DEMAND AN END TO POVERTY THIS GENERAL ELECTION
TAKE ACTION
Life

How to fix your broken games controller

The Big Issue has teamed up with The Restart Project to teach the nation how to fix up their stuff. First up, we save your gaming sessions with how-to-guide to fixing controllers

How to Fix It Restart Project

An estimated £1bn-worth of faulty electronic devices are gathering dust in UK homes. Over half of households have an unused device – half of 16 to 24-year-olds hoard more than 10 deceased devices – and 80 per cent of us have no plans to recycle them – despite most having a fixable fault. The Restart Project aims to bin the throwaway culture of the electronics industry, and is bringing easy to follow fix-it guides to The Big Issue. First up in our imaginary repair shop: sticky PS4 game console controllers. During lockdown, Google Trends has shown a spike in searches about these. Many faults are related to cleaning, which requires careful disassembly and reassembly. It can be intimidating, but some care at a couple of key moments and you’ll soon be ready to restart.

If you need repair tips for anything with a battery or a plug, The Restart Project can help on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook

To fix a broken game controller

YOU WILL NEED

• a Phillips #00 screwdriver collecting screws

• plastic prying tool or credit card

• cotton buds

• IPA (isopropyl alcohol, isopropanol)

• pillcase, egg carton or similar for collecting screws

Step one: First remove the four main screws at the back with the Phillips #00, put in your pillcase or egg carton. (If you happen to have a counterfeit version, you will learn at this moment, the screws will be extremely hard to remove and are a different size.)

Restart Project games controller step one
Fix games controller step one

Step two: Take off the front case of the controller, prying with a plastic prying tool or a discarded credit card. Be careful NOT to remove any of the buttons as you pry.

Restart Project fix games controller step two 1
Restart Project games controller step two 1
Restart Project fix games controller step two 2
Restart Project fix games controller step two 2

Step three: Carefully remove the ribbon cable that connects the back case.

Restart Project fix games controller step three
Restart Project games controller step three

Step four: Disconnect the battery – always disconnect the battery as soon as you can in a repair!

Step five: Unscrew the one screw connecting the green circuit board to the front assembly.

Restart Project fix games controller step four and five
Restart Project games controller step four and five

Step six: Carefully remove the ribbon cable connecting the front to the top of the circuit board. Some versions have a cap on the enclosure, which needs to be flipped up.

Restart Project fix games controller step six
Restart Project games controller step six

Step seven: Carefully disconnect the front assembly with the buttons in it.

Restart Project fix game controller step seven
Restart Project games controller step seven

Step eight: Remove and clean the buttons with cotton buds and isopropyl alcohol, one by one. Remove and clean the analog sticks by brushing or wiping the dust and dirt off the area. Clean the chambers beneath the analog sticks with IPA and cotton buds.

Restart Project fix games controller step eight 1
Restart Project games controller step eight 1
Restart Project games controller sep eight 2
Restart Project games controller step eight 2

Step nine: Reassemble, going backwards, taking real care to reconnect ribbon cables and the battery. Then it’s game on!

Don’t panic if a button falls out during disassembly, simply set it aside and watch a YouTube video or a guide from ifixit.com can help.

Support the Big Issue

For over 30 years, the Big Issue has been committed to ending poverty in the UK. In 2024, our work is needed more than ever. Find out how you can support the Big Issue today.
Vendor martin Hawes

Recommended for you

View all
Even though I have Down's syndrome, I know how to party. I'm the first and last on the dance floor
Down The Lens creators Emily and Sophie
Learning Disability Week 2024

Even though I have Down's syndrome, I know how to party. I'm the first and last on the dance floor

'Out of touch': Rishi Sunak urged everyone to 'buy British' food – but there are several big problems
General election 2024

'Out of touch': Rishi Sunak urged everyone to 'buy British' food – but there are several big problems

I have terminal cancer and a learning disability. Life would be miserable without my social care worker
Learning Disability Week 2024

I have terminal cancer and a learning disability. Life would be miserable without my social care worker

Special Olympian and COALPIT Welsh Cake founder Michael Benyon shares his favourite recipes
Food

Special Olympian and COALPIT Welsh Cake founder Michael Benyon shares his favourite recipes

Most Popular

Read All
Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits
Renters: A mortgage lender's window advertising buy-to-let products
1.

Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal
Pound coins on a piece of paper with disability living allowancve
2.

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal

Cost of living payment 2024: Where to get help now the scheme is over
next dwp cost of living payment 2023
3.

Cost of living payment 2024: Where to get help now the scheme is over

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know
4.

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know