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[Do It Yourself] How to change a DualShock 3 internal battery

  • On October 17, 2013

Hi gamers!

Recently, I had to change the internal batteries of two of my three DualShock 3 controllers.
Why you ask? Because, ahem, my kids brought the controllers in their bath (but hey, why the hell not?).

As you can guess, the controllers didn’t really like that special treatment, and after picking them up, I wasn’t even able to CHARGE them. I have tried putting them both in a plastic bag containing rice for a few days, but even if they were completely dry, I still wasn’t able to boot them up. (!@#$)


Long story short, at this point, I could either drop 110$ worth of hardware in the garbage, or try something desperate. That’s when I thought of buying a new controller battery on ebay for a few dollars, and try to see if it worked, and surprise: it did!

This procedure is however mainly adressed to “normal use” of controllers, like when you’re feeling that they’re not keeping up their charges long enough.

Disclaimer: Opening, in any way, your Playstation Hardware voids its warranty.
Proceed at your own risk.

First, you need to have a replacement battery.
Those are not expensive and can easily be found on ebay (click here for a quick search).
Please note that while those are easy to find, NONE are approved by Sony, so buy at your own risk.

There are 5 screws on the behind of the controller. They can be removed by a standard small-size screwdriver with a star bit.

Once the screws are removed, you can pull the back plate of the controller and see the controller circuit.


Unclip the battery, so it’s loose.

Pull the plug out of the controller. This is quite hard because the contacts are tight. I had to use a flat screwdriver to clip it out.

Now, plug the new battery into the contact.
In my case, since the new battery was bigger than the “genuine” one, I had to mess a little with the two white plastic clips to make it fit correctly.

Once it’s placed, try to charge the controller. Please note that even if the lights flashes, it does not necessary means that the controller is working correctly. From what I understood, the flashing lights only indicate that the controller is getting its power from an external source. Let it plugged for half an hour, then remove the USB cable, then try to boot your PS3. You might have to sync your controller back with your console though.

Reassembling the controller back plate is the hardest thing to do in this procedure. You have to make sure the 5 back plate screw holes are correctly lined into their counterparts while the shoulder buttons are still holding in place (this is tricky). Once everything is clipped, screw everything back.

There! You got yourself a brand new old controller!

In my case, one of my two controllers didn’t get ressuscited after the procedure (…). My guess is that because that one was almost fully charged before going in the water, the short circuit the water caused grilled the controller processor. The other one is still working though!