Here’s a quick installation guide for replacing the N64’s stock controller stick with an aftermarket:
Old Skool N64 Sharpshooter optical joystick
The install was easy and pretty quick.
Everything seemed to work well while using the Sharpshooter. However, two things I did notice. First, the stick travel was not as smooth as an original unit. This wasn’t bad, it just felt a tiny bit gritty. Something that I could forget about once into a game. The second item was a small waggle area (a few millimeters) in the stick’s center area.
For comparison I used a new original N64 controller which had less than 5 hours of use on it.
The original did have a small bit of waggle area but it did seem like it was a smidge less than the Sharpshooter. So far, I have put a few hours on my Sharpshooter stick and I’ve been pretty happy with it. I was glad I could save my old controller while keeping the classic feel. I’ve bought aftermarket N64 controllers and although they get the job done most feel light/cheap in the plastic they use for the housing and buttons. Doing something like replacing the thumb stick adds new life to your old but otherwise fine N64 controller.
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