Convert An Old Game Boy Into An Android Gamepad

Convert An Old Game Boy Into An Android Gamepad
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If you still have an original Game Boy lying around for some reason, the time has surely come to throw it out — or, perhaps, convert it into an Android gamepad to relive that retro gaming feel.

That’s exactly what Chad Boughton decided to do, and he describes the process on Instructables:

Using a Wii remote as the Bluetooth interface, and a Dot Matrix Gameboy’s buttons and shell (two things I already owned) I figured “why not mash them together and give them a whole new purpose?”. With the use of the “Wii Controller IME” App on the Play App store, this retro controller will really control anything which lets you use the android touch keyboard as input. Although i’ve only tried with a SNES emulator, in theory you should be able to play and do all kinds of things with the Gameboy’s buttons. The project is essentially a gutted Game Boy with a Wii remote inside. The tricky part was rerouting the button connections between the two.

The result is probably one of the best-looking phone gamepads you’ll come across, and a great way of reusing some dusty old technology. Just make sure you’ve got plenty of AA batteries to hand. [Instructables via Engadget]


  • “If you still have an original Game Boy lying around for some reason, the time has surely come to throw it out”


  • I’m in the progress of packing to move house. One of the first tasks was to go through the boxes, I hadn’t opened since I moved to my current house. Found my old Gameboy but no games. It still managed to make its way into the keep pile.

    • MY recent experience was similar…however I still had a handful of games and got distracted playing Tetris. I even found my game link cable… now I’ve made it a goal to find someone else with a gameboy and copy of tetris. Simple pleasures.

  • If you have an old Game Boy, then you should mod it to have pro-sound outputs and a back-lit display so you can get your hands on LSDJ and start making some sweet Chip-Tunes!

      • The original gameboy is used because it had the best sound chip, even better than the GBA in some aspects. In terms of purity of sound, only the original will satisfy some people. Pocket, Colour, GBA, SP and Micro are all inferior when it comes to the sound chip itself.

        Or so I’m told. The sound the comes out of GBA games is obviously better than the sound coming out of GB games, if only for the difference in complexity.

  • If I went back home and Mum said “Oh, I threw out that old Gameboy of yours. You never play it any more, dear” I’d have to think seriously about taking something equally precious and sentimental, like her wedding video, and burning it.

  • No just no…
    This is a crime of the highest order… Unless the gameboy is dead there is no reason to be poking around its insides (except maybe backlight and sound mods)

    • Mine is pretty dead so this looks like a great idea. I would still love to find a working original, if I can work out where my copy of pokemon blue has gone.
      What is involved in a sound mod? Is it just putting in better speakers or is there more to it?

      • Googles your friend on this one, the only reason i know about soundmods is because my cousin did it to his a couple years back, though thinking back he may have just swapped out the speakers.

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