Xbox 360 “Duke” Controller

For some reason I have put the guts of a wireless Xbox 360 controller inside of an original, huge, 2001-model Xbox 1 controller – commonly referred to as “the Duke”, though what it has in common with John Wayne is beyond me.

Batteries. Much more useful up there than the memory slots or whatever the heck it was for.

Believe it or not this mod is suggested to me every once in a while so I figured I might as well take a crack at it and see what happens. It’s not often you get to work on a controller so large it’s classified by NASA as a low-level Earth-orbit object. For this reason, during the modding, I was careful not to drop it as this would have created an impact crater sufficient to snuff out all life on Earth and the dinosaurs, whichever comes first. Aerosmith and Bruce Willis were standing by to save the day in case of mishaps.

All ripping aside, it ended up being about as difficult as the PS360 controller, nothing I couldn’t handle. Since I did this on my own accord it is unclaimed and up for grabs. Best price gets it, so make an offer! Could ship just in time for Halo 3. (Note: Some interested parties, but UP FOR GRABS as yet)

Based off the difficulty of this mod (harder than I would have liked) and the number of other projects I have going on I probably won’t duplicate this anytime soon, so first come, only served. More pics and a video below.

It's more than meets the eye. Especially in weight.

Looks quite normal from the front, except for the added guide button (between/above back and start) and the headset jack at the base. Couldn’t forget that, what’s trash-talking without one?

Look ma - no weird 5 wire USB cords!


Back is also fairly normal, except for a small, recessed “sync” button below where the cord used to come out. Remember, if a burglar or elephant is in your house you can throw this controller at them for an easy knockout. (See your local state laws before carrying it in your purse, however)

A meeting of destiny or a Jenny Craig before-and-after photo: you decide

Below are some photos and descriptions of the internals:

Almost as much fun to wire as a root canal!
Click here for large version

Closer view of the wireless Xbox 360 controller PCB. Click here to supersize (sorry no fries).

The dreaded shoulder buttons. For the right analog trigger I was able to hook up a potentiometer normally. For the left I had to saw a 360 shoulder assembly in half and connect it via a rod to the Duke’s shoulder button. What a mess. But it works.

Click here to download a short, yet thrilling, video of this amazingly backwards controller in action. And no, I don’t have an HDTV set yet, sorry. Think of it, in just minutes a day, by lifting and playing with this controller, you can burn off twice the calories of the regular Xbox 360 alone! Now how much would you pay?

72 thoughts on “Xbox 360 “Duke” Controller”

  1. Pingback: technabob
  2. Hey man. That is really really sweet, and totally unexpected. I’m sure some majorly big handed xbox 360 fan is going to really love this thing. I know you’ve been talking about ‘the duke’ for a looooong time now. Glad you finally did somethin about it! Now you just need to get it to come back after you throw it a la Link’s Boomerang…


  3. Hey, I was a huge fan of the original “duke” controllers…and I’m tempted to make an offer, but i cant really justify paying for a controller right now, especially with the prevalence of the bumpers in recent games represented in the white and black buttons. So unfortunately, no money from me. But GREAT job, I love that you brought back something I loved so much.

  4. As an additional note, will we be getting a how to for this one? You said it wasn’t any harder than the PS360 you did.

  5. Thats one huge 360 controler. It’s cool and and seemless. Im surprised that MS did not make one for the 360 already. Can’t wait to see what you do next.

  6. It looks great Ben! But why haven´t you build a Switch under the XBOX-Logo so you could push the Logo for the Home-Button. You also could put a newer Guitar Hero-Guitar in a PS2-One or an Real-Life-Guitar.

  7. Awesome! I love the original xbox controller even if it was the size of a small car. I like the battery placement. I don’t know anyone who uses a memory card with there original xbox.

  8. Holy shit ben. !@. i was hoping MS would make an xbox-1 fat controller for the xbox360. i got gorilla hands and its hard to play DOA4 and Halo games on xbox360 with such a small controller.

  9. I am considering buying one from you maybe christmas or some shit. lol so i can play halo 3 with no problems.

  10. How much to do the same, but keep the LB and RB buttons, and move the A,B,X,Y buttons to the back of the controller so I never have to take my thumbs off the sticks? Will supply Duke controllers and 360 controller.

  11. I love you. I love you so bad. I love my old Duke, and now you’ve given me the inspiration I need to make it Halo 3 compatible. Now, about that old Xbox… Could we stuff a 360 in there? I think we can!


  12. Not that I don’t love what you’ve done here, Ben, and far, far from ever saying I could do any better (I probably couldn’t even get the screws off the controllers), but I have two critiques for this lovely mod:
    1) Why not raise the original XBOX “button” and somehow make that the guide button?
    2) While making the original XBOX button the guide button, how about put the player select LEDs around it?

    Boy, I wish I had seen this in time so I could’ve gotten my hands on that.. Just out of curiosity, how much did it go for anyways?

  13. Has this thing sold, if not what are you asking for it?

    The Duke controller was the best console controller ever.

  14. I googled a mod to use original xbox controllers on 360.. this is what i found.. great job dude, im sure it’s much better for halo.. halo 3 with a 360 controller sucks nut for me.. im used to the precise joysticks of original xbox controllers, not the cheap crap they put in the 360’s. s controller or duke.. if i buy a 360 ill have to make sure i can get a decent controller for it..

  15. “Xbox 1 controller… commonly referred to as “the Duke”, though what it has in common with John Wayne is beyond me.”

    It’s rough, tough, and takes no shit from Indians…?

  16. can you please mod a 360 (either wired or wireless, not bothered) controller into an original xbox small controller?
    that would be so sweet
    im thinking of trying it but i dont know where to start

  17. Now if you can find a way to use the 360 controller on the original xbox that would be sweet.

  18. Aww :(.. i been lookin for a guide to make one of these! I reallly want a Duke on my 360.. the normal controllers too small for my man hands ;(

  19. Hi Ben

    Just wanted to ask you if this could be done back wards, I mean, I bought 2 Intec wireless controllers for original Xbox, but I have a 360

    Is there any way to mod this controllers or eaven more, can this 2.4GHZ puppies can work with 360 console?


  20. Ben… Please… PLEEAAASEEE make this mod with a PS3 controller! As in put a Dualshock 3 inside of the beautiful piece of machinery that is the original Xbox controller… And yes, I’m serious. The original Xbox controller is the best controller ever made. Period. Yes, I’m serious.

    inb4 troll detected

  21. hey it might work better on the newer xbox 1 controller becuz the black and white buttons are below the X, A, Y, B buttons but what the hell do i know?

  22. could you make a how to page? i was going to be doing this in the next couple of weeks and wanted some help.

  23. Ben, Can you help me? I have a PS3 & can no longer hold the controller or use thumb sticks:-(

  24. I just had two quick question,

    1) How and where did you solder to replace buttons that are those conductive rubber to replace them with tact switches?

    2) I see some connections that you appear to have changed, such as connecting from what appears to be where one of the 360 triggers connected to a contact on the thumb stick and the seemingly down into the trigger/rumble pack half of the controller, is there a reason for this or should it be possible to simple run wires back to the board from each relocated component to its original solder points?

  25. i think what Terror of Valhalla was trying to ask (and what i want to know) is how did you replace the rubber pads under the A B X Y buttons with tact switches? can you solder right to the black contact pads on the circuit board? did you even solder tact switches in their place? or did you do something completely different? please gimme a hint. we’ve already started hacking this thing apart and we think we have it all figured out except for this step.

  26. Dude this is beyond awesome. PLEASSSSE make a how to! I would give you my soul in exchange for a how to. I would forever be indebted to you and therefore be forced to be a life long follower/minion!

    No joke tho gaming is getting harder on my hands in my old age so please make a how to!

  27. Alrighty, here’s the deal. Me and my buddies are addicted to the Duke controller and have been destroying each other for 10 years on Halo 1, never liking its later installments. We recently discovered that we can play Halo 1 on the 360 and, because of its processing speed, we can play each other without lag (which was always affecting our previous duels). But, we abhor the 360 controllers and want our Fatties!

    I saw your mod here and, despite it being 3 years since, I was wondering if we could commission some controllers from you.

    Please, let us know how much you would charge for parts and labor to build 2 – 4 of the modded 360/Duke controllers. We are SERIOUS about purchasing them.

    Hope to hear from you.

  28. Hey any chance I could buy one of these off of you? ha that is fucking awsome and I loved that controller so

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