Drive/Genesis 3-button controller
  • SEGA Mega Drive/Genesis 6-button controller (thought with some issues - see the FAQ)
  • Suncom TAC-2

Why is Retrodapter?
I wanted to be able to use my old real gamepads with emulators in Windows.

Under which operating systems does it work?
It's only been tested under Windows 7 and 8.1, but it should work with any windows from Windows 98 second edition and forward. Linux and Mac might also work but hasn't been tested.

How do I install Retrodapter?
It's fully plug-and-play so all you have to do is plug it into a USB port and it should install itself.

What issues are there with the Mega Drive/Genesis 6-button controller support?
Because I have tried to maintain compatibillity with both 6-button and 3-button controllers without using extra HW, there are som button combinations on the 6-buttons controller that will NOT work because the X/Y/Z buttons will be filtered away. The combinations that will NOT work is when the button state (pressed/not pressed) of the UP, DOWN and LEFT buttons are EXACTLY equal to the button state of the X, Y and Z buttons:

  • [UP, DOWN and LEFT button state] == [X, Y and Z button state]
You can get around this by adding an extra switch on the PC1/PC2 lines to allow the user to manually choose the type on controller (i.e. 3-button or 6-button), but I haven't done that and the code is not currently prepared for it.

Retrodapter uses a VID that is free for educational use only. Do NOT use this VID for anything that might get out of your lab.

You should consider getting your own VID/PID pair. You can get one at low cost by getting a commercial v-usb license from Objective Development.

Are there any good sources for information?
But of course. I've used information from the following sources to complete Retrodapter:

Anything else?
You are fully responsible for any and all actions you take using information and/or code or hardware from this site. Basically: USE AT YOUR OWN RISK!



The zip file(s) contains a schematic of the hardware and source code for the firmware.

Note that while this all seems to be working it has certainly NOT been thouroghly tested. It might or it might not work for you. Consider yourself warned.

A changelog is available in the download


Retropad is released under the GPLv2.

Retropad uses v-usb from Objective Development as USB driver. This driver is released under its own license and has a license file of its own included in the download.

/Olof Holmgren [olof@fulhack.org]

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