Any gamer knows that the analogue sticks on an Xbox controller take the brunt of the damage during marathon game sessions. Used primarily to control on-screen characters, the analogue sticks are constantly in use. This means they are also the parts of your controller most likely to break. While you always have the option of buying a new controller, it can't hurt to try to fix the stick yourself. If you're handy with a screwdriver and soldering iron, you have all the skills you need to repair your Xbox controller. The process is similar for all Xbox and Xbox 360 controllers.
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Things you need
- Phillips and Torx T8 screwdrivers
- Nylon spudger
- Soldering iron and solder
- Desoldering pump
- Replacement analogue stick assembly
Unplug your controller from the Xbox, and remove the battery if it's a wireless model.
Remove the screws holding the back casing to the front casing of the controller. The screws are located along the back side of the controller. On the Xbox 360 controller, there is a screw in the battery bay underneath the bar code sticker.
Use a nylon spudger to pry apart the two halves of the controller. Start in the centre of one of the sides and work your way around the controller until it comes apart.
Disconnect the vibration motors from the controller's logic board. Simply unplug the cables from the sockets in the logic board.
Lift the logic board out of the controller's front casing. On the 360 controller, there are no screws holding the logic board in place. On the older Xbox controller, there are a few screws that must be removed before the logic board can be lifted out of the casing.
Heat up a soldering iron. Locate the analogue stick contacts on the underside of the logic board. Use the soldering iron to melt the solder on the contacts. Use the desoldering pump to remove the melted solder. Once the solder is cleared away, the broken stick assembly should come out of the logic board. If the assembly doesn't just fall out, gently wiggle it until it comes free.
Slide the new analogue stick assembly into the logic board. Solder the contacts on the underside of the board. Make sure to use only enough solder to hold the stick assembly in place.
Reverse the previous steps to reassemble your controller. Slide the logic board back into the front case and reconnect the vibration motors to the board. Carefully press the two halves of the controller together. The plastic tabs should snap into place. Replace the screws on the back case of the control and replace the battery.
Tips and warnings
- Make sure the controller is unplugged and the battery is removed. Working on the controller while it's plugged in can lead to electric shock.
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