Controller Repair

Controller Repair

Ever use a controller that that doesn’t work the way it used to?  Maybe you’re having trouble shooting diagonally in Contra, or firing hadoken’s in Street Fighter.  Well, you’ve come to the right place!  I’ll explain how to get your controllers responding the way they did when they were new!

DIY Repair:

The first thing you should do is perform the instructions in my “console cleaning” section on the controller case and buttons.  In short: completely disassemble the controller and clean all non-electronic parts of it (read the section for exact details).  Then, while you’re waiting for the plastic to dry, use a tiny bit of rubbing alcohol on a Q-Tip to clean the contact area of the controller circuit board and rubber pieces:

This will remove the really gross funk and stickiness that has collected on most controllers over the years. 

After it’s all dried, re-assemble the controller and give it a try.  If it works better, then you’re done!  If not, you’ll need to find a “repair kit”, which is essentially, just the replacement rubber pads:

Most SNES, Genesis and NES reapir kits are cheap and easy to find, but repair kits aren’t generally available for other controllers.  I’ll list any “rare” kits I find here (I’ll add more as I find and test them).


N64 Analog Stick Repair / Replacement

Nintendo 64 analog sticks are notorious for breaking!  People have tried to repair them, but with all the aftermarket replacement available, it might be best to just swap it with a new one:


Sega Master System controller repair kit

One question I get all the time is about N64 joysticks. The instructions above apply to everything except the analog stick. I suggest that you try fixing it yourself (this isn’t my video, but it does a good job showing the fix):

…and if that doesn’t work, just buy a replacement:

N64 Replacement Analog Stick

4-pack of  N64 Replacement Analog Stick

Thread discussion:

Check the links on the right, or maybe try the links below to find other controller repair kits for your controller!

If you’re finished, I invite you to go back to the main page to see all the other retro-gaming awesomeness we have on this site…especially the RGB guide!