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You’ve probably heard about controller drift, which makes your character roam around the screen entirely on their own if you play Xbox One® a lot. If you’ve never played Call of Duty®, picture trying to flee the enemy while watching your avatar end themselves in peril on their own. This is annoying since it can make playing video games practically impossible.
Our professionals at Mytechremedy assist millions of consumers in making the most of their technology and fixing device issues, such as identifying the top gaming monitors or fixing an Xbox that won’t switch on. Here is their method for resolving Xbox One controller drift, along with information on its causes.
Usually, while playing games, you’ll notice undesirable movement when an Xbox One controller begins to drift. Because one or both thumbsticks will drift or move in an undesirable direction even when you aren’t touching them, this phenomenon is known as controller drift or analog stick drift.
You must repair the Xbox One controller and adjust or replace one or more analog stick-related components in order to correct drift.
What Is Xbox One Controller Drift?
You can interact with games using the two joysticks that come with an Xbox One controller, as you are aware. The functions of the joysticks may vary depending on the game. It might, for instance, reposition the character or alter the point of view. These joysticks operate well under normal circumstances. In other words, when you move the joystick, you can watch the character (or whatever else) move.
However, when there is a joystick drift, this movement occurs without your involvement. The joystick will cause movement even if it is left unattended. In a racing game, for instance, the car could drift left or right even though you’re trying to keep it straight. As you would imagine, it might be a significant issue while you are playing any game.
In other words, the Xbox One controller’s joystick drift issue is the equivalent of throwing accuracy out the window.
Reasons for Xbox One controller drift
Three key factors can cause Xbox One controller drift:
Thumbstick pad wear: A boxy sensor component with a movable shaft on top and a rubber or plastic component that snaps onto the shaft make up each thumbstick. Your drift issue will be resolved by replacing or fixing the rubber or plastic component if it becomes worn. Thumbstick pads that are filthy in some instances may contribute to a similar problem.
Rusted springs: When you take your thumb off the thumbstick, two springs help the sensor component snap back into place. Drift occurs when one or both springs become worn. That issue is resolved by changing the springs.
Bad thumbstick unit: Each thumbstick is made up of a boxy sensor component that is soldered to the controller circuit board in a thumbstick unit that is defective. This part could malfunction internally, in which case the only solution is to swap it out for a new one.
How To Fix Xbox One Controller Drift
Before you start looking for how to disassemble an Xbox One controller, consider these quick fixes for joystick drift.
PUT YOUR XBOX ONE CONTROLLER IN RESET
Even though this is more of a restart than a complete reset, your problem might still be fixed. To turn it off, press and hold the Xbox button on the controller for 5 to 10 seconds. Press and hold the Xbox button once more to turn it back on after a little delay.
PUT NEW BATTERIES IN.
Replace the two AA batteries in the controller by sliding out the back cover and adding two new ones. Charge your controller until it is fully charged if you are using a rechargeable battery pack.
CLEAN YOUR XBOX ONE CONTROLLER
Initially, detach your controller and switch it off by pushing the Xbox button for 5–10 seconds. Then, using a cotton swab or soft cloth and a tiny quantity of rubbing alcohol, wipe the analog stick, paying specific attention to the base. As you clean, move the stick around to cover more ground. Do the same thing with the opposite analog stick. Wait for the alcohol to thoroughly dry before proceeding to the next step.
Using canned air, clean your Xbox controller as follows:
Any debris that may be causing controller drift should be removed using compressed air. One crucial piece of advice is to never tilt the can when spraying the joysticks because doing so could transfer moisture into your controller and worsen existing damage.
What else should you do to safely clean it is listed below:
- Press one analog stick as far as it will go in one direction while the controller is off, and then squirt the compressed air into the stick base on the opposing side.
- Roll the stick slowly while misting the base with air constantly.
- Try gently dragging the analog stick up while spraying or pressing it down while pushing it completely to one side. This may aid in making room for the air to enter.
- Use the other analog stick to carry out the same procedure.
- Even if your controller is in good working order, giving it a monthly spritz of compressed air will help maintain it clean and increase its lifespan.
How to fix drift by contacting Microsoft
Your best option is to get in touch with Microsoft Support for Xbox and request that your controller be replaced or repaired if it is still covered under warranty. As an alternative, you can get in touch with the shop where you purchased it and report the issue. You might not even need to speak with Microsoft to resolve this problem frequently. Unfortunately, your options are more constrained if your controller is more than two years old and the warranty has run out.
How to Fix Worn Out Thumbstick Pads
If you discover that your Xbox One controller has thumbstick drift, you should start with the simplest solutions and work your way up from there. Although filthy or worn-out thumbstick pads are not the most frequent cause of this issue, they are the ideal place to start because they are the simplest and quickest fix.
- Use a cotton swab to apply isopropyl alcohol.
- Pry back the thumbstick, then use an alcohol wipe to gently clean the rounded surface.
- Gradually rotate the thumbstick while meticulously cleaning it all.
- Make sure the thumbstick has been thoroughly cleaned, then verify the device’s functionality.
- Use a pry tool and T-8 or T-9 safety Torx to disassemble your Xbox One controller if the thumbstick is still stuck or drifting.
- To determine whether the thumbsticks are properly positioned and to determine whether they are loose, try wriggling them.
- Remove the thumbstick pads if they appear to be loose.
- If the thumbstick pads feel loose, swap them out for new ones or reinstall them using a shim like a thin piece of paper or plastic.
How to Fix Worn Out Xbox One Controller Thumbstick Springs
The next quickest option is to replace your thumbstick springs if you still have drift after attempting to fix your thumbstick pads or find that they weren’t dusty or loose. Only repair the springs on that one thumbstick if it’s the only one having issues.
Here’s how to change the analog stick springs on an Xbox One controller:
- Utilizing a pry tool and T-8 or T-9 safety Torx, disassemble your controller.
- The green plastic coverings on the right side and bottom of the thumbstick assembly must be carefully removed.
- Take the springs off.
- Alternatively, springs from another controller may be used in their place.
- Reposition the green plastic coverings with a snap.
- Reassemble your controller, then check its functionality.
Replace an Xbox One Controller Analog Stick
You might discover that one or both of your analog sticks are just worn out and need to be replaced in some circumstances. If you are not confident with desoldering and soldering, you shouldn’t attempt this even more challenging repair.
Here’s how to swap out the analog stick on an Xbox One controller:
- Utilizing a pry tool, T-8 or T-9 safety Torx to separate the case, and a T-7 Torx to remove the circuit board, disassemble your controller.
- Remove the outdated analog stick assembly from the circuit board using a desoldering tool.
- Solder the replacement analog stick assembly into place.
- Test the controller’s operation after reassembly.
Fix Xbox One controller drift without taking it apart
Depending on the probable causes of the drift, you may be able to resolve the problem without disassembling the controller. You can do it by utilizing one of two approaches. One is that you may make sure that the controller batteries are fully charged. Two, you can use a can of pressurized air to clean the dust and dirt out of the control system.
We think we’ve provided the most simple solutions to the problem of Xbox controller analog stick drift. Although the circumstance may be frustrating, you can pick one of the practical remedies we have listed above. Take the controller to an approved service center, nevertheless, if you don’t want to take the chance.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How can I turn on a non-working Xbox One controller?
Installing fresh batteries may help a controller that won’t switch on for your Xbox. Examine the battery contacts, which need to be angled. If you need to bend one back out, use a prying tool. Check your cords and update the firmware on your Xbox One controller.
How do I update a controller for the Xbox One?
Turn on the Xbox One controller and log into the Xbox Network to update the firmware. To access the user manual, press the Xbox One button, then select System > Settings > Kinect & devices > Devices & accessories. Select the Firmware version from the More (three dots) menu. Refresh now.
What can I do to stop my controller from drifting?
Making sure your Xbox One controllers are in optimal condition is the greatest approach to prevent drifting. You must handle these gadgets with caution. For example, be careful not to subject these controls to excessive dust and debris. Similar to that, you need to periodically inspect them for hardware breakdown.
How is analog drift fixed?
On the DualShock 4, gently wipe the area surrounding the joysticks’ bases. Give the rubbing alcohol some time to dry. Once dry, blow any remaining debris or loose accumulation away using compressed air.