I recently picked up an Xbox One controller in the box for $10, from a local buy-n-sell website. It had a broken analog thumbstick, and I wanted to see if I could repair it.
I then did a little research and found out that all the analog sticks in the xbone controllers are ALPS brand, and can be ordered really cheap on eBay. A month later, and I’m ready to begin my repair.
Tearing down these controllers can be a little bit of a pain in the ass, as there are no screws holding the outside case together. The kit I bought comes with an extremely cheap spudger tool that will likely break before you’re done with the repair. I managed to pry open the bottom covers and get the thing apart, which is only difficult the first time you do it. Once you know how it works, it’s fairly easy.
Comparing the two parts, you can see that they are almost identical. The main difference being that the ones I bought are slightly different on the bottom, which makes them sit up higher on the PCB, ever so slightly. As far as I can tell, these are genuine ALPS parts, and there’s no real indication that would tell me otherwise. Only time will tell if that’s the case or not, tested though lots of hours in Rocket League.
As mentioned above, the difference in the switches is little round nubbies that stick out from the bottom on the ones I bought. My solution to make sure they sit the same on the PCB was to use my soldering iron to melt the little buggers off. It was a quick and easy fix, and I was happy with how they installed. Once it’s soldered in place, it won’t be going anywhere.
As I don’t have an expensive electric solder sucker, pulling off the original analogs was a pain in the ass, but I managed to get them off without destroying anything.
Installing the new ones was a breeze. Just solder them in like you would any through-hole component. Apply some flux, and add solder. I was happy with how they fit, and it looked like a factory job when completed. I’m looking forward to having a nice controller again, as my current one is starting to feel a little loose and worn out.
“For a grand total of about $14, I think this is a worthwhile project if you have the tools and can find yourself a broken controller to work on”
As far as I know, the same brand is used in Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS2, PS3, PS4, and Wii U. There are probably others as well, but if you’re curious about a certain controller, just open it up and look for the ALPS branding on the analog.
These are the ones I ordered. Not sure if there are different models for different controllers, but these matched my Xbone controller nicely.