BEGINNER’S RECOMMENDATIONS


This section of materials and equipment has been created specifically to assist those that are just starting out with Arduino and controller design. It starts off with more budget-friendly essentials and then progresses into more advanced components as your knowledge continues to grow. If you’re looking for additional components, check out my main gear page that showcases everything I have used.

STARTER BUNDLE

  • Arduino Leonardo: My favorite microcontroller for prototyping controller designs. The advantage of the Leonardo over the Arduino Uno is that it can emulate USB devices such as a keyboard or mouse through built in libraries. Arduino Micro

  • Push Button: Used to initiate actions such as key presses.

  • Joystick: Used for multi-directional controls and movement.

  • Breadboard: A prototyping development board that enables temporary electrical connections without the use of solder.

  • Wire: Bulk 22 gauge wire of varying color.

 

TOP 5 STARTER TOOLS

  • Soldering Iron: An entry level soldering iron to get you started. Used to create electrically conductive connections between components. This kit includes solder.

  • Wire Stripper: Used for removing the electrical insulation from insulated wires.

  • Helping Hands: An adjustable jig used to hold components while soldering.

  • Screwdriver Set: A set of small Phillips, Flat, and Torx screwdrivers for assembling and disassembling components.

  • Hot Glue Gun: My favorite way to attach components to objects. The glue can also be used to increase structural rigidity of solder connections.



ADVANCED COMPONENTS

  • MPU-6050: Combination accelerometer and gyroscope used for motion controls.

  • Wii Nunchuk: The Nunchuk provides a joystick, two buttons, and an accelerator in a sleek package.

  • WiiChuk Adapter: An adapter for the Wii Nunchuk that allows you to easily connect it to your Arduino without permanent modification.

  • Titan Two Console Adapter: This adapter allows for the use of any console controller, mouse, keyboard, or Arduino microcontroller project to work with any console. It has a entire software package full of advanced settings to create intricate controller designs. I highly recommend this adapter for any console gamer.

  • Micro USB Cable: Used to power and for data transfer for most controllers.

  • Power Adapter: Used to power controllers without needing to connect to a computer.

  • Micro SD Card: Used for storing files and operating systems for Raspberry Pi.

  • Low-Profile USB Flash Drive: Used for storing files for Raspberry Pi. The low profile makes it easier to fit within small project spaces.



  • Multimeter: An electronic meter for measuring voltage, current, and resistance of a circuit.

 

SOFTWARE DOWNLOADS

  • Arduino IDE: Programming software that supports all Arduino products and is required for compiling code.

  • RetroPie: Raspberry Pi emulation software for use in MAME arcade cabinets or retro consoles.