Gaming Guide X-Box

X-Box 360 Controller Modding

Alright, so the X-Box Elite came out, and for some reason, the consumer part of me desired a black controller. Jimmers, my roommate, and I discussed the topic, but never in any real detail. That was until the other day when he was looking at modded controllers you can buy off of a site with cool LEDs and such.

I thought a moment and then looked to him and gave him that same smirk I always do when I get in the mood. NOT THAT MOOD YOU SICKOS! I meant the mood to mod. So, I ran upstairs, grabbed my wireless controller, and went about planning what to do with Jimmers.

Well, Jimmers and I knew I wanted a black controller, but not all black, as we were going to leave the piece where the headset plugs into gray, but we decided that was a trivial detail. I knew I wanted the LEDs, and I wanted it bad. So, I decided that we would take the controller apart, and see what we had to work with as far as room went.

One problem, the Wireless controller uses a hexi-phillips screwdriver, one that we didn’t have at the moment, so I walked upstairs defeated, until Jimmers mentioned that maybe the wired controller had regular Phillips, so I checked, and indeed it did!

(The pictures included are separated by four pictures. Each picture is a figure, reading left to right, top to down. Figure 1 is a picture of the typical white wire controller.)

So it would seem we were back in business. Now… to take the controller apart, one must know that there are seven screws on the bottom of an x-box controller. (See Figure 2) There is a small barcode sticker, and beneath it, is the seventh screw.

The sticker is the main part of the controller which serves as proof for the worthiness of X-Box 360 and has proved to be a game changer for Pkv games and is one of the most preferred parts and the screws hold the battery underneath together.



Now… with that said, because frankly I could care less, use a knife to cut the hole where the screw is, or do what I did and remove the sticker entirely. Now, all the screws are visible (Figure 3) and we can take it apart. Once unscrewed, you should get something like Figure 4. And then go ahead and continue gently separating the innards of the controller. (Figure 5) MAKE SURE YOU REMEMBER WHERE EVERYTHING GOES!!!

As you can see in Figure 6, I went outside and set what I wanted to paint out. Let me say now, that if you use plastic die, it turns out much better, and lasts a long time. Spray-paint WILL flake and rub off. But let me save you some time. Painting the triggers is not worth it. As I painted everything black, and realized I didn’t want to paint the triggers because I would have to take the assembly apart.

So… again, let me save you time. I painted the bumpers black… and gave them several coats… then in the end repainted them white. Do not paint the bumpers… leave them be. Instead paint the rest of the case black, like in Figure 7, except paint the D-Pad, and the grey boomer-rang shaped piece from the bottom of the controller white.

I paint several coats and then seal it with a matte clear finish, because honestly everyone seals their works in glossy, and as much as I want this controller to look good, I do not want it looking like you can use it a little.

Whilst the paint dries, and in between coats, Jimmers and I attempted to figure out the LED project. Okay, we used LED’s from a Christmas tree string that he had got, so as far as telling you what voltage they were, or even what resistors they needed, it was a guess on our part. However, never fear you can find places on the internet that tell you what resisters you need and such.

4 white LEDs for this project need a resistor of 22 Ohms, whilst 6 Red LEDs need a resistor of 25 Ohms. We used color specific LEDs, which I recommend, for the buttons. We tested them on a power supply from a computer, hooking the positive wires to the red wire leading to a standard four pin power supply adapter, and the negative to the black wire in the same adapter.

Found out that all the LEDs in one series (Meaning wired all together) would not be powered. So… we split them up, and placed the blue LED for the X button, and the green LED for the center X box logo together, placed the green LED for the A button and the yellow LED for the Y button together, then the Red LED alone.

Now we have three series, two with two LEDs, and one with one. The Yellow and Green series lit up wonderfully, and the Blue and Green series lit up a little dimmer because of the intensity of power needed for the colors, but not badly.

After this, I went outside, and applied the final coat of mat finish, which was my second one, after three coats of black, and I got my finished project. Went back inside, and Jimmy and I worked on a resistor for the single red LED. Now… since it was the only light in that series, we were going to have to dampen the power. You can go online, which is what we did, and figure out, what resistor you need for a red LED. After soldering the resister on, it looked fantastic.

Next, I had to figure out how to light the buttons the way I wanted. So, I took them (Figure 8) and drilled out the center white piece, the plastic that actually hits the button inside the controller, with my dremel, until only the letter was visible at the bottom, still full of whit plastic, but nothing else.

This took time, and patience, as I spent an hour on all four buttons. Now that the plastic was gone, I had to figure out a way to get them to make connection with the button pad inside. So, one site recommended, after wiring, submerging the button in hot glue, which I did after I soldered the wires.

The LED, on the inside, is separated into two pieces of metal. The smaller one is the positive, and the larger is negative, or ground. I wired a positive to one of the series’ LEDs, to the center of the controller, and a positive wire from the negative of the first LED to the positive of the second. Then we wired the ground wire from the negative of the second to the center of the controller.

Likewise with the second LED series, just a different color for the positive wire. With the lone red LED, I cut the positive wire in half, and placed the resistor in the middle of it. Then, I had the ground go to the center of the controller.

First I cut a notch into the side of the button so that the wires can come through without interrupting the buttons function, and remain out of the way.

Then, I placed a little hot glue in the bottom of the button, set the light in, the totally submerged the button. Using the end of an X-acto knife, as soon as I could, I packed down the glue, and then I twisted the handle so the glue came unattached from the bottom of the knife, cleaning it, and doing it all over with the other buttons, five buttons total.

In Figure 9, you can see the wired LEDs, in the glued buttons. Also… you see the wire mess. For the Ground wires, or negative, I used black wires on all the series. For the Positive, or hot wires, I used a different color for each series.

In the Figure 10, you can see I grouped the ground wires, and the positive wires from all three series, and soldered them.

Before putting everything together, I tested the lights on the controller board. The ground wires are going to be soldered on the black wire of the power from the X-Box controller, and the red wire, on the opposite side, was where the positive wires were to be installed. As you can see in Figure 11, it worked. EUREKA!

So, carefully, and very irritated, I placed the controller back together, and then the piece was finished. I had to see if all the buttons worked, as I may have missed something, so I tested it on Halo 3 Beta, and it worked wonderfully. As you can see in the final three Figures, that is my finished product.

Have fun with this mod, it is a lot of work, but totally worth it!

Sally is a professional copywriter with an experience of 15+ years. She wishes to share her keen knowledge of the online gaming world. Besides that, she loves watching sci-fi movies and is a tech enthusiast.