How to Fix PS5 Controller Drift: A Complete Guide

How to Fix PS5 Controller Drift: A Complete Guide – Controller drift can be one of the most frustrating issues for gamers. If you’ve noticed that your PS5 controller’s analog sticks are moving on their own, causing unintended in-game actions, you’re likely experiencing controller drift. This guide will walk you through several methods to fix PS5 controller drift, ensuring you get back to a smooth gaming experience.

What Is Controller Drift?

Controller drift occurs when the analog stick on a game controller moves without any input from the user. This results in unintended movements or actions in games, such as characters moving on their own or camera angles changing unpredictably. It’s a common issue with controllers that can arise from wear and tear, dirt and debris, or manufacturing defects.

Diagnosing Controller Drift

Before attempting any fixes, it’s important to confirm that you are indeed experiencing controller drift. Here’s how you can diagnose the issue:

  • Test in a Game: Open a game and check if there are any unintended movements when you’re not touching the analog sticks.
  • Controller Calibration: On the PS5, go to Settings > Accessories > Controllers > Adjust Devices and check for any abnormal behavior in the stick calibration screen.
  • Use Another Controller: If you have another PS5 controller, use it to see if the problem persists. This can help you determine if the issue is with the specific controller or the console.

How to Fix PS5 Controller Drift: A Complete Guide

1. Cleaning the Analog Stick

    Dirt and debris can accumulate under the analog stick, causing it to drift. Cleaning it could regularly remedy the issue.

    Materials Needed:

    • Isopropyl alcohol (70% or higher)
    • Cotton swabs
    • Compressed air (optional)


    • Turn off your PS5: To avoid any input issues, turn off your console before cleaning.
    • Detach the Controller: Disconnect the controller from the console.
    • Apply Isopropyl Alcohol: Dip a cotton swab in isopropyl alcohol.
    • Clean the Analog Stick: Gently move the analog stick to the side and clean around its base with the cotton swab. Ensure that the alcohol seeps into the tiny gap between the stick and the controller housing.
    • Use Compressed Air: Optionally, use compressed air to blow out any loose debris from the analog stick area.
    • Let it Dry: Allow the controller to dry completely before turning the console back on.

    2. Recalibrating the Controller

      Recalibrating the controller can sometimes fix drift issues by resetting the controller’s internal sensors.


      • Access Settings: On your PS5, go to Settings > Accessories > Controllers.
      • Adjust Devices: Select Adjust Devices and follow the on-screen instructions to recalibrate your controller.
      • Test the Controller: After recalibrating, test the controller in a game to see if the drift issue is resolved.

      3. Updating the Controller Firmware

        Outdated firmware can sometimes cause drift issues. Ensuring your controller has the latest firmware can help fix the problem.


        • Connect the Controller: Use a USB cable to connect the controller to your PS5.
        • Update Firmware: Go to Settings > System > System Software > System Software Update and Settings. Follow the prompts to check for and install any available updates for your controller.

        4. Resetting the Controller

          A full reset can fix various issues, including controller drift.


          • Locate the Reset Button: On the back of the PS5 controller, there’s a small reset button near the L2 shoulder button.
          • Press the Reset Button: Use a paperclip or a small pin to press and hold the reset button for about 5 seconds.
          • Reconnect the Controller: After resetting, reconnect the controller to your PS5 using a USB cable and press the PS button.

          5. Adjusting Dead Zone Settings

            Some games offer a dead zone adjustment feature, which can help mitigate minor drift issues by ignoring small stick movements.


            • Access Game Settings: Open the game you’re experiencing drift in and navigate to its settings menu.
            • Find Dead Zone Settings: Look for the controller settings and find the dead zone option.
            • Adjust Dead Zone: Increase the dead zone slightly to ignore small, unintended movements. This won’t fix the drift but can make it less noticeable during gameplay.

            When to Seek Professional Help

            If you’ve tried all the above methods and still experience controller drift, it might be time to seek professional help. There could be a hardware issue that requires a more in-depth fix or replacement.

            1. Warranty Service

            If your controller is still under warranty, contact Sony support for a potential repair or replacement. Provide them with info of the difficulty and the troubleshooting steps you’ve already taken.

            1. Professional Repair Services

            If the warranty period is over, consider taking your controller to a professional repair service. They can diagnose and fix hardware issues that might be causing the drift.

            Preventing Future Controller Drift

            To minimize the chances of experiencing controller drift in the future, follow these preventive measures:

            • Regular Cleaning: Periodically clean your controller to prevent dust and debris from accumulating.
            • Gentle Use: Avoid applying excessive force on the analog sticks during gameplay.
            • Proper Storage: Store your controller in a clean, dry place when not in use.
            • Protective Covers: Use protective covers for your analog sticks to keep them clean.


            Controller drift can be a significant annoyance, but with the right steps, it’s often fixable at home. By cleaning the analog sticks, recalibrating the controller, updating the firmware, and adjusting dead zone settings, you can often resolve the issue. If these methods don’t work, professional repair services or warranty support are viable options. With a little effort and care, you can ensure your PS5 controller remains in top condition, providing a seamless and enjoyable gaming experience.

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