If you want to disassemble an Xbox controller to try and fix a stuck joystick or unruly d-pad, here's how you can go about it quickly and easily.
Note: Disassembling your Xbox controller will void its warranty, so disassemble your controller at your own risk!
Products used in this guide
- Tools for the job: Vastar T6 T8 T10 Screwdriver Kit ($10 at Amazon)
- Best in the business: Xbox One Controller ($46 at Amazon)
How to take apart an Xbox One controller
- Consider working on a tray to prevent screws or other parts from falling on the floor or getting lost.
- Take the orange pry tool from your tool kit.
- Slide the pry tool between the plastic seam on the grips as shown.
- Lever the grip away from the main controller body. Note that there is also adhesive holding it in place under the plastic, so don't be afraid of applying some force.
- Repeat this again for both grips.
- Next, we'll remove the screws. Once the screws are removed, your Xbox controller will come apart like a sandwich. Be extremely careful because if you pull it apart too hard, you may damage the cable that connects the battery to the circuitry.
- Find your T8 screwdriver from your kit, and begin removing the five security screws as shown. Note that one of the screws is hidden behind the sticker in your battery housing.
Now, you can take a look at the inner workings of your gamepad. Take care not to misplace any of the parts, though!
From here, the controller is split into three main parts. A front faceplate, the body with the circuitry, and the backplate with the battery housing. Be careful as to not lose any parts while manipulating the controller.
When reassembling the controller, you'll want to ensure that the battery connectors are properly lined up inside the backplate, and also that the audio jack underneath is properly snugly fit into the outer shell.
I disassembled my controller because, when dropping it, I somehow managed to get the joystick lodged into an awkward position on the inside. Taking it apart to reset the positioning of parts in this situations can be a cheaper, or at least a faster alternative than sending it off for repairs, but make sure to be delicate since some of the parts are fiddly. And of course, you can void your warranty by doing this stuff.
Our top equipment picks
Tools of the trade
For those pesky security screws
This screwdriver set has all the tools you need to get into your Xbox One controller's shell.
You'll need a T8-compatible screwdriver kit to get into your Xbox controller's security screws, and this more than does the job. It also comes with pry tools for popping out the grips, making it a one-stop-shop for all your controller maintenance needs.
Arguably the best gamepad of all time.
The Xbox One controller is compatible with PCs via USB and mobile devices via Bluetooth, as well as your Xbox console
If something goes awry during your repair attempt, it may be cheaper to simply pick up a new Xbox controller than send it to Microsoft for a repair. So be extra careful!
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Jez Corden a Managing Editor at Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by caffeine. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his Xbox Two podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!