OEM NES controller?


I have an NES, but the controller that came with it OEM but isn’t reliable. Looking to get some new ones but I’m not sure the route to go. Do I go OEM and risk getting another controller with problems from years of abuse, or do I buy a new one and risk getting one with problems from poor quality?

Any recommendations?



Staff member
I prefer OEM controllers than the cheap quality ones you can find on Amazon or eBay. Not the same feeling in hands or just totally crap quality plastic (ok, I have to admit I have a hyperkin nes controller that have great plastic)

My favorite controller is the 8bitdo N30 2.4G (the controller is wireless, it comes with a small dongle for the NES!) but it's really expensive.


I just did a tear down on the NES and controller, for cleaning and bleaching. Found out the rubber for the buttons was torn, which is why it wasn’t working properly. Now I’ve discovered the great world of rebuilding and modding controllers.

I’ve been looking at those Hyperkins. I was real tempted to buy that one system just to get the neon blue one.

Just checked out the 8bitdo. Those mod kits are really tempting. I’ve got my eye on a few auctions on eBay. If I end up with a few extra controllers for cheap I might have to try it out.


Honestly a $50 price tag isn’t too bad for a brand new NES controller. I just bought two more OEMs from eBay. That makes three controllers in total. Average price was about $15. Two of those needed new silicone. That’s another $10 a piece. The controllers weren’t in the best shape to begin with; yellowed, dirty, and chewed. A bleaching tank will set you back another $60 including a gallon of peroxide. Then there’s your time to clean. Can’t do much about the scratches and chew marks. Unfortunately those didn’t stand out in the auction photos. Total comes to $40 a controller. Just to make myself feel less depressed I’m going to post the price with the bleaching tank subtracted as I’m already using it for other projects. $21.66 for some slightly chewed controllers


Active member
The great thing about the original controllers is how available replacement parts are. I also find that a lot of the 3rd party ones cheap out on the cable length.


New member
The great thing about the original controllers is how available replacement parts are. I also find that a lot of the 3rd party ones cheap out on the cable length.
Is there any brand of replacement parts that are considered better than the others, or do they all work about the same?


Well-known member
The conductive paint on the rubber pads can wear on some cheaply made controllers but you can add more if that happens. I've opened up a quite a few controllers over the years and 90% of the time they just need cleaning properly. Rubber and plastic in soapy water, then PCB and rubber contacts with alcohol, let everything dry out properly for a few days and bobs your uncle.

Regards original NES controller, personally I'd try fixing it. They're pretty basic inside, a chip and come switch contacts. Not very much to go wrong. If you get another OEM (unless its never been used) you might end up with the same issues. The cheap aliexpress/ebay/amazon ones are ok but they just don't feel the same. Keep it legit!


I installed replacement silicone pads. After some research I found that the replacements are either softer or harder. I went with harder and it is noticeable. I think I also found a way to fill in scratches to make them look new again. Have yet to test it out. I just wish someone out there sold replacement OEM decals for the controllers.

You’re definitely right. They are not hard to work on. Two that I bought look like the dog had chewed on them and buried in the back yard and they were still working fine.

mouse spirit

Well-known member
After testing some 3rd party controllers this week, nothing matched the feel I wanted. So I just picked up some NES to usb adapters to help with testing. they work great. (Tomee is the brand btw)
I second the notion and motion. Usb to NES controller is best as long as the adapter is good.
I have one that actually suddenly taps left every once in a while, i still dont know why.I got over it.
Id guess it resets the usb slot or something every so often.
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