The Xbox One controller is an iconic piece of technology. Easily rated as the best controller out there, it provides a thoroughly enjoyable and smooth gaming experience, not just on the Xbox but also on PCs. It’s no wonder then that it goes through a lot. Over time, your Xbox controller can build up dust and grime inside it or worse, develop malfunctions with its buttons, D-pad or thumbsticks.
Aside from trying basic troubleshooting tips like updating the firmware or replacing the batteries, there’s not a whole lot you can do without taking your controller apart. You need access to its internals to try to clean any accumulated grime or fix issues with the components. Fortunately, you can disassemble your Xbox One controller without professional help and easily put it back together after cleaning or repairing it.
Reasons to take apart your Xbox One Controller
There are various reasons which require you to take apart your controller, ranging from simple cleaning to fixing issues with buttons or joysticks. Below are four possible reasons that warrant disassembling your Xbox One controller:
- Drifting thumbsticks
- Malfunctioning D-pad
- Inoperable Audio Jack
- Sticking buttons
Once you’ve successfully taken apart the controller, you will have access to each of these components and more, and you can attempt repairs without getting into advanced techniques like de-soldering wires.
What You Need to Disassemble Your Xbox One Controller
While it’s fairly straightforward to take apart an Xbox One controller, you still need tools that you might not readily have at your disposal. Below is the list of equipment you need to take your controller apart:
- T-8 Safety Torx screwdriver
- Flathead screwdriver
- Plastic spudger or guitar pick
You even have the option to purchase an Xbox One controller tool kit online, if you don’t want to gather each of the tools yourself.
Steps to Take Apart Your Xbox One Controller
Before you begin the process, ensure you’ve disconnected all cables from the controller and taken out the batteries from the battery compartment. Place your Xbox One controller on a flat surface with ample space, ideally a decently sized table.
You can now follow the steps below to take apart your Xbox One controller:
- Use a plastic spudger to pry open the right and left grip covers. These are the panels covering the handles of the controller. Use the spudger to patiently wiggle the panels loose so they can come apart.
- Next, remove the cover from the battery compartment. If you’re trying to open your controller for the first time, the battery compartment will have a sticker inside. Use your Torx bit to cut away at the center of the sticker to reveal the screen beneath it.
- Now, remove the five screws, including the battery compartment screw as shown in the image, with your T8 security Torx screwdriver.
- Your backplate should now come apart easily. Remove the backplate and place it carefully along with the removed screws.
- You can now see the triggers, rumble motors, and other components on the PCB that you can leave untouched for now.
6. Similarly, lift and remove the faceplate and place it carefully aside. You now have access to the D-pad, analog sticks, and all the buttons.
- You have successfully disassembled your Xbox One Controller and can now clean the buttons and analog sticks with canned air or other methods to get rid of basic unresponsiveness issues. You can also attempt to replace faulty analog sticks, the D-pad ring, or D-pad buttons using advanced disassemble methods.
- You can follow the steps above in reverse order to put everything back together when you’re finished.
Congratulations, you have now learned how to take apart and reassemble your Xbox One controller.