Dreamcast Controller

From Sega Retro

Dreamcast Controller.jpg
Dreamcast Controller
Made for: Sega Dreamcast
Manufacturer: Sega
Release Date RRP Code
Sega Dreamcast
¥2,500 (2,625)2,500e[4]
Sega Dreamcast
(Millennium 2000)
Sega Dreamcast
Sega Dreamcast
Sega Dreamcast
DM 59.9559.95[2]
Sega Dreamcast
£19.9919.99[1] MK-55100-50
Sega Dreamcast
1300 Kč1300[7]
Sega Dreamcast
Sega Dreamcast

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Dreamcast Controller (ドリームキャスト コントローラ) is the primary interface for interacting with the Sega Dreamcast video game console. It was bundled with every system and is supported by every Dreamcast game.


With the Dreamcast, Sega went back to using the term "controller" for its main form of input, having previously preferred the term "control pad" with the Sega Mega Drive and Sega Saturn. As is to be expected, it increments on ideas seen with previous Sega hardware, being the logical progression from the Saturn's 3D Control Pad, originally debuting in mid-1996 as a response to the Nintendo 64. However, the 3D Control Pad was not as widely adopted as perhaps hoped, so the Dreamcast is the first (and only) Sega console to be equipped with analogue controls straight out of the box.

On the top left of the controller sits an "analogue thumb pad" (analogue stick), above a four-way directional pad (D-Pad), a  START  button in the centre of the controller and A, B, X and Y face buttons on the right. On top of the controller there are two analogue triggers, L and R in the top-left and top-right, respectively. Unlike the Sega Saturn (and Mega Drive) there are no C and Z buttons, and the controller has moved past the need for a switch to toggle between analogue and digital modes, seen on the 3D Control Pad.

The most striking difference with the Dreamcast controller is its two "expansion sockets" on the top. Typically the first socket (in front) houses a VMU (as there is a gap to see the screen) while the one in back houses other expansions such as the Jump Pack.

The Dreamcast controller stands as Sega's largest standard control pad for any of their systems, and was not redesigned during the console's run. Over the years it has run into some criticism, primarily for being uncomfortable for those with larger hands, but also for the high sensitivity of the thumb pad. Furthermore its lack of a second thumb pad was a noticable disadvantage when compared to the PlayStation 2 (and original PlayStation in its later years). It was also the last mainstream video game controller not to have vibration features as standard.

One curious design feature is the controller's wire, which comes out of the bottom, only to be looped back up and clipped in place so as not to get in the way. While unconventional, Sega appears to have designed it this way to assist with storage - that is to say, the wire can be wrapped around the controller and clipped at the end.

Many novelty Dreamcast controllers were produced in a wide variety of colors.

Western controllers have their D-Pads raised slightly higher, to make them more suitable for 2D games[9].

Internal workings

Although each button can be configured to perform a specific and distinctive action, all of the buttons, except for the two analog triggers and thumb pad, work on the same principle. In essence, each button is a switch that completes a circuit whenever it is pressed. A small metal disc beneath the button is pushed into contact with two strips of conductive material on the circuit board inside the controller. While the metal disc is in contact, it conducts electricity between the two strips.

The controller senses that the circuit is closed and sends that data to the Dreamcast. The CPU compares that data with the instructions in the game software for that button, and triggers the appropriate response. There is also a metal disc under each arm of the directional pad. If you're playing a game in which pushing down on the directional pad causes the character to crouch, a similar string of connections is made from the time of the push down on the pad to when the character crouches.

The analog thumb pad and triggers work in a completely different way from the buttons described above. The triggers each have a tiny magnet attached to the end of the trigger arm. When the trigger is depressed, the magnet is pushed toward a sensor mounted on the controller's circuit board. Through the process of induction, the magnet creates resistance to the current passing through the sensor. On the bottom of the magnet is a layer of foam padding. Pushing harder on the trigger compresses the padding, which brings the magnet closer to the sensor. The closer the magnet is to the sensor, the more resistance is induced. This variable resistance makes the triggers pressure-sensitive.

The thumb pad also uses a magnet, along with four small sensors. The sensors are arranged like a compass, with one at each of the cardinal points (north, south, east, west). The base of the joystick is shaped like a ball, with tiny spokes radiating out. The ball sits in a socket above the sensors. Spikes on the socket fit between the spokes on the ball. This allows for an extraordinary amount of movement without letting the thumb pad twist out of alignment with the sensors. As the thumb pad is moved, the magnet in the base moves closer to one or two of the sensors, and farther from the others. The system monitors the changes in induction caused by the magnet's movement to calculate the position of the thumb pad.

Magazine articles

Main article: Dreamcast Controller/Magazine articles.



Hardware diagrams

Photo gallery

Official photographs

Physical scans

Sega Retro Average 
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Dreamcast Controller


Code Name Box scans Images Region Date Price Documentation Description
HKT-7701 Dreamcast Controller
Dc standardcontroller jp box back.jpgNospine-small.pngDc standardcontroller jp box front.jpg
DCController NTSC.jpg
JP 1998-11-27 Standard Dreamcast controllers are white, a colour which was reportedly decided very late in the console's development cycle. This original Japanese model was the basis for all controllers which followed.

Dreamcast Controller (Model: Seaman)
Controller DC Seaman.jpg
JP 1999-07-29[12] PACK-INpack
Dreamcast Controller (Maziora)
JP 1999-08-01 PACK-INpack
HDR-0048 ChuChu Rocket! Controller Doukonban
Error creating thumbnail: convert: Insufficient memory (case 4) `/home/sonicret/domains/segaretro.org/public_html/images/2/2b/ChuchuRocket_DC_JP_LEControllerBox_Back.jpg' @ error/jpeg.c/JPEGErrorHandler/338. Error code: 1
Error creating thumbnail: convert: Insufficient memory (case 4) `/home/sonicret/domains/segaretro.org/public_html/images/6/64/ChuchuRocket_DC_JP_LEControllerBox.jpg' @ error/jpeg.c/JPEGErrorHandler/338. Error code: 1
Controller DC JP ChuChuRocket.jpg
JP 1999-11-11[13] ¥4,8004,800[13] This orange Dreamcast controller was released as part of a limited edition version of ChuChu Rocket!. It was not sold separately.
Hello Kitty (pink)
DCController JP HelloKittyPink.jpg
JP 1999-11-25[14] PACK-INpack
Hello Kitty (blue)
DCController JP HelloKittyBlue.jpg
JP 1999-11-25[14] PACK-INpack
HKT-7700-01 Millennium 2000: Aqua Blue
Controller DC JP Box Top Millennium2000AquaBlue.jpg
Controller DC JP Box Back Millennium2000AquaBlue.jpgController DC JP Box Spine Millennium2000AquaBlue.jpgController DC JP Box Front Millennium2000AquaBlue.jpgController DC JP Box Spine2 Millennium2000AquaBlue.jpg
Controller DC JP Millennium2000Blue.jpg
JP 1999-12-16[15] ¥2,5002,500[15]
HKT-7700-02 Millennium 2000: Lime Green
ライム グリーン
DCController Millennium2000 Green.jpg
JP 1999-12-16[15] ¥2,5002,500[15]
HKT-7700-03 Millennium 2000: Passion Pink
Controller DC JP Millennium2000Pink.jpg
JP 1999-12-16[15] ¥2,5002,500[15]
HKT-7700-04 Millennium 2000: Smoke
Controller DC JP Box Top Millennium2000Smoke.jpg
Controller DC JP Box Back Millennium2000Smoke.jpgController DC JP Box Spine Millennium2000Smoke.jpgController DC JP Box Front Millennium2000Smoke.jpgController DC JP Box Spine2 Millennium2000Smoke.jpg
Controller DC JP Millennium2000Black.jpg
JP 1999-12-16[15] ¥2,5002,500[15]
Controller (Model: Seaman Xmas Package)
コントローラ (model:SEAMAN クリスマスパッケージ)
Controller DC SeamanXmas.jpg
JP 1999-12-16[16][17] PACK-INpack
Biohazard Code: Veronica (red)
DCController JP CodeVeronicaRed.jpg
JP 2000-02-03[18] PACK-INpack
Biohazard Code: Veronica (black)
DCController JP CodeVeronicaBlack.jpg
JP 2000-02-03[18] PACK-INpack
HKT-7700-06 Aqua Blue
Controller DC JP Box Top AquaBlue.jpg
Controller DC JP Box Back AquaBlue.jpgController DC JP Box Spine AquaBlue.jpgController DC JP Box Front AquaBlue.jpgController DC JP Box Spine2 AquaBlue.jpg
Controller DC JP Box Bottom AquaBlue.jpg
DCController AquaBlue JP.jpg
JP 2000
HKT-7700-07 Lime Green
ライム グリーン
Controller DC JP Box Back LimeGreen.jpgNospine-small.pngController DC JP Box Front LimeGreen.jpg
Controller DC JP LimeGreen.jpg
JP 2000
HKT-7700-08 Passion Pink
Controller DC JP Box Back PassionPink.jpgNospine-small.pngController DC JP Box Front PassionPink.jpg
Controller DC JP PassionPink.jpg
JP 2000
HKT-7700-09 Smoke
Controller DC JP Smoke.jpg
JP 2000
Super Black
DCController JP Black.jpg
JP 2000-09[19] ¥2,8002,800[19] Available exclusively through Dreamcast Direct.
Colour Controller: Pearl White
JP 2000-10-12[20] ¥2,8002,800[20] Available exclusively through Dreamcast Direct.
Colour Controller: Pearl Blue
Controller DC PearlBlue.jpg
JP 2000-10-12[20] ¥2,8002,800[20] Available exclusively through Dreamcast Direct.
Colour Controller: Pearl Pink
DCController JP Pink.jpg
JP 2000-10-12[20] ¥2,8002,800[20] Available exclusively through Dreamcast Direct.
Dreamcast Controller: Mokume Chou
Controller DC JP Wood.jpg
JP 2000-11-01[21] ¥4,000 points4,000 points[21] Dream Point Bank exclusive.
Dreamcast Controller: Hyougara
DCController JP Lepoard.jpg
JP 2000-11-01[21] ¥4,000 points4,000 points[21] Dream Point Bank exclusive.
Dreamcast Controller: Dairiseki Chou
Controller DC JP Marble.jpg
JP 2000-11-01[21] ¥4,000 points4,000 points[21] Dream Point Bank exclusive.
Colour Controller: Silver Metallic
DCController JP Silver.jpg
JP 2000-11-02[20] ¥2,8002,800[21][20] Available exclusively through Dreamcast Direct.
Controller DC JP Camouflage.jpg
JP Available exclusively through Dreamcast Direct.
HKT-7700-18 Clear
Controller DC JP Clear.jpg
JP 2000-12-14[22] ¥2,5002,500[22]
Controller (Sakura Taisen Dreamcast for Internet)
Controller DC JP SakuraTaisenConsole.jpg
JP 2000-12-28[22] PACK-INpack
HKT-7700-19 Sakura Taisen Controller
サクラ大戦 コントローラ
Controller DC JP Box Front SakuraTaisen.jpg
Controller DC JP SakuraTaisen.jpg
JP 2000-12-28[22] ¥2,5002,500[22]
Divers 2000 Series CX-1
Controller DC Divers2000.jpg
JP 2001-03-21 PACK-INpack
DCController JP R7.jpg
JP 2001-09-03[23] PACK-INpack

North America

Code Name Box scans Images Region Date Price Documentation Description
MK-50100 Controller
Dc standardcontroller us box front.jpg
DCController NTSC.jpg
US 1999-09-09
MK-50101 Controller (Clear Blue)
DCController Blue NTSC.jpg
US 2000
MK-50102 Controller (Clear Green)
DCController Green NTSC.jpg
US 2000
MK-50103 Controller (Clear Red)
DCController Red US.jpg
US 2000
MK-50104 Controller (Clear Yellow)
DCController US Yellow.jpg
US 2000 It is said yellow controllers (and VMUs) are the hardest colour to find in North America.
MK-50105 Controller (Charcoal Anthracite)
Controller DC US Box Back Charcoal.jpgNospine-small.pngDCController US Black Box Front.jpgController DC US Box Spine2 Charcoal.jpg
DCController BlackGrey US.jpg
US 2000
Controller (Sega Sports)
DCController US SegaSports.jpg


Code Name Box scans Images Region Date Price Documentation Description
DreamcastController DC EU Box Back.jpgNospine-small.pngDCController EU Box Front.jpg
Dreamcast Controller.jpg
UK 1999-10-14 £19.9919.99
Controller DC EU Red.jpg
UK 2000 £19.9919.99[24] Available exclusively via Dreamarena[24].
Controller DC EU Yellow.jpg
UK 2000 £19.9919.99[24] Available exclusively via Dreamarena[24].
Controller DC EU Green.jpg
UK 2000 £19.9919.99[24] Available exclusively via Dreamarena[24].
Controller DC EU Blue.jpg
UK 2000 £19.9919.99[24] Available exclusively via Dreamarena[24].
Sonic the Hedgehog 10th Anniversary
DCController EU Sonic.jpg
UK 2001 PACK-INpack Packaged with console.
Nospine-small.pngDCController PL Box Front.png
Dreamcast Controller.jpg
PL 2000-12-01 150zł150


  1. Computer & Video Games, "October 1999" (UK; 1999-09-15), page 59
  2. Sega Magazin, "October 1999" (DE; 1999-09-06), page 7
  3. Press release: 1999-09-02: Sega Dreamcast Launch Titles and Peripherals
  4. https://virtual-on.sega.jp/oratan/hotstart/manual/peri.html (Wayback Machine: 2020-03-04 19:45)
  5. 5.0 5.1 File:DreamInformation Vol12, page 9
  6. Hyper, "September 1999" (AU; 1999-xx-xx), page 30
  7. https://www.idnes.cz/ekonomika/test-a-spotrebitel/nova-konzole-dreamcast-prehrava-konkurenci.A_2000M051T05A (Wayback Machine: 2020-03-04 19:22)
  8. https://gry.interia.pl/news-oficjalny-dystrybutor-dreamcast,nId,727666 (Wayback Machine: 2018-08-02 16:33)
  9. Edge, "September 1999" (UK; 1999-08-09), page 8
  10. Computer & Video Games, "November 1999" (UK; 1999-10-13), page 66
  11. Computer & Video Games, "December 2000" (UK; 2000-11-15), page 62
  12. http://sega.jp/corp/release/1999/0615 (Wayback Machine: 2007-03-02 13:59)
  13. 13.0 13.1 http://sega.jp/dc/990901/ (Wayback Machine: 2013-08-17 18:58)
  14. 14.0 14.1 http://sega.jp/corp/release/1999/1025/ (Wayback Machine: 2007-03-02 13:58)
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 15.4 15.5 15.6 15.7 Dreamcast Magazine, "1999-38 (1999-12-10)" (JP; 1999-11-26), page 10
  16. http://www.sega.co.jp/sega/corp/news/nr991201_2.html (Wayback Machine: 2000-03-04 01:46)
  17. Dreamcast Magazine, "1999-39 extra (1999-12-24ex)" (JP; 1999-12-10), page 8
  18. 18.0 18.1 http://sega.jp/corp/release/1999/1206/ (Wayback Machine: 2008-05-16 09:35)
  19. 19.0 19.1 http://sega.jp/corp/release/2000/0627/ (Wayback Machine: 2007-11-21 16:42)
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 20.3 20.4 20.5 20.6 20.7 http://www.d-direct.ne.jp/shop/pc/camp/peri.asp?mscssid=7SCKlFD4S2S92JDC001PQXRK63NC1T7l (Wayback Machine: 2000-12-15 20:10)
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 21.3 21.4 21.5 21.6 http://sega.jp/corp/release/2000/0823_1/ (Wayback Machine: 2007-11-21 16:43)
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 22.3 22.4 Dreamcast Magazine, "2000-36 (2000-11-10,17)" (JP; 2000-10-27), page 6
  23. http://www.sega.jp/release/nr010703_1.html (Wayback Machine: 2005-02-09 19:17)
  24. 24.0 24.1 24.2 24.3 24.4 24.5 24.6 24.7 Official Dreamcast Magazine, "October 2000" (UK; 2000-09-07), page 31

Sega Dreamcast
Topics Technical specifications (Hardware comparison) | History (Development | Release | Decline and legacy | Internet) | List of games | Magazine articles | Promotional material | Merchandise
Hardware Japan (Special) | Western Europe | Eastern Europe | North America | Asia | South America | Australasia | Africa
Add-ons Dreamcast Karaoke | Dreameye
Controllers Controller | Arcade Stick | Fishing Controller | Gun (Dream Blaster) | Race Controller | Maracas Controller (Third-party) | Twin Stick | Keyboard | Mouse | Third-party
Controller Add-ons Jump Pack (Third-party) | Microphone | VMU (4x Memory Card | Third-party)
Development Hardware Dev.Box | Controller Box | Controller Function Checker | Sound Box | GD-Writer | C1/C2 Checker | Dev.Cas | GD-ROM Duplicator
Online Services/Add-ons Dreamarena | SegaNet | WebTV for Dreamcast | Modem | Modular Cable | Modular Extension Cable | Broadband Adapter | Dreamphone
Connector Cables Onsei Setsuzoku Cable | RF Adapter | Scart Cable | S Tanshi Cable | Stereo AV Cable | VGA Box

Dreamcast MIDI Interface Cable | Neo Geo Pocket/Dreamcast Setsuzoku Cable | Taisen Cable

Misc. Hardware Action Replay CDX | Code Breaker | Kiosk | MP3 DC | MP3 DC Audio Player | Official Case | Treamcast
Third-party accessories Controllers | Controller converters | Miscellaneous
Unreleased Accessories DVD Player | Zip Drive | Swatch Access for Dreamcast | VMU MP3 Player
Arcade Variants NAOMI | Atomiswave | Sega Aurora