How to Fix PS4 Controller Drift

Troubleshooting PS4 analog stick problems

This article explains how to fix PS4 controller drift (aka analog stick drift). Instructions apply to the official Sony DualShock 4 controller, but these troubleshooting tips will also work for third-party controllers.

Causes of PS4 Controller Drift

If your character or the camera keeps moving when you're not touching the controller, the problem's source is likely analog stick drift. PS4 controller drift can be due to one of two things:

  • The analog stick is dirty.
  • The analog stick or the potentiometer is damaged.

You can expect general wear-and-tear from frequent use. If cleaning the controller doesn't fix the problem, you should look into getting your controller replaced or repaired before disassembling it.

Red DualShock 4 controller for PS4

How to Fix PS4 Controller Analog Stick Drift

Ensure your controller is turned off, and then follow the steps below until it is working properly.

After trying each fix, test the analog sticks by moving them around in circles and clicking the L3 and R3 buttons (by pressing on the analog stick).

  1. Reset your PS4 controller. Resetting the DualShock 4 can solve a lot of issues that suddenly pop up. If a soft reset doesn't work, try a hard reset.

  2. Clean your PS4 controller. Gently wipe around the crevices of the analog stick with a dry microfiber cloth. To get rid of grime, use a cotton swab dipped in a mixture of water and isopropyl alcohol. If you see dirt that you can't reach, you can use pressurized air to dislodge it.

    Cleaning your controller every few months prevents build-up that can cause problems with the DualShock 4.

  3. Get your PS4 controller repaired or replaced by Sony. If your controller is relatively new, it may still be under warranty. Go to the PlayStation Repair & Replace page, choose DualShock 4, then follow the prompts to see if you qualify for a free repair or replacement.

  4. Disassemble your PS4 controller to clean the analog stick. To deep clean the controller inputs, you must remove the outer casing and lift the battery to access the motherboard. Use a cotton swab and a mix of water and isopropyl alcohol. Do not use pressurized air on the interior parts.

    When taking apart your PS4 controller, be very careful not to disconnect anything other than the motherboard's battery.

  5. Replace the PS4 analog sticks. If you have the necessary tools and you're willing to put in the work, you can try replacing the analog sticks and the potentiometer (the sensor for the analog sticks). In addition to the parts, which you can purchase online, you'll also need a soldering iron. Unless you want to do it yourself, buying a new controller is the cheaper and easier solution.

    Removing the outer casing will void the warranty on your PS4 controller, so open it up only if the warranty has expired.

  • How do I fix corrupted data on a PS4?

    To fix a PS4 with corrupted data, delete and reinstall the game you're having trouble with. If the error occurs while downloading a game, go to Notifications > Options > Downloads, highlight the greyed-out corrupted title, and select Options > Delete. You can also try cleaning the game disc and updating the software.

  • How do I fix the HDMI port on a PS4?

    To fix a PS4 HDMI port, first, ensure that the HDMI cable is fully seated in the port and can connect properly. To troubleshoot the issue, try connecting your system to a different HDMI port, hooking up your system to a different HDTV, or trying a different HDMI cable. 

  • How do I fix a PS4 that won't turn on?

    To fix it when a PS4 won't turn on, try unplugging the power cable for at least 30 seconds and then plugging it back in. You should also try power-cycling your PS4, swapping out the cable, trying a different power source, and cleaning the dust out of your console.

Was this page helpful?