How to Fix Stick Drift on PS4 Controllers

Stick drift is a common issue that plagues many PS4 controller users, causing frustration during gaming sessions. This unwarranted movement might result in in-game characters or cursors drifting on the screen without any input from the player. Fortunately, there are several methods to fix stick drift on PS4 controllers, ranging from simple fixes like recalibration to more complex solutions such as internal cleaning or component replacement. In this article, we’ll guide you through these solutions step by step.

Understanding Stick Drift in PS4 Controllers

Stick drift occurs when the analog sticks on a controller register movement even when they’re not being touched. This can be due to a variety of reasons such as dust, wear and tear, or calibration issues. It’s important to identify the cause as this can dictate the most effective solution.

Simple Fixes

Before diving into more invasive procedures, there are a few simple fixes you can try that might resolve the stick drift issue.

Software Calibration

Calibrating your PS4 controller can sometimes resolve minor drift issues. This can be done through the PS4 settings menu, under Devices > Controllers. Follow the on-screen instructions to recalibrate the analog sticks.

Resetting the Controller

Resetting your PS4 controller can also fix stick drift caused by software glitches. On the back of the controller, there’s a small hole near the L2 shoulder button. Using a paperclip, press the button inside the hole for about five seconds. After resetting, reconnect the controller to the PS4 using a USB cable.

Physical Cleaning

If software solutions don’t fix the problem, dirt or debris might be affecting the analog sticks.

External Cleaning

Using a can of compressed air, gently blow around and under the analog sticks to remove any dirt. Additionally, you can use alcohol wipes to clean around the sticks, ensuring not to let any liquid seep into the controller.

Internal Cleaning

If external cleaning doesn’t work, the issue might be inside the controller. Opening up your PS4 controller requires a Philips screwdriver and some caution. Once opened, you can use compressed air and cotton swabs lightly dipped in isopropyl alcohol to clean around the analog modules. Be sure to let the controller dry completely before reassembling.

Replacing Faulty Components

Sometimes, the only solution to stick drift is to replace the analog stick modules or the entire controller. This requires a bit of technical know-how and the appropriate tools.

Analog Stick Module Replacement

If cleaning doesn’t work, the analog stick module itself might be worn out and in need of replacement. You can find replacement modules online, but this fix requires soldering skills. There are many tutorials available that guide you through the process.

Buying a New Controller

If all else fails, purchasing a new PS4 controller might be the most straightforward solution. While not the cheapest option, it guarantees a drift-free experience and saves you the hassle of trying to repair the old one.

Preventing Stick Drift

Preventing stick drift is key to prolonging the life of your PS4 controller. Here are a few tips:

– Regularly clean your controller, focusing on the analog sticks.
– Avoid pressing the sticks too hard while playing.
– Store the controller in a dust-free place when not in use.

Useful Links for Further Information

Official PlayStation Support: Find official guides and support for PlayStation hardware.
iFixit PS4 Controller Repair Guides: A collection of detailed guides for various PS4 controller repairs.
Reddit PS4 Community: A community where users discuss PS4-related topics, including controller issues.
YouTube: Search for video tutorials on PS4 controller repairs for visual step-by-step guides.


Stick drift can turn an enjoyable gaming session into a frustrating ordeal, but with the right approach, it can often be fixed at home. For minor issues, recalibrating or resetting the controller might do the trick. If those don’t work, a thorough cleaning, either external or internal, could resolve the problem. In cases where the drift is due to hardware wear, replacing the analog stick module or the entire controller might be necessary. Remember, prevention is better than cure, so take good care of your controller to avoid stick drift in the first place.

Depending on your level of expertise and the tools at your disposal, choose the solution that best fits your situation:

– For those who prefer a quick fix without opening the controller, try recalibrating or resetting it.
– If you’re comfortable using tools and potentially voiding your warranty, cleaning or replacing components could save you the cost of a new controller.
– Ultimately, if you prefer a guaranteed fix and aren’t concerned about spending more, buying a new controller is the most straightforward solution.

Remember, patience and careful handling are key to successfully fixing stick drift. Don’t be afraid to seek help from online resources or communities if you encounter difficulties.


What causes stick drift on PS4 controllers?

Stick drift can be caused by dirt, wear and tear on the analog stick components, or software glitches.

Is it easy to replace the analog sticks on a PS4 controller?

Replacing analog sticks requires a bit of technical skill, including soldering, but it’s doable with the right tools and instructions.

Can recalibrating the controller fix stick drift?

Yes, recalibrating can sometimes resolve minor drift issues by resetting the analog sticks’ position.

How often should I clean my PS4 controller to prevent stick drift?

A regular cleaning every few months can help prevent stick drift, though frequent gamers might want to clean their controllers more often.

If I can’t fix the stick drift, should I buy a new controller?

If other solutions fail and gaming is significantly impacted, purchasing a new controller is a reliable solution.

We hope this guide has been helpful in addressing your PS4 controller stick drift issues. Feel free to share your experiences, ask questions, or provide additional tips in the comments below. Whether you’re a DIY enthusiast or prefer a more straightforward solution like purchasing a new controller, there are options available for every type of gamer.