Waveshare Game Hat

Waveshare Game Hat review

13.3inch e-Paper e-Ink Display HAT For Raspberry Pi, 1600×1200, Black / White, 16 Grey Scales, USB / SPI / I80 Add to Cart Add to Compare $42.29 - $43.99. If your Pi interest levels have been piqued then the Waveshare Game HAT should be high on your Christmas list. First launched a couple of years ago by prolific Shenzhen-based manufacturer Waveshare, the latest version of its Game HAT is a kit-based handheld display and controller solution. This Game HAT will turn your Raspberry Pi into a classic game console in a second, recalls you all the gaming pleasures in the memory.

If IKEA made game consoles, it would be Waveshare Game Hat. Some assembly required, but you can get it working in 10 minutes without any special skills. And no soldering!

This Game HAT turns your Raspberry Pi into a classic game console. Relive all your handheld gaming nostalgia. This item: waveshare Game HAT for Raspberry Pi A+/B+/2B/3B/3B+/Zero W with 3.5inch IPS Screen 480x320 60 Frame $47.75 Only 7 left in stock - order soon. Sold by Coolwell Technology and ships from Amazon Fulfillment.

After that, you've got all possibilities of standard Raspberry Pi (which are endless) in the portable factor. Besides playing games, you could easily install Kodi, and watch videos and Youtube. And the list of compatible games goes far beyond console emulators. Personally, I recommend:

  • Retro City Rampage (DOS version is in Steam folder)
  • Alladin (Sega Genesis)
  • Lost Vikings (Sega Genesis)
  • Sokoban/Shove it (Sega Genesis)
  • Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (PSX)
  • Exprore world of awesome new Games

This is standard Raspberry Pi running Linux, not custom chip. As you probably know Raspberry Pi 3 can handle 1080 movies and PSX games without any issues.


Pros & Cons

  • Pros
    • It is Raspberry Pi!
    • Good display
    • Really simple to assemble and setup
    • Cheaper and has better compatibility than alternative products
  • Cons
    • Buttons are bit loud
    • Joystick throw is too big. 3D printed limiter solves this (see Elegant case ↓).
    • Due to technical specifics, if you unplug the device from the charger, it reboots. Don't forget to save! (plugging in works fine)
    • For PlayStation fans, note that there are only two shoulder buttons instead of 4


The device is pretty solid even without a case. You can 3d print one if you want. Currently, there are multiple options:

  • Simple case
    • Looks a bit bulky
    • The author also suggests to solder on DPad instead of Joystick, but you can put it without any modifications
  • Elegant case
    • Your console will look like factory made and user-friendly product
    • The download of model costs 7 bucks (in addition to the price of 3d printing)
    • [Optional] Author says you will need to get Adafruit silicone buttons or (cheap alternative from Ebay) and solder them in instead of existing ones, but I've used 3d printed case without any modifications and it fitted ok
    • The model also contains limiter for joystick, which makes handling better
    • You will also need two M3x16mm flat head screws and two M1x5mm screws.
    • Note that USB port will be not accessible, even if you drill a hole in the case

Gamehat 3D printed case


I bought Keeppower 18650 Protected Battery, with 3.7v, 15A, 3000mAh for 10€. Works good, lasts around 3 hours. You can buy more expensive battery with higher mAh. Or if you feel adventurous try cheaper battery with the risk of explosion.


If you are using default Waveshare GameHat image almost everything will work out the box.

Some additional useful keybindings:

  • Volume control on Select +/
  • Saving game state on Select + TL (Left shoulder)
  • Loading game state on Select + TR (Right shoulder)
    • Will also handy to skip all these loading screens/cutscenes on PlayStation

Edit /opt/retropie/configs/all/retroarch/autoconfig/GPIO Controller 1.cfg. Append:


To play DOS games on Waveshare Gamehat, you will need to download config that maps joystick and buttons to the keyboard.


Note that Waveshare also has smaller GamePi15 (for Pi Zero) and larger GamePi43.

This fills void left after Dingoo A320. Raspberry Pi is standard de facto,and has much better compatibility/support than any other alternatives:

  • PXP - Sega only
  • Joystick for iPhone/Android - requires smartphone
  • RS-97 - lots of compatibility issues
  • Retrostone
    • No wifi/bluetooth
    • Custom made PCB, based Orange Pi not Raspberry Pi
    • The screen is connected via the analog port, more blurry that GameHat which uses HDMI
  • PiGRRL Zero - Pi zero is slow for PSX games
  • PiGRRL - more expensive, require soldering
  • NewGameberry more expensive
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Introduction: Batocera Waveshare Gamehat Set Up

Full video demonstration of the setup

Batocera is an alternative retro game emulator to RetroPie and Recalbox that can be run on different hardware, PCs, Macs and other types of portable hardware including RaspberryPi.

it also comes with KODI embedded for you to view videos/youtube/media.

The Waveshare game hat is a good addition to turn your raspberry pi into a retro game console.

It comes with

3.5inch IPS screen, 480×320 resolution on HDMI port with an adoptor that fits with Raspberry Pi3 (not 4)
60 frame experience, smoothly display, no more frame loss

Compatible with Raspberry Pi A+/B+/2B/3B/3B+ (Raspberry Pi Zero/Zero W/Zero WH requires another HDMI cable)

Integrates battery charge circuitry, powered from one 18650 lithium battery (NOT included)

plays anywhere anytime

Battery capacity indicator

Onboard speaker and earphone jack, listen to the familiar BGM from the old days

This instruction has been tested with Batoceria 5.25 (batocera-5.25-rpi3-20200309.img.gz) If WIFI has not yet been set up for your Batoceria, connect it to a LAN cable first instead of using WIFI.

Waveshare game hat currently only works with Raspberry Pi3B/B+. Unless you connect a convertor cable, the HDMU port on the game hat cannot fit with the micro HDMI port on the Pi 4. Waveshare mentioned that they are considering an adaptor to bridge the gap, but not available yet at this point in time.

Step 1:

Get all the parts

Most of them available on amazon or aliexpress or from China and Hong Kong Taobao.

1. Raspberry Pi 3B+

2. TF card of at least 4GB (recommend 16G or 32G to store game rom).

3. Waveshare game hat for raspberry pi

Step 2: Set Up the Hardware.

1. Insert the raspberry pi 3B+ to the waveshare game hat

2. Connect the HDMI ports by the special U-shape HDMI connector.

3. Insert the rechargeable battery to the battery slot. Becareful of the polarity.

4. Secure the front and back cover with screws.

Step 3: Set Up the Software

Make the TF Card

Browse to batocera.org

Select your raspberry pi and click it to download

Use a Micro TF card of 4GB or above.

I recommend 16GB or 32GB to store more game ROMs.

Insert the TF card to your computer.

Browse to https://etcher.en.softonic.com/ to download and install the Etcher application.

Start Ether to burn the Batocera image to the TF Card

Connect a LAN cable to the raspberryPi

Insert the micro TF Card

Power up the Raspberry Pi

From your computer start a terminal (Mac) or putty (windows)

Waveshare Game Hat Image

ssh [email protected] (password for the first time login is linux)

(Note: If there is no response, you may want to first 'ping batocera.local' to see if there is any response. Otherwise, try to check your router to find out the ip address. (e.g. Then type 'ssh [email protected]' )

Type 'nano batocera.conf' to edit the configuration

Waveshare Game Hat

Use Control+W Key command to search for 'gpio' Once found, remove the # and change the following lines


controllers.gpio.args='map=4 gpio=5,6,13,19,21,4,26,12,23,20,16,18,4'

Waveshare Game Hat

press Control+X to save the file. type

Note that the HOT key is being assigned to the same pin 4 as the SELECT key. So, select key will also function as the HOT key.


Type 'reboot' to reboot the respberry Pi.

Once rebooted, the buttons on waveshare gamehat should work right away.

You will not need to start the systems menu to configure the controllers.

But in case you need, press 'START' button to see if you can see the system menu, then select 'Controllers Settings'.

Then select to configure the controller.

You should see '1 gamecontroller detected'

Then go ahead to configure your game controller by pressing the right buttons.

SELECT button will be configured as the hot key.

If the above does not work, then you might have some typo error in the configuration file.

Repeat the configuration steps and check again.

Waveshare Game Hat Recalbox

You can also check the log file to see whether mk_arcade has been loaded properly by typing this command.

cat /userdata/system/logs/batocera.log grep mk_arcade

You should see something like this in the log when the mk_arcade driver has been loaded successfully for waveshare game hat

loading module mk_arcade_joystick_rpi args = map=4 gpio=5,6,13,19,21,4,26,12,23,20,16,18,4

After boot up, press Start button to go to system menu and click Network to set up WIFI.

You can then enjoy all the games.

or go to system menu to start KODI to watch the multimedia.

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