Introduction: Fixing a Worn Out Remote Control (XBOX, Playstation, Wii, TV, Etc.)

The method described below is valid for any remote control that uses conductive rubber pads for buttons. I have successfully used the same method on TV/VCR/Home theater/AC remotes and game consoles. Some time ago I decided that the next time I do it I would document it here.

Tools and materials
A Torx screwdriver – I got mine from eBay for 1USD.
A few cm2 of aluminium foil – had this in the kitchen.
A paper puncher – had this in my home office.
Some glue or double sided tape and scissors – had this in my home office.
Optional: 10cm sticky tape – had this in my home office.

1. It is a good idea to put a stripe of sticky tape of some sort on the controller covering all the buttons before we start. This is not strictly necessary, but will save some time and frustration later, when you want to put the whole thing back together and the buttons just don’t want to align.

2. Flip the controller upside down. Remove all the screws that hold the controller together. There are seven of them – 3-3 on either side and one under the serial number label in the battery compartment. If you remove this label carefully, you can put it back after you’re done, if you like.

3. Gently pry the controller open.

4. You can see the two small electric motors on either side that provide the force feedback. These are attached to the controller PCB with a small connector. To make the following tasks easier you can disconnect these and remove the motors temporarily.

5. Use the paper puncher to punch 11 little circles from the aluminium foil.

6. There are 11 conductive pads that need fixing – Buttons A, B, X, Y, BACK, START, HOME, DPAD. Put a tiny little drop of glue on the conductive pads, or if you don’t have glue, make 11 tiny little pieces of double sided tape and attach one to each conductive pad. This time I did this as I couldn’t find the glue…

7. Place a little circle of aluminium foil made in step 5 on each conductive pad. The aluminium foil has a shiny and a matt side. I automatically attached the matt side to the glue since my gut feeling is that it bonds better with the glue. I may be wrong, I never tried it the other way, but it seems to work like this for at least a year in the remotes I have fixed with the same method, so I didn’t change.

8. At this stage the fix is done and you can reassemble the controller. Don’t forget to reattach the force feedback motors if you took them out at the beginning…!

Please see some more details in my article @