It is possible to adapt a joystick originally developed for video games to a PC. To do so, you need to make an adaptation in the parallel port of your computer to install it. After making this adaptation, you still have to install a driver so the operating system understands that the device connected to the parallel port is a joystick. Today we will show what you should do adapt a Genesis joystick to a PC.

You will need to buy the following parts: 7 1N4148 diodes, 1 DB-25 connector (male, with box, also known as 25-pin D-Sub), 1 DB-9 connector (male, with box, also known as 9-pin D-Sub) and 6′ 11 (2 meters) of 10-wire cable. Besides, you will need a solder iron and know how to solder!

With this material we will build a cable that, at one side (25-pin connector) will be installed in the parallel port of the PC and, at the other side, will be where the Genesis joystick will be installed.

In the figure we show the electric scheme of how the assembly of this cable should be made. The diodes must be soldered directly into the DB25 connector.

Genesis Schematics

Figure 1: Genesis to PC cable schematics.

The most important thing to take care with while soldering the cables and the diodes is watching the pinning of the connectors. 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 the one shown in the figures below.

DB-25 (25-pin D-Sub)

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

DB-9 (9-pin D-Sub)

Figure 3: Male DB-9 (9-pin D-Sub) pinout.

After assembling the cable, 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 Addâ… 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 Genesis in our case.

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

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.