PS5 DualSense teardown reveals potential causes of controller drift

No easy fix.

Read Full Story >>
Jin_Sakai7d ago

The DualSense that come with our PS5 has bad stick drift. Guess we’ll be forking out $70 for a new one considering Sony wants us to pay return shipping and do without a controller for weeks while it’s being repaired. Not happy.

darthv726d ago

Why not get a replacement to use while your original is sent back for repairs? Everyone should at least have one spare at some point.

Storm236d ago

That's what I have done. No big deal. Sending my original back tomorrow since my second came today. I wonder what they will do with the original? Replace or fix? Will see

Orchard6d ago (Edited 6d ago )

@Storm23 Sort of a big deal if you’re having to send back a ~3 month controller to be replaced.

As for “everyone should at least have one spare” - this is corporate shilling. We shouldn’t have to have spare controllers to backup our 3 month old controller. Why not have a spare backup PS5 too in case your main one breaks down? It’s only another $500!

Also not everyone can afford to have spare $70 controllers...

DarkZane6d ago (Edited 6d ago )

@Orchard It just mean people have lemons, which can happen for any electronics, not that the drift is a widespread problem. I am willing to bet 99% of the dualsenses out there are fine and will be for years.

RosweeSon6d ago

Because now apparently Sony should provide a courtesy controller cos he crashed his up 😑😂

DOMination-6d ago

Buying another one doesn't solve the problem if the issue still exists.

UltraNova6d ago (Edited 6d ago )

Has anyone here with a dualsense experienced stick drift?

darthv726d ago

@nova... Jin (up top) said it in the very first comment.

@orchard, what is so wrong with having an extra controller? You mean to tell me you will NEVER have a need for a player 2? Yeah i get that many may not be able to afford a 2nd controller right away, which is why I said "at some point". If owning multiples of something is shilling then I am a shill. I own multiple PS4 (11) and XBO (18) systems and dozens of controllers. It's good to have spares.

UltraNova6d ago (Edited 6d ago )

Yes, I meant if anyone else experienced it here :-)

For the record, having two controllers is a must. Even if you don't play local coop games you'd be better off having a second controller in case you run out of battery mid-game or if something goes wrong with one of them.

rdgneoz35d ago

A replacement or you know, a 2nd controller for what you want to play couch co-op with a friend or significant other?

VariantAEC4d ago

So now all the sudden couch co-op and splitscreen multiplayer is a nonstarter on PS5? Just to suit your narrative I suppose. When PS4 came out I wound up getting a DS4 before PS4 despite securing a PS4 pre-order. Today I'm one of those still waiting for a PS5.

VariantAEC4d ago

Despite not owning a PS5 I do have a DualSense and according to the PC it doesn't drift. Ironically all of my Xbox controllers do drift according to my PC.

Orchard3d ago (Edited 3d ago )

@darthv72 I actually don't have a 2nd player, no. I play mostly single player experiences and I don't do couch coop (not that there are that many games for couch coop anymore). So why should I have to buy a 2nd controller just in-case my 3 month old one dies? Why should I pay for something I don't need?

I somewhat doubt that you have 11 PS4's and 18 Xbox One's lol. That's over $10000 of consoles in one generation.

@VariantAEC Not everyone does couch coop / local MP, it's not as common as you'd think to buy two controllers. Also if you buy two for coop, and one dies, you're still back down to one because the hardware was unreliable...

Shrugging this off as "companies can make bad hardware because it's okay, everyone should go buy backup hardware" is prime fanboyism / corporate shilling.

darthv723d ago

@orchard... well I certainly did not pay $10k for all of them but I most definitely do have them.

you can check out all the variations I have here: https://consolevariations.c...

Storm233d ago

Just to update, the drift on my controller has stopped...hopefully it stays that way.

+ Show (11) more repliesLast reply 3d ago
RazzerRedux7d ago (Edited 7d ago )

"According to iFixit, the DualSense as well as the DualShock 4, the Xbox One and Xbox One Elite controllers all use off the shelf joystick hardware "with a long history of predictable, preventable issues"."

I've owned all those controllers and never once experienced "drift".

mania5686d ago

lets hope its not as bad as its been spreading around, i come home to see 3 seperate news about dualsenses having no more than 400 hours (on n4g) until it starts happening and then i read that its the same as every last gen device which i had no problems with since the joy cons, but the question is why didnt they try to fix it if it was a last gen problem, how much would it cost them to change those parts so that it either stops it or its much harder for it to happen?
here's to hoping its not doom and gloom and it doesnt affect many people.

RazzerRedux6d ago

"i come home to see 3 seperate news about dualsenses having no more than 400 hours (on n4g)"

Yeah, but that's all based on iFixit's video and they are speculating here. They took the thumbstick manufacturer's expected life cycle and somehow came up with 400 hours of Call of Duty play using "back of the napkin math", but they said it greatly depends on the "type and intensity of games you play".

utopiancat6d ago (Edited 6d ago )

"how much would it cost them to change those parts so that it either stops it or its much harder for it to happen?"

But what if there really isn't a problem (there isn't a higher number of failures than the expected average) and it's just the usual negative press making a big deal out of a small number of cases and just making it seem like a big deal with there self amplification?

What if the reason all these companies are using the same part is because it's the most cost effective solution that benefits both players and the companies.

CrimsonIdol6d ago (Edited 6d ago )

"I've owned all those controllers and never once experienced "drift"."
perhaps though your sample group of one doesn't accurately reflect its overall impact. I've experienced drift on every controller I've ever absolutely hammered (however not the ones mentioned, guess I don't game as much as I used to, or controllers have got better at handling it). I don't, however, have that much of an issue with it. It's to be expected (I wouldn't launch a lawsuit over it anyway).
It's a fair point they mention to make joysticks easily replaceable (ie, with a cable plug rather that 10 or so solder points). I am all for reducing pointless waste like replacing an entire controller when all is needed is some new sticks or a new battery.

RazzerRedux6d ago (Edited 6d ago )

"perhaps though your sample group of one doesn't accurately reflect its overall impact. I've experienced drift on every controller I've ever absolutely hammered"

You just countered my "sample group of one" with your own "sample group of one". I never suggested my experiences are representative of anything other than my experiences. It is what it is.

CrimsonIdol6d ago

My apologies, it seemed to me like you were were suggesting that because you've never experienced it that it's not really a problem, or evidence that what's been examined in this teardown isn't true (hence why I gave my counter example).

Joystick drift is essentially inevitable given enough wear. There will also be outside factors as to how long that might take, you might even make it a whole generation if you're lucky. They're still a lot better than they used to be. We've come a long way from the N64 joysticks at least (where the fight was always on in Mario Kart and GoldenEye to get the one controller that DIDN'T have a munted joystick).

PS-Gamer-19866d ago

"Joystick drift is essentially inevitable given enough wear."

I also can't confirm this problem at all. I haven't experienced this on ps1/2/3/4, OG xbox, xbox 360, dreamcast after heavy usage of 1000s of hours on each system and controller. The only time i had one replaced was a few months after i bought the ps4, when the rubber on the DS4's left stick failed and after 5 years i repaired the L2 button myself.

But drifting wasn't an issue at all in at least 25 years of gaming.

CrimsonIdol6d ago (Edited 6d ago )

PS-Gamer-1986: Are you for real? Through all those generations, never have your analog sticks started to drift on any of your controllers? Never have they started looking up/down/whatever? I seriously find that hard to believe but perhaps it's not as inevitable as the durability of tiny rubbing plastic parts and small springs would have me assume.

I reckon I've had at least 6 on the OG xbox and 360 controllers alone (probably my most played consoles), more if I count unofficial controllers. I've never had my PS3 controller do it and and not my PS4 controller, but I don't think I've used my PS4 enough to really get close to the 2 million cycles it's rated for. I've only had one official Xbox One one do it just barely so far but also it's only been the 18 months or so I've started using an Xbox One controller as my main PC controller.

PS-Gamer-19866d ago (Edited 6d ago )

Yes, not once. I haven't even known that drifting was a thing until i read about the joycon controllers on the switch, which i also have since oct 2019 btw (played on more than 400hours) and no drifting yet *knock on wood. I believed it was a kind of exclusive problem of that console. Maybe i'm just extremely lucky. i don't treat controllers like raw eggs, but they also aren't a target of gaming rage (as i'm a chill gamer), just many many hours of normal usage

CrimsonIdol5d ago

Far out, well I stand corrected. I'm not a rage gamer or anything like that but I'm going to have to assume on that that there must be something I've been doing to these poor joysticks that's been giving them more grief than you. Something environmental/lack of
care related perhaps.

PS-Gamer-19864d ago (Edited 4d ago )


This was not about correcting anyone, but sharing my experience and in addition mentioning my gaming habits as reference. But i'm neither implying that those who say that it is a common problem for them and others, are lying, nor do i suspect them/you of not treating their/your devices with care. On the other hand there is no need to doubt me when others also seem to not have experienced any issues in that regard

+ Show (4) more repliesLast reply 4d ago
lonewolf106d ago

Same as me, sucks for those that do get it though. I used to get drift on older console controllers but through both 360/PS3 and PS4/One life cycles I have not had any drift. Not had drift with Wii-U/Switch controllers either.

ziggurcat6d ago

I've had it happen with 2 of my DS4 controllers.

RazzerRedux6d ago (Edited 6d ago )

I guess I'm just lucky. I think I would know and would be extremely annoyed if it did happen.

ziggurcat6d ago

It can be pretty obvious when it starts - though sometimes it isn't really noticeable. I only noticed on my first controller because while I was playing God of War, Kratos would walk forward if I just stood there, and held the shield button down.

DJStotty6d ago

It is more noticeable to me on racing games (car will slowly turn to one side whilst going down a straight).

FinalFantasyFanatic6d ago (Edited 6d ago )

I also own multiples of some of these controllers and have never had drift issues either, I think part of the issue is how people are treating them (cheeto dust).

BlackDoomAx6d ago

And of course because you didn't had issues, these issues don't exist.

RazzerRedux6d ago

Didn't say or even imply that, now did I? No, I didn't. I making a personal observation so what is your problem?

BlackDoomAx5d ago

So your comment is purely useless. Ok.

RememberThe3575d ago

I've had 5 PS4 controller and only the newest one doesn't have drift. It's part of the reason I want to switch to playing mostly on PC.

RazzerRedux5d ago

You do apparently.

"So your comment is purely useless. Ok."

You keep replying to them though. What's that say about you?

VariantAEC4d ago

The Xbox 360 controllers I have when played on Xbox 360 don't drift but they do on PC. On Windows the gamepad thingy (Idgaf what MS calls their app at the moment) shows drift and well on PC their pads all drift, but the same pads will not drift on console. So there's a small deadzone built in. That said the Nvidia Shield TV and various PlayStation gamepads I've connected to PC don't show any drift on PC using the same windows app. Only the DualShock 4 and DualSense will interface with Windows 10 without an app via USB and via BT using the PS dongle and either Sony or various 3rd party FOSS applications and I've not used the PS gamepads in any PC games (because they don't seem to work without more fanagling so lack of drift on PC is assumed from the Windows gamepad app).

+ Show (6) more repliesLast reply 4d ago
oof466d ago

If you play a lot of online fps games, there's a high chance you'll get stick drift.

TheColbertinator6d ago

Which is amusing because Battlefield, Call of Duty and Rainbow Six Siege are among the top sellers on consoles.

Snookies126d ago

I mean, I play a lot of FPS games on my PS4 with a controller I've had for 3 years. Never had much drift, only ever noticed it in Hitman 2 where the deadzone is tiny. Resulting in the smallest movement in my right stick that barely had any effect on playing. If they are the same parts used, I wouldn't be too worried about it. Sucks that this is an issue at all though. Especially since it's something that can be fixed if they would just invest a bit more money into these controllers. (Every company, Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo.)

EazyC6d ago

Lol that slide + sprint cancel move in Warzone will FUCK your controller up, they're not designed to do that.

Knightofelemia6d ago (Edited 6d ago )

That's what happens when you go with the cheapest option when sourcing parts to build something. Buy so many get a certain deal on so many off. The cleaning is only a patch and resetting the stick positioning on the console might work but with my Switch pro controller only worked for about 3 minutes top. Only best options are warranty, or replacing the whole thumbstick part yourself. And even then if you order the part off of Ebay it might turn out to be the same brand or an off brand of the unit. Next question is how long will this part last once it's installed?

Ryushaa6d ago

So, like I always said, the dualsense's analog is the same as the one from the Dualshock4 and Xbox One's. Which means there is no more drift problems with the Dualsense then with those others controllers, probably.
However people will bluntly use this video as proof that the Dualsense has more drift problems then old gen controllers.

RememberThe3575d ago

Old gen controllers had drift problems too. There was hope that the new generation of hardware would squash that but it seems the issue hasn't cost them enough in repulation or money quite yet.

Show all comments (54)