How to replace the default SNES buttons (region “North America”) with colored Super Famicom buttons (all “PAL” regions) on an 8BitDo SN30 Pro USB gamepad

Needed Tools and Hardware

The following tools are needed in order to replace the buttons.

  1. Phillips screwdriver size 00 (PH00)
  2. Phillips screwdriver size 000 (PH000)
  3. Torx Screwdriver size 6 (T6)

And of course you need the replacement buttons. All buttons being the size of the original SNES/SFC buttons will work. You can get them on eBay or AliExpress just fine using the keywords super nintendo buttons or super famicom buttons. There are also plenty of other online stores that sell the buttons.

Please be advised that the varranty is void when opening the case and chaning original parts. This is just a project documentation. I am not affiliated with 8bitdo nor can I give any warranty for anything that was done using this project documentation for manipulating own hardware.

The controller iun original state
The 8bitdo SN30 Pro USB and the buttons we’re going to install.

The controller is available via 8bitdo and easily findable on plenty of online stores using 8BitDo SN30 Pro USB as search keyword.

Disassembling the Controller

It is actually quite easy to disassemble the case. Everything is held together by various screws. There are no plastic connectors that click in to anything.

Marked spots of the outer case screws
Start by removing this screws.

When the buttons are removed the back side of the case can simply be removed by pulling it slightly up (one side will be come up first, simply open the case in this direction).

Marked spots of the inner case screws
Remove the screws with the correct tools.

After removing the marked screws it is possible to simply lift off the sticks board. Under this board there are two more screws that have to be removed.

Marked spots of the under sticks screws
Carefully lift off the sticks board and remove the marked screws.

When the screws are removed the board as a whole can be taken off the case. The holder for the triggers and the boad are not connected. Be careful not to disconnect them. Always hold the board and the plastic parts together when taking everything off.

Installing the Replacement Buttons

Separated baord and shell
Put the board aside. We won’t do anything with it.

Now remove the silicone pad that covers the buttons. Notice the small dents that aid putting in shaped buttons like the buttons used for X and Y on region “North America” SNES versions. Replacement buttons might not have the counterpart. This is not critical because “PAL” regions SNES (commonly called Super Famicom in the United States) buttons are not directionally shaped..

View of the buttons after the pad was removed
The “directional dents” are only relevant for “North America” region SNES buttons. Some SFC colored buttons use the dents to “color code” the position of the buttons.

The buttons I use are slightly smaller than the installed ones. It highly depends on manufacturing quality of the replacement buttons how the results will be.

Comparison of the buttons, left replacement, right original.
Left: My replacement buttons, right: an originally installed button.

Take off the buttons and put in your replacement buttons.

View of the newly installed replacement buttons
Place the buttons as shown to get the correct color order from the outside.

Details About the Sticks

While we’re at it: You might be interested in the sticks connection and mechanic part. This has absolutely nothing to do with the button replacement and is just here for information.

The analog stick connector The stick mechanic on the board Stick from top to show the shape
The sticks look pretty standard to me. Worth trying to attach metal PS4 or Xbox controller pro sticks …

Finish Installing the Replacement Buttons

After the buttons are added put the silicone pad back on. Don’t worry: It only fits in the correct orientation. After the pad is installed, put the board back in the case.

Marked screws and their reassambling order
I noticed that first putting in the two screws that are located under the sticks board is the easiest.

When the board is installed, flip over the sticks board and install it, too. I noticed that first putting in the two screws that are located under the sticks board is the easiest.

The installed inner parts of the controller
After installing the sticks board don’t forget the two screws on top that fix the trigger holder.

When all inner screws are fixed then put on the back case and hold the controller together. Now put in the outer screws.

Screw order when closing the case
I figured out that this order was the easiest one.

And then you’re done …

Overview of the controller after the buttons were replaced
… an SNES/SFC combination.

Feedback? Ideas? Comments?

Feel free to check out Reddit for giving feedback or leaving comments on this project.