How to Fix “Jittery” Atari Paddle Controllers

Atari’s 2600 Joystick is likely the most popular Controller for the system ; it’s simple , iconic , and it gets the job done.  While it may be the most popular , some Games require you to use another type of Controller : the Paddle.


The Paddle is basically a paddle-shaped Controller with a knob on top and a red button on the side. It is required to play Games such as Breakout , Super Breakout , Street Racer , and many other Games. Though an amazing Controller , the Paddle is prone to “jittering” ; the item the Paddle controls jittering or shaking onscreen while the knob is being turned. This makes it very hard to play some Games , as quick reaction time and precise Sprite movement are needed when you’re trying to hit that ball back against the multi-colored wall! This guide requires a lot of work , and it can prove  harder than it looks.


First thing you’ll wanna do is remove the two screws on the bottom of the Controller.


Then , you will want to remove the knob. This can be done by pulling straight up on the knob ; no twisting , just pulling.


Use an adjustable wrench or pliers to remove the nut under the knob.

Now , the part that senses the movement of the knob will be free.


The next step is rather tricky.


Those little metal flaps seen must be bent back. This can be done using a small flat-head screwdriver , a knife , or anything small enough to get under the flaps. Bend the flaps back to free the rest of the contraption.


You will find this inside. Separate it from the other parts. Now you must clean it THOROUGHLY .


Soak the bottom completely and clean the metal part and under the winged flaps. Be careful though not to be too strong with your cleaning so that you don’t break the metal. Be sure that you clean very well so that you don’t have to re-clean the Paddle.

Also clean the metal casing so that any goop will not get back on.

Next , clean the circular sensing part:


This will take a lot of cleaning , just like with the other part. Continue to clean it with a alcohol-soaked Q-Tip until there is no gunk , then remove the alcohol (and remaining goop) with a dry Q-Tip.

Now , reassemble the contraption , keeping in mind that  first the black part goes into the casing , then the circular sensing part , then the metal part with the grooves on top.


While it’s partly disassembled , make sure to test the controller.


Now , place it back into the Paddle. Make sure that the part attaching the wires points towards the bottom of the Controller (Where the “Paddle” Sticker is on the other side) .

Make sure the button is on correctly and that the wire is coming out of the Controller through the hole.


Make sure also that the two wires are away from each other , so that they do not connect , which could possibly cause some “jitters”.


Now put the nut back , and make sure it’s nice and tight , because if it’s loose it will cause “jitters”.


Now put the knob back on and you’re done!!


I hope my guide helped you , GOD BLESS!

About Classics Rising Entertainment

Some guy. Writes about his favorite things. Is an actual human being and not a loud-mouthed-douchebot-clickbait-thousand. Heavy Metal, Video Games older than I am, and entertainment in general are my specialty. Enjoy the fellow person.

Posted on 2013/12/04, in Atari, Tutorials. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Hello! Nathan here! Hope you remember! Havent talked to you so just email me when ever!

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