How to get joypad very cheap for MSX
This page was last modified 15:19, 25 April 2020 by Mars2000you. Based on work by Gdx and NYYRIKKI and others.

Today it is hard to find a joypad for MSX, but luckily there is quite an easy way around this problem. Here are instructions:

1. Order joypad(s) from here: ($5.21 USD including shipping world wide) (seems unavailable now) [1]

WARNING: There are lot of really bad quality devices around selling for 2-3 USD that look almost same, but are not. Usually these can be spotted by looking weight of the device or cable length that is typically something like 70cm in fake versions.

Here is picture of the device:


2. Open the 5 screws on the back of the device (very small Phillips screws).


Trivia: Inside the device there are 9 wires connected to the circuit board These wires connect to the DB9F connector in the following order (from pin 1 to 9): Red, White, Brown, Yellow, Blue, Black, Grey, Orange, Green. This information can be useful if you plan to use this cable for your own joystick port related project.


I'm going to call these soldering pads with numbers 1-9 from left to right (when you look at the chip side so that the texts are the right way around and pads away from you). The colors from left to right are: Gray, Blue, Brown, Yellow, Black, Green, Red, White, Orange.

3. Disconnect the grey (pad 1), green (pad 6) and orange (pad 9) wires.


4. Connect the gray wire to pad 6.

5. Connect the green wire to pad 9.

6. Cut the orange wire so that it doesn't get into contact with anything.

7. Use the cutted part of the orange wire to connect pads 1 & 2 together.

The result should look something like this:


Now button "B" is MSX button "A" and button "C" is MSX button "B". Any other extra buttons are not in use. If you are happy with this configuration, you can now put the device back together. Make sure that the joystick cable is connected the right way; one side is round, the other side is not.

If you want to connect the other buttons as well, here are the optional steps that you can take:

8. Remove varnish from every other conductor from two places like in this picture (5 places in total):


9. Connect 2 wires to 3 different locations like in this picture:


Now the buttons work like this:

Joypad Button MSX Button

In other words the "B"-button is always next to the "A"-button, no matter what direction you take.


Another method for using Megadrive/Genesis joypads on MSX is to build a JoyMega adapter [2]. It's a very simple adapter (only one easy to find IC required) that has the following advantages:

  • You can use any unmodded Megadrive/Genesis joypads
  • The additional buttons can be used by new games, or by patching old ones. You can find some patches here: [3] [4].