This guide will show you how to build a MakeCode Arcade from a Raspberry Pi Zero or Pi 3A+. If you are looking for Adafruit M4 boards, try this guide.

Raspberry Pi Zero setup

  • a Raspberry Pi Zero (we won't be using WiFi, but it's fine to buy the Pi Zero W if you want)
  • a HDMI to mini-HDMI cable or converter
  • a microUSB cable
  • a micro SD card (capacity and speed don't matter much)

If you want to get all in a single kit, get the budget packet. If you don't feel like soldering, get the Pi with headers.

1 x Raspberry Pi Zero W Budget Pack - Includes Pi Zero W
All you need on the Raspberry Pi Zero side
1 x Raspberry Pi Zero - Version 1.3
For the experts, add headers, power cables, HDMI cables and converters as needed!

Raspberry Pi 3A+ setup

You can use Pi 3A+ instead of Pi Zero. It always comes with headers and you don't need a HDMI to mini-HDMI cable. On the other hand, you will need USB-A to USB-A cable.


MakeCode Arcade uses 7 buttons. There are many options for buttons:

  • Adafruit Joy Bonnet and likely a plastic case for Pi Zero
  • Arcade Cabinet
  • random buttons and joystick that you wire up together

You can also get Joy Bonnect Pack with Pi Zero which includes many of the components.

1 x Adafruit Joy Bonnet for Raspberry Pi
(optional) Easy pluggable buttons!
1 x Raspberry Pi Arcade Cabinet Pack
Can't beat the feeling of real arcade buttons
1 x Arcade Button - 30mm Translucent Blue
Just one of the many available buttons!

This guide was first published on Jan 18, 2019. It was last updated on Mar 08, 2024.

This page (Setup) was last updated on Mar 08, 2024.

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