How to fix PS4 controller drift?

How to fix PS4 controller drift?

The PlayStation 4 (PS4) controller is a vital tool for gamers, but the frustrating issue of controller drift can hinder gameplay. If your character moves involuntarily or the screen drifts even when the controller is untouched, you may be experiencing analog stick drift.

In this article, we will provide a comprehensive step-by-step guide on how to fix PS4 controller drift and regain control over your gaming experience.

DualShock 4 Wireless Controller for PlayStation 4

as of April 16, 2024 2:43 am

How to fix PS4 controller drift? Step by Step Process

Step 1: Reset Your Controller:

A simple reset can often resolve many controller-related issues, including drift, moreover, these PS4 controllers are expensive that’s why you have to be very careful. Follow these steps to perform a reset on your PS4 controller:

  1. Turn off your PlayStation console.
  2. Locate a small hole on the back of the controller.
  3. Using a paperclip or a similar tool, press and hold the button within the hole for about 5 seconds.
  4. Reconnect the controller to your PlayStation using a USB cable.
  5. Turn on your PlayStation and wait for it to boot up completely.
  6. Press the PlayStation button on your controller, ensuring that the light bar lights up, and allow the controller to connect to your PlayStation.

Step 2: Clean Your Controller:

Sometimes, dirt and debris can cause analog stick drift. Cleaning your controller may help alleviate the issue. Here’s how to clean your PS4 controller:

  1. Apply a small amount of cleaning alcohol to a cotton swab.
  2. Thoroughly clean the analog joysticks, making sure to reach all areas. Repeat this process for both joysticks.
  3. Hold an air duster can upright and give it a good shake before use.
  4. Press the analog joystick to one side and gently spray the compressed air around it. Be cautious not to spray too closely, as this could freeze the joystick.

Step 3: Press the Analog Sticks:

Pressing the analog sticks can sometimes recalibrate them and mitigate the drift issue. Follow these steps:

  1. Press and hold both analog sticks on your controller for approximately 10 seconds.
  2. While still holding the sticks, blow into the opening created between them.
  3. Rotate both analog sticks clockwise for 10 seconds.
  4. Rotate both analog sticks counter-clockwise for 10 seconds.
  5. Once again, hold the analog sticks up (forward) and click them in.

Step 4: Replace Your Analog Sticks:

If the previous steps haven’t resolved the drift problem, it may be necessary to replace the analog sticks. Please note that this step requires technical skills and may void the warranty. Consider seeking professional assistance or following online tutorials if you’re not confident in performing the replacement yourself. Here’s a general outline of the process:

  1. Unscrew the small screws on the back of your PS4 controller.
  2. Carefully open the controller and disconnect the battery.
  3. Unscrew the screw securing the motherboard and slowly remove it from the controller.
  4. Desolder the potentiometer (the sensor for analog sticks) and remove it from the motherboard.
  5. Place the new potentiometer correctly and ensure that the contacts are properly soldered.
  6. Reassemble the controller, screw it back together, and your controller should function as good as new.


PS4 controller drift can be a frustrating issue, but with the right steps, it can be resolved. Start by performing a reset on your controller, followed by a thorough cleaning of the analog sticks.

If the drift persists, try pressing the analog sticks and recalibrating them. If all else fails, consider replacing the analog sticks, keeping in mind that this process requires technical expertise. By following these steps, you can overcome PS4 controller drift and get back to enjoying your gaming experience with precision control.

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