Sometimes nothing beats the feeling of a controller in your hands.

Sure, a keyboard and mouse may cut it, but with some games, a controller never fails to improve the whole gaming experience. When using a controller, movements may feel more intuitive, fluid, and more precise while making the player’s character progress through the game. As controllers have been the symbol of a gamer’s dominion over their destiny in a game, it's undeniable that they all bear a resemblance. But did you know that making your controller is a possibility now?

Gaming, Controller, Design, Inside

Make Your Own Controller

Controllers are as customizable as PCs. With PCs, you can look for any of its components anywhere: from the best graphics cards to the best PC fans, you can build a PC from the ground up. Controllers have a basic layout as well and can be easily assembled to your liking.

If you’re looking to design your very own controller, here are a few steps to bear in mind:

1. What You Might Need

Serious gamers might already have most of these materials at hand. But just the same, try to acquire the following:

- Lead spool
- Soldering iron
- A working gamepad
- Screwdriver
- Electronic cables
- 3D printer
- Spray paint
- A patch of drop cloth or old newspaper

2. Design the Controller on Paper First

Before you begin, you will need to put your ideas and imagination to work first by making a simple sketch of the controller. You will have to know how you want it to feel in your hand. Sometimes, more ergonomic designs will feel more comfortable, but shapes that mimic the SNES controller may give you that classic feel.

Let your thoughts run wild and draw the controller’s completed look on paper. You can go back to this later, and it might be more useful when you’re editing its outer shell before printing it out.

If your buttons will be customized, 3D print some stencils for the new faces of your button caps.

3. Putting It Together

Take a working gamepad and open it using a screwdriver. Once its inner workings are exposed, figure out how this will fit inside your design. Since this is the technical part of the guide, you might want to ask a professional technician for safety. With the technician’s guidance, use the soldering iron to connect the buttons to the wires. In case your controller breaks, later on, you could find different kinds of tutorials online that talk about controller repair.

If you’re looking to paint the buttons, be sure to remove them from the board completely and spray-paint their caps individually by using the stencils you created using the 3D printer. These should be painted before putting the casing of the controller.

4. Finishing

Once you have successfully printed out the controller’s outer casing, feel free to spray-paint it. Be sure to cover your workstation with a patch of drop cloth or old newspaper to avoid getting paint all over it. Ensure that you cover your controller’s outer casing with multiple coats of paint. You can choose between a glossy or a matte finish.

When the paint has dried out, put the circuitry on the controller’s bottom casing, and seal it with the top casing. Fasten the screws in, and you’ve made your very own controller.

Or you can just rewire everything to a couple of bananas.


Own Your Game

With games still constantly evolving, there’s no way that developers will abandon controller support. For many, controllers provide that authentic gaming experience and may even call them back to the humble roots of their childhood. So long as video games continue to be made, controllers will always be here to stay.


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