close-up of a controller analog stick

Controller drift aka analog stick drift is something we inevitably have to face with our controllers, be it on the Playstation or the Xbox. It’s that annoying phenomenon when your analog sticks start registering inputs even when you’re not touching the sticks.

Controller drift can be caused due to several factors including dirt & grime, faulty analog sticks, and faulty potentiometers. While it’s possible to attempt some fixes yourself without opening your controller apart, there is a possibility that internal components like potentiometers are damaged.

In such unfortunate situations, it’s best to take the help of professionals. Attempting to replace components yourself can be a bit tricky if you don’t know what you are doing. Plus, it can involve soldering which, if done wrongly, can completely render your controller useless.

Let’s look at some of the ways you can try to fix controller drift and get back to enjoying your console.


Reset Your Controller

Many of the issues you encounter with your controller can be fixed by resetting it using the Settings menu. A soft reset can sometimes get rid of analog stick drift if it’s caused by a minor software issue.

A hard reset should be your next resort in case the soft reset doesn’t solve the problem. A hard reset completely disconnects your controller from your console after which you can pair it back to check whether the analog stick drift is gone or not.

The process to reset your controller on either PS4 or Xbox One is usually found in Settings. Note that for a hard reset, you might have to use a paper clip to push a small button on the back of the controller.

The exact method to reset your controller will differ from console to console.


Wipe Your Controller

The next method you should try is cleaning your controller’s surface. Dust and grime are mortal enemies of both your console and controllers and should always be kept at bay.

To wipe your analog sticks, use a microfiber cloth to remove the dust buildup on and around the sticks. Try to move the stick around to access all the crevices.

If there’s grime build-up as well, you can dampen your microfiber cloth with a mixture of water and isopropyl alcohol and use it to remove the grime.


Clean The Internals of Your Controller

It’s possible the real culprit for the analog stick drift is an internal build-up of dust and grime. You will have to access the internals of the analog sticks for this step.

To disassemble your controller, carefully remove all the screws holding the outer casing in place, making sure not to disconnect any wires or ribbons. Next, use a microfiber cloth to remove dust and grime from the analog sticks or any other dirty components.

It’s advisable to let the internals dry before putting the outer casing back. Also, don’t use compressed on the internal, sensitive components.


Take the Help of Professionals

If all else fails, it’s time to let the experts handle the situation. Your controller might still be under warranty and you can check for a free repair or replacement on Sony’s or Microsoft’s website.

If your controller is out of warranty, you can take help from an authorized repair service and get an estimate of the repair cost. Sometimes, it might be prudent to simply buy a new controller instead of repairing your existing one, especially if the repair costs are too high.


Wrapping Up

That’s it for our guide on how to fix controller drift. We hope you found it useful and were hopefully able to repair the analog stick drift yourself. As a precaution, make sure to regularly clean your controllers and your console as well to avoid issues cropping up due to dirt and grime build-up.



Thursday 9th December By

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