Tutorial : Replacing Thumb Sticks on PlayStation Vita

Replacing the Thumb sticks on your sad, dead PlayStation Vita is easy!

Just follow this easy tutorial and get it working once again! Then you can dance and be joyous!

One day I pulled out my Vita to download some of the free PlayStation Plus of the month. I was thinking “I’m gonna have a great time playing games like ShuShimi or Gone Home” or something. After waiting an ungodly length of time to download the games (thanks to the PSN’s known slow servers and PlayStation’s known inability to figure out good memory card speed) I fired up one filled with excitement and glee. To my extreme dismay, the left thumb stick wouldn’t work. I attempted to stay calm, in denial about it being broken, I tried multiple games and still nothing. Every trick in the book couldn’t get the thumb stick to work again. Who knows what happened really but either way I knew I had to go about replacing the broken thumb stick on my PlayStation Vita. From this there was born…

… A Tutorial!

Step 1: First, gather all of your tools. You’re going to need a #00 Size Phillips screwdriver, a spudger or something to separate the screen from the base of the vita, tweezers, a replacement thumb-stick, and lots of patience.


Step 2: You will need to turn the Vita to be on its front. You will need to remove the 4 screws holding the case together, don’t forget to put them in a safe place.






Step 3: Locate the charging port on the PlayStation Vita and remove the two screws. Also remove the two screws on the top at the accessory port.









Step 4: Gently pull the top of the Vita starting from the top of the unit along the two halves to the bottom of the Vita. Continue to pry until the top separates and exposes two cables holding the screen and the battery to the motherboard. Use tweezers, or your spudger, to pop them out carefully. You don’t want to have to replace that too.









Step 5: More screws. Locate the L-Shaped Bracket (this one has two screws) and locate the rectangular bracket (this one has 4 screws). Remove them all and place the pieces in a safe place.








Step 6: Remove all the ribbon cables from the motherboard on the side you are working on. For example, on the left side, there is one long one that holds a piece of rubber along it and two very small ones. Gently use the tweezers to pull them out. You can leave them attached to the main board if needed.





Step 7: Look for the weird fiddly bit holding the trigger button down and lay that aside.


Step 8:  Remove the board over the analog stick you are replacing. There will be clips holding it on and you will need to gently push it away. Underneath this board is the thumb stick. It holds two screws, remove them, replace the stick and you’re done.









Step 9: Nope, I lied, you’re totally not done. Complete all these steps again backwards until your Vita looks like a reasonable facsimile of its former self. If you’ve built a shed, you’ve gone too far. But you’ll have a shed so would it really be all that bad?





Please don’t hold me responsible if your Vita still does not respond to it’s surgery. Try, try again. Your Vita will not thank you personally but you will get to enjoy your games again!

If it worked, then good for you and congratulations!



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Living in St.John's Newfoundland, Dave has been a gamer all of his life. Starting with the NES and working both backwards and forwards, he intends to play the new along with the old!