Troubleshooting Sphero BB8 Problems

Updated on December 25, 2016
Max Dalton profile image

Max holds a B.S. in mass communications from SIU, an M.A. in communications from U of I, and is pursuing an MBA from Webster University.


The Sphero remote control BB8 droid has a natural movement and feel that convincingly brings the character to life. Further, the device is controlled through an app installed on a smart device and doesn't feature a remote control. Additionally, the BB8 droid features a remote control shell, 60-minute battery life, and can even take videos and present them as holographic recordings inside of the app. Common problems with the BB8 droid can include charging issues, pairing problems, issues with the app, and more. See if you can get to the bottom of your problems using troubleshooting before seeking professional help.

The Sphero BB8 droid doesn't come with a remote control. Instead, you control it through an app on your smart device.
The Sphero BB8 droid doesn't come with a remote control. Instead, you control it through an app on your smart device. | Source

BB-8 Won't Hold Charge

The Sphero BB8 takes roughly three hours to fully charge, and can operate for one hour on a full charge. If the results you're seeing are different, try the following:

  • Try a different outlet to see if there are issues with the outlet you currently have the charger connected to.
  • Make sure that the heavy half of the BB8 remote control droid is resting on the bottom of the charger. You can easily find the heavy half of the BB8 droid by setting it on a table. The device will automatically settle with the heavy half on top and the light half on bottom.
  • If there are larger issues with the battery on the BB8 droid, you'll need to contact Sphero, as the battery in the remote control BB8 droid isn't replaceable.

Device Won't Pair with BB8

  • Ensure that the Sphero BB8 droid and the smartphone you're attempting to connect it to are as close to each other as possible. Ideally, they should be no more than five feet from each other to avoid any issues. Additionally, make sure there are no devices between BB8 and the device you're attempting to pair it with.
  • Try restarting both BB8 and the device you're attempting to pair it with to see if the devices then recognize each other.
  • The Sphero BB8 droid features Bluetooth LE. As a result, the device you're attempting to pair with the droid must be compatible with Bluetooth LE or Bluetooth 4. If you check the settings on the device you're attempting to pair with BB8 and discover it isn't compatible, you'll need to use a different device that is.

Where is the Remote Control?

The BB8 remote control droid does not come with a remote control. Rather, you will need to download the BB-8 App Enabled Droid Powered by Sphero from either the Apple or Android app store. The app will let you control all aspects of the droid and hear sounds the droid makes.

Mashable BB8 Droid by Sphero Review

Reset BB8

Resetting the Sphero BB8 droid can resolve a lot of issues that pop up. Use the following steps to reset your device:

  1. Set BB8 in the charging cradle.
  2. Hold down the button along the side of the charging cradle.
  3. Lift BB8 out of the charging cradle.
  4. Wait for 10 seconds and then place BB8 back in the cradle. The device is now restored to its factory settings.

Black Screen on Android Devices

There is a known issue where Android users open the app on their smart device and then instantly get a black screen after the app initially loads before they can do anything. To resolve the issue you'll need to do the following:

  1. Remove the app from your Android device.
  2. Force quite all apps that are currently running.
  3. Open the "Settings" app, and then tap "Application Manager" and "Google Play Store."
  4. Tap "Force Stop" and then choose "Clear Data." This will clear all data associated with the apps on your smart device.
  5. Navigate back to Application Manager, and then choose "Google Play Services."
  6. Tap "Force Stop" and then "Clear Cache." The cache on your Android device will be emptied.
  7. Reinstall the BB8 app on your Android device. The app should now work fine and you should be able to resume control of BB8.

Update Software

A lot of bugs and issues that get discovered after a device gets rolled out to the public get resolved via software updates. If you're experiencing problems with BB8, update the device's software to see if it resolves your specific issue. You can update the software by doing the following:

  1. Set BB8 in the charging cradle.
  2. Ensure your connected to the app on your smart device.
  3. Open the app and then tap "Settings." Tap the arrow in the upper right hand corner of the screen twice to arrive at the Advanced Settings screen.
  4. Tap "Force Firmware Update." If an update is available, you'll see the progress on the app screen. After the install is complete, the app will take you to the home screen.

© 2016 Max Dalton


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • profile image


      3 months ago

      Can the black antenna be replaced? I think it’s the one that picks up Bluetooth. My son’s smacked a chair and broke off and now won’t work.

    • profile image

      mike rio 

      12 months ago

      Thanks Max !!

    • profile image


      17 months ago

      The head of my bb-8 is acting wierd. It's twitching so he doesn't really work to smoothly. I've already cleaned the bottom of his head and that didn't work, i don't know what else to do :/

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      My bb 9 works fine driving but sometimes it wants to stop after i bump it into a coner and does not want to move i have to move it though it should move himself out cause the head moves is it because i am losing a connection?


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)