Retropie Handhelds

4 min read

Update: April 2021 - The original Retropie Handhelds website has been retired.

The nostalgia of your childhood handheld system with the power of a Rasberry Pi.  I collaborated with a gameboy enthusiast to contribute to the Raspberry Pi Gameboy Mod Community by manufacturing custom screen borders in 2017. After a year, the screen border market became saturated and the screen borders are no longer being manufactured by Retropie handhelds.

Join the Facebook Group for a place for people to get and share information on their own builds, get help, or just general retro gaming chat.

2018 Parts List

Below is a basic list of parts and websites we used when building game boys with tips on best practices. I know sometimes it is difficult to find things when you do not know what you need. These are quick Amazon links but some of these parts can be sourced elsewhere for cheaper (may take several weeks for shipping).



If you want to use standard buttons you can get them on amazon, or ebay but they’re expensive.  I recommend going through handheld legend instead. They have two piece customizable buttons you can mix and match.

MAIN BOARD – Basic Board
You can attempt to get in on a preorder from, but the boards only come up for sale every few months and take between 2 and 4 months to get once you pay for them. They’re really convenient and save money. If you don’t have the patience, there’s a good common ground board on amazon I regularly use for 10 bucks that work great.


Teensy LC USB Development Board Without Pins
If you don’t have an all in one, this board is what tells the raspberry pi what to do when your buttons are pressed. You can use various audrino compatible boards such as the teensey LC and audrino pro micro.


This is always a tough one for me. If I need a screen in a pinch, I’ll buy the Adaftuit 3.5 pal screen, although it’s quite steep at 45 bucks. You can order the BW screen from amazon, but it has many, many different controller boards that may need to be converted to 5V. I’ve even had some with the visually same controller board, that are different. I usually order this screen from gearbest, and it always has the same controller board that’s really straight forward to convert to 5V.


Retropie Handhelds Custom Glass Screen Border

Created specifically for the Game Boy Zero Community. This retro-styled border will give your handheld a polished and professional look.


You can use a micro usb port, like this one: MagiDeal 10pcs Female MICRO USB to DIP 5-Pin Pinboard 2.54mm micro USB type but I don’t like drilling the side of the case out to fif them.

I’ve found these barrel connectors are pretty close to the original gameboy one require no case modification: DCFun 3-Pin 3.5mm x 1.35mm Female DC Power Jack Socket Connector for PCB Mount 10-Pack

You can use this wire to plug it in and charge: Onite 2 PCS Electronics USB / DC Plugs & Adapters Power Cables (USB to 3.5×1.35mm)


Adafruit 328 Battery, Lithium Ion Polymer, 3.7V, 2500mAh, 2″ x 2.55″ x 0.30″ Size

I use these. They fit perfectly in the battery tray. Yield about 2 hours of play time.


I use b10k’s, but b103 will work as well.

You can buy one at Radio Shack for about a dollar or a pack of 10 on Amazon for $9

Radio Shack Volume Wheel – $1


Uxcell a15062500ux0255 Dip 2 Pin Momentary Push Button Tactile Tact Switches, 6 mm x 6 mm x 7 mm

I use these because I put mine through the back of the case. But you’ll want a slightly longer one if you’re going to go through the reat screw holes because it’s thicker.


There’s two different ones I use.

The adafruit powerboost 1000C : Interface Modules Rechargeable 5V Lipo USB Boost

The bangood which is sufficient to also power a pi3:


Audio IC Development Tools Adafruit Mono 2.5W Class D Audio Amplifier – PAM8302 (1 piece) – Cheap and effective.


Targus 4-Port Hub, Black/Gray (ACH114US) You always need to be careful when buying a usb hub for the pi zero. The onboard IC can only handle one usb device, so you need a host USB hub that registers each device as a new usb device before sending it upstream to the pi. There’s a couple that work great, but I perfer the targus.


RadioShack 1/8-Inch Stereo Panel-Mount Phone Jack


5 x DC 50V 0.5A 6 Pin 2P2T DPDT PCB Horizontal Slide Switch Side Knob SK22H03


Irwin 11101 Unibit1M 4-Millimeter to 12-Millimeter by 1/4-Inch Shank Step Drill Bit (needs to be 11mm)


Mini Metal Speaker w/ Wires – 8ohm 0.5W


View video Tutorial on how to modify your Original Gameboy Case