How to Fix PS4 Controller Drift Without Opening

Understanding PS4 Controller Drift

PS4 Controller Drift

One of the most common issues that PS4 gamers encounter is controller drift. This is a problem where the controller’s analog sticks are not centered properly, causing the character or cursor to move even when the user is not touching the controller. This issue can be extremely frustrating and can negatively impact your gaming experience. Fortunately, there are some tips and tricks that you can try to fix this problem without opening your controller.

The first step in fixing PS4 controller drift is to understand what is causing it. There are several factors that can contribute to drift, including wear and tear, dust, and other debris that accumulate around the analog sticks. Over time, these issues can cause the stick to get stuck or become unresponsive, ultimately leading to drift.

In some cases, controller drift is caused by software issues, such as outdated firmware or settings. To fix these issues, you may need to update your system software or reset your controller to its default settings.

If your controller is experiencing drift, there are a few things you can try before resorting to opening it up. First, try cleaning the analog stick area with a small amount of rubbing alcohol and a cotton swab. Be sure to turn off your controller and disconnect it from the console before attempting to clean it. After cleaning, test your controller to see if the drift has improved.

If cleaning your controller does not resolve the issue, you can try recalibrating the analog stick. To do this, you can use the PlayStation 4’s built-in calibration tool. Start by opening the settings menu and selecting “Devices,” then “Controllers,” and then “Adjust Analog Sticks.” Follow the on-screen instructions to recalibrate your controller and test if the drift has improved.

If none of these methods work, you may need to replace your controller or contact Sony support for further assistance. You can also try using a third-party controller, which may be less prone to drift and other issues.

In conclusion, PS4 controller drift can be a frustrating problem that can negatively impact your gaming experience. However, with some basic understanding of the root causes and some simple cleaning and calibration techniques, you can often fix this issue without opening your controller. By following the tips and tricks outlined here, you can get back to enjoying your favorite games without having to deal with pesky controller drift.

Resetting the Controller

Ps4 Controller Resetting

If your PS4 controller is experiencing drift, meaning it’s registering movement even when you’re not touching the joystick, one easy solution to try is resetting the controller. This works for the standard DualShock 4 controller as well as the newer DualSense controller.

To reset the controller, you’ll need a small tool like a toothpick, paperclip, or the end of a pen. Locate the small reset button on the back of the controller, near the L2 shoulder button. Use your tool to press and hold the reset button for a few seconds until the controller lights start flashing. Once you release the button, the controller will restart and should now be reset.

It’s worth noting that resetting the controller will not delete any of your saved data and game progress, so you don’t need to worry about losing anything by trying this fix. However, if resetting the controller doesn’t work, you may need to try other methods or consider replacing the controller.

Another thing to try before resetting the controller is to power cycle your PS4 console. Simply turn off your console, unplug it from the power source, wait a few minutes, then plug it back in and turn it on again. This can sometimes help resolve issues with the controller.

Resetting the controller is a simple fix that may help resolve drift issues. However, if this doesn’t work, there are other options to consider such as recalibrating the joystick, cleaning the controller, or even replacing the joystick altogether. It’s always a good idea to try the easiest and cheapest solutions first before investing in a new controller.

Cleaning the Joysticks

Cleaning the Joysticks

If you are experiencing drift issues with your PS4 controller, cleaning the joystick may help you fix the problem. Over time, the joystick can pick up debris and dust, which can cause it to malfunction and result in drift. In this section, we will discuss how to clean the joysticks to fix controller drift without opening.

First, you will need to gather your cleaning supplies. You will need a microfiber cloth, rubbing alcohol, and a cotton swab. Then, follow these simple steps:

1. Turn off your PS4 controller and unplug it from your PS4.

2. Use the microfiber cloth to wipe down the joystick and remove any visible dust or debris.

3. Dampen the cotton swab with rubbing alcohol and gently rub the edges of the joystick to remove any dirt or grime that may be causing the drift.

4. Use the microfiber cloth again to wipe away any excess alcohol residue.

5. Allow the controller to air dry for a few minutes before using it again.

It is important to note that you should not use too much rubbing alcohol when cleaning the joystick. This can damage the controller and void your warranty. Also, make sure that the controller is completely dry before using it again to avoid any further issues.

Cleaning the joysticks is a simple and easy way to fix drift issues without opening your PS4 controller. By following these steps, you can save yourself the hassle and cost of having to replace your controller.

Adjusting Dead Zones

Adjusting Dead Zones

If you’re experiencing a PS4 controller drift, it might be due to the dead zone setting on your controller. Dead zones refer to the areas in which controller movement doesn’t register on your console, and if these zones aren’t set up optimally, you may experience unwanted controller drift. By adjusting dead zones, you can fix drifting issues on your PS4 controller without opening. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you adjust dead zones on your PS4 controller:

Step 1: Head to the PS4 home screen and select the “Settings” option.

Step 2: Select “Devices” and then “Controllers” from the menu.

Step 3: Choose the “Adjust Dead Zones” option.

Step 4: Next, use your thumbstick to adjust the dead zone setting. Move the thumbstick until you see it register on the calibration bar. If you see the bar growing even without moving the stick, that means your controller is experiencing drift. You’ll need to adjust the dead zone setting to cover the full range of the pressure on the thumbstick to ensure the drift is removed entirely.

After finding the sweet spot for your dead zone setting, close out of the menu and test your controller by playing your favourite game. If you still experience drift, try adjusting the dead zones again until you find the optimal setting. Keep in mind that dead zones might differ from game to game, so adjusting them according to the game you’re playing can be helpful.

If adjusting dead zones on your PS4 controller doesn’t fix the drift issue, you can try calibrating your controller. To do so, head to the same “Devices” and “Controllers” menu as before and select “Calibrate Motion Sensor.” Make sure to follow the on-screen instructions carefully, then test your controller to see if the calibration has made a difference.


Hopefully, this guide has helped you resolve any drifting issues you’re experiencing on your PS4 controller. You don’t need any expertise to adjust the dead zone settings, and with some patience, you should be able to fix the issue on your own in no time. It’s worth mentioning that if you don’t feel comfortable doing any of these fixes yourself, you can always seek help from a professional or seek help from online forums. Good luck!

Calibrating the PS4 Controller

PS4 Controller Calibration

Have you ever experienced your PS4 controller having drift issues while playing games? This can be quite frustrating as it can lead to inaccuracy in gameplay. The good news is that you do not need to open your controller to fix the issue. You can calibrate your PS4 controller through the settings menu, so let us dive into further detail on how to do so.

The first step in calibrating your PS4 controller is to go to the “Settings” option on your PS4’s home screen. From there, scroll down until you see the “Devices” option, and click on it. Once you are there, select “Controllers,” and then “Adjustments.”

Next, you will be directed to a screen that will allow you to modify the settings for your controller. This is where you can adjust the dead zone of your controller’s analog sticks. The dead zone is the area around the stick where no matter how much you tilt it, the input will not be recognized by the game.

You can also adjust the sensitivity of your controller’s triggers. This will allow you to control how much pressure you need to apply to the trigger for the input to be recognized. This can be especially useful for games where you need a more gentle touch, such as racing games.

Another setting that can be modified here is the vibration intensity. This can be particularly helpful for those who may find the vibration too strong or weak. You can choose from three different levels of vibration intensity: strong, medium, and weak.

Lastly, the light bar of your PS4 controller can be turned off here as well. This can be particularly helpful for those who find the light bar to be distracting.

It is important to note that if you have already tried calibrating your controller through this method, and the issue persists, you may need to try another method such as cleaning or resetting the controller.

To clean your PS4 controller, use a damp cloth with some rubbing alcohol to wipe down the exterior of the controller. Be sure to not soak the controller in the alcohol, as this can damage the electronic components inside.

For resetting your PS4 controller, you will need to locate the reset button on the back of your controller. It is a tiny hole that can be pressed using a pin or paperclip. Once you have found the button, press and hold it down for a few seconds until the light on the front of the controller blinks. This will indicate that the controller has been reset.

In conclusion, it is quite easy to calibrate your PS4 controller without having to open it up. By adjusting the dead zone, sensitivity, vibration, and light bar settings, you can improve the accuracy and comfort of your gaming experience. If the issue persists, you may need to try cleaning or resetting the controller.

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