My MacBook Pro 13inch does not recognize my Arduboy

Hello, Genius!

It is with macOS Catalina v10.15.2, and it does not recognize my Arduboy.

I tried 4 different usb wires which is all data transferable on each port, and I turn on the Arduboy before I plugged it in, as well as after plugged in and neither of them works.

Do I need to download the driver for the Arduboy?

Some games require you to press/hold a specific button when powering on to trigger the usb bootloader, what game is loaded on yours currently? Are you trying to load a new game using the arduino ide or another arduboy loader program?

So this is through a usb-c adapter or dongle or adapter?

There isn’t a lot of mac users on here, and I’m not sure if you need to install Arduino first before it is recognized.

I know we have seen some problem with the adapter cable but let us know more about what you have tried.

Have you reprogrammed the Arduboy or what game is on it now?

There’s no need to have Arduino installed, the usb device should appear in /dev/cu.usbmodemxxx when plugged in. If it doesn’t show up there’s probably a more deeply rooted problem.

I had a similar malfunction the other day which was solved by doing a hard reset on the Arduboy. Perhaps this helps.

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Apple changed USB behaviour in Catalina causing problems with atmega32u4 bootloaders (as used by Arduboy).

The issue seems to be fixed with OSX 10.15.2 beta 4.

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Hey @Eric, another Mac user here. I got a 2014 Macbook Pro with Catalina v10.15.3. I haven’t experienced any of the problems you have with recognizing my Arduboy, and uploading games with the Arduino IDE or my app.

Following from what @Mr.Blinky shared, tried to upgrade!

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@Prototype, @msanatan, @sjm4306, @bateske

Thank you my friend!
i just found out i need to push the restart button at the bottom!!!


@Eric for future reference, you can mention multiple people using the ‘@’ symbol.
Each mention will notify the mentioned person,
so you do not need to post the same reply multiple times.

As such, I’ve removed your duplicate posts and added @-mentions to the remaining post.

@Eric What game did you have on the Arduboy? You might be able to hold the up or down button on it to put it into recovery mode.

There have been a rash of people running into this problem more often, I’ve seen a huge uptick in people asking how to recover their Arduboy. It seems with all this extra time at home a lot of people have that they are digging into their electronics collection.

Need to speed up the Emergency Bootloader Warning System.

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I suspect it would also be worth investigating how people are acquiring and uploading games.

I suspect that many people are unaware of the need to press down because the instructions for doing so are included only on the forum page and/or GitHib page and not on Eried’s repo or the game itself.

@tuxinator2009 & @Mr.Blinky,
do you think we could fit a ‘removes USB stack’ flag into the new .arduboy format?
Or will the upcoming developments mean it’s not worth it?

I’m guessing vast majority is @eried uploader. That’s what cursory feedback has shown over time.

Although, he doesn’t have Arduventure on there, and most of the time that is the culprit.

Part of the problem I have in actually tracing this out, is that when people write in to support with the issue, I just send them to the guide or just quickly write out the solution if it sounds like they are familiar with the hardware. Almost always I ask where they got the game, and how they are trying to upload it but I only get responses from maybe 10 or 20% of people, and usually that’s from people still having problems with it.

It’s the typical customer support problem where people only really get negative feedback about your product, once people are happy with it they use it instead of talking to you about it.

Something that @eried and @tuxinator2009 have discussed is actually a great one:

Just account for this condition and try to capture and handle it by instructing the user to perform the “reset dance” as it shall from this point forward referred to.


Added a new animation and tooltip with the UP and DOWN thing to the uploader. Hope it helps people in Ardu-distress.



Erwin’s repo doesn’t use .Arduboy format files. It just uses the HEX and some supporting files (ini and optional url files).

There is some support, my uploader understand them and the repo would need small code additions (that code is actually live so any PR would actually change the webpage) however…

Three years ago, when I got my first arduboy, game distribution was a mess: arduboy files with different “json standards”, some hex files and mostly random sourcecode burried in forum posts. People is lazy, they barely fill the 5 lines required on my game.ini to get listed. Enforcing .arduboy files will, in fact, start rebooting things to that 3-year-ago messy status.


I don’t remember it being quite that bad.

I disagree here.

I think the main issues with the .arduboy format are documentation, advertising and ease of use.

I’m forever forgetting where the forum post that documents the original is so I always end up just pulling apart other .arduboy files to figure out what fields need to be filled in.

Personally I’m happy to build them by hand and fill in all the details manually,
but aside from laziness, some people just don’t have that technical knowledge,
so really we could do with some kind of tool that generates the file.

If we provide the right guides and tools and make them easier to find then it shouldn’t be as much of an issue as it has been in the past.

Human nature is vexing.

Here is the .Arduboy format > Arduboy Game Format Guide: .arduboy files

Here is an online editor for .Arduboy JSON files >

Surely it is just my opinion, but my idea of trying games was: click one, play, click another, play. And the reality was too far away from that. I am pretty lazy myself, so I would rather not build anything if there was something that actually worked. I even remember sending an email to @crait for adding a game to his repo thinking: wtf is this 90’s utopia with updates via mail :rofl:


This is getting off topic but I do tend to agree .arduboy files are annoying to make.

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