Maniac turns Surface Duo 2 into gaming monstrosity — and it's glorious

Surface Duo custom gaming setup
(Image credit: Sarspazzard via Reddit)

What you need to know

  • A Reddit user converted the Surface Duo 2 into a handheld gaming device for emulation.
  • The setup adds physical controls, a fan, and a USB dock to the folding phone.
  • The Surface Duo and Surface Duo 2 are not compatible with many gaming controllers, such as the Razer Kishi V2.

Microsoft's Surface Duo is many things. It's a folding phone with two screens rather than one. It's an incredibly light device built around productivity. It's even almost the Xbox handheld dream, according to our Zachary Boddy. But one thing the Surface Duo is not is compatible with game controllers.

Because of the unique design of the Surface Duo, plus where its charging port is, it does not fit inside the Razer Kishi V2 or similar devices. That leaves few options for those that want to use physical controls when gaming on the Duo. While you can use an Xbox controller phone mount, those are top-heavy with single-screen devices. Holding up an unfolded Duo on a mount would be an arm workout.

Rather than settling for subpar options, a Reddit user called Sarspazzard created a custom Surface Duo 2 setup with physical controls, a fan, and even slots for a microSD card and a USB thumb stick.

The setup is about as elegant as one could create when working with form factor and design of the Surface Duo, especially when taking into account the fact that the goal of this build is game emulation.

The Surface Duo and Surface Duo 2 have niche followings due to their dual-screen designs. Many enjoy using them to emulate Nintendo DS games, since the extra screen better replicates the form factor of the DS. But most setups I've seen use on-screen controls rather than physical controls. That's fine for some titles but isn't the best for others.

The fan on the custom setup should also keep the Duo cooler, which is nice since phones can heat up during extended gaming sessions.

If you're interested in replicating the setup, Sarspazzard shared links to each one of the components.

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at