Mad Catz Gametrak Mod for Max/MSP

So it seems that the Gametrak controller that is designed for use with the PS2 doesn’t want to work with Max

A number of people have tried removing the board inside the unit, replacing it with a Bitwacker or Arduino, but after looking at the board in the Gametrak, I found that there is an interesting ‘feature’ built into the existing boards.

This easter egg is probably designed so that one unit can be manufactured to be used across a variety of hardware platforms, from PS2 to PC to Xbox.

Here’s what I did to get it working:

Open the case by removing the screws marked.Open the case by removing the screws marked (I pierced the ‘feet’ with the screwdriver so that I didn’t have to re-stick them later).

Remove the board by unscrewing the screws marked.Remove the board by unscrewing the screws marked.

Flip it over to reveal the underside.Flip it over to reveal the underside.

Rotate the entire Gametrak, so that the board is oriented like this.Rotate the entire Gametrak, so that the board is oriented like this.

This is the cool bit.  Notice the PC label above?This is the cool bit.  Notice the PC label above?
(There’s also an Xbox label to the right).

I shorted this connection with a knife while it was plugged in to Max, and a burst of numbers came out of the ‘hi’ object.  To make this connection permanent*, I put a bit of solder to make a bridge between the two contact points, and now it outputs 12-bit integers on six discrete axes (left hand x, y & z; and right hand x, y, z).  The foot switch works too.

Simple Max interface for the Gametrak.Simple Max 5 interface for the Gametrak (Download)

Note: the first gen Gametrak from In2Games doesn’t seem to have this ‘feature’.

* There’s a tiny layer of lacquer on these contact points that I scratched with a knife so the solder would take to the metal.


  1. This looks so awesome, I can’t wait to start creating things to control with my gametrak.

    Bue I can’t put it working with my windows =/ And the board of my Gametrak does not have those labels (PC, XBOX)… I don’t know how can I make it work =x

  2. Is this still the only process to output OSC data? has CNMAT worked this problem out through software MSP objects? dumb question?

  3. The thing is, that since the Gametrak is a HID-type object, you should be able to use the [hi] object in Max. I wasn’t able to get the data out of it (perhaps the PS2 setting outputs float data).

    I know that Adrian Freed replaced the internal board with a bitwacker, but (other than building a custom Max external) I don’t think you can get data out of the Xbox or PS2 versions of the Gametrak without some kind of modification.

    The mod is pretty easy, and it would be pretty easy to just make an OSC wrapper in Max.

  4. I’ve just got one of these but the box does not look the same as the one in the above pictures. So I’m not sure how to approach modifying it. Any suggestion would be much appreciated.


  5. Hi X37V,

    Thanks for the reply. Yes it looks exactly line that. I tried to open it up last night but didn’t manage!


  6. I have one of those models but had no luck with this mod, sorry to say. The first gen Gametrak from In2Games didn’t have the same board. I think your best bet with this model would be to replace the board with a microcontroller (as mentioned in section 4.9 of this paper).

    Jan did some extensive modding of his ‘rev 1′ GameTrak and notes that even the ‘rev 1‘ boards on the later model don’t have the PC/Xbox support.

  7. Getting ready to buy one. How did you connect the ps2 version to the computer. Can you just use a ps2-ps3 adapter?

  8. Hi there, I have the later ps2 version. ( see photo in link above). It does not have the Xbox/PC option. Smaller square pcb, though the board says rev2. The program chucK can see the gametrak but I don’t seem to get any response from the strings. Has anyone had success with this model? Thanks

  9. I too have a PS2 GameTrak that says V2.0 on the bottom of the device, but MaxMSP identifies it as GameTrak V1.3. There is a rev1 board inside, so no PC/Xbox connectivity there. I assume it is not possible to get this work without replacing the insides?

    Do all PC GameTraks communicate with MaxMSP? GameTraks that were originally sold for PC that is.

  10. I never managed to get the PS2 version to work. But I found a GameTrak for PC on Amazon, and it worked straight out of the box, plug-and-play style.

  11. Hi, just wondering if anyone has ever managed to get multiple gametraks working on the one laptop? Or if anyone could suggest a way to go about achieving this?


  12. Hey guys, we are currently in the middle of a project where we hack open a GameTrak controller and attach an Arduino to be able to talk OSC with MaxMSP (or any other OSC program). It’s not as plug-and-play as using an USB GameTrak, but if you are not afraid to open up your device and do some work you could have a look. (it also enables you to use multiple GameTraks)

    All our work is open-source and you are more than welcome to use and tweak code/ideas to create cool music and live shows!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>