Here’s why some PS5 DualSense controllers are experiencing stick drift

If you were lucky enough to get your hands on a PlayStation 5, it would be pretty disappointing if something about the hardware was defective, right? Sadly, the console’s new DualSense controller is already the subject of a new class-action lawsuit, thanks to reported issues of joystick drift.

To get to the root of the issue, YouTube channel iFixit recently took apart a DualSense controller and investigated its joysticks (via IGN). The results are interesting.

IFixit discovered that the DualSense uses a joystick module from ALPS, whose modules also serve as the base for joysticks in the DualShock, the Switch Pro, the Xbox One, and the Xbox One Elite controllers. The DualSense’s joystick module has an operating life rated for 2 million cycles and 500,000 push-ins, which IFixit stated could only last 400 hours, depending on what kinds of games you play and how hard you play them.

What happens when these joysticks are used is that the potentiometers that measure how far in any given direction you’re moving the joystick and the spring and buttons that control and detect you pressing down on the thumbstick experience heavy wear and tear pretty quickly.

However, the main issue, according to iFixit, is that Sony does not make it easy enough to replace these modules, as most DIY fixes require some kind of soldering equipment. Unfortunately, the only solutions available to consumers facing this issue are to either use soldering equipment, have a warranty, or buy a brand-new controller. If it was easy enough to fix for the general consumer, maybe Sony wouldn’t be facing a class-action lawsuit so early in the PlayStation 5’s life cycle.

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