Frequently Asked Questions
Questions about the Arduboy
What is Arduboy?
Arduboy is a miniature open source game system. You can learn to program and make your own games online with an awesome community of developers.
Arduboy is based on Arduino, an open source development platform for programming microcontrollers. The Arduboy uses the same 32u4 processor that is in the Arduino Leonardo.
- Atmega 32u4 microprocessor unit @ 16mhz
- 32kb FLASH – 2.5k RAM – 1K EEPROM
- Monocrhome 128×64 OLED
- 6 soft-click buttons
- Piezoelectric Speaker
- 6hr rechargeable battery
To learn more about the Arduboy, visit our awesome community forum. There is an active user base developing new games and improvements every day!
Where can I buy an Arduboy?
I have an Arduboy, how do I get started?
- Download and install Arduino Software
- Install the Arduboy Library and Board Support
- Plug in your Arduboy to your computer, open and Upload an Example Sketch
I have a problem with my Arduboy, what should I do?
Don’t panic! Its pretty difficult to damage an Arduboy so it probably just needs some troubleshooting first. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- If the product arrived fully functioning and a problem occurs during or after uploading a new game, it may be need to be recovered using the Flaslight Mode or the Reset Button
- Plug the Arduboy into a PC then switch on the Arduboy and if the computer is able to detect the USB connection, the Arduboy is still alive and can be recovered.
- Just because nothing is on the screen doesnt mean the device is damaged. Incorrect software can sometimes be running but unable to display on the screen.
What should I do if I have an issue with my purchase or shipping?
We no longer run a store so the first step is to confirm where you purchased your Arduboy and contact their customer support first. If you purchased from our old store and still need support, or would just like to let us know about your experience with a distributor please use the contact form to reach our customer support.
Issues related to the physical product
The screen won't turn on, what gives?
Just because nothing is on the screen doesn’t mean the device is damaged. Incorrect software can sometimes be running but unable to display on the screen.
- If the blank screen occurred after trying to upload a new game, try to upload a different game to test the function of the device
- If the screen is blank and you are unable to upload a different game, you may need to recover the device using flashlight mode or the reset button.
- Ensure the device is fully charged and can make a data connection with a PC to ensure the function of the device
How do you use the flashlight mode to recover the Arduboy?
Sometimes the Arduboy can encounter a situation that requires the device to be put into a recovery mode known as the bootloader. Flashlight mode is the easiest way to place the Arduboy into bootloader mode.
- Turn off the Arduboy
- While holding the UP button, turn on the Arduboy
- The user LED will light up to bright white, indicating it is recovery mode
- Plug the Arduboy into a PC and upload a new game like normal
Note: Some games do not include Flashlight mode and cannot be recovered using this method. If flashlight mode does not function, then use the reset button to recover the device.
How do you use the reset button to recover the Arduboy?
Sometimes the Arduboy can encounter a situation that requires the device to be put into a recovery mode known as the bootloader. If flashlight is not available then you will need to use the rest button to recover the device. The reset button is located on the bottom left of the Arduboy, beside the USB port. You will need a paper clip or SIM ejector tool to press the button.
- Turn on the Arduboy and plug into a PC using the supplied USB cable
- Press the upload button in the Arduino IDE
- When the status bar (bottom) shows the text Uploading… press the reset button
The Arduboy will only be in bootloader mode for 6 seconds using this method so timing is critical. For best results press the reset button just before Uploading… appears in the status bar. Try the upload routine several times to become familiar with the timing window.
How can I tell if my Arduboy is charging?
When plugged into a USB power source, a red LED will illuminate in the bottom left of the device indicating the battery is charging. The LED will turn off when charging is complete. If there is a mechanical failure of the battery connector, then the LED will still indicate that it is charging.
The best way to check if the Arduboy is functional is to plug it into a PC with the supplied USB cable listen for the USB connected noise. A functional Arduboy will also flash the Green LED for a moment when establishing a USB connection.
If the Arduboy is still not responding, please let us know using the contact page
Support for programming the product
What is Arduino?
Arduino is an open-source electronics platform based on easy-to-use hardware and software. The Arduboy uses the same ATMEGA 32u4 chip, used in the Arduino Leonardo . The Arduboy is programmable by Arduino’s Integrated Development Environment (IDE), and existing libraries make it easy to program for the Arduboy.
Where can I find new games to play?
You can find over 100 games in the community forum!
We are also working on an online library that can be easily browsed online, stay tuned!
How do I upload new games to the Arduboy?
After downloading a game in the form of an arduino sketch, place it in the correct folder
- A sketch file will have the format .ino, identify the folder you saved it in
- Add it to your Sketchbook in the Arduino IDE
- Upload your sketch to your Arduboy
This is the most common time to experience difficulties, but most of them can easily be resolved. If you have a problem check out the community or use the contact form to contact customer support.
I'm getting errors trying to compile a game, what now?
There are a few problems that can happen during compile that can be solved with a few quick checks:
- Make sure you have the libraries installed and updated to the most recent version.
- Check if your Arduino version is up to date
- Make sure the folder location is correct
- Don’t let Arduino move the .ino file if is not in a correctly named folder, do it manually. If Arduino does this, it will only move the .ino file and not any other required files contained in the directory.
I'm having problem uploading, can you help?
If the game successfully compiles but does not upload to the Arduboy there may be a problem with the connection to the device.
- Arduboy must be turned on and use a data cable, preferably the included USB cable. Some cables only work for charging.
- Confirm the USB data connection on the PC by listening for USB connect sound or checking system settings
- When the Arduboy is properly connected for the first moment the green LED will flash once indicating a successful connection.
How can I make my own game?
Arduboy is a great place to learn to make your own game. Because Arduboy is based on Arduino there it draws from a large existing community of developers familiar with the platform. In general terms, if you would like to do something in Arduino its usually easy to find a solution with a simple internet search.
We are preparing a guides section to our website that will provide a walkthrough for users to learn to make their own game.
There are some excellent guides already on the community that can help you get started.
Questions about life, the universe and everything
Where did Arduboy come from?
Arduboy was originally intended as an open source circuit board art in the form of a business card. The response was overwhelming and was covered by virtually every internet news media outlet on the planet.
Months later a successful Kickstarter campaign was launched to develop a production version of the design.
Currently the Arduboy is in serial production with our partners at Seeed Studio!
The Arduboy is successful mostly due to its amazing community of developers who have helped make this possible. Through the use of open source and an active community of amazing people, the software and a library of over 100 games makes the platform so great!
I backed Arduboy on Kickstarter!
While not technically a question… That’s awesome! Thank you so much, you helped create the Arduboy!
- If you are a backer and somehow still having issues with the fulfillment process its best to contact us using Kickstarter.
- If you are a backer and are having problem with your hardware then you can use the contact form to let us know.
What the status of the Tetris Microcard?
Its still on the way! We have had many delays in trying to make sure you we bring you the best quality product. Currently we plan to be able to ship pre-orders in March. It is our best intention to deliver these units, however we realize there have been a lot of delays. If you have a problem with your pre-order of the Tetris Microcard please use the contact form to get a hold of us.