[OUTDATED] Make Your Own Arduboy Game: Part 1 - Setting Up Your Computer

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THIS TUTORIAL IS OUT OF DATE! Please check out the UPDATED version, here: Make Your Own Arduboy Game: Part 1 - Setting Up Your Computer

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Hey! This series will walk you through everything you need to do in order to program a game for the Arduboy! It’ll be broken down into several parts, so I’ll be posting links whenever I finish writing them.

The Arduino IDE & Arduboy Library

So, in order to program a game for the Arduboy, you need to write your code in a program called the Arduino IDE. An IDE is an Integrated Development Environment. This means that it includes most of the tools you’ll need to program for your Arduboy. Arduino is the type of computer chip that the Arduboy is made from. All Arduino chips can be programmed the same way that we’re going to program your Arduboy, so you’ll actually learn how to program for several devices! :slight_smile:

Downloading The IDE

Okay, to download the latest version of the Arduino IDE, you should follow this link.

Alternatively, you can directly download it here:

Installing The IDE

Install the Arduino IDE like you would any other program.

Installing The Arduboy Library

Not only do you need the Arduino IDE, but you’ll also need the Arduboy Library. You need that in order to tell your IDE how to interact with the Arduboy. To get it, go to Sketch > Include Library > Manage Libraries…

In the Manage Libraries window, search for “Arduboy”. One search result should appear. Select the most recent version, and hit Install.

Installing The Board

Go to File > Preferences on Windows or Arduino > Preferences on macOS. In the Settings window, find the Additional Boards Maanger URLs box.

Insert the following: https://arduboy.github.io/board-support/package_arduboy_index.json , and click OK.

Next, go to Tools > Board > Board Manager. In the window that appears, search for “Arduboy”. The list should be narrowed down to the Arduboy board. Click it, then click the Install button.

Once it’s done installing, click the Close button.

Selecting The Board

In order to tell the IDE that you want to program for the Arduboy, you need to tell it that you’re actually going to work with the Arduboy, go to Tools > Board > Arduboy.

Please note that if you’re using a discontinued Arduboy model, you may want to check the Install Support For The Arduboy & DevKit section of this guide. Most people will not have to do this.

Selecting The Port

Turn on your Arduboy and connect it with a USB data cable. Then, go to Tools > Port, then select the Arduino Leonardo.

If you are running Windows, the port may be something like COM5 or whatever. If you’re on macOS or Linux, it may be something like /dev/cu.usbmodem1411.

Loading An Example

Alrighty! :smiley: You should be ready to test this out! Let’s load an example program that we got in the Arduboy Library. Go to File > Examples > Arduboy > HelloWorld. This will load a test application that prints out a single line of text to the Arduboy’s screen.

Uploading The Code

Whenever you’re ready to install the code, click the arrow key that looks like this:

This will do 3 tasks:

  1. Check your code for common problems or typos.
  2. Compile your code. This is when the IDE turns your programming language into computer language that the Arduboy can understand.
  3. Transfer your code your code to the Arduboy.

If the IDE sees any problems with your code or has an issue when compiling your game, it will alert you in the console window, which is the black area at the bottom. If you don’t run into any problems, then it will tell you how big your game is.

Look At Your Arduboy!

If you’ve followed these steps correctly, you should see your Arduboy displaying “Hello World!

What’s Next?

Follow along through Part 2, which teaches you how to program your first Arduboy program! :smiley:


I wrote this tutorial in order to give back to the programming community that taught me to get into it about 10 years ago. If you’d like to follow me on Twitter, please do so at http://www.twitter.com/crait . I’d greatly appreciate that. :smile:


Thanks For the tutorial can’t wait to buy mine.

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Crait what if this doesn’t work?

If something doesn’t work, the best thing to do is to respond with exactly what’s wrong and which step you were on when things didn’t work out. It’s important to try to be as specific as possible, especially when asking someone for help.

Is version 1.6.13 up to date? And is this the right setup?

Yeah! That should be fine!

Taking forever to load is that bad?

What exactly is taking forever to load?

The hello world sketch! And is this the right com?

Cody, it seems like you have a lot of serial ports on your computer that are open. It really should only ever show you serial ports that are associated with the Arduino IDE. I would suggest restarting your computer if you haven’t yet. Turn off your Arduboy and unplug it. Whenever your computer is started, start the Arduino IDE, load the sketch, then turn on your Arduboy, and then plug your Arduboy in. Your computer should automatically detect the correct COM port.

By restart do you mean shutdown?

Yes… Completely shut down your computer and turn it back on.

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@cody it looks like there is an issue with your computers COM ports rather than an issue with the arduboy.

The best way to confirm which com port is the arduboy is to look on device manager and see which comes up as Arduino Leonardo. You’ll want to make sure you select that one within Arduino.

Another way is to unplug your Arduboy, take note of which COM ports are available within Arduino, and then plug it back in. The new COM port that appears is the correct one to choose.

But as @crait has noted, you’ve got way too many COM ports on your computer. Unless you have like a dozen printers hooked up to your computer this is likely where the problem is coming from.

Is there any chance you’ve got friend or family that is good with computers can help out?

Not really but @crait gave me another suggestion in a different link.

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@Cody17 we are working on setting up a support hotline so you could get a hold of us over chat in the future so keep that in mind too! Don’t give up!

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Is this a problem?

Yes, please visit the other thread you made about this problem. I have already described the steps you need to take to fix this problem.

@ Crait Holmes

Big thanks for all your tutorials.

1 Like