Building a Basic MiSTer FPGA Console

This basic MiSTer build costs about $250 to put together, and will play everything that the MiSTer project currently has to offer.

One of the most exciting projects in the realm of retrogaming today is the MiSTer, an open-source, FPGA-based emulation device that uses hardware description languages to re-create the hardware from your favorite old home consoles, arcade games, and even home computers on a chip-by-chip basis. Unlike software-based emulation platforms like the Raspberry Pi, RetroArch, OpenEmu, or the soon-to-be-released PolyMega, FPGA-based emulation aims to preserve the original hardware, and in doing so, provide the most accurate emulation possible.

Using off-the-shelf USB controllers (or even USB adapters for your original controllers), you can play all of your old favorites on the NES, SNES, Genesis, TurboGrafx-16, and even the Sega CD.  Plug in a USB mouse and keyboard and you can also have a fully-featured Commodore 64, Amiga, or even a DOS PC.  With the addition of an optional analog I/O board, you can even plug the MiSTer into a CRT monitor!

While many people seem to be interested in building their own MiSTer, the information out there can be confusing.  In our MiSTer build guide, we’re going to put together a basic, but fully-functional console that will play everything that the platform currently has to offer.  The guide offers easy-to-understand, step-by-step instructions with links to everything you’ll need to buy.

Check out the build guide here!