1.8" TFT Shield w/Joystick

This lovely little shield is the best way to add a small, colorful and bright display to any project. We took our popular 1.8" TFT breakout board and remixed it into an Arduino shield complete with microSD card slot and a 5-way joystick navigation switch (with a nice plastic knob)! Since the display uses only 4 pins to communicate and has its own pixel-addressable frame buffer, it can be used easily to add a display & interface without exhausting the memory or pins.

Plug-and-Play Compatible Boards

The 1.8" TFT Shield is tested and fully compatible with the following boards:
  • Arduino Uno (all revisions)
  • Arduino Duemilanove and Diecimila w/ATmega328 chip
  • Adafruit Menta

Incompatible or Partially-Compatible Boards

This shield may work with other boards with some additional steps:

Arduino Mega 2560, Mega ADK

Connect jumper wires from Arduino Mega Pin 50 to DI on shield, Pin 51 to DO and Pin 52 to SCK. You do not need to change the SD library for Mega usage in this configuration.

Arduino Leonardo

Will not work; incompatible pinout between Leonardo and shield.

Arduino Due

Will not work; library has not yet been adapted to this chip.

Arduino Duemilanove and Diecimila w/ATmega168 chip

Upgrade to ATmega328 chip, otherwise code is too large for available program space.

Arduino NG or older

Will not work; code is too large for available program space.

Pin Reference

The shield uses the following pins:
  • +5V
  • GND
  • Digital pin 4 (SD chip select)
  • Digital pin 8 (TFT data/command)
  • Digital pin 10 (TFT chip select)
  • Digital pins 11-13 for SPI communication (MOSI, MISO, SCK respectively)
  • Digital pins 50-52 for SPI on Arduino Mega boards (all types)
  • Analog pin 3 (joystick input)
This shield can usually be stacked with others (including those using SPI), provided that each has a unique Chip Select pin, and that other pins don't interfere.

Most pin functions above are available on vias adjacent to the original shield header pins; you can cut traces and re-route to other pins, provided the necessary changes are made in software.

Untested Boards and Other Notes

Arduino Mega 1280: compatibility should be similar to the Mega 2560; extra jumper wires would be required.
If you have specific experience with this shield on the above boards or others, please use the Feedback & Corrections link at left. Thanks!

If experiencing trouble with a board listed as “compatible,” review the introduction for tips and visit the Adafruit Forums for assistance.
This guide was first published on Aug 14, 2013. It was last updated on Aug 14, 2013. This page (1.8" TFT Shield w/Joystick) was last updated on Oct 13, 2019.