How to Fix PS3 Controller Triggers

Updated July 20, 2017

The Sony PlayStation 3 video game console is a highly sophisticated device that utilises Bluetooth wireless technology for input. The Sony Sixaxis and DualShock 3 controllers contain six pressure-sensitive buttons, eleven digital buttons and two analogue control sticks. A tiny spring regulates the resistance of the trigger buttons, and these springs can break after heavy use. Replacing a PlayStation 3 controller is expensive, and official repairs can take up to four weeks. You can save a lot of money and time by replacing the broken spring with one from a floppy disk.

Remove the four screws on the back panel of the PS3 controller. Separate the two halves of the controller, being careful not to touch the circuit board.

Remove the trigger that contains the broken spring by sliding it to the centre of the controller and lifting it out of the slot.

Remove the broken spring by sliding the plastic rod to the side. Note the orientation of the original spring before removal.

Place the new spring on the plastic rod in the same position as the original spring. Slide the rod back into the original position to lock the spring in place.

Insert the trigger button back into the controller slot and snap the ends of the spring into the plastic harness to secure the trigger in place.

Join the two halves of the controller panel and screw them together with the four screws. Make sure that the battery cable is not pinched by the controller panels during reassembly. Turn on your PS3 console and test the repaired trigger button.


Sony does not sell the spring individually. If you want to repair the controller yourself, you will need to find the best suitable replacement. Check office supply stores and university book stores for cheap or discounted floppy disks. The spring is located behind the metal shutter on the bottom of the disk. Pull the shutter off to remove the spring.


Use an appropriately sized screwdriver or you may strip the screws and will be unable to repair your PS3 controller.

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About the Author

Doug Vintage has been a writer since 2008 and holds a bachelor's degree in computer science. His professional writing experience includes the research and creation of internal technology articles for several law firms including WilmerHale, Crowell & Moring and Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld.