Your Xbox controller is as essential and vital as your limbs. Without it, you wouldn’t be able to enjoy your favorite Xbox games. 

This controller may also be paired with your PC and smartphone, making it a critical hardware for gamers who wish to play games on different platforms.

But there are times when your Xbox controller may show up with drift issues. These are very frustrating to deal with. So, here’s all the information you need to know about fixing Xbox controller drift issues.

What Are Xbox Controller Drift Issues? What Causes Them?

When an Xbox controller begins succumbing to drift, the player will notice unwanted movement while they play games. This is known as controller drift, as one or both the thumbsticks will drift or move in an unwanted direction even if the player isn’t touching them.

So, this needs fixing before it gets worse. Expounding further, controller drift happens when the potentiometer in the joystick module wears out from continued usage or accumulates dust and debris stuck in it. 

In turn, this brings about inaccurate readings that are read as “official inputs” by your controller. The drift may cause menus and in-game characters to operate on their own.

Ways To Fix Xbox Controller Drift Issues

Commonly, it is just as simple as taking your Xbox controller apart and doing some simple repairs. This issue is rarely caused by software, so you could safely assume that it’s with the controller itself. 

With that being said, it isn’t a bad idea to try and update your controllers or change their batteries before you decide to take them apart for repairs. Also, if they are under warranty, do not perform DIY repairs. Instead, please proceed with caution or bring them to the service center.

But, if DIY repairs permit, here are the ways to fix these issues. 

Method # 1: Clean Your Xbox Controller

  • First, disconnect and turn off your controller by pressing the Xbox button for five to 10 seconds.
  • Then, apply just a tiny amount of rubbing alcohol using a soft cloth or cotton swap. Wipe the analog stick, focusing on the base area.
  • Be sure to move the stick around as you clear so you can cover and clean more areas.
  • Use the same process for your other analog sticks. 
  • Then, press one stick as far as it can go in one direction before spraying compressed air into the base of the stick on the other side. 
  • Slowly roll the analog stick around while continuing to spray its base with air. 
  • Then, gently pull the stick up then press it down while pushing it all the way to a side. 
  • Repeat this process with the other analog sticks. 

Method # 2: Perform A Power Cycle

  • First, press then hold the Xbox button on the console for around 10 seconds at least to launch the power center.
  • Then, unplug the power supply from the console and wait for around three minutes.
  • Plug it back into the console. 
  • Turn the console on by pressing the Xbox button.
  • Lastly, press then hold the Xbox button on your controller. Once the wireless controller flashes, this tells you that the drift issue is fixed.

Method # 3: Replace Your Controllers’ Batteries

If the batteries run out, this may also cause drift issues. Here’s how to fix this.

  • Press the console’s pair button. This should be adjacent to the USB port.
  • Just keep pressing this button until the Xbox button lights up or flashes.
  • Once connected, the Xbox logo would stay lit. 

Method # 4: Fix Or Change The Analog Sticks Springs

  • Start by dissembling your Xbox controller. 
  • At the bottom, you’ll see green plastic covers that must be pried off. But be careful here, as damaging a single item will require you to replace the entire analog stick. 
  • Carefully take off the springs using tweezers.
  • Then, insert the new springs before properly reassembling your controller.

Method # 5: Replace The Whole Analog Stick

If none of the above methods worked, perhaps it is time to replace the entire stick. But practice great caution here. This method is very complicated.

  • First, using T8 and T9 Torx screwdrivers, disassemble your Xbox controller. You may need a T7 screwdriver to pull the circuit board apart. 
  • Since its analog stick is soldered with the board, you must have a de-soldering tool to pull the analog stick apart from it. 
  • Assemble the new analog stick, place it on the board, and solder it well. 
  • Lastly, assemble each part of the controller back to its place. The controller drift issue should now be fixed.

As you can see, most of the methods above, if not all, are DIY. But PVP Live recommends bringing it to the service center instead. You will spend a few bucks, but that’s a saver as you will be set free from the instance of buying new controllers, which may cost even more.

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