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Introdução

Use this guide to replace the left thumbstick on your Steam Deck. The stick is part of a complete module and needs to be replaced as one unit. Although nearly identical, the procedure for the right thumbstick can be found here.

Before you begin, completely power down and unplug all cables from your Steam Deck. Remember to follow general electrostatic discharge (ESD) safety procedures while repairing the device.

Replacement thumbsticks require calibration to work as expected. Read about how to do that here.

Note: Each Steam Deck ships with one of two different models of thumbsticks, Type A or Type B. Although nearly identical, capacitive touch capability relies on the correct type to be installed. To identify which replacement thumbsticks you need, navigate to Settings  System and check the Steam Deck Controller ID: if the Controller ID starts with “MEDA” that device uses Type A thumbsticks; if the Controller ID starts with “MHDA” that device uses Type B thumbsticks.

    • To minimize risk of damage, turn on your Steam Deck and allow the battery to discharge below 25% before starting your repairs. A charged lithium-ion battery can be very dangerous if accidentally punctured.

    • Before starting this guide, power down your Steam Deck and unplug any cables.

    • As an extra precaution, Valve recommends putting your Steam Deck into battery storage mode within the BIOS before starting any internal repairs. Read how to do that here.

    • If you have a microSD card installed, make sure to remove it before opening the Steam Deck.

    • Use a Phillips driver to remove the eight screws securing the back cover:

    • Four 9.5 mm screws

    • Four 5.8 mm screws

    • Throughout this repair, keep track of each screw and make sure it goes back exactly where it came from to avoid damaging your Steam Deck.

    there should be a picture of the SD card slot at the start of every Steam Deck teardown. i know the note is there but i generally use the pictures to guide me and forgetting to remove the SD card is a very critical step

    Nathan Barrow - Responder

    What is the the #1 philips used for? Only the #0 is mentioned in the instructions.

    Christopher Martin - Responder

    I wish they would specify which size to use for which screws.

    Mark D -

    Be careful you can strip the screws take your time

    I use PH00 bit

    jaybush74 - Responder

    I used the PH1 bit for this. You can use smaller bits but ideally there should be no play of the bit in the screw head.

    Charles Semple - Responder

  1. Steam Deck Left Thumbstick Replacement, Unclip the back cover: passo 2, imagem 1 %32 Steam Deck Left Thumbstick Replacement, Unclip the back cover: passo 2, imagem 2 %32
    • Insert an opening pick into the thin gap between the back cover and the front shell, along the edge of the right grip.

    • Pry up on the back cover to release it from the locking clips.

    I found it easiest to start this process at the top of the device near the fan exit.

    Peter Lindberg - Responder

    second that and inserting the pick in the bottom middle and sliding the pick to each side

    Sub -

    I also found the top near the fan exit to be easier

    Travis Patton -

    same; i pried from the top of the screen area. I was unable to find an opening on the side

    Dennis Wu - Responder

    I also started from the middle of the deck and worked my way out since I couldn't get a grip with the pick on the deck's side grips. Since this is a common step for pretty much all guides for opening the deck I think it's also worth noting that you should be careful not to bend the trims/seams where the front and back covers meet with the pick. When I first opened my deck you can definitely see where I nudged the pick in between the covers since I was probably using too much force on the pick itself.

    Kaleb McKone - Responder

    It would be useful to note here that if you want to insert the little blue triangular iFixit opening picks into the right side along the edge, there isn't actually a gap as the directions say, at least not on newer Decks. You'll be making the initial gap using the pick. Brace it on something because you will need to use enough downward force that you're flexing the pick a bit and it'll probably be digging into the skin of a bare hand. With enough force suddenly it will make a click and go in just a bit, and then you're in business.

    CaptFrost - Responder

  2. Steam Deck Left Thumbstick Replacement, Remove the back cover: passo 3, imagem 1 %32 Steam Deck Left Thumbstick Replacement, Remove the back cover: passo 3, imagem 2 %32 Steam Deck Left Thumbstick Replacement, Remove the back cover: passo 3, imagem 3 %32
    • Once the clips are disconnected from one edge, the rest disconnect easily.

    • Grip the back cover at the opening you just created and pull it up and away from the device to unclip the long edges.

    • Remove the back cover.

    If you have an SD card, you will want to take it out. I followed the guide and didn't think about the SD card I had inside. When I went to snap the case back on it clapped shut on the exposed SD card, shearing it in half and leaving the bottom half stuck in the SD card slot. I am still endeavoring to get it out.

    Novice - Responder

  3. Steam Deck Left Thumbstick Replacement, Uncover the hidden shield screw: passo 4, imagem 1 %32 Steam Deck Left Thumbstick Replacement, Uncover the hidden shield screw: passo 4, imagem 2 %32
    • Use a pair of tweezers to remove the piece of foil tape covering the hidden screw on the board shield.

    • If possible, try not to rip or tear this tape so it can be reused. If necessary, you can fashion a replacement by cutting a piece of aluminum foil tape to fit.

    Use some heat here from a hairdryer to make this part easier.

    If you screw up here you can replace the little aluminium square with some aluminium tape from Amazon. No less than 50 microns thick, slightly thicker is fine. and the square is 13mm both ways.

    Matt S - Responder

  4. Steam Deck Left Thumbstick Replacement, Remove the shield screws: passo 5, imagem 1 %32
    • Use a Phillips driver to remove the three screws securing the board shield:

    • One 3.4 mm screw

    • Two 3.7 mm screws

    The procedure ended here for me, used an ifixit PH 00 bit on the screw behind the aluminium tape, bit wouldnt bite too great, one wrong twist and the screw was stripped. Not sure who or what initially screwed in that particular screw as the rest of the screws on the shield were fine, but boy is it in there tight. So now i have a stripped screw and a botched ssd replacement, don't think valve will let me RMA for this, but i'll give it a try and update accordingly.

    Y. van S - Responder

    I think the tendency is to go too small on the screwdriver bits because you're working on small electronics.

    I used the PH1 bit on the screw under the foil and the PH0 bit for the two remaining screws without any problems.

    Charles Semple - Responder

    What does this shield actually do? Some kind of magnetic protection?

    Corey Cleric - Responder

  5. Steam Deck Left Thumbstick Replacement, Remove the shield: passo 6, imagem 1 %32 Steam Deck Left Thumbstick Replacement, Remove the shield: passo 6, imagem 2 %32

    When putting back on, run a pick along the edge of the shield between the wires to make sure nothing is pinching and the wires are clear of the shield before screwing down.

    Matt S - Responder

  6. Steam Deck Left Thumbstick Replacement, Disconnect the battery: passo 7, imagem 1 %32 Steam Deck Left Thumbstick Replacement, Disconnect the battery: passo 7, imagem 2 %32 Steam Deck Left Thumbstick Replacement, Disconnect the battery: passo 7, imagem 3 %32
    • Grip the battery cable by its pull tab and pull it directly away from the motherboard to disconnect it.

    After fully reassembling my device I found that my battery was not showing any stats anymore. I couldn't start the device without being plugged in, however if I restarted it would stay on even if my power cable was detached. Battery showed 0%. It turns out I had not fully reinserted the battery cable at this stage during reassembly. MAKE SURE YOU PUSH IT ALL THE WAY BACK IN!

    Michael Hoffmann - Responder

    Awesome thanks for this tip!

    petergeranio -

    It is helpful to lift up gently with a the tapered end of a spudger underneath the tucked-in portion of the battery cable, creating a bit of flex in the cable before pulling on the pull tab. I found that without doing so, the fabric pull-tab simply tore off of the cable under light-to-moderate force (the fabric itself ripped cleanly across, like a paper towel). Careful, gentle pressure with a spudger can be used to remove the plug by prying gently on the rear ridge of the plastic plug (not the wire!) if this happens.

    Gene Eckser - Responder

    This is exactly what happened to me. Maybe it was a pull tab previously, mine was a ribbon cable that tore - captured the image here: https://www.ianwootten.co.uk/2022/11/22/...

    Ian Wootten -

    I found it less scary and easier to remove the battery connection by using a fingernail on the ridge and pushing it off the connector. I felt like pulling on the battery cable was too harsh.

    montgomery mchargue - Responder

    Upon plugging the battery back in, I found it easy to use two spudgers- one on each side- to pull/push the connector back into it's port. Be careful to not put any pressure on the battery wires themselves.

    montgomery mchargue - Responder

    When reconnecting the battery cable, you'll know when it's inserted and power is restored, because the white LED will illuminate at the top of the Deck near the power button. You should be able to see it while you're reconnecting the battery cable

    Michael Davis - Responder

    Why not just let the battery discharge completely and then not have to disconnect it?

    Jeffrey Martin - Responder

    Completely discharging a battery reduces its lifespan. It's completely unnecessary.

    Stefan Camporese (CENTER) -

  7. Steam Deck Left Thumbstick Replacement, Disconnect the left thumbstick cable: passo 8, imagem 1 %32 Steam Deck Left Thumbstick Replacement, Disconnect the left thumbstick cable: passo 8, imagem 2 %32 Steam Deck Left Thumbstick Replacement, Disconnect the left thumbstick cable: passo 8, imagem 3 %32
    • The left thumbstick will be on your righthand side when working on the Steam Deck, as it's laying upside down.

    • Use the pointed end of a spudger to lift up the small locking flap on the thumbstick cable's ZIF connector.

    • Use a pair of tweezers to slide the cable out of its connector.

    • Grip the cable by the blue pull tab, not by the cable itself.

  8. Steam Deck Left Thumbstick Replacement, Remove the thumbstick screws: passo 9, imagem 1 %32 Steam Deck Left Thumbstick Replacement, Remove the thumbstick screws: passo 9, imagem 2 %32
    • Use a Phillips driver to remove the three 5.2 mm screws securing the thumbstick.

    • During reassembly, you may need to hold the Steam Deck off of the work surface so it isn't resting on the new thumbstick while you tighten down the screws.

  9. Steam Deck Left Thumbstick Replacement, Remove the thumbstick: passo 10, imagem 1 %32 Steam Deck Left Thumbstick Replacement, Remove the thumbstick: passo 10, imagem 2 %32
    • Remove the left thumbstick.

    • Replacement thumbsticks require calibration to work as expected. To calibrate new thumbsticks, follow this calibration guide.

    • Each Steam Deck ships with one of two different models of thumbsticks, Type A or Type B. Although nearly identical, capacitive touch capability relies on the correct type to be installed.

    • To identify which replacement thumbsticks you need, navigate to SettingsSystem and check the Steam Deck Controller ID.

    • If the Controller ID starts with "MEDA" that device needs Type A thumbsticks.

    • If the Controller ID starts with "MHDA" that device needs Type B thumbsticks.

Conclusão

To reassemble your device, follow these instructions in reverse order.

Take your e-waste to an R2 or e-Stewards certified recycler.

Repair didn’t go as planned? Try some basic troubleshooting, or ask our Steam Deck answers community for help.

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Carsten Frauenheim

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One Comment

Requires a PH#00 not a #0

NoggleFrap - Responder

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