How to fix analog stick drift on your PS4

Don’t let a dodgy controller beat you…

09 Sep 2020

Where would you be without your trusty PS4 controller? If you’re a dedicated gamer, you’ll put it through a lot during its lifetime – even if you’re not the kind of gamer that throws the controller across the room when they get beat.

A typical PS4 controller should give you years of uninterrupted gameplay, but all those button flicks and twists of the stick take their toll on it. One of the most common problems that gamers experience is something called analog stick drift. It’s really annoying, but it can be fixed. Read on to find out how.


What is analog stick drift?

Okay, first things first. What exactly is analog stick drift? Well, it basically means that one (or both) of your two analog sticks start moving things onscreen when they shouldn’t.

Let’s say you’re playing Fortnite, and your character starts running around in circles for no reason. Or you line up a perfect shot in Call of Duty and suddenly, your sight moves a foot to the left. Or if you veer off the course for no reason in the final lap of a Need for Speed session… these are all signs that your PS4 controller is suffering from analog stick drift.


What causes PS4 controller drift?

The most likely cause of analog stick drift is dust, dirt and grime working its way into your controller. Over time, all these nasties can build up and affect your electrical connections. And when this happens, your controller might start playing up in strange and random ways.


How do you fix analog stick drift on the PS4?



In most cases, you can fix analog stick drift on your PS4 controller without opening it up or sending it off to be repaired. The best method is to give it a good clean using a can of compressed air. So once you’ve got this piece of equipment, follow these simple steps:


  1. Disconnect your controller and turn it off. You can do this by pressing the PS button for 10-20 seconds.
  2. Push your left analog stick to the side and blow your compressed air into the base. Don’t get too close- the nozzle should be at least three inches from the controller.
  3. Give your right analog stick the same treatment.
  4. Now try and get your sticks moving smoothly. Click them a few times (the L3 and R3 buttons), then move them as far as they can go in all directions. This should help dislodge any debris that the pressurized air didn’t manage to get rid of.


Hopefully your controller will now be working just fine. But if it isn’t, it could be that some parts are worn out, and you need a replacement controller.

Even if your PS4 controller is working fine, it’s a good idea to give it a good clean with pressurized air about once a month. This will help prevent any build-up of grime, and make it last longer. It’s also good for hygiene!


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