Connector:Digital joystick

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The Pin-outs of the Amstrad CPC Digital Joystick are based on the Atari standard, but only the Fire button (aka "Fire 2" in Amstrad language) and direction switches are properly implemented.


| 1  2  3  4  5 |
|  6  7  8  9   |
Pin No. Amstrad CPC Joystick Port Atari 2600 and Commodore C64
1 Up Up
2 Down Down
3 Left Left
4 Right Right
5 Fire 3 (undoc) Pot 0 (analog)
6 Fire 2 (default) Fire
7 Fire 1 (extra) Supply +5V
8 COM (keyboard row 9) (open-collector) Supply GND
9 COM2 (keyboard row 6) (open-collector) Pot 1 (analog)

Fire Button Notes

  • Pin 5 - Fire 3 - This is an scarcly documented and very rarely used input (used by the AMX Mouse for example).
  • Pin 6 - Fire 2 - This is the standard button, used by most games.
  • Pin 7 - Fire 1 - This is the extra button, used only by a few games.

Following the Atari-standard, most joysticks have only one button (the "Fire 2" one). Games that support two buttons are usually optionally allowing to use the SPACE key instead instead of Fire 1.

Note Amstrad called the "Fire 3" signal "Spare", that name doesn't mean it isn't connected. On the old CPCs it was connected. However, according to the schematics, it is NOT connected on CPC+.

Select Signals (COM and COM2)

COM is the "common" pin for the Joystick 1's direction/button switches. COM2 for Joystick 2 accordingly. The COM/COM2 pins go LOW when selecting the corresponding keyboard row.


For a wiring diagram of an Y-cable with which you can use two joysticks on your Amstrad/Schneider CPC, see Joystick Y-cables.

The CPC+/GX4000 they have two digital joystick ports, which work same as an Y-cable with 8 diodes, and without Fire 3. This is bringing up some possible problems:

  • the eight diodes in the direction lines can cause problems with peripherals that use the joystick port as bi-directional I/O port
  • the missing diodes in the fire button lines can cause conflicts between player 1 and 2
  • the missing fire 3 signal causes problems with hardware that uses it (like some mouse interfaces)

Aleste Joystick Port

The Aleste 520EX has 7pin DIN female connector

 Pin    Schematic    User Manual
 1      /Joystick1   /Joystick1        __ __
 2      /Left        /Left            /  -  \
 3      /Right       /Right          |7     6|
 4      /Down        /Fire1          |3     1|
 5      /Up          /Fire2           \5_2_4/
 6      /Fire1       /Up
 7      /Fire2       /Down
 Shield GND
  • There is no /Joystick2 and no /Fire3.
  • The description for Pin4-7 differs in schematics and Russian User Manual - not sure which one is correct - if any ?