Steelseries Nimbus thumbstick replacement
Over time, the rubber of thumbtack controllers can disintegrate. This is especially true in tropical climates we have here in Singapore. That’s what happened to my years old Steelseries Nimbus Controller which still functions perfectly otherwise. As you can see from the photo below, it can be quite gross when mould starts to also grow over the thumbstick due to accumulated moisture from sweaty thumbs over the years. But rather than buying a new controller, you can actually get the Steelseries Nimbus thumbstick replacement if you’re willing to open it up.
Getting the right replacement for the Steelseries Nimbus thumbstick
Firstly, you need to get the right thumbstick replacement. This actually got me stumped for quite a bit. There’s literally no information to be found on the type of thumbstick the Steelseries Nimbus uses. So I took a couple of chances and bought two types, one for the Xbox One/PS4 controller and another for the PS5 controller.
As you can see, the ones for the Xbox One has a lower fitting point compared to the Steelseries Nimbus thumbstick. Thankfully, the thumbsticks meant for the PS5 controller compares quite nicely to the Steelseries Nimbus thumbstick.
While not identical, the fitting point and the site of the thumbstick is very similar. Now that I have the right thumbstick, it’s time to open up the Steelseries Nimbus controller.
Update: A reader has reached out to me here share that he shaved off the grey stick of the controller using a Dremel to get the other thumbstick to fit properly. The photo below was shared to be by the reader. Thanks for sharing @rockopedia!
DIY replacing the thumbstick
To open up the you will need a T8 Torx screwdriver. The screwdriver will also need to be a long and thin one as there are two screw locations that are pretty deep to reach. Note that there is no screws underneath the label of the controller. I thought there was one as I felt a bump there.
To fully remove the bottom case, it takes a little bit of twisting left and right to unclip the case from the top. The photo below illustrates what I mean.
Be careful when you open the bottom case as there are cables connecting the battery, bluetooth buttons which is attached to the bottom case to the controller’s circuit board. I only needed to remove the battery connector cable as the ribbon cable is long enough for the bottom case to rest flat along the top case. Since we here, let’s take a closer look at the battery and the main board of the controller.
The thumbsticks are attached to the circuit board at the bottom. Remove the 3 screws and and gently pull back the board.
Now, it is just a matter of gently pulling out the disintegrated thumbsticks and replacing it with the PS5 ones.
Finally, reverse the whole dismantling process and that’s it. You have now successfully refreshed your Steelseries Nimbus controller’s thumbsticks.
Here’s also a video showing you how the new thumbsticks performs. You will see in the video that my controller’s left thumbstick is a little “sticky” when pushed to the right. I suspect the spring unit in the left thumbstick module is weakened. The right thumbstick works fine with the new thumbstick. Nevertheless, it works well enough for me to keep it around to play on my iPhone.
So there you go. I hope you can easily DIY replace your Steelseries Nimbus thumbsticks as well and save yourself some money along the way.
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