Setting up an Adaptor for a PS2 Controller


  • A microcontroller

    • The Pi Pico is recommended, but click below to see information about other microcontrollers.

      Microcontroller information
      • Pi Pico
        • This micro controller was created by the Raspberry Pi foundation, so it means that buying one supports them instead of random companies cloning Arduinos. They are considerably more powerful than any of the other supported Arduinos. The Pi Pico supports a few extra features, such as USB Input (which allows for XB1 / Series compatability), Peripheral microcontrollers and the GHWT tap bar. Note that the Pi Pico runs at 3.3v, so it can just be used as is for PS2 and Wii adapters. Pi Picos also tend to be quite cheap and often have the advantage that they can often be brought at local stores. With the currrent firmware, picos work much much better than arduinos if your goal is to create adaptors, but they also work better for direct wiring too. There are many boards based on the Pi Pico as well, and all of these work just fine with the firmware.
      • Sparkfun Pro Micro (5v)
        • The 5V Pro Micro will work okay for direct wiring, but being that it runs at 5V, it will require voltage conversion to build Wii adapters and PS2 adapters and turntables.
      • Sparkfun Pro Micro (3.3v)
        • If you want to build an adapter for a Wii or PS2 guitar, then this will be easier to use than any of the 5v microcontrollers. Due to the lower voltage, these do run at half the speed of the 5v variants, a. Clones of the Pro Micro are quite cheap but will need to be purchased from ebay or aliexpress, real Pro Micros are quite expensive but there isn't really much of a difference. 3.3V arduinos will poll a wii guitar slightly slower than a 5V arduino but in practise this does not end up mattering as there are a lot of other delays necessary for communicating with a wii guitar.
      • Arduino Micro
        • This is essentially the same thing as a 5v Pro Micro, however these are officially made by Arduino. These are often a bit more expensive as they aren't really cloned.
      • Arduino Leonardo
        • This is essentially a 5v Pro Micro with the layout of a Arduino Uno, so you get more pins but it is also much larger. You can get clones of these, but they are still more expensive than Pro Micros or picos.
      • Arduino Uno (r1/r2/r3)
        • These micro controllers are actually two micro controllers in one, and they work in tandem to provide a working controller. This has its disadvantages, as code needs to keep these controllers in sync, and this can result in issues if a bad configuration is programmed, and generally results in requiring more complicated and optimised code to work. Unos do still get 1000hz, but I would recommend against them if you are buying a new Arduino. Note that some clone Arduino Unos are actually missing the second micro controller, and these ones will NOT work at all. If you see an Arduino Uno listing that mentions "ch340g" or something along those lines do not purchase it. Due to this, they are harder to purchase and since they require more parts, they are more expensive than a Pro Micro or Pi Pico.
      • Arduino Mega 2560
        • These are in the same situation as the Uno, however the main micro controller has a lot more pins. These do also end up being rather expensive due to the sheer amount of parts that are needed to make one.
      • Arduino Uno r4
        • This is the newest entrant to the Arduino Uno line, and it is a totally different microcontroller and hence it is not supported.
      • Arduino Mini or Nano or Pro Mini or Pro Nano
        • These do NOT work, as they are essentially Unos that lack the second micro controller that allow for custom USB device emulation.
      • ESP32
        • Currently this is not supported due to the base ESP32 not fully supporting USB. There are some ESP32 models that have USB support, but these end up being more expensive than the Pi Pico, and thus it does not make sense to support these.
  • For any 5v microcontrollers, you will need a 3.3v voltage regulator.
  • PS2 Controller socket
  • 2x 1kΩ Resistor
  • Some Wire
  • A Soldering Iron

Be careful that you don't ever provide 5v power to any pins on the PS2 Controller. While some people have done this successfully and just use their controllers with 5v, I can't recommend this approach as the controllers are really designed for 3.3v, so it may damage them slowly over time.


  1. Connect pins according to the below table. Note that for anything that isn't the 3.3v Pro Micro or pi pico, you will need to connect these pins using a level shifter.

    For beginners we provide a recommended pinout below for each microcontroller. These pinouts are the same pinouts that are used on the old Ardwiino firmware, so if you have an old device, this is the pinout it will be using. If these pins don't work for you, you can use one of the advanced pinouts below. Note that the Pi Pico has multiple channels, and SCK, MOSI and MISO need to be from the same channel.

    pinout Adapter pinout

    Microcontroller SCK / Clock / Blue MOSI / Command / Orange MISO / Data / Brown Acknowledge / Green Attention / Yellow
    Pi Pico (Recommended) GP6 GP3 GP4 GP7 GP10
    Pro Micro, Leonardo, Micro (Recommended) 15 16 14 7 10
    Uno (Recommended) 13 11 12 2 10
    Mega (Recommended) 52 51 50 2 10
    Pi Pico (Advanced, Channel 0) GP2, GP6, GP18 GP3, GP7, GP19 GP0, GP4, GP16, GP20 Any Any
    Pi Pico (Advanced, Channel 1) GP10, GP14, GP26 GP11, GP15, GP27 GP8, GP12, GP28 Any Any
    Pro Micro, Leonardo, Micro (Advanced) 15 16 14 0, 1, 2, 3 or 7 Any
    Uno (Advanced) 13 11 12 2 or 3 Any
    Mega (Advanced) 52 51 50 2, 3, 18, 19, 20 or 21 Any
  2. Connect a 1kΩ resistor between MISO and 3.3v.

  3. Connect a 1kΩ resistor between Acknowledge and 3.3v.

  4. Connect the 3.3v pin on the ps2 controller to the 3.3v pin on your microcontroller. For microcontrollers that can output 3.3v natively, you can hook this straight up to 3.3v, but for a 5v only board like the Pro Micro 5v you will need to use a 3.3v voltage regulator to get a stable 3.3v voltage.

  5. Connect the gnd pin on the PS2 controller to the gnd on your microcontroller.


  1. Start Santroller with your microcontroller plugged in.
  2. Set the Input Type to PS2 Adapter
  3. Hit Configure
  4. Click on Controller Settings
  5. Set Emulation Type to Controller for controllers, or Fortnite Festival if you want to emulate a keyboard for Fortnite Festival
  6. Set the Controller Type based on the game you want to play.
  7. Windows controller mode can be set based on your preferences. Note that this only affects windows, a controller in XInput mode will use the correct mode on a console, and will automatically use HID mode on Linux and macOS.
    1. XInput - This works more natively on windows, and most games will automatically bind controls.
    2. HID - This uses HID on windows, which means games won't automatically bind controls, but HID is polled a bit more efficiently in games like Clone Hero.
  8. If you would like to adjust settings related to polling, click on Controller Poll Settings
  9. If you would like to use Queue Based Inputs you can turn that on here. This puts any buttons you press into a queue, and sends them out to the PC as fast as USB allows. This means that the controller will process your inputs at a faster poll rate than 1ms (the fastest rate USB allows) and then the PC will be sent your inputs at a 1ms rate.
  10. Set the Poll Rate to your preferred setting. 0 sends data as fast as possible, any other number polls inputs at that speed.
  11. Debounce can be adjusted here. Debounce is necessary as button inputs are noisy. When you hit a button, it will often bounce and send multiple presses, which some games may percieve as you hitting the button multiple times, which can result in dropped sustains. When you set debounce to a value, the signal ignores any release inputs for that time frame, so if you for example set it to 1ms, then the button input will be on for a minimum of 1ms, and only after that will the release be processed. This has the effect of stretching out the button press to at least 1ms, which ignores any bouncing in that timeframe.
  12. Combined strum debounce shares the debounce timeframe between both strums (only available on guitars). This means that if you set the strum debounce to 1ms and strummed down, both strum up and down inputs are ignored over that 1ms timeframe. This helps avoid extra strum inputs when your strum switch rebounds after being released.
  13. Click on PS2 Controller Inputs
  14. Set the Acknowledge and Attention pins
  15. For the Pi Pico, also specify your MOSI, MISO and SCK pins.
  16. Hit Save.
  17. You can now calibrate your inputs. If your controller is already plugged in it should be detected and show only those inputs, but you can use the Wii Inputs to display below dropdown to specify the controller you want to configure.
    1. Joysticks
      1. Hit the Calibrate button and then move the stick all the way left / up
      2. Hit Next and then move the stick all the way right / down
      3. Hit Next and then move stick a little bit away from the center. This sets the deadzone, and any inputs closer to the center from this position will be ignored, which helps with noisy sticks.
    2. Whammy
      1. Click on Calibrate.
      2. Release the whammy bar and hit Next.
      3. Push the whammy all the way in, and hit Next
      4. Release the whammy again, and hit Next. If your whammy is noisy, you can push it in a tiny bit, and the zero position will be set to this location, which will make sure that the whammy is always considered released when it is released.