my dog flapjack

Joycon Shell Replacement

After seeing all the fancy pictures on the internet, I decided to try my hand at replacing my Nintendo Switch's controller shells. I was able to order these shells and this tool kit from Amazon, no shady Chines website required. I won't give step by step instructions since there are tons of those online, but here are some stray thoughts:

  • Be super organized with the screws: Its easy to forget which screw goes where. I organized mine in order of how I removed them.
  • Buy the tool kit: having the correct drivers made everything much easier. Plus the kit I bought came with a handle plastic separator tool and some nice tweezers.
  • Careful with the springs: I almost lost some multiple times because I was holding them too hard and sent them flying.
  • Take your time: Going fast is how you break stuff
  • Remove the smallest number of ribbon cables: Of course remove the battery, but little ribbons are the worst. One thing I realized half way through is that their connectors have and open and closed state. Make sure its popped open when your try to position the ribbon (you won't have to push it very hard into place).
  • Leave the middle plastic: The ZR button is probably the trickiest part to put together, but if you're ok with a tiny bit of color in between Z and ZR, you can just reuse that part. Plus, with one of the shells I ordered, that plastic part was actually defective and wouldn't have worked anyways.


Overall the whole project from start to finish took around 3 hours. And although Im happy I did it, I do not want to do it again anytime soon. I find myself drawn to projects like this one that include small springs, circuits, soldering (more on this later), etc. Maybe its because I'm tired of staring at a screen all day and want to try something hard with my hands. In any case something always goes wrong …I drop a piece and loose it in the carpet, or I spend an hour on that one litle piece that just WILL NOT GO IN ITS SPOT, or worst of all I put the whole joycon together only to realize the colored buttons are in the wrong spot. Maybe that makes finishing the project it all that much sweeter… I'm still deciding whether or not that's the Ikea Effect or Stockholm syndrome.