Fixing and Modding a PS4 Controller

Through trying to mod my Playstation Classic, I noticed that the triangle button on my PS4 controller didn't work. Some of the other inputs seemed sticky, too. Searching for troubleshooting methods online, one video suggested taking the controller apart to give it a good clean.

I ran through the cleaning procedure, but it was still broken. Such an annoying shame. However, the video mentioned that the button membranes or the button cable ribbon could be damaged. They were pretty cheap on Amazon! Only $3 for replacement membranes and $5 for a new cable ribbon.


They arrived pretty quickly, so I ran a stream where I tried to fix my controller.

Success! I was really surprised that it worked so flawlessly so easily. These controllers cost $60 new, so I think it's pretty amazing how a simple $5 part could completely fix it. I wonder how many people throw their controller away or sell it as junk online just because of a problem that a simple $3 or $5 part could fix.

So, fixing this thing was easy. What else could we do?


Taking out the buttons is extraordinary simple. They're just plastic pieces siting in a plastic shell. The rubber membranes and cable ribbon underneath do the real work of detecting the button presses. You could put anything on top.

I found some pretty blue buttons on Amazon that would look nice with the white controller, so I ran another stream where I attempted to replace those buttons.

As mentioned on the stream, there was a bit of a problem.

Not all Playstation 4 controllers are created equal. There have been a few revisions over the years. Of course, I knew this from having to buy the correct button cable film from before, and also noticed that the trigger membranes were different. But, I didn't pay attention when buying the buttons.

Although the buttons are nearly identical across all revisions, the R2 and L2 triggers are not the same.

In my earlier revision of the controller, the tension and knock back is caused by a spring loaded wire that sits in a pathway on the inner left side of the button. The later revision does something else and has a much longer clip that prevents the button from getting ripped out.

Overall, I think the controller looks better than before, but the R2 L2 buttons are still black. Also, the touch pad and home button are also black. It wasn't a complete conversion to blue.

Modding, again

Finding a complete set of buttons for my controller wasn't easy, but they did exist on AliExpress. And for only $3. There was no way I was going to find a set of buttons with the exact Blue color, but I could find a full set of White buttons that matched the color of the controller. In the end, only a few buttons could be blue and they would really stand out. :)

Once again, I streamed the process.

..and once again not everything was perfect. The white of the buttons was not the exact same color white as the controller. It was more of a warm white, rather than a slate white. Also, the R2 and L2 buttons were closer, but not exact, so they could not be used. R1 and L1 were also wrong. Replacing the touch pad is more involved than it initially looked, too.

So many problems, but it wasn't all a waste. The Home, Share, and Options are the same across all model of controllers, so they fit. And the slight difference in color isn't TOO noticeable.

While it's not a perfect match, I think it looks better than before. :)

I like the idea of the face buttons and sticks popping out from the contrast and all the secondary buttons fading into the color of the controller.


For now, I'm going to call this closed. It'll take a bit of searching to try and find the exact colors I want for my model of controller. More money, more time, more hassle. It's 90% of the way there, and that's good enough.

The main goal was fixing the controller in the first place, and even more so, I now have an excellent controller to use for the Switch. I bought an 8bitdo wireless adapter for the modded Playstation Classic, which I had given up on. Using it on the Switch instead, the PS4 controller works amazing. It is a far more comfortable controller to use than the Joy-cons.

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