Gameduino for Arduino: A Game Adapter for Microcontrollers

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Gameduino is a game adapter for Arduino (or anything else with an SPI interface) built as a single shield that stacks up on top of the Arduino and has plugs for a VGA monitor and stereo speakers. The sound and graphics are definitely old-school, but thanks to the latest FPGA technology, the sprite capabilities are a step above those in machines from the past. The adapter is controlled via SPI read/write operations, and looks to the CPU like a 32Kbyte RAM. (Unlike many 8-bit machines, there are no restrictions on when you can access this RAM). There is even a handy reference poster (which you can download below) showing how the whole system works.


Gameduino 1.jpg


  • Video output is 400x300 pixels in 512 colors
  • All color processed internally at 15-bit precision
  • Compatible with any standard VGA monitor (800x600 @ 72Hz)
  • Background Graphics
    1. 512x512 pixel character background
    2. 256 characters, each with independent 4 color palette
    3. pixel-smooth X-Y wraparound scroll
  • Foreground Graphics
    1. each sprite is 16x16 pixels with per-pixel transparency
    2. each sprite can use 256, 16 or 4 colors
    3. four-way rotate and flip
    4. 96 sprites per scan-line, 1536 texels per line
    5. pixel-perfect sprite collision detection
  • Audio output is a stereo 12-bit frequency synthesizer
  • 64 Independent Voices 10-8000 Hz
  • Per-Voice Sine Wave or White Noise
  • Sample Playback Channel

Application Ideas


The warnings and wrong operations possible cause dangerous.


Schematic of Gameduino for Arduino


Tutotial of Gameduino

Pin definition and Rating

Mechanic Dimensions


Hardware Installation

  • Physical Connection:

Gameduino is the standard Arduino module. Arduino pins which have to be connected to it are as following picture shows:

Physical Connection.png


Gameduino is superimposed on top of Arduino directly.

Quick Start

Gameduino should be shipped with FPGA bit file already loaded to SPI flash. We can directly try according to:

Gameduino Shield Quick Test

Flash the SPI flash wit FPGA bit file

If somehow the steps in Gameduino Shield Quick Test doesn't work. We need to flash the SPI flash with the bit file.

  • How to burn the codes into SPI flash:

The original FPGA Verilog codes:Download

Composite these codes through the ISE. Program them. Then, the bit file can be generated.

We provide the project here.

The bit file can be downloaded from here.

The iMPACT tool can be downloaded from Xilinx.




Double click PROM File Formatter,


Choose Configure Single FPGA in the SPI Flash of the Storage Device Type. Click next


Gameduino’s Flash capacity is 4M. Click Add Storage Device and click next


Name the file and choose address. Click OK.


Click OK. Add .bit file.



Click Generate File…,if


Comes, means the .mcs file which has to be burnt into SPIflash is generated successfully.


Double click Boundary Scan. Choose .bit file and following dialogue comes out:


Click Yes,choose.mcs file and following dialogue comes out.


The type of SPI PROM used on Gamedunio is AT45DB041B (please check the actual part number of your gameduino). Click OK


Choose FLASH,program,


Burn the codes into SPI FLASH successfully.


Gameduino FAQ Forum


If you have questions or other better design ideas, you can go to our forum to discuss or creat a ticket for your issue at linksprite support.


How to buy

Here to buy Gameduino for Arduino on store

See Also

Other related products and resources.


This documentation is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License 3.0 Source code and libraries are licensed under GPL/LGPL, see source code files for details.