Intellivision Controller Pinouts

The controllers for the Intellivision, Intellivision II, and Sears Super Video Arcade all work by grounding a certain combination of pins for each input (16 directions, 12 keypad buttons, and three action buttons--the top two side buttons are functionally identical). Sort of a weird 8-bit encoding scheme.

Pin equivalents

All flavors of Intellivision use the same controller scheme. The only difference is the connector that attaches the controller to the console.

The original Master Component used a single-row pin header. The Sears Super Video Arcade and Intellivision II use a 9-pin D-Sub connector. To make this page more understandable, the pin numbering of the 9-pin D-Sub connector will be the standard reference. The pair of graphics below show how pins correspond between the different connectors. The colors of the wires of the Master Component connector are shown too.

Intellivision II and Sears Super Video Arcade

Original Intellivision Master Component

Pin 5 is ground. All other pins are normally high unless a controller input pulls them low.


Directional disc


Keypad buttons are labeled with a "K" prefix, i.e. K1, K2, etc.

Side buttons

Top side side buttons are S1, bottom left side button is S2, and bottom right side button is S3. The top button on the left and right side are functionally identical.


This chart tells which lines are grounded for the given controller input.

x = pin is pulled low by controller Pin
1 2 3 4 6 7 8 9
Direction D1   x            
D2   x           x
D3   x x         x
D4   x x          
D5     x          
D6     x         x
D7     x x       x
D8     x x        
D9       x        
D10       x       x
D11 x     x       x
D12 x     x        
D13 x              
D14 x             x
D15 x x           x
D16 x x            
Keypad K1       x x      
K2       x   x    
K3       x     x  
K4     x   x      
K5     x     x    
K6     x       x  
K7   x     x      
K8   x       x    
K9   x         x  
Clear x       x      
K0 x         x    
Enter x           x  
Side Buttons S1         x   x  
S2           x x  
S3         x x    

Jay Tilton