I was at Walmart yesterday and taking my usual browse through the electronics section looking for a gamepad. The PC section had a wired logitech gamepad as its only option and wired is not what I am after. In the console section I was looking at the PS4 area and they had a Rock candy wireless gamepad for $26. This seemed like a good buy as I had a bluetooth adapter already and PS3 used bluetooth!

Not bluetooth

Once I had the gamepad out of the glass case it was obvious this used a usb key to facilitate the wireless functions which is actually a better option so I bought it.

Why not bluetooth?

Well I like bluetooth don’t get me wrong. I made a bluetooth arcade controller not too long ago remember? But there is one slight issue with bluetooth and the Pi. Linux. Bluetooth works on Linux and you can pair things and use them but it can be finicky. I had horrid issues getting a device to reconnect after a power cycle (of the device) before having to manually compile the latest bluetooth stack and even doing that it still took 30seconds to 5 minutes to re pair sometimes. So while I do have working bluetooth on my Pi a usb key is still more convenient.

But did it work

So I got the controller home and took it out of its razor sharp slit your hands plastic container, put in 2 AA batteries and plugged in the key to the Pi. The key blinks every 2 seconds the controller does nothing…. Hmmm. I was looking all over for a switch, no switch. I pressed the home button…Nothing. I held the home button and the controller came to life!

I opened up the Piplay menu and started the configure SNES wizard and sure enough each button press responded and it moved to the next. When I got to the directional keys however the thumb stick worked but the digital directional buttons did not…Oh well. In general it did work.

Play test

I tried out a few SNES games now that the controller was set up and the controller responded well from across the room. Using the thumbstick on 2d games is a bit to get used to but it passes


Rock candy wireless ps3 gamepads are a cheap and easy to use wireless gamepad solution for the Pi

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