The Sony PlayStation 3 video game console is a device that utilizes Bluetooth wireless technology for input. The Sony Sixaxis and DualShock 3 controllers contain six pressure-sensitive buttons, eleven digital buttons and two analog control sticks. The L1 and R1 shoulder buttons can become stuck or unresponsive over time, and dropping the controller may result in the buttons becoming defective. Replacing a PlayStation 3 controller is expensive, and official repairs can take several weeks. You can save a lot of money and time by opening the controller and resetting the shoulder buttons yourself.
Remove the four screws on the back panel of the PS3 controller. Separate the two halves of the controller, being careful not to touch the circuit board.
Slide the shoulder button container away from the controller to expose the socket.
Remove the broken shoulder button by sliding it away from the controller and lifting it out of the socket.
Press the rubber pad in the shoulder button socket with your finger. If the switch underneath the pad clicks, continue to step 4. If the switch underneath the pad is already depressed or does not click when pressed, pull the rubber pad upward to reset the switch. Test the switch again by pressing the rubber pad with your finger. If the switch is still unresponsive, it may have broken off of the motherboard, and you will need to replace the controller.
Replace the shoulder button by sliding it straight into the socket. Push down on the button to snap it into place.
Slide the button container back into the controller panel. Press down on the shoulder button to test it. If the button pops up after being depressed, the switch and button have been reset properly.
Join the two halves of the controller panel and screw them together with the four screws. Make sure that the battery cable is not pinched by the controller panels during reassembly. Turn on your PS3 console and test the repaired shoulder button.
Use an appropriately sized screwdriver or you may strip the screws and you will be unable to repair your PS3 controller.
Doug Vintage has been a writer since 2008 and holds a bachelor's degree in computer science. His professional writing experience includes the research and creation of internal technology articles for several law firms including WilmerHale, Crowell & Moring and Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld.