We’ve published several features and articles over the years on how to set up your own Raspberry Pi-based games console, so we have a good idea what kind of hardware is out there that will improve your experience on any Raspberry Pi gaming setup.
Let’s take a look...
Picade X HAT: ultimate arcade board
Created for the amazing Picade, the X HAT is the absolute perfect accessory for turning a Raspberry Pi into an arcade machine. Just build the cabinet (kits for this are available separately or you could design your own), add the X HAT's buttons and joystick, and you’re good to go. Price: £16/$16 magpi.cc/eaiQpA
USB Gamepad: a retro classic
Including the European/Japanese SNES colour scheme, this retro-style controller has enough buttons to allow you to play just about any game you have prior to 1995, and some newer homebrew stuff. Price: £6/$8 magpi.cc/RRLFPM
BASIC Arcade Controller Kit: arcade on your lap
This arcade stick-style kit allows you to build an arcade machine right into the stick. Monster Joysticks also makes a bigger and badder version with high-quality Sanwa arcade parts. Price: £70/$87 magpi.cc/ierNVd
TinyPi Pro: pocket-sized gaming
This is a bit more of an accessory and more on the kit side – the TinyPi Pro is absolutely tiny, as the name suggests, yet still allows you to play a huge variety of games.
Price: £92/$115 magpi.cc/EXKvig
Massive Arcade Button: for big hits
This huge button is 100mm across and comes with an LED as well. It’s perfect for very specific arcade and gaming builds, especially if you need to smack a big button very fast. Price: £9/$10 magpi.cc/LpMyCp
Joy Bonnet: tiny controller HAT
This funky add-on for Raspberry Pi Zero turns it into a controller that is its own console. It’s a bit fiddly, but it’s also an excellent party piece and can even fit in your pocket. Price: £14/$14 magpi.cc/biqbgi
Wireless Gamepad: new school cool
Playing newer games thanks to Steam Link or other streaming tech? Then you may need a controller that can do it all, which also doesn’t limit you to the length of a USB cable. Price: £14/$18 magpi.cc/fXqWFh
Cupcade: mini arcade cabinet
Arcade machines can be huge and expensive to maintain. The Cupcade can fit on a DVD shelf and the parts are much cheaper. Plus, you don’t need to hire a van to move it – bonus! Price: £111/$141 magpi.cc/KbHeYL
RetroFlag MEGAPi Case: super-stylish protection
RetroFlag makes a few retro console cases, and all of them are very cool. This design is a classic though, and even lets you use the buttons on the top like the original! Price: £25/$32 magpi.cc/ArHuJc
Keybow Kit: extra hotkeys
Need more keys for your gaming? Look no further than the Keybow, a Raspberry Pi-powered mechanical keypad. You can program the keys to do anything you want, so it’s great for MMOs. Price: £50/$52 magpi.cc/MytktH