Also available:

Atari 5200

Bally Astrocade

TI99/Odyssey 2/Channel F/MSX


Original 2600-daptor

New 2600-daptor II

The 2600-daptor is a USB interface for connecting Atari 2600 Joystick, Driving, and Paddle controllers to your PC/Mac, Raspberry Pi, or game console that supports USB HID.  No driver is needed as the 2600-daptor is recognized as a USB HID (Human Interface Device) joystick. The controller is hot pluggable and the type (Joystick/Driving/Paddle) is automatically detected.  No need to reprogram the firmware just to use a different controller.

The 2600-daptor II adds support for 7800 Pro-Line, CX78 gamepad, CBS Booster Grip, keypads (Keyboard Controller, Video Touch Pad aka Star Raiders, Kids Controller), Flashback 1, and CX22 & CX80 track-balls.  It has 3 modes - 2600, 7800, keypad - set by switches, as all the different supported controllers can not be auto-detected.  Also tested to work with Atari 2800/Sears Video Arcade II controller.

3/22/13 - added native support for CX22 & CX80 trak-balls to the 'II.  Older units can be updated - see info on firmware page (link below).

2/20/17 - added support for Atari Flashback 1.  The adapter will check for an FB1 controller when 7800 mode is entered.  Plug in an FB1 controller and while pressing controller left side button, enter 7800 mode by either changing the DIP switches to 7800 mode, or plug in USB with switches set for 7800 mode.  Repeat with an 7800 controller to switch back to 7800 mode.

For playing 2600 games, use Stella vers 3.4 or later (3.6 for 'II). It automatically recognizes the adaptor and handles all supported controllers without the need to make any settings.

For 7800, you can use EMU7800 (preferred) or ProSystem (click here for Input settings)

These 'daptors can also allow use of Atari 2600/7800 Joysticks in other software that handles USB joysticks. These joysticks are digital, so you will get full up, full down, full left, full right. You could plug in a set of Paddle controllers and use those as an analog joystick – Paddle A being left/right and Paddle B being up/down.

In MAME/MESS, remember to enable the joystick.  For paddle games, you will want to set the Joystick Deadband to 0.0.  If using a GUI, try right-click on game system, Properties, Controllers tab to locate this setting.  Joystick Saturation will also affect paddle operation.  The driving and paddle controllers do *NOT* work for "spinner" games like Arkanoid or Tempest. 

Altirra 2.00 (Atari 8-bit) input mappings for paddles - AltirraMapping.JPG.  Also been confirmed to work with Atari800MacX.

** Raspberry Pi **  RetroPie & Recalbox where designed for use with a multi-button gamepad.  Also the default 2600 emulator (lr-stella) does not work with paddles or driving controller.  You can go into the RetroPie setup optional packages and install regular stand-alone Stella (stella) which does work with paddles & driving.  For paddles, you also need evdev-joystick found here to get rid of the dead spot on the left side of the screen.

Some other Raspberry Pi projects -


Functionally similar to the old Stelladaptor, but all new design with improvements:

2600-daptor II firmware is upgradeable over the USB.  Original 2600-daptor is not upgradeable.

Click here for more info on firmware versions and installing them


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For questions:

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 Original 2600-daptor 

Stock Status: units on hand

Price $25


2 for $48


 New 2600-daptor II 

Stock Status: units on hand




2 for $57


 6 foot USB 2.0 cable 

** USB cable NOT included w/ daptor **

Regular type, A Male to B Male

Stock Status: units on hand

Price $2


Visit 2600-daptor thread on AtariAge forums for people's feedback, or have started a facebook:


To verify operation, first bring up the game controllers -

Select “2600-daptor” in the list and click Properties button.  Joystick should move the cross hair full up/down/left/right and activate button 1.  Paddle A moves left/right and button 1; Paddle B moves up/down and button 2.

Try a different USB cable or plug into a different USB jack.

The enumeration seems to always stall under WinXP if, when the first time it is plugged into a computer, it is plugged into a USB 1.1 port.  If windows does not give the device installed and ready to use notification within 30 seconds after plugging in, simply unplug and plug it back in.  After that, it should install and operate fine.  You can also go into Device Manager, right click on it, and select Update Driver… to restart the enumeration. 

Is the Paddle controller worn?  Try using them in a real 2600 if you have one.  Paddle A is susceptible to wearing out as it used exclusively for one-player games.  Paddle B is often still good.  Try Paddle B in a two-player game or use the swap Paddle option in Stella (Options->Game Properties->Controller->Swap Paddles) that makes Paddle B player one.  You can swap the pots if you have a bad one.  I found controllers that have connectors inside so the wires just plugged on making it easy.  But I have also have others with the wires were soldered on.  Another possible source of this problem - the 9-pin connector could have worn or dirty contacts.

A real 2600 only uses about 10% the paddle controller’s range of motion.  The outer red lines on the tape in the below pic mark the full range used on a real 2600.  The 2600-daptor has been calibrated to give this same range under Stella.

  1. Be sure you have Stella vers 3.4 or later (3.6 for 'II)!
  2. The 2600-daptor needs to be connected before Stella is opened.  Trying closing and reopening Stella.
  3. Verify operation in Control Panel->Game Controllers as noted at top of this Help section.
  4. Check Stella Options->System Logs (“stdout.txt” file in Stella 3.4) for “2600-daptor“ listed under “Joystick devices found:”.
  5. For 'II, check you have the switches set to the correct mode for the controller.

The 'daptor might be going into firmware update mode.  If a button/switch connected to internal terminal 4 is on when the USB is being plugged in, the 'daptor will go into firmware update mode.  If so, just unplug and replug the USB, ensuring any such button or switch is off.  Once the LED starts flashing, the 'daptor has booted up and any button/switch on terminal 4 can be used freely without the 'daptor going into firmware update mode. 

You will want to set Joystick Deadband to 0.0.  If using a GUI, try right-click on the game system, Properties, Controllers tab to find this setting.  Joystick Saturation will also affect paddle operation - try 1.0.  You want to just set this on individual game systems, as opposed to global.

Stella 4.0 now uses SDL 2.0, which is using event input devices (evdev).  The older joystick calibration utilities like jstest-gtk do not work on these.  Instead use evdev-joystick found here.  See the README for instructions.  Thanks to Stephen @ Stella for providing this.

2600-daptor II mode switch settings

The 'II cannot distinguish between all of the different supported controllers by itself.  For some, you can't even tell whether or not a controller is plugged in unless a button is being pressed.  So we need to give the 'daptor a clue as to which controller it is to interface with.  It kind of bugs me to use DIP switches in the age of plug-n-play, but I considered several different ways to do this and, in the end, switches seem the easiest and most straight forward to use.  There is a switch setting cheat sheet on the bottom of the 'daptor. 

Set the Mode switches for the controller you are using.  If you want to play 7800 games with a 2600 joystick, set the Mode switches for 2600 (not 7800).  Like wise, to play 2600 games with a 7800 Pro-Line, set the switches for 7800.

Mode Switch 1 (next to USB) Switch 2 LED (seen through left side gap of USB opening) Use for controllers -
2600 UP UP constant on/off flash 2600 Joystick, Driving & Paddle (works the same as the original 2600-daptor), 2800/VAII Paddle
7800 DOWN UP 2 flashes on, then off a bit 7800 Pro-Line, CBS Booster Grip, 2800/VAII Joystick, Flashback 1
Keypad UP DOWN mostly on, with a flash off Keyboard, Video Touch (Star Raiders), Kids


Boot to "mouse mode"

DOWN DOWN constant on/off flash

same as 2600 mode

See 2600-firmware for more info on mouse mode.

When in mouse mode, the switch settings are -

Mouse Mode Switch 1 (next to USB) Switch 2  
Joystick/Paddle UP UP

Use 2600 joystick or paddles to move the mouse pointer.  Paddles act as velocity control - speed of mouse pointer is determined by how far the paddle is moved off center.  Center paddles to hold mouse stationary.  As there are no marks on the paddles, you just have to play with it a bit to find out where center is.


Amiga mouse - only button 1 supported.


ST mouse (2nd button on ST mouse not supported) and possibly some later CX80.  Also works with the Driving controller, but it's extremely low resolution does *NOT* make it a good spinner for Tempest, Arkanoid, etc. in MAME.


CX22 & CX80 trak-balls native mode.

Connecting extra buttons

Note beginning 1/1/2015, the internal solder-less terminal block is now optional.  The price is $3 each.  Please contact me if wish to order a unit with it installed.  You can also solder wires directly to the circuit board instead.

  1. Unplug the 2600-daptor USB.
  2. Open the case by inserting a small flat blade screwdriver in the notches on the case side and twist (not pry) to pop the halves apart.
  3. Insert a small jeweler’s screwdriver or paperclip into the rectangular clamp release hole and press down.  Note, as show in the pic below, it will be tilted back at an angle.
  4. Insert wire (20-24 AWG) end stripped 1/2” into the hole and remove the screwdriver/paperclip. 
  5. Give the wire a tug to ensure it is securely clamped.
  6. To remove, release the clamp by inserting a screwdriver/paper clip.

Terminal Original 2600-daptor 2600-daptor II


2600 Joystick, Driving, Paddle A button 2600 Joystick, Driving, Paddle A button


Paddle B button Paddle B button


extra button 7800 Pro-Line left, Booster Grip booster (top) button


extra button

7800 Pro-Line right, Booster Grip trigger (handle) button (enter firmware update mode if on when USB is first connected)


extra button Mode Select Switch 2


extra button Mode Select Switch 1


Common Common



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