Controller Drift: the Curse and Cure

Aug 29, 2022 | 0 comments

Controller Drift Header

You’re in the middle of a Smash Bros. Ultimate online battle. Your opposition has been tea-bagging the entire time, gimping, and meteor smashing you. You finally get the upper hand with only one more stock. You’re off the side of the stage, and they’re ready to Meteor Smash you again. You press to dodge and clutch the side of the stage to the right, but you dodge to the left and start free falling. And there they are, tea-bagging again, as you’ve just thrown the match because of one controller error.

Dust is a Real Problem

If your characters move when you’re not pressing anything, then your controller might be suffering from a terrible phenomenon known as controller drift. Controller drift is a malfunction of the control stick that leads to undetectable pressure being put on it. The drift can be continuous or quick, but it is a problem deep within the controller. Essentially, the most common culprit is dust. There’s space around the base of the stick that can collect microscopic intruders, like dust flakes or even food. Leaving your controller out in the open can lead to dust developing deep within the controller. As a result, you get control drift.  

Wear and Tear can be a Problem, Too

It’s also possible that the stick has can become worn with repeated use. Controllers are built to respond to the most sensitive of movements. If you find yourself aggressively pushing the stick or banging your controller down after a rage quit, then you could be wearing away at the hardware. Companies might need to address this problem with updated, heavy-duty products or some kits to replace worn parts. Until then, it’s up to us to save our money and our controllers. 

With Great Power, Comes Great Responsibility

Most importantly, you want to make sure that your controller is clean and stored in a safe place. Preferably, keep it away from exposure to dust in a tightly-sealed drawer. Go a step further and use a controller case, too. This will provide an extra layer of protection. Also, there are plenty of DIYs online that explain how to take your controller apart and clean it. There are even tool kits that are made just for this kind of thing. You’ll want to use a Q-tip or even compressed air to clean and treat your controllers right. Keep gaming, and keep it clean. 

Guest Author: Gabrielle Muniz

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug administrations. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

You May Also Like…