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09-23-2018 at 06:38 PM
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c64 joysticks.. Sega Master System controllers safe?

I read alot online that while a genesis controller does connect and work on a c64, its actually sending a voltage that can mess up your c64 mobo. But i have also read the Sega Master System controllers do not have this problem.

Anyone have any input on this? I have a c64 controller. It was actually brand new in the box when i picked it up at a thrift store for 50 cents. But its so old, it kinda.. sucks.

I have a few sega master system controllers tho...

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  1. ILLSeaBass's Avatar


    I've seen many warnings about using a Genesis pad on a C64 as it can fry your CIA chip.. It can also cause weirdness with your keyboard, but I can't confirm either myself. I've never tried plugging one into my machine and probably won't as it's not worth the risk... What new C64 Controller did you get? Is it the 1 button Commodore branded stick?

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  2. RaGe's Avatar

    I've used a Genesis controller on one of my C64 many times over the years. Weirdness in menus etc, but it works great in the actual game. Never killed it, or affected it negatively in any way. That said, you shouldn't chance it (I have a few C64's to mess with, so I wasn't too concerned about killing it).

    Same type of console-death may occur if a Genesis controller is used on a 3DO, too.

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  3. onlyinajeep's Avatar

    The SMS controllers are just simple contact switches, no worries with C64.

    I picked up one of these to use Genesis controllers on my Commodores. Works great and you can re-map the up d-pad to a button for games like Moon Patrol. https://tinyurl.com/Sega2C64Joy

    ArcadeUSA Willie does a mod on Genesis controllers, removing all the funky stuff and making it a simple contact switch stick.

    Genesis - C64 CIA frying info: http://www.floodgap.com/retrobits/ckb/display.cgi?26

    For about fifty ebay dollars you can buy the greatest joystick ever made, Suncom TAC-2 :)

    Excellent TAC-2 article: https://haxor.fi/the-legendary-suncom-tac-2/


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  4. 90skidJohnny's Avatar

    The tac-2 is def on my list. Currently only 2 on ebay, but a little expensive for me current.y

    Thank you so much for all that info! And good to know i can use my SMS until i can get the tac-2

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  5. Barthax's Avatar

    I used a Master System controller for some of my Vic-20 attempts. Not a C64 obviously, but should be a close comparison.

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