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Blog - replacing analogue sticks

Replacing your Dualshock 4 Thumb Sticks

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It happens from time to time...your trusty old PS4 Controller has spent years taking a battering from thousands of hours of gaming & bouncing across the floor and just like an old ladies hips sometimes some bits just wear out.  But no need to throw the old lady or your controller into the bin! Just whip it open, replace the worn out bits and soon you'll have a brand new feeling old lady!

Your thumb sticks are arguably going to be taking the most friction in your gaming life and these are more likely to wear out than anything else on the gamepad so we'll look at replacing these first.  

Please note the details in this guide are for information only and we cannot be held responsible for any breakages or damage caused to your controller once you start to take it apart. Taking your controller apart will void it's warranty so if you're not covered if it breaks!

The only tools you'll need is a small cross head screwdriver, a plastic prying tool and maybe some strong tweezers. So when you've bought some lovely new thumb sticks here's what to do!

Taking apart your controller

There are 4 cross head screws on the back of the PS4 controller and these are circled in green.

Take these out and put them to one side.

Next to start unclipping the front shell from the back shell squeeze in the front of the handles as shown.

Do this on both sides and you will feel some give in the front shell of the controller. 

If you're lucky you might be able to separate the 2 shell halves from each other just like this but do not force them apart. I

f there is any resistance at all look at the next step before you break something :)
You should be able to pop the handles off as shown in the picture opposite.  

Now just work around the edge of the controller with your plastic tool and lever it open, you should hear the clips pop open when you're working your way round.

We recommend using a plastic tool as it's easier and won't damage your controller.  You can use a metal tool like a screwdriver if you like but it's really easy to dig into your controller and mark it permanently so be super careful.  

Once it's all unclipped you should be able to separate the front and back shells.  Do this but don't pull them fully apart as they are still attached with cables on the inside.

The inside of the controller

The light bar and charging port on the back of your controller are still connected to the front with this ribbon cable.  Carefully pull it straight out without bending it too much.

Make a note of what way it goes round so it's not confusing later when you stick it back in :)
This part is optional and to be honest when we're replacing something simple like thumbsticks we don't bother doing this but....

If you want total peace of mind you can remove the dualshock 4 battery at this point.

Just pull the plug straight out (it'll give you a bit of a fight but be firm..just don't go ripping it out)


Move the battery aside and you'll see another small cross head screw that needs taking out.

Once you do this don't go pulling the circuit out of place as the touch pad cable is still attached.

The circuit will be loose though so don't go juggling your controller right now.
This is where those hidden tweezing skills will come into their own!

There should be a blue (or sometimes orange) tab on the front of your touchpad cable that is plugged into the circuit.

Get your tweezers onto this and pull it straight up.  You might need to wiggle left and right a bit to convince it to move but it'll come out.  This is the best way to get this cable out.  

You could wedge something under it to try and lever it out but there's a good chance you'll damage the cable doing that.

Replacing your thumb sticks

Once that cable is out you can remove the whole circuit away from the front shell finally revealing those thumb sticks.

Each thumb stick will slide off of it's peg, just pull it straight up and away from the circuit board.  

They might feel like they are stuck fast and might be a bit of a challenge to remove but remember you've been pushing them down constantly for years so they are bound to put up a bit of a fight.

As always be firm but don't go all Kano on it and try to rip it's heart out, just pull on it nicely :)

Once your old thumbs are off just line up your new thumbs and gently push them on.  The holes and pegs are like rounded rectangles so you do have to line them up properly but once you do gently push them on and it should be ok.

Then just follow all the steps above in revers to put your controller back together!  Be careful when putting your touch pad cable back in, I would recommend using the old tweezer technique to put the cable back in.  Grab it by the coloured tab and then gently plug it back in.

And there you have it!  It's pretty easy once you get into it and it'll save you buying a whole new controller.  Though, now we've crowbarred the conversation onto that, we do have some amazing Custom PS4 Controllers here :)  If you fancy a whole controller upgrade you could do a lot worse than having a look at some of our awesome designs!

If you're looking to update your own controller then take a look at our great PS4 Controller Button Sets or go the whole hog up update your entire controller with one of our lovely PS4 Controller Shells!

If you've got any questions or comments then get in touch and we'll be happy to help.

This guide and photos have been produced by us at Control Blast. We'd love for it to help you out but you may not copy or distribute any of the text or photos without our written permission. Please get in touch for more information.



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