Nes Advantage: The Complete Rebuild

Before & After
This is the Advantage Repair Redux. My last repair article only covered joystick interference issues. Here I will illustrate a complete disassembly and how to clean all the button contacts and case.

Intro: Released in the summer 1987 this controller mimicked the popular arcade systems of the era. It features a full size joystick, speed controlled turbo buttons and slow motion options.  An amazing piece of gaming nostalgia.

Supply List.
Phillips Screwdriver
Electrical Contact Cleaner (or Rubbing Alcohol)
Needle Nose Pliers
Soap & Water




Getting Started

1.Remove the ball from the joystick and lift the gray turbo knobs out. Under the gray knobs you'll find a recessed nut. I used  needle nose pliers to loosen it (my socket set did not fit)

2. After removal flip over the controller. Remove all six screws and slowly release the bottom plate. Four corner screw are hidden under rubber feet. These can be reattached later with double sided tape.

3. Once the metal base is removed locate the board screws. Remove all visible screws, four screws on the brown circuit board and 6 from the green board.

4. Slowly lift the board and watch for falling pieces. Sit aside all buttons, pads and the smaller black plate from the joystick circuit board, it clips into place and is easy to remove.

Remove Black plate to expose board for cleaning

Concentrate on these button contacts while cleaning. These contacts are the root of many intermittent problems.

Take your time and clean the entire board. Wipe down all the grime with Electrical Contact Cleaner or rubbing alcohol, a soft bristle toothbrush works well for scrubbing.

Detailed Cleaning

5. Soak all the loose buttons and rubber contacts in a mild solution of dish soap and warm water. Its safe and very effective. Use a q-tip to remove stubborn dirt. Dry Parts completely before assembly.

6. Optional: Cleaning Gray Case and Buttons. The safest first step in brightening dingy plastic is Oxy-Clean. I usually add 2-3 tablespoons per gallon and soak the item for a few hours. After soaking I polish the items with Novus #1 or #2 Plastic cleaner.  

For heavily yellowed items I use the Peroxide Process which involves 12% peroxide solution and sunlight. This process is dangerous and safety precautions need to be followed. Read more HERE for a full tutorial.


Make sure everything is fully dry before assembly. Simply work in reverse order to assemble. Use the photo guides below for correct button and pad placement.
Correct Placement of Buttons.

Correct Placement of Pads

I hope that you find this website useful and informative. Please feel free to leave your comments and suggestions below.


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    1. Thanks for visiting my site! Yes, rubbing alcohol or electrical cleaner are safe for delicate contacts. The key is using non abrasive cleaning tools. Nothing will short-out if the item is dry before using. The Alcohol will evaporate very quickly.

    2. Sorry but i deleted you post by mistake. Im reposing it here. ****This is so cool! Im a 90s baby and have actually never seen one of these before. Im familiar with the original nintendo, but didn't know about the joystick. Now I kind of want one lol. It doesnt sound too difficult to rebuilt or clean. Are you sure that it is safe to clean electrical contacts with rubbing alcohol? I was always under the impression that electrical contacts were very delicate pieces that needed to be cleaned with dry materials instead of liquid cleaners. Id be afraid of shortening them out or causing damage., by Ann Shirley

  2. Got an NES advantage in a big garage sale lot. I was pretty pumped about it and tested it out today. Didn't work. Google some guides to get into the thing. Bingo there's the problem. The circuit board is shattered under the B button. Apparently someone raged with all their fury and shattered the board. Ah well. Helpful guide anyway.

  3. Thanks for your post! I'm interested in converting a spare NES Advantage for use with my Turbografx and wasn't sure how to remove the turbo switches

  4. Great info! I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have. Gba4iOS

  5. I recently purchased a second Advantage controller at Goodwill for $15. It was inoperative and after inspection I fount the main board was broken into 3 pieces. I glued it back together and repaired (soldered) the broken traces. It is now partially working but I believe there is something shorted as the joystick and the left button are giving a "forward down" input whenever they are activated. I am in need of a schematic of the entire board so I can track it down. Can you help me? Thanks, Doug


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