In this section of the guide, we will cover all the key identifiers to consider when purchasing a 10/10 OEM N64 stick. The pictures below will serve as a guide to help you make an informed decision based on the controller’s condition.
Key characteristics of an OEM stick/what to look for when buying one
Shape of stick
*Ensure that the stick resembles this. It is easy to identify a GameCube replacement.
Branding to back of stick enclosure
*OEM N64 sticks feature painted branding on the back. HOWEVER, it is worth noting that I have encountered sticks without any branding or only marked with a marker pen. Nonetheless, in over 90% of cases, the stick should have branding on the back. Additionally, please be aware that some backs may be completely black instead of grey, and the branding tends to rub off very easily.
Connectors to controller board
*Please take note of the blue connector and the overall design of the inside of the controller. As depicted above, the board layout can actually vary depending on the version, region, and release time. However, the ink brandings on the boards serve as a definitive sign of a legitimate N64 controller. (Image source: https://www.pinterest.com.au/pin/620159811161441150/ and https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:N64-controller-disassembled.jpg)
10/10 stick deadzone examples
*credit to Shiva and Repo for these. Example of good deadzone (10/10) and bad dead zone
Internal wear displayed externally
*This is an example of internal stick wear that manifests externally. When playing or turning a OEM N64 controller upside down, dust in the bowl will kick up, providing a clear visible indication that the bowl and gears have experienced wear. Additionally, scratches from gameplay can be observed between the grooves above the stick housing.
The box/packaging It comes in
*this can differ for different regions, Please see above for examples