It is very rare for a new console to be released without any problems. The best we can hope for as early adopters is that they are minor and not as severe as the infamous red death ring that plagued the early version of the Xbox 360. Unfortunately Sony PlayStation 5, more specifically the DualSense controller, has drawn a lot of negative attention due to a bug in the joysticks. The joystick drift problem is almost identical to that with Nintendo’s Joycons, in this case called Joycon drift, except that it occurs much earlier in the controller’s life.

If you experience problems with your DualSense joysticks, there are a few methods you can try to fix them yourself. A driving joystick makes your games essentially unplayable, and if you repair or replace it, your console may be inoperable for days and the cost of a new one can be steep. Before you go through this, here’s how to fix joystick drift on PS5.

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What is joystick drift?

If you are unfamiliar with the term, if your controller behaves like you are pushing one or both joysticks in a certain direction, joystick drift will behave even if you are not touching the controller. In-game it can manifest itself as your character constantly spinning or walking in one direction, or navigating menu options that are beyond your control. This happens with DualSense controllers because the sensors under the stick are either triggered by something or fail at the software or mechanical level. You may be able to solve the former two yourself with these tips, but the latter cannot.

What NOT to do

First of all do Not Try opening your DualSense controller. Even if you do this as carefully as possible, opening it will void your warranty. If none of the other fixes here work, then you can’t even return it for a new one. There’s also no need to get in unless the problem is mechanical. In that case, you wouldn’t have the parts to fix it anyway. Set your screwdriver aside for now.

Also, and we will mention it again when we get to the cleaning area, but make sure you clean your controller properly. By that we mean not to saturate it with water or even get it wet. This is an electronic device, after all, and you can easily do more harm this way. Proper rubbing in of alcohol in small amounts is more than enough.

Finally, and this is a good rule to follow, be kind to your controller. We all have moments of gamer anger at times, but never take them out on your controller. A bad litter or drop can permanently damage the inside or outside. Even if you are too rough with the sticks, problems can arise faster.

Reset your DualSense

Let’s start with the simpler fixes to hopefully fix the joystick drift problem quickly and easily. Resetting your DualSense is not done by turning it off and on. There is actually a hidden reset button that completely updates your controller. Look for a small hole in the back of your DualSense that hides the reset button. You’ll need something like a paper clip to gently insert the button and hold it down for five seconds. After restarting, reconnect your controller to the PS5 and check if the drift is still there.

Reset your bluetooth

DualSense settings

If resetting the controller doesn’t work, you can try turning bluetooth on and off. This is less likely to be the cause of drift, but is still worth trying in case of glitch. To turn off your bluetooth, go to Settings> Accessories> Controller> Communication Method and then hit Turn off bluetooth. After disabling the connection, wait a few moments, then turn it back on and test it.

Update your PS5 and controller

Consoles are most often updated just before launch to fix problems and errors like these. Hence, it is possible that your controller or console overlooked one that eliminates the drift. Your controller will prompt you to update if you hardwire it to your PS5. To make sure your PS5 itself is on the latest patch, go to Settings> System> System software update and Settings> Update system software and choose Update via the internet. Your console will then check for the latest update and apply it if it isn’t. If you get an update, wait for it to be installed, restart your console and see if the mismatch is resolved.

Clean your joysticks

Regular cleaning of your controller should be a normal part of your routine to ensure that it stays in good working condition. However, given how new the system is, you may not have done this yet. It is all too easy for dust, dirt and oils from our hands to quickly penetrate our controls and cause chaos. If the wrongly sized piece of dirt lands in the wrong place under your thumb stick, it can easily lead to drifting.

The best and safest way to clean your controller is with a cotton swab, some alcohol, and compressed air. Before cleaning, make sure your DualSense is turned off. Try again with the compressed air and spray it in short bursts while turning your thumb in a full circle. Next, use your cotton swab and just a swab of alcohol and run it along the edges of the base of your analog stick. Let it dry for a few minutes and then give it a try.

Set the dead zone

This is less of a complete solution than a minor and conditional remedy. For some games, you can set a so-called “dead zone” in the controller settings. This is the range of motion that allows you to move the club to where the game is habit Register every movement. If the drift isn’t too extreme, in certain games you can fix it by adjusting the deadband so that the amount the controller naturally drifts isn’t captured by the game. The downside is that this will be done on a case-by-case basis depending on the game. Not all games offer it, and unfortunately, you can’t set the dead zone on the PS5 to apply to all games.

Return it or send it in for repair

Dualsense controller

If all else fails, you have no choice but to replace or repair your DualSense controller. Depending on which retailer you bought your controller or console from, or whether or not you purchased a warranty, your best bet is to try to get a replacement from the same retailer. If all is well, you should be able to bring it and get a replacement on site.

If you cannot get a replacement from the dealer or you bought it directly from Sony, you will need to contact the officer Repair and replace PlayStation Page? ˅. Sony offers a one-year warranty on the DualSense, but it has some drawbacks. After confirming that you tried to fix the problem using the troubleshooting steps included, which we also covered in this guide, you will need to pay to have your faulty controller packaged and shipped to them. Once they receive it, Sony estimates there will be 7-10 working days for them to fix it and then they’ll have to wait for it to actually get to you. All in all, you could do more than two weeks without the DualSense, but it will fix and is cheaper than buying a replacement yourself.

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