Is there a way to improve the D pad?

After about 30 mins my thumb start to hurt when playing pokemon crystal on this device. So is there a way to improve d pad, make it more comfortable to play games ?

There was mention of this mod:

I pulled apart a broken 8-bitdo NES controller and used the d pad from that. It has a spherical base that allows it to rock more, rather then just mush.
I share your pain, playing Mother 3 a lot. I’m curious to hear of any more modifications to the d pad.

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I tried just cleaning the d pad contacts with deoxit contact cleaner and I think this has made it so the contacts work with less pressure. I think maybe this is what’s going on: your contacts are a little corroded or something and you have to mash on the keys too hard. Mine is basically new out of the box, so it’s possible they just corrode as they sit in the ESD bags on the shelf… just speculation.