How to Disassemble a PS4 Controller

The PlayStation 4 was launched on November 15th, 2013. It has been roughly 9 years since that date, and the odds are that early adopters have had to do some minor maintenance on their Sony console or peripherals at some point. 

For the PS4 controller, if you should have to take it apart, you should know that it is a delicate process and some things could go wrong. But, if you work carefully and follow a guide, you’ll be back to enjoying your games with a controller that works like new in no time. 

If you’re looking to fix your PS4 controller and want to mitigate any issues that arise from taking it apart, this handy disassembly guide will be a great source of information for you to reference. 

Step 0: Gather the Right Tools

In order to begin the disassembly process, you’re going to need some tools. Thankfully, Sony uses a single screw type, so you’ll only need a Phillips #00 screwdriver. For most people, this type of screwdriver would be found in a watch or eyeglass repair kit. It will be a small, star-shaped tip.

You’ll also need a pry tool of some kind, you could probably get away with a rigid plastic card, a spudger, or if you’re in a bind, a butter knife. Though that last tool is not necessarily recommended and caution should be used with any of these tools so you don’t damage any internals.

Step 1: Remove the Outer Case Screws and Separate Housing

To begin, you will want to turn the controller over so the bottom side is facing up. Note the four screw holes, two along the top of the controller and one at the end of each handle. Use your Phillips #00 to remove these screws, going slowly to protect the threading.

Next, you should use your prying tool to start separating the case at the left handle of the controller. Start on the inside and slowly apply pressure up towards the left analog stick. Repeat that process for the right stick.

Now along the top of the controller, use your pry tool to carefully create separation at the “share” and “options” buttons. With those clips released, the controller’s housing should now be loose, held together only by circuit board ribbons. In this part of the process, two trigger springs and the reset button extension typically fall out. Keep track of those as you’ll need them for reassembly.

Step 2: Removing the Motherboard

Now, the innards of the controller will be visible. On the black plate holding the motherboard down, there will be a single screw to remove. After that, you can carefully remove the touchpad’s ribbon cable by flipping the connector lock up and gently pulling the cable out. This can be done by hand, but tweezers or forceps will be helpful.

With that ribbon dislodged, all pieces should be free-floating. You can gently remove the motherboard assembly, being careful around the vibration motors. Remember to do this with the controller still facing down, because the buttons and their protectors can easily fall out at this point.

Now, you’ll have a fully disassembled PS4 controller, and you can replace and clean parts as needed!

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