PS5 Joystick driftJuly 14, 2023 -
Like many before me, I too fixed my PS5 joystick drift. I had to solder in a new component (part of ALPS RKJXV) to properly fix it.
What is joystick drift?
Many people wrote about it already, and ifixit explains joystick drift very well, but the gist is a controller joystick seemingly moves by itself without you touching it.
You can test drift (and more) on a site like https://hardwaretester.com/gamepad. An example of how normal output of your PS5 can look like is this:
The "Axis X" entries represent horizontal/vertical axes of the joysticks and can range between [-1.00000, 1.00000] and when you do not touch the joystick, the values should be around 0.000001. In this screenshot, the "Axis 0" and "Axis 1" are the horizontal and respectively vertical axes of the left joystick.
We call it joystick drift if the values are off by a larger amount (constant drift), or they move erratically even when the stick is not touched (random drift).
An example of drift of the left stick (Axis 0 is horizontal and Axis 1 is vertical) could look like this2:
What part did I replace?
Since only my horizontal axis of the left joystick suffered from dramatic drift, I replaced only the potentiometer that corresponded to the horizontal axis (Axis 0 in the pictures above). I only had to desolder 3 contacts instead of over 3 times that amount.
I followed the ifixit PS5 controller teardown until step 27 and desoldered the worn out potentiometer and soldered in a replacement part (ElecGear ALPS-2.1K).
On the left you'll see the original, worn out part, on the right the replacement part:
Notice the worn out parts on the left and right of the inner circle, most of the conductive material is gone:
This is where the left-most and right-most positions of the joystick rested and I think tried to push beyond this point a lot. I have since learned to be less rough with especially the joysticks ;)
My controller doesn't suffer from random drift anymore and it was relatively easy to replace this part. If I encounter this random drift again, I'm sure I can do this again. Also, I've learned to treat the controller with a little bit more respect.
Small deviations are expected because the conversion of analog to digital is not perfect and is handled by games (usually called a "dead zone").
I had to simulate this because by the time I recorded this I had already fixed my drift.