Keypad Controllers on 80s game consoles

I’m just wondering what solutions people have come up with on playing emulated games for systems with originally keypad controllers. Specifically, Colecovision, Intellivision, and Atari 5200.

I’m thinking of getting a wireless USB 12-button keypad and setting up the buttons in RA to handle each console.

Has anyone done this and can recommend a keypad, or are there other options?

I have an arcade style furniture piece with an arcade board with a two player layout. I could setup each button on the board to correspond with the keypad buttons, then try to remember what each button is set to, or I could pull out a keypad just for those games.

I welcome any thoughts and ideas.

I haven’t spent a lot of time with these systems, but the throw-away method I have them setup with at the moment is this:

Left Stick:

  • Up - 1
  • Down - 2
  • Left - 3
  • Right - 4
  • LSB - 9

Right Stick:

  • Up - 5
  • Down - 6
  • Left - 7
  • Right - 8
  • RSB - 0

Then the 2 bumpers to * and #

It’s not the most intuitive setup in the world, but it will get the job done.

I’ve done something similar when I played around with these systems a few years ago with an Xbox controller. Typically it will get you past the game selection screen, but when you’re in a game that uses a lot of the buttons on the keypad (the one from my youth I played a bit is Colecovision’s “Wargames”) it becomes a bit more difficult to play. There are only a few games like that with that console though.

I found a programmable USB keypad that might work. I could have gone with a more standard (and cheaper) numerical keypad, but this way I have more freedom to program each button to whatever key I want and it won’t interfere with my arcade board which has buttons that are not programmable. This might not be a great solution if one typical plays sitting on their couch with an Xbox controller, but for my arcade it’s just a matter of bringing out the keypad when playing certain games.

I would still appreciate hearing about any other solutions out there. This is a fully customizable hobby, and it’s nice to hear how others handle certain obsticles.

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Yeah I approach everything from a couch-console perspective. I absolutely love the idea of having one in the arcade control board though. That just sounds cool af.