Adapting a Nintendo 64 Joystick to a PC

Today we will show how to adapt a Nintendo 64 joystick to a PC. This adaptation, however, is much more complicated than the others we published (Genesis, Playstation and Super Nintendo), because it will require two integrated circuits and some other components which were not necessary in the other adaptations. Thus, this assembly is not recommended for people who have never assembled an electronic circuit using integrated circuits.

You will need to buy the following parts: 1 DB-25 connector (male, with box, also known as 25-pin Sub-D), 10 1N4148 diodes, a 4K7 x 1/4 W resistor, a 100 K x 1/4 W resistor, a 10 K x 1/4 W resistor, a 2K2 x 1/4W resistor, a ceramic 100 pF capacitor, a BC559 transistor, two 4006 integrated circuits and three 6′ 11 (2 meter) long wires. Besides, you will need a solder iron and know how to solder! An experimental printed circuit board is also recommendable (a printed circuit board with holes for the assembly of prototypes) to assemble the circuit.

In the figure we show the electronic schematics of how the assembly of this circuit should be made.

Nintendo 64 Schematics

Figure 1: Nintendo 64 to PC cable schematics

You have to be very careful not to make any wrong connections, especially the transistor one. The pinning of the transistor used, as seen from the front (with the printed numbers facing you and with their terminals down) is the following: collector, base, emitter. You must also be careful with the pinning of the DB-25 plug. If you watch it closely, at the very connector there is the number of each pin (a very small number, next to each pin, numbered 1, 2, 3, etc). Looking from behind, that is, at the side that is soldered, the pinning of the connectors is shown in the figure below.

DB-25 (25-pin D-Sub)

Figure 2: Male DB-25 (25-pin D-Sub) pinout.

In the schematics, the joystick connector is seen from the front. If you want to build a printed circuit board for this circuit, you can download its layout from

After assembling the circuit, you will have to install a driver in your PC. If you use Windows 9x or ME, you should download DirectPad from If you use Windows 2000 or XP, download NTpad from

To install the driver in Windows 9x or ME, install the joystick in the PC, uncompress DirectPad in a directory in your PC (for ex.: c:joystick) go to the Control Panel, double click in the Game Controllers icon, click in the Add… box in the window that will be shown and then select Add Another, clicking in the box With Disk and indicating the directory into which you uncompressed DirectPad. Windows will recognize the control, click in Accept and then Finish. After installing the driver, you will need to select it, click in Properties and then, in Configuration, you have to select the type of joystick installed, which will be Nintendo 64 in our case.

In Windows 2000 or XP, all you have to do is uncompress the file and run install.exe file. Select Nintendo 64 as the joystick.

You may also use the Nintendo 64 joystick in the DOS, which is very useful in case you are running any DOS emulator. All you have to do is download the program from

One important reminder: for this to work, the parallel port should be configured as ECP in the computer setup.

Author: Gabriel Torres

Gabriel Torres is a Brazilian best-selling ICT expert, with 24 books published. He started his online career in 1996, when he launched Clube do Hardware, which is one of the oldest and largest websites about technology in Brazil. He created Hardware Secrets in 1999 to expand his knowledge outside his home country.

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