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GameCube Controller Parts Guide - 🟧Sourceful

A technical guide to the GameCube controller - variants, parts, cables, buttons, sticks, etc. - 🟧Sourceful

GameCube, hardware, games

This guide is outdated, for a more complete resource, visit:


Thanks for the support! :)

(The old document is still down here)


GameCube Controller Parts Guide

By Synnett and the CGCC Community

* Link to my website

* Link to my Notching (shield drop / Firefox notches) guide


Table of Contents

1. Controller Variants

2. Stickboxes

1. Stickbox Types

2. List of Types per Variant

3. Shell markings

4. Potentiometers

3. Triggers

4. Buttons and Sticks

5. Cables

6. Motherboard Types and Other Internals

7. Resources and Traces

8. Extras


1. Controller Variants

There are 23 official wired controllers and 4 Wavebirds for a total of 27 variants. There are also 2 keyboard controllers and a handful of Hori pads that use the same parts as OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) controllers, so I will also list them as they are viable alternatives to the official GCCs. Click on the dots for pictures of the controllers.

1. Indigo ·

First released: September 14, 2001

Location: JPN/ US/ EU/ AUS/ KOR

2. Jet Black ·

First Released: November 18, 2001

Location: JPN/ US/ EU/ AUS/ KOR

3. Spice Orange ·

First Released: November 18, 2001

Location: JPN/ US/ AUS/ KOR

4. Indigo / Clear ·

First Released: November 18, 2001

Location: JPN/ US/ EU/ AUS/ KOR

5. Platinum ·

First Released: November 3, 2002

Location: JPN/ US/ EU/ AUS/ KOR

6. Emerald Blue ·

First Released: December 5, 2002

Location: JPN/ KOR

7. White ·

First Released: April 22, 2008

Location: JPN

8. Clear ·

First Released: July 22, 2004

Location: JPN

9. Starlight Gold ·

First Released: July 15, 2004

Location: JPN

10. Pearl White ·

First Released: November 18, 2005

Location: EU

11. Symphonic Green ·

First Released: August 29, 2003

Location: JPN/ France

12. Crystal White · (1 of 150)

First Released: August 8, 2003

Location: JPN

13. Resident Evil 4 ·

First Released: March 18, 2005

Location: EU

14. Hanshin Tigers ·

First Released: September 16, 2003

Location: JPN

15. Gundam Char ·

First Released: November 27, 2003

Location: JPN

16. Panasonic Q SH-TGC10 ·

First Released: December 14, 2001

Location: JPN

17. Smash 4 Black ·

First Released: November 21, 2014

Location: JPN/ US/ EU/ AUS

18. Smash 4 White ·

First Released: December 6, 2014

Location: JPN

19. Smash Ultimate Black ·

First Released: November 2, 2018

Location: JPN/ US/ EU/ AUS

20. Mario ·

First Released: July 20, 2004

Location: JPN/ EU

21. Luigi ·

First Released: August 24, 2004

Location: JPN

22. Wario ·

First Released: November 2005

Location: JPN

23. Club Nintendo ·

First Released: December 9, 2003

Location: JPN

24. WaveBird Grey ·

First Released: June 10, 2002

Location: JPN/ US/ EU/ AUS

25. WaveBird Platinum ·

First Released: December 5, 2002

Location: JPN/ US

26. WaveBird Club Nintendo ·

First Released: October 2005

Location: JPN

27. WaveBird Gundam Char ·

(1 of 1000)

First Released: December 9, 2004

Location: JPN

K1. ASCII Keyboard Controller ·

First Released: September 12, 2002

Location: JPN

K2. Sammy Keyboard Controller ·

First Released: November 27, 2003

Location: JPN

H1. Hori GC Pads ·

First Released: December 27, 2002

Location: JPN

Note: The Horipads only share the T3 stickbox with the original controllers, everything else is different. They’re still viable for competitive play.


2. Stickboxes

2.1. Stickbox Types

There were three major redesigns of the stickbox mechanism throughout the GCC’s production. The changes were quick to resolve the self-destructing early sticks, and by late 2002 we already had the final version of the stickbox mechanism. The types are ordered as T1, T2 and T3, in order of production. Thanks to The Kyle for the original guide!

T1 Stickbox

Metal casing and ABS plastic internal moving parts, the top bracket goes vertically. Very brittle, definitely the worst stickbox you can come across. Black or grey plastic parts are a dead giveaway.

T2 Stickbox

Metal casing and plastic internal moving parts, the top bracket goes horizontally. While they are sturdier and will usually last much longer than their T1 counterparts, they share the same issues as the former as the plastic moving parts grind against the metal casing. They are also compatible with T1 boards, so older boards can be refurbished.

T3 Stickbox

All plastic parts, screwed onto the board instead of soldered on. They are by far the best variant as they last long - with good care they can last a long time without getting wobbly. They are not compatible with older boards and are exclusive to T3 boards. Newer controllers (Smash 4 and Ultimate variants) have a much stiffer spring than the earlier models, but the c-stick spring is looser and the stickbox can be switched with the main one.


2.2. List of Types per Variant






Jet Black

Spice Orange

Indigo / Clear


Emerald Blue



Starlight Gold

Pearl White

Symphonic Green

Crystal White

Resident Evil 4

Hanshin Tigers

Gundam Char

Panasonic Q SH-TGC10





Smash 4 Black

Smash 4 White

Smash Ultimate Black





Club Nintendo

Wavebird Grey

Wavebird Platinum

Wavebird Club Nintendo

Wavebird Gundam Char

ASCII Keyboard

Sammy Keyboard



2.3. Shell Markings

We recently noticed that some of the back shell markings often correspond to a specific type of motherboard / stickbox. If the controller has not been tampered with, this is a pretty accurate way to identify and find the type of controller that you want. Here’s a small guide:

You might also encounter oddities like a dot with no CE logo, but in general if there’s a dot it’s a T3. (See the table)


2.4. Potentiometers

Potentiometers are those two small black boxes that are attached underneath and to the right of the stickboxes. They read the stick’s input by increasing or decreasing the resistance of the current passing through two pins - by comparing the difference, the software can then precisely read an input. They are connected to the stickbox by clipping onto it and the wheel of the potentiometer is guided by a prong. Older versions use a white moving part while newer ones are black.


3. Triggers

The layout for the trigger’s mechanism stayed pretty much the same since the beginning, with only one strange exception. To make it simpler, I will post a picture of the mechanism and then point out some differences you may encounter.

One thing you might notice is this diagonal metal bracket. It’s pretty much useless, only making the trigger come down at an angle which can cause more friction - feel free to remove it.

The mechanism is secured by a plate that screws onto the shell. T3 controllers use a different left plate to allow enough space for the extra screw from the stickbox to fit. This is the most common reason why some controllers won’t close properly when changing the shell - you have to switch the plate onto the new back shell. See the lower plate, which has a larger indent in it.


Oddly enough, on some T2 controllers you can find screwless trigger plates. The plates are fused onto the rumble / digital input holder and the mechanism is held by some screwless brackets. They function just fine.


4. Buttons and sticks

While there’s not much to say here, there’s a few differences to note about the buttons and sticks. To avoid an optical illusion that would make lighter-colored controllers look like they have darker buttons, Nintendo fitted them with a lighter set. From left to right, the Grey Wavebird with the whitest set, in the middle the White/Smash 4 White and on the right we have the standard set of buttons. Also funny to note that the Wavebird’s start button is slightly taller than usual.

There are three different casts of the stick cap. I thought it would be fun to include them, without the rubber on.


The GCC also has different pads for the ABXY face buttons. The straight one, which has a stiffer press, is mostly found on T3 controllers while the ridged ones are on T1 and T2 and they are much smoother. Thanks to Battle Beaver Customs for the diagrams!


The Z button is different from the other buttons as it uses a tactile switch instead or the usual rubber dome. The button is wedged between both shell halves on some kind of hinge. There is a small metal plate that acts as a spring, and when pressed it clicks on a sideways switch. The spring can be removed easily with a pair of pliers.


5. Cables

The anatomy of the cable is pretty simple. You’ve got the wires in the middle, a copper shielding to block electrical interference and then a rubber sleeve. It is soldered onto the board, and on the other end you’ve got the plug. Here’s a guide to remove the plug: https://youtu.be/TFveth_Jg60

Here’s a few schematics of the wiring:

3.3V 0.55A voltage supply

5V 1.5A voltage supply

3.3V data

Data Ground


White is power ground (rumble)

GameCube Controller Parts Guide
Tags GameCube, Hardware, Games
Type Google Doc
Published 14/09/2020, 19:44:12