We initially configured the system to work with a USB keyboard for input. A few more steps are needed to get the onboard controls fully working.

Plug in a USB keyboard and connect power to the system. It should boot just like during the dry run, with the RetroPie main menu appearing in a minute or so.

Using the keys that you configured during the “Raspberry Pi Setup” process, navigate to RetroPie’s “Configure Input” screen and select “Yes” when prompted.

Hold down any of the Cupcade’s buttons for a few seconds and you’ll see the system respond KEYBOARD. (This is normal — the Arcade Bonnet software emulates a keyboard.)

Then you’ll get to a configuration screen starting with the D-pad directions. Move the Cupcade joystick as indicated for each of the four directions.

For the “A” and “B” buttons, press the red buttons adjacent to the joystick. “A” is usually the primary fire or jump button in most games, while “B” is a secondary function such as bomb. Pick either button to be A or B, whatever seems comfortable (you can always come back to this menu and re-do the assignments later).

For the “Start” and “Select” buttons, press the black buttons on the front of the cabinet. Again, either position as you like.

Keep going until it asks for the “X” button…

Cupcade doesn’t have this many buttons! It’s mostly designed for simpler oldschool games. So you have a choice…

  • If you hold down one of the Cupcade’s buttons for a few seconds, that item will be skipped.
  • Or you can assign these functions to keys on the USB keyboard, which you’ll need to have plugged in for games that require these extra inputs.

Continue through the whole list…about a dozen items to the end. You’ll be asked about a hotkey enable button. Select the default “Yes” here — meaning you’ll press the Start+Select buttons together to exit a game and return to the RetroPie menus. (You now click “Yes” by pressing the “A” button.)

That’s it! You should now be able to operate the system with just the Cupcade controls. The USB keyboard is no longer a necessity.

This guide was first published on Apr 04, 2014. It was last updated on Mar 20, 2018.

This page (Configure Input) was last updated on Mar 20, 2018.

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