It is far too often the case that failed hardware components lead to unnecessary disposal. That means another expensive purchase for you and more stuff sitting in landfills for the Earth. Thankfully, Microsoft is now offering replacement parts and educational info for fixing tired and worn out controllers, meaning you can keep your controller going even longer.
Whether you call ‘em controllers or gamepads, the handheld devices that let us actually play video games undoubtedly suffer the most wear and tear of any part of a gaming kit. And in recent years, issues like “stick drift,” where thumbsticks output directional info on their own as a result of wear and tear or debris stuck inside the controller’s potentiometers, have become a frequent reason for us to toss the whole thing in exchange for a new one. Hopefully that wasteful trend is on its way out, with companies like Microsoft finally letting consumers have greater access to the resources necessary to repair aging devices.
While it’s often a good idea to rely on RMA and warranty programs for newer malfunctioning devices, the new parts program from Xbox is excellent for devices that are older and fully out of manufacturer warranty.
On the company’s Xbox repair and replacement parts site, Microsoft now offers a bunch of different parts for repairing damaged or worn out controllers. Parts include complete printed circuit boards, buttons, triggers, and shells, and even new analog sticks if you’re getting bogged down with the dreaded stick drift.
The company is also showing folks how to actually open up and repair these devices. That means way less “let-me-keep-pulling-on-this-part-to-see-if-it-opens” guess work that can often lead to further complications.
Right now, fixing drifting analog sticks will set you back around $35 (plus your labor in replacing said parts). That’s around half the cost of a new controller.
While there are times where it is more appropriate to buy a new device, hopefully Microsoft, and other consumer electronics companies, continue to expand ways for consumers to access repair resources on their own.