PS5 DualSense Stick Drift: Here's How To Fix It

The PS5 and its DualSense controller are some amazing pieces of technology. The console boasts impressive graphics, while its controller sports new features for immersion and responsiveness, like haptic feedback and a built-in mic. Neither the console nor its controller is perfect, however. It's been discovered that the PS5 has a design flaw that could destroy it, while the DualSense is known to sometimes suffer from stick drift.


This dreaded issue causes the controller to falsely register movement from the joystick, making menu cursors or player characters move and game screens slowly rotate – hence stick "drift" – when the player isn't pushing the stick. At best, it can be obnoxious and inconvenient. At worst, it can make a controller utterly useless.

Stick drift can have several different causes (per LifeHacker). Still, most gamers will want to run through every possible problem and solution before giving up on a controller entirely and sinking money into a new one.

Here's a rundown of possible causes and solutions for those struggling with this issue.

Software fixes

If players are lucky, their stick drift is caused by a software issue, in which case there are a couple of quick and easy fixes.

It's possible that the controller or the console itself just needs to be updated (per RadioTimes). Simply head into the settings and verify that the latest console update has been downloaded and installed. For the controller, make sure it's connected to the console through the USB cable, head to accessories from the control center, select the DualSense in question, and make sure that the software is listed as "up to date" (per Asurion). If the console or controller isn't updated, doing so may fix the issue.


If updates aren't the issue, a good old, hard reset could be in order — turning off the controller and using a toothpick or small tool to hold down the button beneath the mic button for about five seconds (per RadioTimes).

If none of these tips work, the problem is likely on the hardware side. If so, gamers will need a different set of fixes.

Hardware fixes

Sometimes, controllers get dirty or wear out. When that happens, they can stop working how they're meant to, and fixing them can be a bit harder.

If all the software fixes have failed to stabilize the joystick, the next thing to do is try cleaning it. First, turn off the controller and use cotton swabs with a cleaning solution that is high alcohol content (to limit the amount of water and reduce the chance of moisture damage) to wipe the sticks and surrounding area (per MakeUseOf). If that doesn't work, players can also try resetting the sticks by carefully pulling up on them to lift them out of their resting position and slowly rotating them (per PlayStationLifestyle).


Finally, if all this fails, it's time to accept that the controller may be busted beyond the average player's ability to repair it. At this point, there are three choices. If the drift isn't too bad, gamers can change the input threshold (Deadzone) in the settings of games so that it's less sensitive and the drift doesn't register (per RadioTimes). If it's too noticeable to mitigate and the controller is still under warranty, fans can try contacting Sony for a fix or replacement by heading to PlayStation Support (per PlayStationLifestyle).

Finally, the last recourse is giving up on the controller and opting for a new one. It will be an excellent excuse to pick up a new DualSense Edge, if nothing else.