I never thought I’d be writing about my baby’s Fisher-Price gamepad again, but here we go: a modder has turned the cheap tune-filled toy into a complete Xbox gamepad with everything you’d need to play Elden Ring. And incredibly, he did so without losing any of the Fisher-Price Game & Learn Controller’s built-in sound effects — meaning you can now pair your Malenia run with such classic kiddie hits as “1, 2, 3, 4, up goes your score!” and “Orange, purple, white and pink, green, red and blue, woohoo!”
How annoying could it be? Here he is pulling off a million-point combo in Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater the day after we first published this story:
None of this will be surprising if you’ve heard the name Dylan “Rudeism” Beck before, because this is one of the less ambitious controller stunts the New Zealand native and Twitch streamer has pulled. He’s the guy who beat Dark Souls III with a single button “Morse code” controller, built a motion-controlled lightsaber and Force power glove for Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, and rigged up his own flap, waddle, and honk controls for Untitled Goose Game. You can see all of those in the tweets below:
But Rudeism tells The Verge that the new Fisher-Price mod is one of his favorite builds nonetheless, “purely due to how clean it looks.” After some fiddling, he was able to cram an entire Arduino Pro Micro clone in there, a two-axis joystick (since Fisher-Price’s original “joystick” was really just a button), and a few microswitches to turn the original’s clicky-but-non-electric “shoulder buttons” into real buttons as well.
All the original Fisher-Price buttons still work, though — right down to the Konami Code easter egg — because he’s got the Arduino set to piggyback off their inputs by soldering directly to the pre-existing board. So yeah, he’s largely playing games with the actual Fisher-Price gamepad, not just using a Fisher-Price gamepad as a shell. You do have to plug it in, though: “Not much space for batteries sadly,” he says, since the Arduino is taking up that room.
How does he get every Xbox button out of these limited controls, you might ask? Well, you can’t get ‘em all at once. But he did rig up the Fisher-Price slider as a mode selector that can let you have either a left or right analog stick at any given moment as well as access to Start, Select, and Guide buttons on A, B, and C. The “bumpers” can be both bumpers and triggers all on their own because they’ll press a different switch depending on whether you rock them left or right.
Rudeism says it was a two-week backburner project that started out as a joke: deal hunter Wario64 tweeted that the gamepad would be “perfect for Elden Ring,” and he decided to put that to the test. Unfortunately, there’s no footage of Rudeism destroying bosses with the baby gamepad quite yet, but he says he’s planning on beating the whole game this way. (He’s also working on a YouTube build video if you want to try it, too). The total budget was $20, including the controller itself — but admittedly not the old 3D printer he used to make mounts to keep the joystick and switches in position.
I don’t know if I’ll build one of these with my now-two-year-old’s pad, but it is a joy to see this hunk of plastic and circuitry in the headlines once again.
Update May 2nd, 6:17PM ET: Added Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater video.