I don't have a lot of experience with soldering, but I can manage small repairs and I regularly watch TronicsFix's repairing videos (like this one for the same issue I have). Quite lucky, right?!

So my Steam Deck had a little accident and fell off the table on its right shoulder bumper (R1). Unfortunately, the button behind the bumper (pictured here in the ifixit tutorial) took all the force of the impact and got squashed, pushed backwards. After playing a bit I noticed how R1 was barely registering inputs, so I decided to disassemble the Deck and have a look. The button looked OK, but it was bent backwards (reason why it didn't work since the bumper was barely pressing it), so I decided to push it to its original position and felt a crack...

On a closer inspection I noticed that all three pins were no longer soldered:

3 pin button no longer soldered

In order to re-solder the button, I have disassembled the button board but while doing so, I noticed that the middle pin fell off completely:

enter image description here

I thought that was OK, I can order new replacement buttons from AliExpress and replace it easily, but while inspecting the board I saw that the solder pad of pin B is missing completely.

missing solder pad

I tested with a multimeter for continuity between pin A and pin C, A + ground, C + ground, all good, I get the beeping. But I get no beep when I test pin B against anything else, so I think the solder pad is gone, together with the missing button's middle pin. Also, the color of the pad of pin B is very close to the board color (brown?), highlighted by the orange arrows. I see no copper there.

Is there any solution to solder the replacement 3-pin button, even with that missing solder pad? As you can see in the picture above, there is a circle below it, possibly a trace there. Also visible on the back of the board:

enter image description here

On the back of the board, I tested for continuity and I can get a beep when testing against the white two dots in the red circles and the ground. Could there be some kind of a resistor there?

  • \$\begingroup\$ You'll have to find someplace else to connect the middle pin to. Might use a bit of wire-wrap wire to jumper it to a nearby via. \$\endgroup\$
    – Hearth
    Mar 3 at 22:15
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ what is that white wrap around the board? ... it looks like it could cause ESD damage \$\endgroup\$
    – jsotola
    Mar 3 at 22:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ That white wrap is adhesive paper tape. Right, I did not think about the potential ESD damage.. \$\endgroup\$
    – NutuS
    Mar 3 at 22:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Hearth I guess you are talking about the via hole, right below the middle pin? I think that is the most probable one for that connection. \$\endgroup\$
    – NutuS
    Mar 3 at 22:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ @NutuS That would be the most sensible location, yes, as long as you're certain it's meant to be connected to the pad (it probably is). \$\endgroup\$
    – Hearth
    Mar 3 at 23:12

1 Answer 1


It looks like there's a via next to the missing pad, taking current through to the other side of the board. If you can establish that is connected to the missing pin, then it can be re-connected using fine wire. It may help if you carefully scrape off the conformal coating to reveal any copper that's currently hidden.

But any repair has to be done with care and precision, as otherwise you may completely destroy it.

  • \$\begingroup\$ You are right, that makes sense to move the current via that hole. I will gently scrape off the coating and test it before trying to solder the replacement. And thanks for the heads up! \$\endgroup\$
    – NutuS
    Mar 3 at 22:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ Here is how it looks after the coating was scraped off. I tested it with the multimeter and I get a beep between this copper and the resistor on the back of the board. Is it OK to simply connect to it using solder or should I use a very small wire? \$\endgroup\$
    – NutuS
    Mar 4 at 13:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ Also, by scrapping off the coating, you can clearly see in the upper part the stem that I guess it was used to connect to the missing solder pad. \$\endgroup\$
    – NutuS
    Mar 4 at 13:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ @NutuS If you can blob solder across the join, it will work. But avoid overheating things and making more problems. \$\endgroup\$
    – Simon B
    Mar 4 at 18:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ok, will try it in a couple of weeks as I have to wait for the replacement switch to arrive. Marked your answer as accepted, thanks for your help! \$\endgroup\$
    – NutuS
    Mar 5 at 0:01

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