Arduino IDE with a Raspberry Pi Pico (or RP2040 based boards)

These are instructions for setting the Arduino IDE with a Pico / RP2040

NOTE: I already had the support board installed before writing this post, so some of this might be missing some steps. If anyone spots a problem, then let please me know.

We’d like people to be able use the C/C++ code from ukmarsbot-mazerunner easily via the Arduino IDE if they are using something like the Cytron Maker Nano RP2040 or the Arduino Nano RP2040 Connect. (IMPORTANT NOTE: Both require modifications before fitting on a standards UKMARSBot – that’s covered elsewhere). It’s technical possible to use the standard Pico/RP2040 tools – but you require more changes. Hence this guide.

  1. Download Arduino IDE from (I have Arduino 2.1.0).
  2. Install the Raspberry Pi Pico Library under the Menu: Boards -> Board Manager -> Raspberry Pi RP2040 Boards(2.6.3). There is also a “Arduino Mbed OS RP2040” … that works as well, but doesn’t have the DEBUG option (see below).
  3. Connect you Pico, holding down BOOTSEL as you do so.
  4. Select UF2 Board under the Menu: Tools -> Port
  5. Select the Blink example from the Menu: File -> Examples -> 01.Basics -> Blink
  6. Click Verify on the sketch (the tick icon) – this is probably optionals, since I guess upload does a compile (‘verify’) first.
  7. Click Upload on the sketch (the right-arrow icon).

Your Pico on board LED will be flashing. VERY slowing. If you think it’s too slow, edit the code to say:

void setup() {
  // initialize digital pin LED_BUILTIN as an output.

// the loop function runs over and over again forever
void loop() {
  digitalWrite(LED_BUILTIN, HIGH); // turn the LED on (HIGH is the voltage level)
  delay(300); // wait for a second
  digitalWrite(LED_BUILTIN, LOW); // turn the LED off by making the voltage LOW
  delay(300); // wait for a second

I’ve only altered the delay here.

If you wish to reprogram the board, you’ll need (a) re-power/reset the board with BOOTSEL held down, and (b) Select the UF2 Board again, (c) Select upload.


There is a debug option on the Arduino IDE 2 – but I haven’t really played with this yet. I know using the standard Raspberry Pi C / C++ tools you can debug, but I haven’t checked if the Arduino IDE does this. I’ll create a follow up post with more details.