PS5 DualSense Controller Problem Solved: What Is Joystick Drift and Does It Have a Fix? It Only Lasts for 400 Hours?

Owners of PlayStation 5 (PS5) DualSense controller have been complaining about experiencing joystick drift issues. They said that when they are playing a game, their controller suddenly detects movement on one or both analog sticks.

PS5 DualSense Controller Problem Solved: Joystick Drift and Why It's a Big Problem
(Photo : Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 20: Attendees walk by the Sony PlayStation booth at the 2019 GDC Game Developers Conference on March 20, 2019 in San Francisco, California. The GDC runs through March 22.

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A United States law firm even sued Sony with a class-lawsuit, claiming that the popular PS5 DualSense controllers are defective because of its drifting feature. The law firm called Sony's product unlawful, unfair, deceptive and fraudulent.

Many rumors claimed various reasons why the popular PS5 DualSense controller is having some issues. And now, a recent teardown of the product might provide better insights on how DualSense's joystick works and why it is having the current drifting issue.

PS5 DualSense Controller's Teardown

According to Game Rant's latest report, a popular YouTube channel disassembled a PS5 DualSense controller to further understand how the gaming gadget's joystick works and why it is having drifting issues. The YouTube channel iFixit already provided a possible reason why the popular controller is having the said issue. Analysts said that if this is true, this could be an alarming situation.

PS5 DualSense Controller Problem Solved: Joystick Drift and Why It's a Big Problem
(Photo : Photo by Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images)
CHIBA, JAPAN - SEPTEMBER 20: An attendee plays a video game on the PlayStation 4 video game console in the Sony Interactive Entertainment booth during the Tokyo Game Show 2018 on September 20, 2018 in Chiba, Japan. The Tokyo Game Show is held from September 20 to 23, 2018.

iFixit stated that the first possible reason why the drifting issue happens is the potentiometer. This hardware is specifically designed to determine the intensity and direction of the joystick's displacement from the rest of the parts.

The popular YouTube channel added that potentiometers can do this by reading voltage at different points between two terminals. They use a third terminal called wiper. However, the movement of DualSense's wiper will eventually wear down the path between the two end terminals, which leads to the incorrect readings of the controller's joysticks. Once this happens, the PS5 DualSense controller will start to have inaccurate drifting actions, which really affect the experience of many users.

DualSense's Joystick Only Lasts for More Than 400 hours?

Aside from the popular PS5 DualSense controller's wiper hardware, the YouTube channel stated that the actual joystick could also have a major role in the current drifting issues. IGN Southeast Asia stated that DualSense uses off-the-shelf joystick hardware, which has a long history of preventable and predictable problems.

iFixit added that the controller's joysticks were manufactured by ALPS, which were also used in other controllers such as Xbox One, Xbox Elite, Nintendo Switch Pro Controller and PS4 DualShock 4.

However, the YT channel discovered that the joystick model in DualSense only has an operating life of two million cycles. On the other hand, its center push function's life space is only around 500,000 cycles. This means that PS5 DualSense's joystick will only last for 400 hours of game time. If this is true, the people who spend more time using the PS5 DualSense are the ones who will likely experience the drifting issue since their joysticks' accuracy is already decreasing.

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