This Raspberry Pi Pico-Powered "Fight Key" Packs a Keyboard-Style Punch for Arcade Fighting Games
Electrical engineer Dylan Turner has built a custom keyboard in a 3D-printed housing, with only one task in mind: making it easier to play fighting games like the Street Fighter series without a joystick.
"I wish I was good at fighting games. I'm not. I wish I could use a joystick. I cannot," Turner explains of the inspiration behind the Fight Key, his take on a keyboard-cum-fight conroller. "What I CAN do is create."
Designed around a custom PCB and a 3D-printed chassis, the Fight Key plays host to 14 Cherry MX Blue mechanical switches — the type of clicky tactile switch typically found in a keyboard, rather than a game controller. The keys are arranged in an unusual layout which mimics arcade-style fight controller joysticks: A three-key cluster to the left for direction and two staggered four-key arrays to the right for punches and kicks — plus a final pair of buttons equivalent to Select and Start.
Driving the keyboard is a Raspberry Pi Pico, with Turner's creation taking advantage of the RP2040 microcontroller's ability to act as a USB Human Interface Device (HID) — appearing to the host system as a standard keyboard input, which then controls Turner's favorite game: Ultra Street Fighter IV.
The housing, meanwhile, is split into sections for ease of printing on a small-format 3D printer: A two-part base, a two-part cover with gaps for the keycaps fitted to the top of each switch, and a final cap — complete with "Fight Key" branding.
Turner has published the PCB design, Raspberry Pi Pico firmware, and 3D chassis design for the Fight Key on GitHub under an unspecified open source license.