Posted by Colin on July 05, 2016
Sometimes you'll find that your controller buttons start sticking which can, in some cases, make your controller unusable. This is normally caused by a build up of dirt, dust, grease and sweat and is never helped by the odd spillage of sticky drinks! Fortunately this can usually be fixed by cleaning the offending buttons and casing to make everything nice and smooth again.
IMPORTANT: If you decide to take your controller apart you do so at your own risk and we can't be held responsible for any damage or breakages. Taking your controller apart will most likely void any warranty you have on it so make sure you want to take it apart before you do!
You will probably need to take your controller apart but if your buttons aren't sticking that much you might get away with cleaning around the edge of the buttons and the rims of the holes they are sticking through with a cotton bud. It's worth a try if you don't want to dive straight on and crack open your control pad!
However it might be necessary to take apart your controller so you'll need to take your screws out with a T8 screwdriver, or maybe a phillips if you have bought one of our shells and used our screws! Make sure you get all the screws, including the hidden one as highlighted in red in the photo:
Carefully take the back off of your controller, slide out the rumble motors first and lift the circuit board out. Remove the rubber insert that is covering your buttons and put it to one side for now.
Remove all of your buttons for now (the ABXY, Guide and Start/Back buttons will come out). Carefully clean all of the holes and the gaps in the holes (some are highlighted red) with something like a cotton bud, just make sure you don't leave any fluff behind! Even if you can't see anything in the holes there might be tiny bits of dirt or grease that is stopping the button sliding in and out smoothly so give everything a good wipe down. This can be done on your ABXY holes and your Guide and Start/Back holes. Make sure there are no rogue bits on plastic poking out that might also get in the way.
Next move onto your buttons and give the outside of them a good clean, particularly the plastic parts that stick out (highlighted red in our picture). Anything stuck in the corner of these parts will give your button problems and will make it stick. Make sure the edges of the top of the button (highlighted blue in our picture) are smooth and free of any small bits of plastic. Any roughness here can seriously inhibit the silky smooth action of your button.
Note: We have found in the past that gently filing any rough sections of this section of button have solved some sticky button problems. If you do this make sure you give the button a good clean afterwards as filing it will create dust.
Lastly give your rubber insert a good wipe down too. If there is any dirt build up on this it can transfer onto your buttons and give you problems in future so get this clean now and it will save you some maintenance down the line.
Once you're done you're ready to put your controller back together. If you have used any cleaning fluids, waters, white spirit or anything to help with the cleaning make sure your controller shell and buttons are completly dry and no sticky residue remains as you could do damage to your controller once it's back together.
Reverse all the steps to put your controller together again. Do the screws up nice and tight and you should have a controller that is as good as new!
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