micro:arcade Kit Experiment Guide

Contributors: D___Run___, bboyho
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Introduction to the micro:arcade Kit

Note: Please be aware that this documentation and the associated hardware may not be compatible with the latest micro:bit v2 boards due to the hardware and software changes. For more details, check out these support articles from micro:bit:

We love games! We love writing games, building games and yes, even building game consoles. So we want to introduce to you the micro:arcade kit for the micro:bit!

The kit includes our controller:bit carrier board for the micro:bit, which gives you access to a number of pins through the form of buttons in a classic game controller layout. But, that isn't all!

It's one thing to design a "game controller," but what about building a console? A joystick, buttons to mash...the things that make us hard-core arcade fans drool and daydream. This kit is designed for you! The kit includes all of the parts you need to take this lowly controller breakout to a pinball wizard's dream!

Included Materials

Note: This tutorial applies to KIT-16403 and KIT-14218. For those interested in what the differences are between each revision, check below!

micro:climate Kit SKU Revision History
KIT-16403 - Minor revision on the controller:bit (formerly known as the gamer:bit) which includes the Qwiic connector and surface mount edge connector.
- Switch to 2xAAA battery holder with a built-in switch.
KIT-14218 Initial release.

Below is all the parts included in the SparkFun micro:arcade kit.

SparkFun micro:arcade kit for micro:bit v2.0


The kit includes the following parts:

  • 1x - SparkFun controller:bit — The carrier board for the micro:bit that turns it into a handheld controller, game or other tool.
  • 1x - Arcade Joystick — Old-school arcade joystick that uses digital switched for directions.
  • 1x - Red Concave Button — Mash away!
  • 1x - Blue Concave Button — Jump!
  • 1x - Yellow Concave Button — Game over!
  • 1x - Green Concave Button — For firin' the laser!
  • 1x - micro:bit Battery Holder — Unique 2xAAA battery holder built specifically for the BBC micro:bit
  • 16x - Spade Connector Wires — 24 AWG 3 ft wires with a female insulated spade connector at one end and a braided wire lead at the other to connect the arcade buttons and joystick to the controller:bit
Note: The kit comes with everything you need to build a game or controller console. However, the kit does not include the following and they will need to be purchased these separately:

USB Micro-B Cable - 6"

USB Micro-B Cable - 6"


750 mAh Alkaline Battery - AAA


micro:bit Board

10 Retired

How to Use This Guide

We wanted to note that this guide is designed to get you started with the controller:bit board and the SparkFun micro:arcade kit in a straightforward and simple way. We demonstrate each component's functionality and the corresponding code to make it work.

While you explore this guide, we urge you to take your time and tinker with the sensors, code and the ideas shared to build something tailored to your application and creativity. Our goal is to get you enough information and know-how to make you dangerous and then release you into the wild.

Be sure to share your projects with us over Twitter or Facebook! We are excited to see you Start Something!

Suggested Reading

Before continuing with this guide, we recommend you be somewhat familiar with the concepts in the following tutorials:

What is a Circuit?

Every electrical project starts with a circuit. Don't know what a circuit is? We're here to help.

Getting Started with the micro:bit

The BBC micro:bit is a compact, powerful programming tool that requires no software installation. Read on to learn how to use it YOUR way!

Open Source!

All of our experiments and guides are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike 4.0 Unported License. Feel free to remix and reuse our work. But please, share the love and give us attribution for our hard work!

To view a copy of this license visit this link, or write: Creative Commons, 171 Second Street, Suite 300, San Francisco, CA 94105, USA.