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LONG BLOG

Modding the DualShock 4

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I love the DualShock 4. Seriously, it's my favorite controller that I've ever used, and I've used pretty much anything you could name to me, plus a countless number of third-party offerings. In my 26 years of gaming, I've never used a controller more comfortable.

Except for the joysticks.

The DualShock 4's joysticks really bother me. They just... I don't know, feel like they're going to start wearing out at any moment. Not only that, but they're the only joysticks I've ever used that actually hurt my thumbs after using them for a while. So I figured I'd replace them.

First, I checked to see if the DualShock 3's sticks would fit, but that turned out to be a bust; the bottoms are too big, and the hole that the pegs go into aren't the right shape, so a lot more -- and messier -- modding would be required than I was willing to do. While doing some research, I came upon an interesting discovery: The Xbox One controller's joysticks fit the DualShock 4 flawlessly, and I love the Xbox One controller's joysticks.



As it turns out, the holes on the bottoms of the Xbox One sticks are literally the exact same sizes and shapes as the holes on the bottoms of the stock DualShock 4 sticks. It wasn't hard to find some extra sticks on Amazon, and with the help of my lovely girlfriend, I got to work.

The first thing I did was look up a tutorial on YouTube of how to pull the DualShock 4 apart. It's not too hard, but after unscrewing the back of the controller, there were a couple clips on the sides that gave me a lot of problems. I didn't have one of those plastic separator tools, so I used my fingernails, which didn't exactly feel nice. But whatever, I got it open.



The battery fell out almost immediately, since it's only held in the controller by a ribbon. It's worth pointing out that the battery in the DualShock 4 is the same size as the much superior DualShock 3 battery, and they can be swapped if you want longer battery life for your PS4.

As I opened the controller casing, the triggers flew out onto the floor, but they were easily put back in. There were two small L-shaped springs that were connected to the sides of the triggers, and they're absolute pains to get back into place. The only purpose they serve is to add some extra tension to the feel of the triggers, though, and reassembling the controller without them doesn't make much of a difference; the triggers are fully functional without the springs, but they feel ever so slightly more spongy. On the plus side, removing them actually fixed my sticky L2 trigger.

After disconnecting the battery, lightbar, and motherboard ribbons, I was able to just lift the motherboard out of the casing. This was the goal, since the sticks are connected to the board on the opposite side.



The sticks themselves were easily removed by simply pulling them off the pegs, which my girlfriend did as I held the board (I get nervous putting delicate stuff like circuit boards down, and I try to hang onto them near the edges until I need to put them back). The Xbox One joysticks were then lined up and pushed into the pegs, and the motherboard was put back into the casing.

After everything was back in place, it was just a matter of reconnecting the three ribbons and screwing the back of the controller back on. Everything went back together without a hitch, and as you can see, it looks absolutely gorgeous:



I can't even begin to tell you how much better the Xbox One sticks feel over the stock DualShock 4 sticks. Everything is just as smooth as when I took the controller out of the package, and I couldn't be happier; the Xbox One sticks are a bit taller than the stock DualShock 4 sticks, but the difference is barely noticeable. This controller is perfect now, as far as I'm concerned, and combined with the XInput wrapper for Windows, there's no better controller for PC gaming.

How about everyone else? Anyone dabble in controller modding in the past?

EDIT: It turns out that there are microscopic slots in the controller where the trigger springs are actually supposed to go. Once I figured that out and got the springs to go in, everything felt great when it was put back together. Even with the springs, my L2 trigger doesn't stick anymore, so I suspect that the spring wasn't fit correctly out of the box. (More than one person has reported sticky triggers on these controllers.)
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About pedrovay2003one of us since 2:15 PM on 11.14.2006

Name: Peter
Home State: New York
Currently Residing In: Utah
Birthday: October 13th, 1985 (I'll always secretly consider the NES to have been a five-day late birthday present to me from Nintendo.)
Degree: Communication (with a writing emphasis)

I'm a Mass Communication/Journalism graduate from the University of Utah, which I'm starting to question, since it was a tough field to get into even before the economy went down the toilet. I love writing; Not only do I consider it my passion, but I also believe it's an invaluable skill for this socially-connected age in which we live. Writing about video games brings me more joy than I can even describe in words, which is saying a lot, considering.

As far as video games go, I've been a gamer since I was two years old. I try to play whatever interests me, despite what other people think of those games. I suppose I consider myself to be "obsessed" with gaming, but not in the sense that all I want to do is beat games. I'm fascinated with the industry as a whole, and in some way, shape or form, I'd love to be a part of it professionally someday.


CURRENT FAVORITES:

Fatal Frame Series (PS2, Xbox, Wii, 3DS)
Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 FES (PS2)
Metroid Prime Trilogy (Wii)
Dead Space (PS3, Xbox 360, PC)
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (PS3)
Zelda Series (Various Nintendo Platforms)
Journey (PS3)
Dishonored (PS3, Xbox 360, PC)
Metal Gear Solid Series (Everything)




My most prized gaming-related possession: A factory-sealed copy of the original Famicom Disk System Zeruda no Densetsu (The Legend of Zelda).




Mario and I were tight back in the day, yo.


I've had a few articles promoted on the front page... Check them out if you want. (Thanks, Hamza! :D)

Good Idea, Bad Idea
The Start of the Affair
Expanded Universes
Other Worlds Than These
I Suck At Games
Love/Hate
Digital Distribution


Xbox LIVE Gamertag and PSN ID: FireCrow1013
Steam: drm_free
Xbox LIVE:FireCrow1013
PSN ID:FireCrow1013
Steam ID:FireCrow1013
Mii code:0803 3300 5907 9341


 

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