It all started with malfunctioning thumbstick on my Xbox one wireless controller. My characters would autonomously move forward in game, which was a bit annoying. The American consumerist in me was slightly delighted to have an excuse to buy a new controller. However, After some debate I decided I needed to do more projects at home and this was a decent one to start with! Also I conveniently already had the tools to pry apart the controller so the project was meant to be.
After doing a bit of research I stumbled across some decent replacement joysticks and figured while I had it opened up I might as well swap out the buttons with fancy gold replacement buttons I found at a relatively inexpensive price. Here’s a quick list of what I used and what you would need to do a similar project:
- Joystick replacements
- Replacement buttons
- Torx T8 Security Screwdriver
- Torx T6 Screwdriver
- Plastic Spudger (optional but makes opening easier and leaves less scratches than other methods)
- Solder Iron
- Solder Wire
- Desoldering pump (optional but much easier that solder wick on these size pins)
Fixing the xbox controller
I patiently awaited for these parts to arrive. The parts shipped from China required an extra bit of patience but finally I had all of the needed supplies in my possession and it was time to get started!
I began by removing the battery pack and cutting a hole into the prestigious serial number sticker where the battery pack rests. Hidden under said sticker is a T8 Security screw which I promptly removed. Next step was to remove the plastic grips from the underside of the controller body using the spudger. This part is simple and you can be rather fearless with force applied since they are held by strong plastic clips. I found four T8 security screws under these and removed them as well! The top plastic shell then separated from the bottom plastic shell revealing the inner circuit board and hardware.
While inspecting the inside of the controller I noticed that in this generation the rumble motors are soldered to the board, which was not convenient. I took a quick picture so I wouldn’t later mix up the wire pairings and then desoldered the rumble motors quite easily and left the solder on the board for later.
Next I removed two T6 screws from the bottom circuit board and pulled it off of the top board. With the bottom board separated, it was time to begin soldering and attempting to not destroy my controller. The Joystick post has 14 pins that need to be unsoldered to remove the bad part. I would preach caution at this point especially with the left joystick as some of its solder joints touch other items on the board. I quickly heated the solder on the pins and used that super handy desoldering pump to remove the melted metal. Once I applied this to all 14 pins I was able to wiggle the bad joystick out and slide in the new hardware, which didn’t exactly fit. There was a strange plastic extrusion on the new joystick that I was able to remove with a utility knife. Once removed the new part fit flush and snug. Next I soldered the pins to the board with 0.5mm solder wire completing the repair!
While the controller was still open, I removed the T6 screws from the top circuit board and the triggers so I could swap out the buttons. I also had to remove the bumpers and the center piece that surrounds the Xbox home button. The new fancy buttons were easy to install resting well on the rubber pads that support them. The bumpers snapped on well and the triggers screwed back on easily. However, the centerpiece that holds the Xbox home button was very snug so I had to use a file and grate off some of it from the underside.
Finally, all was finished and I screwed and clipped it all back together and connected the controller to my PC to test it with the built in windows 10 controller calibration tool. If you haven’t used it before just press the windows key + r and type in “joy.cpl” without the quotes. It’s a real snazzy little app that told me my controller joysticks now looked to be back in normal functioning condition. “GREAT SUCCESS!”
Here are some meh pictures thanks iPhonetography!