N64Gears.com review: A New Hope

n64gears.com: small gear

This is my first review (N64Gears.com) of anything since I reviewed a bass guitar when I was like 16, however, I want to break out into this scene and bring attention to speedrunning parts and gear mostly around the N64 and N64 speed games!

I got 3 sets of X and Y axis gears from the amazing N64Gears.com who I discovered by chance when writing my master thread on N64 stick knowledge on the-elite.net. I live in the UK and the store was located in the US so I paid an expectant amount for shipping, but the total cost came to what I feel like was reasonable for an “8/10” controller feel.

The availability of N64 gears and replacement parts right now are…. somewhat… dreadful. The major players like El Man and Steelsticks rarely have stock and I believe it’s due to a partnership with Shapeways falling though due to inconsistency in quality. Of course, the ripple effect is, well, no parts are around to buy. El man has split from Shapeways to start his own website, but the parts are sold out, and Steelsticks, well Linus does have steel bowls come up every couple of months, however, the waitlist for the enclosures is impossibly long and his other parts are available few and far between.

I think people underestimate how expensive it is to manufacture these parts and in all honestly to go in on a niche project like this, for the molds alone (if you were doing injection molding) would run-up in the thousands. CNC milling is another option, but again the price is unrealistic unless you were ordering in very large bulk quantities. And 3D printing…. well the fidelity needed from a printer to get the accuracy needed for gears and bowls just is not there… however saying this, I don’t have access to every 3D printer and different printing materials may yield different results.

Annnyywayyyy (As ZFG would put it), let’s get into the topic at hand. N64gears.com stood out to me at the time because it was someone, who was not tied to Shapeways, El Man, or Steelsticks who had N64 gears, that looked great quality that would provide a 7-8/10 replacement for your controller. As I mentioned above, the fact that these exist today is mind-blowing so I had to get a pair…

Updated: Jun 25, 2021

**June 2021: Fully updated, Neoflash testing done at 60 hours. Results below.

The gears

The shipping was super quick from the US to the UK, with no import fees as I believe the N64Gears.com package was under a certain amount, and I was super happy that I received an extra pair on top of the two that I ordered.

At first glance the looked like OEM gear but with a slightly rougher texture. When I was talking to N64Gears.com he did mention a review that was posted about the gears being more granular than OEM gears and that they were unplayable. This is complete bullshit, yes they are more granular to the touch however Mr. Gears just simply put, it’s not 1994 anymore and the material used (Polyoxymethylene (POM)) holds better to constant friction (ABS is the OEM material. I think). Honestly, the granularity is not an issue.

On close inspection of the gears, the N64Gears.com teeth look fab and the overall build quality is deffo 9/10. Some tiny tiny bits of plastic flaking but this could be due to pre-sale sanding, but it no means reduces the playability.

I did notice 1 thing on the Y axis gear which is so small but worth mentioning. There seem to be tale-tale signs of stick wear on the gear in the slot. Now, this was on all 3 of the gears in question, but it’s kinda… I dunno, adds a personal touch to the gears.

During a conversation with N64Gears.com, they mentioned that the original designs for their sticks were modeled after nearly new controllers they had kept. Therefore, when I noticed these marks, I could imagine myself using their sticks. The wear is something commonly seen on an 8/10 N64 stick, so it didn’t come as a surprise to me.

Installation was a breeze, no issues there. Loctite Synthetic Super Lube was used during installation, I already had some, but this is what N64gears.com recommends/has on their website to buy along with the gears if needed. For more advice on stick lube, please have a look at my mega thread as there are some serious do’s and don’ts when it comes to lube.

How they play

Game: Goldeneye 007 (Facility amongst other levels)

Bowl used: OEM 9/10 (Might be 10/10 but has been played a lot)

Stick used: OEM 9-10/10

For context I speedrun goldeneye and the review is through the Lens of a speedrunner who needs the most precision and tightness when it comes to sticking parts. Therefore, if you are reading as someone who plays casually then the guide will still be 100% relevant to you.

I spent around 25 hours grinding a variety of levels and achieving an amazing, notable time on Goldeneye using these gears.

After lubing up and setting the stick back in the controller, the first thing that strikes me Is the fluidness of the gears. Yes, they feel a tad granular, like 5% more grain than OEM. HOWEVER, you completely forget about this after a time, they function just like OEM, in the way that they move the full range they are supposed to. I had no trouble pulling off precise moves, stick flicks, and lining up my movement with ease.

After 1 – 2 hours I could not notice much difference from the OEM stick in terms of in-game movement

The deadzone/wobble was very small as well. Although the stick is not as tight as an OEM stick (Felt almost like pushing against rubber when doing the tiniest, and I mean tiniest pushes on the stick (<1mm – 1mm)) The in-game deadzone was non-existent.

My only complaint about the gears is that when you push the stick to positions between 60 – 120 degree positions there feels like a slight bump at about 80% of the push. I will post a vid/pic of what I mean but it is very hard to explain. Saying this, the imperfection is minor, and I did not notice it when I was deep into a sesh. Certainly not to the point where I was losing runs, however at first, I was cognisant of the resistance at these points.

All in all the gears play wonderfully and make a great primary and secondary choice for speedrunners and perfect for casual play.


I tend to place a lot of expectations on new things, especially when the product seems so understated on the website that is selling them. N64Gears.com states that the controller will be bought back to and 7 – 8/10 stiffness. I would disagree. I thought that we were more looking at a solid 8/10 pushing ever so slightly to 9/10. However, results may vary based on your existing equipment and the batch of gears created. I used very high-rated parts in conjunction with the gears so the fact that the bowl and stick is of primo quality ensures the maximum amount of stiffness.

Regardless, I would highly recommend these gears to anyone looking for replacements. If you are a speedrunner/casual these are a great, low-cost option to replace tired gears. The ‘bump’ at the 60 – 120 degree position can at first feel weird, however, it’s easily forgettable and won’t give you much grief. It just depends on your use, as a GE runner it didn’t bother me. For the Smash community, it can be a problem, however, the gears are so well priced that you could just buy some and see how you go with them.

Also want to give a massive shout out to Mr. Gears as he really helped me understand the challenges it takes in making such parts when I was writing the master thread and sent me an extra set of gears to play with… legend bro!


June 2021 Update: After 60 hours of play, please see below image for full test results:

Link to bigger version if needed: https://imgur.com/GwGP0Qg

Im sure this is the edge that is causing the grinding and wobble. Apart from this the gears are close to 9/10

Video for live testing:

WTFParts ranking: 84/100;Great (Competitive Pro)*

**June 2021 update: After extensive testing I would still maintain the score of 84/100;Great.


+ Feels and handle like OEM

+ Cheap

+ Worldwide shipping

+ Great range and little to no dead zone

+ Useable for competitive and casual play

+*Holds up after 60 hours of play


– Resistance at 80% push when stick at 60 – 120 degrees

– 5% more grain than OEM (Very very minor con)

– ** Y axis down movement is below par

– ** Wobble more prominent after 60 hours of play

Pick up your gears on his main website or Etsy, links below:


**June 2021 update edit


Ranking definition

90>: Near perfect/OEM standard – Competitive Pro+

80>: Great/Near perfect – Competitive Pro

70>: Okay/Great – Starter Competitive

60>: Casual only/Okay – Causal play only

<60: Bad – Causal play but only if you hate yourself


Disclaimer: The thoughts, pictures, and opinions shared in this post and any other post are solely mine. I have not received any payment or benefits to provide exaggerated positive reviews. These reviews are based solely on my personal experience. If your experience differs from mine, I cannot be held responsible in any way.


Leave a Reply 0

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *