What is joystick drift? What to do with joystick drift? How to fix the drift by disassembling the controller?
One of the most important elements of our video game consoles, whatever they are, remain the controllers. Whether you have a PlayStation, Xbox, Switch or other machine, without a controller, you can’t play. And on these controllers, we usually find one or more joysticks. Problem, these mechanical components can be victims of what is called drift or joystick drift.
What is joystick drift?
Drift is a problem directly related to the joystick that manifests itself by an unwanted action that occurs on the screen. As if, for example, the joystick was in a position to the right when it is not. You will then see, in your favorite game, your character constantly move to the right, without you even touching the controller.
This problem is very widespread, and it is, most often, the consequence of the use of joysticks. The more you play, the more likely your controller’s joysticks will drift. Fortunately, there are a few solutions to try to solve the problem.
What to do with joystick drift?
The first solution to consider before buying a controller or disassembling the beast is quite simple, it is cleaning. Indeed, the dirt and dust that accumulates can be the cause of the problem.
Take a compressed air dust bomb equipped with a precision tube. Controller completely off (remove the batteries if your wireless controller contains any), spray the contour of the stick by pressing lightly without staying too long in the same place. Flip the controller around to more easily dislodge dust wherever it may be lodged. Wipe your controller, let it rest for a few minutes before turning it back on. That may be enough.
Repair the drift by disassembling the joystick
If your controller is under warranty, it is better to send it to the manufacturer for repair. On the other hand, if this is no longer the case, you can try to repair it yourself before spending money to have it repaired or to buy another one.
The process is quite similar with all controllers. The objective is to remove the chassis to be able to fully access the joysticks. It is then possible to completely clean the inside of the controller, and the joysticks themselves. Once there, it is also possible to replace the offending component (which costs less than a complete controller).
You will find many video tutorials on the web, specifically adapted to your console and your controller.