6 Ways to Mod Your Old-School Nintendo Controller

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There was the Atari or even the Sega Master System, but for many of us, the first home video game system that we played was made by Nintendo. Naturally many adults now have fond memories of this system, but the original controllers, now over 30 years old, could use some updating. Check out these controller mods to bring your system, at least partially, into the 21st century!

Wireless NES Controller via USB Keyboard

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To make this wireless device, Daniel d’Entremont combined a wireless keyboard with an 8-bit NES controller. It had to be a tight fit in there, but he pulled it off, along with a power switch on the top. You can see it demonstrated using an Nvidia shield in the video above. It should also work with any computer!

Universal Old School Controller

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Controlling an original NES emulator with Nintendo’s own 8-bit controller is interesting, but what about being able to control a Nintendo console with a Sega Saturn controller? This is now possible with this “Universal Wireless Retro Controller.” Each controller is modded for wireless control. The receivers, made from each controller’s plug, can receive signals from any of the controllers, allowing for cross-platform use! Check out the video above (a warning for some language), and then see more build info, and download the build instructions .ZIP file.

[via Hackaday]

USB NES Controller

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For something a bit simpler, albeit “less” wireless, this NES controller USB mod will allow you to play your favorite emulator games on a modded Nintendo controller. It uses a specifically made USB kit, so it should be one of the more straightforward builds here.

Wireless SNES Controller


This SNES controller mod uses a technique similar to the first NES controller seen here. A wireless Logitech keyboard was modded and stuffed into the controller, and the wireless dongle was then plugged into a USB port. The build is well documented in this forum.

Bluetooth Original NES Controller Mod


Wireless keyboards are good, but the Bluetooth protocol can be used with many devices without plugging anything in. If you’d like to add this functionality to your controller, look no further than this Instructables project.

Giant Wooden NES Controller


For something beautiful, if not practical, this huge wooden NES controller is fully functional. Granted, you’ll have to move more than just your thumbs to successfully play a game on it, but your friends will be all the more impressed when you beat Contra without any codes!


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Jeremy is an engineer with 10 years experience at his full-time profession, and has a BSME from Clemson University. Outside of work he’s an avid maker and experimenter, building anything that comes into his mind!

View more articles by Jeremy S Cook


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