MakeCode Arcade is a retro-gaming code editor to build cute 2D 1980's looking games. Arcade is well know here in Adafruit as it allows anyone to create games for the pyBadge or pyGamer.

In this guide, we'll focus on a different approach: building custom controllers to play Aracde games in the browser.


You can choose from a number of microcontrollers supported in Microsoft MakeCode for Circuit Playground Express or MakeCode Maker. The Adafruit Circuit Playground Express has all kinds of sensors, buttons, and capacitive touch pads to make keypresses. But even the Adafruit Feather Express or Trinket M0 can be used in MakeCode Maker.

Tailor your needs to the boards available or have on hand.


A Black woman's manicured hand holds a round microcontroller with lit up LEDs.
Circuit Playground Express is the next step towards a perfect introduction to electronics and programming. We've taken the original Circuit Playground Classic and...
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Angled shot of a Adafruit Feather M0 Express - ATSAMD21 Cortex M0.
At the Feather M0's heart is an ATSAMD21G18 ARM Cortex M0+ processor, clocked at 48 MHz and at 3.3V logic, the same one used in the new 
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Trinket M0 dev board with SAMD21 chipset.
The Adafruit Trinket M0 may be small, but do not be fooled by its size! It's a tiny microcontroller board, built around the Atmel ATSAMD21, a little chip with a lot...
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Adafruit carries a huge array of switches, including arcade buttons. You can use alligator clips or wires to connect them to your microcontroller. Here are just two of the dozens of products you can choose from on

Angled shot of a clear round 30mm arcade button.
A button is a button, and a switch is a switch, but these translucent arcade buttons are in a class of their own. They're the same size as common arcade controls (often referred to...
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Bundle of Small Alligator Clip Test Leads
Connect this to that without soldering using these handy mini alligator clip test leads. 15" cables with alligator clip on each end, color coded. You get 12 pieces in 6 colors....
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USB Cable

Do get a known good USB cable. An extra long, bendy one like the purple one below work exceptionally well.

This guide was first published on Oct 22, 2019. It was last updated on Oct 22, 2019.

This page (Overview) was last updated on Oct 21, 2019.

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