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Thread: Are all Sega Genesis controllers this unresponsive?

  1. #1
    Mindbender The Adventurer's Avatar
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    Default Are all Sega Genesis controllers this unresponsive?

    So today I picked up my very first Sega Genesis. Never had one growing up, and outside of occasionally playing display kiosks at department stories, it never was a system I played much.

    Getting it hooked up, I fired up a few games I'd accumulated over the last couple of months to try it out. The first thing that struck me was how... unresponsive the controller feels compared to everything else I've ever used. You can't just tap the buttons, you really gotta jam it in there to get a response.

    Which really makes reacting to things a pain in the ass. Not to mention its really distracting, and can really take you out of the experience.

    I have two controllers, and they both act this way. Is this just the way its suppose to be? Cause... I'm not sure I like it very much.
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  2. #2
    Pac-Man (Level 10) Tron 2.0's Avatar
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    Can't say ive ever had a problem with a genesis controller being unreponsive.Not unless the the one you're using has a worn out d-pad.Are you using the 3 button controller or 6 !? I ask because all ways found the 3 button to be to stiff while the 6 was just right,well for me any ways.
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  3. #3
    Mindbender The Adventurer's Avatar
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    Three-button controllers. And the D-pads is actually fine, its the buttons that I feel like I have to jam on.
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    Cherry (Level 1) Schiggidyd's Avatar
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    Definitely not a common problem at all, I recommend the 6-button controllers. I find genesis controllers much more durable and resistant than Nintendo controllers actually.

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    Pac-Man (Level 10) Tron 2.0's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Adventurer View Post
    Three-button controllers. And the D-pads is actually fine, its the buttons that I feel like I have to jam on.
    I don't know maybe the 3 button you have has worn out buttons.Still like what schiggidyd suggested i'd suggest the 6 button controller,since it is very comfortable to use.I know i never like using the 3 button controller since i have small hands.
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    ServBot (Level 11) swlovinist's Avatar
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    Time to replace the controller. You can find replacements fairly cheap as they made millions of controllers.
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    loves the Game Gear too much. recorderdude's Avatar
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    My gamegear's 2 button has a similar issue, but 1 is just fine. It's merely age and years of mashing taking its toll.

    My genesis controllers, on the other hand, are pretty much perfect, and they're the original ones with red letters on the buttons.

  8. #8
    Jessica's Knight / SOFEL Fanboy InsaneDavid's Avatar
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    There's no need to replace the controller or swap the type of pad you're using but you do need to spend about five minutes refurbishing the controller. Open it up and give the board surface a quick wipe with some isopropyl alcohol and wipe the rubber actuators down. Additionally (if you have the desire / time or the controller is pretty nasty inside) you can clean the buttons and the controller shell itself. I usually use dishwashing liquid for that.

    Yes, you can just replace the controller. Yes, there are millions of controllers out there. However there's no need to and there's no need to toss stuff that's perfectly and easily repairable into the trash. Occasionally you'll get controllers that are just worn out, when I come across those they get parted out for replacement buttons, rubber, controller shells, etc.
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    ServBot (Level 11) kedawa's Avatar
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    It should be standard practice to 'refurb' anything you buy that's that old.
    You don't know where it's been or what it's been through.

  10. #10
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    Like Insane David says, take the controller apart and clean the buttons. Dirt builds up around the button "holes," causing the buttons to stick. Also, if you are playing on a modern TV, there may be input lag.

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    Usually Genesis controllers work fine, but there are different quality controllers out there as Sega changed how they manufactured them over the years. They're probably just dirty though.

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    Insert Coin (Level 0) GizzyGames's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schiggidyd View Post
    Definitely not a common problem at all, I recommend the 6-button controllers. I find genesis controllers much more durable and resistant than Nintendo controllers actually.
    Going to have to agree. I think I find one Genesis controller thats broke for every 10 NES that is.

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    Jessica's Knight / SOFEL Fanboy InsaneDavid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kedawa View Post
    It should be standard practice to 'refurb' anything you buy that's that old.
    You don't know where it's been or what it's been through.
    I'm glad I'm not the only person who does things like wipe down old controllers and consoles when acquired. People who don't wouldn't believe the amount of dirt that comes off things like controller or AV cable cords.

    There are a few people here I flat out refuse to do business with anymore because they sold me stuff, saying everything was great, at a price that would denote they actually - you know - had clean stuff, only for the items to arrive with things like leaves in the cartridge slots.

    Even if old used stuff you buy works you should always give it a general tear down and cleaning. Isn't the objective to keep this stuff working for another 10, 20, 30 years so you can enjoy it without any hassle?
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    Mindbender The Adventurer's Avatar
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    Hmmm. Maybe I should pull appart this Genises/CD Model 1 combo I just got and give all the contacts a good cleaning...
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    Reticulating Splines BetaWolf47's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Adventurer View Post
    Three-button controllers. And the D-pads is actually fine, its the buttons that I feel like I have to jam on.
    That sounds like dirty button contacts. You can fix that easily by opening the controller up and taking an eraser to the contacts (black spots where the buttons touch the PCB).
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    Quote Originally Posted by InsaneDavid View Post
    I'm glad I'm not the only person who does things like wipe down old controllers and consoles when acquired. People who don't wouldn't believe the amount of dirt that comes off things like controller or AV cable cords.
    Who doesn't do this? I clean whatever I get used, usually with paper towel and glass cleaner. It bugs me when I pick stuff up from craigslist only for it to be filthy to the touch. It's obvious it hasn't been used in ages so there's a good chance it's not working properly. The only time I don't is when I get things from people who are usually the original owner, when everything is still in the original packaging in near perfect shape. Stuff from thrift stores, flea markets, and yard sales get cleaned. Sometimes I have to clean books and DVD cases too.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Adventurer View Post
    Hmmm. Maybe I should pull appart this Genises/CD Model 1 combo I just got and give all the contacts a good cleaning...
    I do this whenever I get systems, I clean the cartridge connectors whenever I can. With Genesis/Sega CD bundles I do clean the joining connectors too.

  17. #17
    Alex (Level 15) Custom rank graphic
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    I always clean the outside surfaces of a controller really well when I get a new one, but personally, I don't bother with opening them up and doing a full cleaning on the inside until an issue arises. Way too much of a pain otherwise.

  18. #18
    Insert Coin (Level 0) 123►Genei-Jin's Avatar
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    I agree with everyone suggesting to open up and clean the controllers.

    I completely disassemble everything I get no matter how clean it looks and soak all the plastic parts in soapy water and then use a tooth brush to finish the job (I even do this on Genesis/Master system boxes and all Cartridges)
    I clean all PCB with a small brush 1st and then use either isopropyl alcohol or contact cleaner to get them as clean as possible.
    I also use evapo-rust on any rusted parts I find.
    The only things I never open are carts with screws under stickers (like japanese Megadrive carts and SG-1000/Master System carts)
    I actually enjoy doing all of this.

  19. #19
    Insert Coin (Level 0) GizzyGames's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gameguy View Post
    Who doesn't do this? I clean whatever I get used, usually with paper towel and glass cleaner. It bugs me when I pick stuff up from craigslist only for it to be filthy to the touch. It's obvious it hasn't been used in ages so there's a good chance it's not working properly. The only time I don't is when I get things from people who are usually the original owner, when everything is still in the original packaging in near perfect shape. Stuff from thrift stores, flea markets, and yard sales get cleaned. Sometimes I have to clean books and DVD cases too.


    I do this whenever I get systems, I clean the cartridge connectors whenever I can. With Genesis/Sega CD bundles I do clean the joining connectors too.

    I prefer using anti-bacterial wipes =)

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    I have about a dozen Genesis pads. Never head a problem with any of them. Also maybe just me but anytime I get a new controller well I mean used. I clean the sucker like no tomorrow.

  21. #21
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    Good thing to see I'm not the only one that cleans consoles, controllers and games, I can't stand dirt and grime especially on a controller. I always try my best to wash my hands before I play a game.

    Also I do like people to bring their own controllers so one they can't complain your controller sucks and yes I'm one of those that don't like other people using my controllers. My immediate family or boyfriend are exceptions to the rule however, but of course clean hands equal clean controller with minimal dirt.

    As for Genesis controllers, I've never had a problem with one, after a good contact cleaning they usually respond much better than before.
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    Strawberry (Level 2) sheath's Avatar
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    When I was playing Genesis games for hours every day I used to have to clean the controller buttons and D-Pad or Joystick out every few months or so. These days I give them a good cleaning with windex and blow them out with my 100psi air compressor and they work fine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 123►Genei-Jin View Post
    I agree with everyone suggesting to open up and clean the controllers.

    I completely disassemble everything I get no matter how clean it looks and soak all the plastic parts in soapy water and then use a tooth brush to finish the job (I even do this on Genesis/Master system boxes and all Cartridges)
    I clean all PCB with a small brush 1st and then use either isopropyl alcohol or contact cleaner to get them as clean as possible.
    I also use evapo-rust on any rusted parts I find.
    The only things I never open are carts with screws under stickers (like japanese Megadrive carts and SG-1000/Master System carts)
    I actually enjoy doing all of this.
    lol me too! its fun! I just found a dirty model 1 with altered beast (complete in box!) that looked and played bad. Took it apart and cleaned with alcool the console, controllers, and cartridge slot. Used a can of compressed air also to get the dust out of the boards. Shined everything with Armor All (it really makes a HUGE difference) and it looks almost as good as brand new!! Its also very easy, look up on youtube for how to dissassemble the controller or system dont be scared you only need a screwdriver, cotton swabs, isopropyl alcool and soap.

  24. #24
    Mindbender The Adventurer's Avatar
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    So I finally got around to opening up my Genesis controllers to see what's up. The first controller I opened had good response from the control pad, start button, A, and C buttons. But the B button didn't response unless I really pushed hard on it. Very flow breaking when you need precision in your jumping.

    So I opened it, and cleaned all the contacts with alcohol. I then put it back together, and the B button was still acting up.

    So I thought about it, and I took the magnet contact from the working start button (and I assume those are magnets that make the actual contact with the controller's circuit board) and swapped it with the B button. That fixed it (though now the Start button is the buggy one, but that's less critical)

    So... I've come the conclusion that my controller problems aren't the result of dirty contacts, rather weak magnets. So the question becomes, is there any way to fix the magnets? Or is the only solution to hoard working magnets from other buggy controllers for future repairs?
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    Jessica's Knight / SOFEL Fanboy InsaneDavid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Adventurer View Post
    So... I've come the conclusion that my controller problems aren't the result of dirty contacts, rather weak magnets. So the question becomes, is there any way to fix the magnets? Or is the only solution to hoard working magnets from other buggy controllers for future repairs?
    Wipe those too if you haven't already.
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