Using NFC Tags to Run Games on the MiSTer FPGA

NFC tags now provide a cool new way of running games on your MiSTer FPGA. Thanks to work done by Wizzo and Gareth Jones, you can connect an NFC reader and install a script to run game paths encoded onto an NFC card.

Why would you want to do this? A good use case for this is to have all your favorite games encoded onto an NFC card so you don’t have to scroll through a giant list of games to get to them. Also, using NFC cards labeled with the game will probably be an easier way for guests to browse and play games. You can also encode stickers and place them on game boxes to incorporate your physical library with your MiSTer FPGA. NFC can provide you with a lot more options so don’t hesitate to experiment with other use cases.

What’s required (Links to requirements are at the bottom of the article):

  • NFC Reader
  • A phone with NFC capabilities along with the NFC Tools app. 
    • You can most likely use another app, but this is the one I used and Wizzo recommends. You should also be able to use a PC with the appropriate hardware, but I find using a mobile phone much easier.
  • NFC cards (Current supported cards):
    • NTAG213
    • NTAG215
    • NTAG216
    • Amiibo’s
    • Mifare 1K
    • Check Wizzo’s github for an updated list.
  • MiSTer FPGA paths to the games you want to run. 
    • These paths need to be written to each NFC card using the NFC tools app. The full documentation is on Wizzo’s GitHub or you can check out my video above.

Once you have the NFC reader connected and have written the paths to the NFC card, all you must do is run Wizzo’s script and start scanning cards. Games will automatically start running after a tap (if the paths have been written correctly). Below is a short video of some examples.

As you can see, not only can you use NFC cards, but you can also use NFC stickers on game boxes, cartridges, video game themed toys or whatever else you want. There are also options to execute a random game or a random game from a specific system. Very helpful when you can’t decide on what to play.

If you appreciate the work that’s been done for this script, you can support Wizzo on Patreon. You should also check out Wizzo’s other MiSTer tools. He’s developed a Mobile and Web app to control your MiSTer over the network, a favorites script, a search script and more.



Overview of Wizzo’s remote web app: