How to Repair Your PS3 Controller's Thumb Stick

By Christina Shaffer
The analog stick on a PS3 controller is also referred to as a thumbstick.

The analog sticks on a PlayStation 3 controller are used to control a character’s directional movements and often suffer the most damage during gameplay. If the analog stick popped out of place, you can repair it by taking the PS3 controller apart and reattaching the piece. If the analog stick is cracked, however, purchase a replacement piece before trying to repair the controller. Many companies offer replacement analog sticks for less than $10.

Place the PS3 controller face-down on a soft surface, such as a towel. Use a Philips-head screwdriver to remove the five screws from the back of the PS3 controller.

Place your thumb between the two analog sticks on the bottom of the controller and put your index finger on the opposite end. Gently push in between the back and front panel and use light pressure to lift and remove the back panel.

Remove the battery from the circuit board and place it to the side of the controller.

Use a Philips-head screwdriver to remove the tiny screw that connects the bottom of the circuit board to the front panel of the controller.

Lift up the circuit board and remove it carefully from the controller. Remove the detached analog stick. Turn over the circuit board. You will notice the working analog stick, as well as the joystick shaft, on the back of the circuit board.

Pick up the analog stick that was detached and gently pop it back onto the joystick shaft. The analog stick will be set into place. Use your thumb to test the directional movement.

Place the circuit board face-down into the front panel of the controller and make sure each analog stick is in its appropriate slot.

Use a Philips-head screw driver to reattach the circuit board to the front panel.

Insert the battery into the plastic battery casing on the top of the circuit board.

Place the back panel on top of the front panel. Reattach the two panels by screwing in each of the five screws.

About the Author

Christina Shaffer is a freelance writer based in New Jersey and has been writing arts and entertainment articles since 2005. Her articles have appeared in "Philadelphia City Paper." Shaffer received a B.A. in journalism and gender studies at Rutgers University.