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Troubleshooting Sphero BB8 Problems

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.

BB8 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 the 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.
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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


Leigh on April 22, 2020:

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.

mike rio on July 19, 2019:

Thanks Max !!

Emelia on February 23, 2019:

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 :/

John on July 02, 2018:

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?

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