It is impossible to avoid the joystick drift issue on PS5 controllers. When disassembling the DualSense, iFixit observed four causes of the technical problem, all of which relate to wear and tear on the device. Nintendo Switch controllers from Xbox Series X are also affected.
We now know that the DualSense controller has the same drift problem as the Nintendo Switch. In one of its teardown videos, iFixit tried to find out where the technical problem came from. Their conclusion is very bad news for gamers: the bug is inevitable. Blame it on the joysticks themselves, which use aging components whose expiration date cannot be pushed back. Worse yet: the observation is the same for the Nintendo Switch and Xbox Series X controllers, without their owner being able to repair it themselves.
In total, iFixit has four main reasons for the joystick drift problem: sensor wear, spring fatigue, material stretching and general dirt. While some are more easily preventable than others, these phenomena will sooner or later come to the fore. iFixit notes that sensor wear is probably the most likely and the most recurring. As for the others, they result from prolonged use of the device, whether the sessions are intense or spread out over time.
Manufacturers are aware of the joystick drift problem
According to an official production document, potentiometers used in DualSense have a lifespan equal to 2 million cycles. At first glance, this figure seems relatively respectable. In fact, it’s surprisingly low according to iFixit. So, a Call of Duty: Modern Warfare player should experience the stick issue in just 4-7 months, at the rate of two hours of play per day. This planned obsolescence is completely calculated on the part of the manufacturers, who see it as a means of save on production costs.
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According to iFixit, the only area gamers can act on is controller dirt. It is possible to reduce the amount of dust or the level of mold that builds up on components. However, this solution is by no means universal, and even less effective in the long term. As legal concerns begin to fall for manufacturers, they could be forced to review the manufacturing method of their controllers in order to extend the deadline. The future will tell.