Introduction: Xbox One Controller - Thumbstick Fix Without Replacing the Module

Picture of Xbox One Controller - Thumbstick Fix Without Replacing the Module

Here I show you, how to fix a broken Xbox One controller stick module, without replacing the module.

Hope you understand everything, because my english isn´t very, well.

After my third controller broke down and I was really sick of
send every month a controller to Microsoft, I dissassembled my controller and tried to figured out what happend always to my left stick, because the problem was always the same.

I don´t know how durable this fix will be, because I could only test it about two weeks, yet. But until now it seems to be good and maybe I will try this on my next new controller, I think it avoid them for breaking, too.

What kind of problems fix this tutorial!?

Use this fix when your thumbstick, makes noises while moving/pressing down and isn´t stable

You will need:

- Torx screwdriver T8H + T6, or you can try it with a slot screwdriver

-Soldering Iron

-glue, I used superglue, but better is epoxy, thanks to the user msav, who can confirm that this makes the controller very durable

Step 1: Dissassemble the Controller

Picture of Dissassemble the Controller

Start with dissassemble, the controller case.

Then desolder the wires from the rumble motors ( red and black wires), and from the rumble
motors in the triggers ( grey and black wires ). After that screw off the two screws shown in the 2nd picture, then you can remove the board carefully.

Step 2: Look Up the Broken Thumbstick

Picture of Look Up the Broken Thumbstick

If you removed the board, look up your broken thumbstick. There must be a grey piece of plastic at one side of the stick module. It is on the left side of the module, if you look on the board from above, like shown in the first picture.

Step 3: Fix the Stick Module

Picture of Fix the Stick Module

When you locate that grey plastic piece, move the thumbstick a bit around and look if the grey plastic moves. When it moves or there is space between the grey plastic and the metal square, it must be fixed. I used superglue to fix it. You must put it in the space between the grey plastic and the metal, but be very carefully, if you use too much glue, it could be damage the button under the grey plastic, which is the button when you press the thumbstick down.

After that you can assemble the controller.

Step 4: Notes

*In stock the grey plastic is only clipped, but the clips are too small and the material too weak

*If there is no grey plastic piece, where it should be, look in the case of the controller, maybe it jumped off (This was the case in one controller from me)

*If the grey plastic is like it should and dont move, then you have got another problem with the controller

*If the button for pressing the thumbstick down, dont work after doing the fix, maybe you used too much glue and the button is sticked

Ok, hope it helps some people and hope that microsoft will edit the Xbox One Controller soon, I really like the controller but with this problems its really sick.

Good Luck and be carefull with the glue


Jeff_the_Geek (author)2015-12-28

An additional little tip: if the thumbstick "broken" off, superglue works great. But even better: there is a small hole that is the same "gauge" as a large paperclip that runs through the stick.. You can cut a piece to fit (about 3/8"), superglue each end as you insert it into the stick/broken part. That way it is a little more reinforced.

MichealK6 (author)Jeff_the_Geek2016-09-16

I just used this exact fix with one change, I happened to have some stainless steel wire of the same size. very strong repair and I also chose to insert a piece into the unbroken sticks shaft. preventive measure and one I reccomend to anyone willing to open an undamaged controller. I will be doing it to all my current and future controllers.

TimL154 (author)MichealK62017-02-28

What size wire? Where can I find that wire? Can you post pictures of your work, epoxy sounds great but glue only... never works for me. I hope you see this and can reply! Thanks in advance!

Bray matter (author)2016-08-19

Anyone know if the new S controller still has these grey clips?

JackS248 (author)Bray matter2017-01-02

Yes they do. I bought one on black friday, 2 weeks in left stick broke, returned it got new one not even 48hrs into the replacement the left stick broke again. opened it up outta curiosity and sure enough I noticed that this clip was broke and causing it to pop/grind. I wish id have seen this post a year a go because this is spot on to whats been happening to all my controller (elite, Halo version, S) its fckn bs that MS is doing this to its consumers.

Bray matter (author)JackS2482017-01-05

I ended up investing in a Cronusmax Plus. Unfortunately about the same cost as a controller. It allows you to use most controllers with the xbox one (and other consoles). So I'm now using a crossover 360 controller (with the wireless receiver).

However, the XB1 needs to first authenticate an XB1 controller before plugging in the 360 controller after each power cycle. Supposedly you can use a USB hub to negate having to do this each time the console powers off/on. Unfortunately (through the hub) I've not been able to get it to auto-authenticate after a restart.

Also most headsets cannot be used through controller; only a select few. Although there is a two controller method as a workaround.

andyone (author)2016-01-18

m not sure if this is the correct place to post or not ,sorry in advance if it is not,

My ten year old son has put the batteries in the wrong way round and mow the controller refuses to run on battery power it doesnt recognise the batteries at all is there a reset or fuse that can be replaced,it still works via usb so i believe its F.U.B.A.R ed any advice would be greatly appreciated,Thnaks in advance,Andy T

im not sure if this is the correct

GregoryD23 (author)2016-01-15

Try this fix, it worked for me and was easier.

MarineG1 (author)2015-11-22

My left thumbstick moves forward but doesn't "stick" in that position (yet). If I pull back on it, it stops for a few seconds but that is really annoying if you need to stand still while you make a shot. I don't play Madden or that kind of game, so I guess mine has lasted longer. I bought it right after Xbox One came out and it just started failing. You're right about the new Xbox One controllers being cr4p compared to the 360 or even the Original Xbox controllers. They even make creaky noises if you squeeze them. I'd go back to my 360 controllers in a New York minute if I could. Anyway, thanks for the info GregorJ1.

DARKFiB3R (author)2015-04-10

Thanks for the info.

Do you know what that part actually does? Mine seems to work just fine without it!

I'll be fixing it with epoxy anyway, just in case.

GregorJ1 (author)DARKFiB3R2015-11-08

Not really, i noticed only that it was broken :D

vincentclark (author)2015-10-03

this is very clever. I was having a similar issue, perhaps not as severe as this since I found a simple fix. Without taking part the controller I pulled both sticks out, not out of the controller but they seem to get stuck a little bit. I heard a little pop and that seemed to fix the issue. The game I play requires a lot of pressing on the sticks quite a bit. This issue was killing me so my google search led me here.

While hats off to the author for this. I suggest you try the simple fix of giving a tug on the sticks first to see if that fixes the issue. (lets be mature about that last sentence :) )

do you play cod: advanced warfare?

GregorJ1 (author)MedicatedShot2015-11-08

Yes but at the moment, i havent got the time :D my gamertag is GJ1992X

Moln4r (author)2015-11-02

Hi!Thanks for the great tutorial!My controller have the same problem, looks like holding down the stick and doing few circles fixed the problem for now...

JahmondC (author)2015-10-31

U got this other Xbox one controller where my direction pad left and up don't respond its crazy

JahmondC (author)2015-10-31

U got this other Xbox one controller where my direction pad left and up don't respond its crazy

JahmondC (author)2015-10-31

I got one Xbox one controller that moves without me touching it meaning the left stick moves on its on mostly always up lick its stuck on going up im trying to find out what's wrong

bradley.morris.5811 (author)2015-04-24

msav (author)2014-08-29

superglue is not very durable. I did this repair in February after I went through 6 controllers in 2 weeks. I used epoxy and my controller is still going strong. If yours breaks again use some epoxy and you will be done with this headache

BTW I took apart an xbox 360 controller and that part is metal. Looks like this was a designed failure point to sell more controllers Or save .02 in manufacturing. Or both.

Also this repair can be done form the top so you don't have to take the whole circuit board out.

GregorJ1 (author)msav2014-08-29

Ok, thanks for your advice with epoxy. I will add this to the tutorial.

Yes, thats right, but in one of my controllers, the grey plastic piece was completely loosed, so I must remove the board to look up for it in the case. And I think its a bit easier too handle, but otherwise you could skip the soldering.

msav (author)GregorJ12014-08-29

also to add. even if your controller is not broken,,, yet .. you can epoxy the grey clip on to keep it from happening. I glued the right thumbstick while I had it open even though I only ever had the problem with the left one.

It is not a matter of if it comes loose it is when it comes loose. so epoxy them all before they break.

RickS5 (author)msav2015-01-18


I have broken 7 controllers in 6 weeks due to NHL 15 and the crappy clip in the controller as you know.

What type of epoxy works? Can you be more specific about how to apply it and where to apply it on a new controller that is not yet broken?


GregorJ1 (author)RickS52015-01-19

I used superglue, but epoxy should work better.
Just look on the pictures I marked the grey plastic, this is the part that get lose and you must get it fixed with glue/epoxy

GregorJ1 (author)msav2014-08-29

Okay good too know, I was already thinking about to do this with my new controller. Then I will try it with epoxy.

SteveWrightCC (author)GregorJ12014-12-21

You don't need to touch the solder if you ease the rumble packs out and then release the black/grey cables so they sit loose on the controller. Then you can lift out the bottom board and rotate it 180 degrees to gain access to the stick module without de-soldering the wires.

In any case MS need to fix this really cheap build ASAP, literally 100s of people are suffering with this problem.

smiley3303 (author)2015-01-03

I have burned through 3 controllers in a month and when I played Call of Duty was not an issue. Once I began playing NHL go through one every couple days. The guy at Walmart knows me when I arrive. This is such a shame. 360 controllers that are 10 years old still work great. These new "improved" ones are garbage.

imacfarlane1 (author)smiley33032015-01-06

Dude! I have the exact same issue. I play COD with no issues, and pretty much the first game of NHL 15 I played, I was making some moves and heard a 'pop' in my left joystick. Now when I play NHL and am skating back on defense, my player locks up and will head in whatever direction he feels like. The old controllers are definitely way better. As well as the UI on the xbox itself.

MatthewM15 (author)imacfarlane12015-01-16

Well... this is creepy. I play NHL15 mostly and COD. For me though, as long as I'm constantly using the left stick, there isn't a problem. The problem only shows itself in menus when I try to move it one selection, then it'll just keep going like I'm holding the stick in that direction.

frugal.calvinist (author)2015-01-06

Thanks for this! I have TWO controllers that have failed this way, both exactly 14 days out of warranty. I'm really disappointed in the build quality of these controllers, and expressed my opinion on the forums, for whatever good that will do. Now that I know what's involved, I'll attempt a repair.

You should post this tutorial on iFixit as well. I can foresee huge numbers of people looking to find answers to this in the next six months or so.

Ok thanks for your advice I will create an account on iFixit and post this

mrandle (author)2014-08-29

How are you breaking these controllers? I've got 2 I've had since day one and they get used almost daily no issues? Is this something common?

ng8robb.moore (author)mrandle2014-12-26

it is because sport games like fifa or madden is more stressful on the thumbstick than other games ive had joy pads last 2 months and broke two in one day after bit broke the pad don't move correctly on fifa but works fine on call of duty ive had my xbox six months and in double figures on controllers

mrandle (author)ng8robb.moore2014-12-27

About 2 months after my comment my controllers left bumper stopped working. Xbox controllers = crap?

MikeC6 (author)2014-10-12

I'd figured out what the issue was before looking at this instructable, but I thought that when I pulled apart my controller another plastic clip must have sprung free (a locking clip perhaps).

I used 2-part epoxy glue called Araldite which should be available everywhere, and after mixing the 2 liquids to activate the epoxy, used a toothpick to carefully apply the epoxy to the metal part of the stick thingy, then pressed the plastic clip into it.

Waited overnight (though it sets firm after only a few minutes) and it now works fine.

seamster (author)2014-08-29

Nice! Thanks for sharing this.

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