The Raspberry Pi ecosystem by its very nature is incredibly wide-reaching, and there are a lot of additional bits and pieces you can get ahold of to enhance your experience. Equally, it can be pretty daunting when you're new and just want some basic accessories to help you along.
We're not going to dive too far into the maker rabbit hole, but if you're picking up a Raspberry Pi 3 for your Windows 10 IoT Core or any other project, here are some accessories you should check out.
Official Raspberry Pi 3 case
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Just like for smartphones, there are hundreds of cases available for the Raspberry Pi 3. And also as with smartphones, they vary greatly in design and construction. For a good, all-purpose case you can't go wrong with the official Raspberry Pi offering.
The lid can be removed to expose the sweet Pi within. Likewise, the side panels can also come off. It provides easy access to every part of the Raspberry Pi while looking great and being very affordable at around $7.
Raspberry Pi camera module V2
Need a camera for your Raspberry Pi project? No worries, there's an official add-on for that. The latest version of the official camera module has improved on its predecessor in a number of areas.
You're getting an 8MP Sony Exmor IMX219 Sensor that can shoot 1080p video at 30 frames per second. The sensor itself is capable of more, The Raspberry Pi isn't right now, but who knows what the future holds?
Aside from that, it's a fixed-focus affair, and you're recommended to be using at least a 2A power supply. Overall, it's a neat little module that's only $25 and very easy to use.
LoveRPi Performance Heatsink
Under normal use cases, the processor on the Raspberry Pi 3 is fine without any form of additional cooling. But since overclocking is super simple, if you're considering going down that route you should add something like these heatsinks.
It's nothing fancy, but this pack of heatsinks is made from aluminum and has an adhesive, thermal backing. You simply stick it to the processor, and it'll help dissipate the heat. At $5 for a pair, it's a no-brainer.
Western Digital PiDrive
Western Digital (WD) has made it both easy and affordable to add some serious GBs of mass storage to your Raspberry Pi 3. You get a slim HDD, as well as all the cables you need to get up and running, and even a microSD card preloaded with NOOBS for easy installation of your system software.
It's available in 250GB and 375GB forms, neither of which will run away with your wallet. The most expensive option currently costs $30.
WD also sells a couple of different enclosures for the PiDrive for around $11.
It is one of the more extravagant Pi 3 accessories out there, but the Ceed from Pi-Top will turn your little circuit board into a mini desktop PC, with a particular focus on teaching folks how to code.
It's entirely modular, but the main attractions are the 14-inch HD display and the adjustable stand around the back to adjust it.
The Pi-Top Ceed comes with a custom software build preinstalled, but because it's Raspberry Pi you can change things up to suit your own tastes. Open it up, plug it in, attach your Raspberry Pi and away you go! It costs $150 but it also turns your Pi into a little desktop computer.
Rii i8 mini-keyboard
If your Raspberry Pi 3 use involves not sitting at it with a keyboard and mouse, but you still need some form of input method, this one is for you. The Rii i8 is a cheap wireless keyboard with an included touchpad that works entirely like a regular keyboard and mouse.
It's not something you'll be typing on for long periods, but it's great for something such as a Raspberry Pi Kodi box, when you're feet-up on the couch.
The rechargeable battery lasts an age, too, so you don't have to worry about plugging it in at night. All for around $15.
CanaKit Raspberry Pi GPIO Breakout Board bundle
A big part of the Raspberry Pi community is using that little board to power weird and wonderful projects you make yourself. If you're new to the idea and it seems a little daunting, this bundle from CanaKit has some great accessories to help you out.
With wires, a ribbon cable, a breadboard, a quick reference guide and even some LEDs, this little box of tricks can help you start expanding your Pi beyond just what's on the board.
At around $15 it's a great place for beginners to start.
Raspberry Pi touchscreen
Displays for the Raspberry Pi are common, but they're also far from all being equal. The official Raspberry Pi display is a great choice if you're looking for a touchscreen in particular.
At $75 it's fairly pricey, and the 800 x 480 resolution won't set anyone's pants on fire, but it's a seven-incher, and importantly it's a multitouch display with 10 point touch.
Pi Sense Hat
The Sense Hat adds a ton of functionality to your Raspberry Pi projects. It hooks up over the GPIO port and has a magnetometer, humidity and temperature sensor, accelerometer, barometer, 8x8 LED matrix and support for a 5-button joystick if you're making a gaming related contraption.
It'll also sit nicely within the official Raspberry Pi 3 case, and for under $40 you're adding a whole lot to your Raspberry Pi.
If you're building something home-entertainment related, you probably want good audio. The Raspberry Pi 3 can be used with an add-on like this HiFiBerry DAC to give you true high quality audio.
This model has twin RCA jacks, it slots onto the Pi without any need for soldering, and it is basically just plug-and-play. But most of all, it delivers 192kHz, 24bit quality audio for under $40.
Tell us how you Pi
The accessories listed here are only a taste of the wide world of Raspberry Pi, and there's so much out there. If you've got a particular favorite accessory, share it with us all in the comments below.
Updated April 10, 2018: If you're building something with Rasberry Pi, you'll want great audio for, so we added a great Raspberry Pi DAC to our roundup.
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Richard Devine is a Managing Editor at Windows Central with over a decade of experience. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently, you'll find him steering the site's coverage of all manner of PC hardware and reviews. Find him on Mastodon at mstdn.social/@richdevine