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RadRacer

Gaming portable

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I'm slowly building a gaming portable for a friend and am using a RPi as the brains. Would it be best to hack up a USB controller, or just wire buttons directly to the GPIO? Slowly working out the specifics on it, so I'm sure I'll have more questions in the future :-P

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You can probably connect a USB game controller to the pi using a USB hub.  Just plug the controller in.  I believe some RPi gaming software comes with drivers for controllers.  According to this articles on life Hacker, RetroPie can be configred to work with different controllers:

http://lifehacker.com/how-to-turn-your-raspberry-pi-into-a-retro-game-console-498561192

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I know I can just plug in a controller. I'd probably remove the USB ports and just wore it directly to the board to save some space. I'm just curious if this would have any benefit over buttons wired to the GPIO pins, or vice-versa. For the GPIO pins I'd have them internally pulled up, and when pressed, the buttons will pull the signal low

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I'm guessing you would need to write device drivers to control the buttons via GPIO, unless someone has already done that.  If you connect via USB, there are drivers for a few different controllers.  You just need to run a set up script to select the controller.  Taking the GPIO approach could be an interesting learning opportunity if you want to learn about writing drivers, but if you connect with USB you'll probably get your device up and running faster.

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