PSP joypad hack: mission impossible?

I recently ordered a PSP with a broken power switch from eBay, thinking that I could bring it back to life with a little tweaking. Sadly, it turns out that there’s a lot more wrong with the system than I can fix.

However, there is a plus side to this. I’ve got a ton of replacement parts now, including an LCD screen without cracks, a faceplate, and a whole lot of buttons. I was thinking that maybe, just maybe, I could cook up some way to replace the PSP’s D-pad with something that would be a lot more fighter-friendly.

So I opened an old, scuzzy Sega Arcade Pad (the six button controller for the Genesis) and looked inside to see if I could use it in a PSP.

The bad news is that the D-pad is built into the face of the SAP, and set on a rocker (that’s why the control is so crisp on Sega’s mid 1990’s controllers… D-pads without rockers tend to be mushy and unresponsive).

In addition to that, the seperated cross in the PSP is held inside the unit by plastic on the faceplate, where the diagonals should be. That means that putting the Sega Arcade Pad in the PSP will be impossible without a lot of modifications to the faceplate.

However… however. There was some good news to be found. I noticed that the rubber feet under the PSP D-pad line up almost perfectly with the underside of the SAP’s D-pad.

It got me thinking… if I were to use a Dremel tool to cut a circular hole in the faceplate of the PSP, then cut the D-pad out of the faceplate of the SAP, would it be possible for me to use epoxy to permanently fasten the two together and turn the PSP into a suitable handheld for fighting games?

Has anyone here attempted this kind of thing before? If so, what are your thoughts on a project like this? Could it be done, and would the resulting product work?




I think you might just be a pioneer in this department…good luck :sweat:

Thanks… I’ll let you know how it turns out. At the very worst, I’ll have wasted a Sega Arcade Pad and a PSP faceplate; both easily replaced.

Anyone have any recommendations for epoxies that will tightly hold together two pieces of plastic?


This is what I’ve got so far:

I can’t tell you how well it works, because I had to put this on the junked PSP I’d purchased from eBay. I’m having a devil of a time opening up my working system… those screws are painfully tight, and I can’t find a small screwdriver with enough torque to loosen them. Frustrating!

Anyway, here’s how I put the joypad on the PSP. First, I took the faceplate from my junker system, then made a hole in the center of the plastic where the D-pad rests. I then opened my Sega Arcade Pad and used a screwdriver to pop off its own D-pad. There’s a long shaft on the end of the SAP D-pad… after filing it down a bit, I put the PSP D-pad back on the faceplate, then super glued the shaft of the SAP pad on the dead center of the PSP D-pad.

After squeezing the two together for a few minutes, I wriggled the pads around to make sure they weren’t stuck to the faceplate, then left the glue to dry for a few hours. The end result is shown above.

To be perfectly honest, this modification was all rather Mickey Mouse, and I don’t expect it to work nearly as well as a standard Sega joypad. It also makes the system a bit less portable… the joypad stands about a half-inch above the PSP, making it impossible to insert the system in its soft case.

The way I see it, though, anything has to be an improvement over that crummy, crummy D-pad built into the PSP. The next time I make a modification to one of these systems, I’ll probably just stick with the less ambitious mod on U Fighter X.


Nice mod but that won’t fit into any carrying cases that most people own (like myself)…

I wish someone would release a compact Saturn pad-like mod accessory that replaces the PSP pad entirely…

Believe someone has done something like this already that works. Here is the link.

I see you mentiond this in your fourth post. Sorry.

ownd, didnt even have to drill a hole and ruin your faceplate.

Uh, I mentioned U Fighter X already… and the faceplate was from a junked system. You might want to improve your reading comprehension there, totaltoanage (and get some fresher catchphrases… “ownd” is sooooo 2004).


Well on Gamefaqs (WTF?!?) they have been usin masking tape and it works perfectly.
No glue or anything.

Heres the link to the page, try the tape mod.

I’ve done it and it works perfectly and all you need is the screwdriver, a holepunch and masking or artist tape.

Here’s the final report on the modification. After some struggling, I was finally able to open the screws on my working PSP. I then took its faceplate off, replaced it with the modified one, then put it all together and popped in my copy of Darkstalkers: The Chaos Tower.

It does make the game easier to play, although not enough to justify the time and effort I spent in putting it together. The D-pad hovers a half inch above the system, making it a bit awkward to use. On top of that, while I noticed an improvement in moving left and down, up and right are still problematic, perhaps due in part to the curved shape of the system and the D-pad’s proximity to the screen.

As a result, some moves work better than others. Fireballs are much easier to execute, but jumping diagonally is still difficult… you’ve got to push a little harder on the D-pad to make it happen. I can definitely tell you right now that it’s not tournament-calibur control.

I’m going to try the UFighter X mod and see how the two compare. People have been singing the praises of this modification, and I have to imagine that it’s better than this one.

My advice to you is this… don’t attempt the SAP modification. It takes too much work, and you won’t be adequately rewarded for your effort. I don’t regret trying this (hell, you only live once!), but you’re not going to be happy with the results if you don’t have a spare PSP faceplate to replace the one you modded.