In recent years, the world of video game modifications, or “modding,” has exploded significantly. Nowadays, you can modify components, consoles, controllers, and memory cards! Whether it’s changing out the shell of your controller to that perfect shade of cherry blossom pink or giving your Nintendo Gamecube Bluetooth connectivity, there’s a mod for you. Not every mod is complex or requires a specialized skillset (looking at you soldering, 👀). In this article, I want to show you a few easy mods I’ve done while giving you the tools you need to try at home.

NES Dogbone controllerOne big reason why people mod their video game components is something I’ll call “modern nostalgia.” One of the first mods I made brought my classic NES Dogbone controller into modern times by cutting the cord. The NES DIY kit from 8Bitdo simply swaps out the control board inside the controller for a new one, giving those OG controllers Bluetooth connectivity. Plug in a Retro Receiver, and now you’re playing with power, wireless power!


Dual Sense Controller ModRe-shelling, swapping buttons, and adding LED lights go a long way to make your components yours. There has been a growing trend in customization and individuality in gaming in recent years, and the best part is that these mods are user-friendly. I’ve modded several controllers for the Switch and PlayStation 5 using a variety of shells, buttons, and LED light strips. ExtremeRate is my go-to company for these kinds of kits because they give you all the tools you need and a spare set of screws. These kits are perfect for a #SundayFunday.

Now that I’ve highlighted two compelling reasons why modding can be enjoyable. Let’s combine them to create something remarkable. The GameBoy Advance (GBA) holds a special place in my heart as one of my favorite portable consoles from childhood. We all know the struggle of playing in dimly lit rooms and constantly replacing AA batteries. So, I brought this classic console into modern times with a new screen and USB-C charging and made it my own with a custom shell, buttons, and stickers.

GBA ModOn the surface, this series of mods might seem daunting. Fortunately, the Retro Game Repair Shop’s got our back with a plentiful selection of backlit screens, modern charging solutions, shells, and buttons. These days, backlit IPS screens are user-friendly, require minimal soldering, and are already laminated (i.e., you won’t need to attach the LCD to the glass screen). Additionally, installing a USB-C charging pack will make AA batteries a thing of the past. This mod rekindled my desire to play GBA games again and even go out and buy some games I had never played growing up. 😃

Modding your favorite components doesn’t have to be intimidating. Whether you’re aiming for modern compatibility, matching your style, or just for fun, modding can be very rewarding. As you gain experience and confidence, you’ll be ready to tackle more complex projects. I invite you to try some of the tools discussed in this article to help you start your modding journey. If you do, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below! 🙂


Scott Dyer Scott Dyer (4 Posts)

Scott Dyer is just your friendly neighborhood gamer geek. By day, he works as a marketing communications consultant for a major automobile manufacturer. By night, he moonlights as an avid gamer geek on many levels. Whether video, tabletop, card, or anything in between, you can bet he's tried almost everything. When he's not playing games, Scott's modding video game consoles and accessories, building plastic models, traveling back in time to the Renaissance Faire, and now writing about his favorite gaming topics in Old School Gamer Magazine.