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PS5 Controllers Are Drifting, And The Repairs Are A Hassle

driqe

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Dec 2, 2020
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Since the PS5 was released last November, players have taken to social media to share stories about DualSense drift. One user reported the issue 10 days after receiving their PS5, stating they tried every possible fix—power-cycling the console, turning Bluetooth on and off, resetting the controller, and, finally, charging it fully overnight—to no avail.

At the moment, your options for fixing a busted DualSense are slim. You could go through Sony’s PlayStation support page, which has a dedicated portal for issues with PS5 hardware, including the DualSense controller. Just keep in mind that the PlayStation’s support team is swamped at the moment fielding requests about the PS5, which is still nigh-impossible to find.

When I tried hitting up support, I was told to reach out to a customer service agent via the contact page for PlayStation support. In a conversation over instant messages, an agent told me to call 1-800-345-7669 and press 1 for PS5. I did so, and then listened to, no joke, a dozen different pre-recorded messages informing me that PlayStation support is not the place to inquire about finding a PS5. I was then kicked over to hold. On the plus side, it was soundtracked by Gustavo Santaolalla’s deliciously twangy Last of Us theme. On the not-plus side, I had to listen to it for 17 minutes. As ever, PlayStation support remains a byzantine maze of conflicted emotions.

Once I eventually made it through to a person, I was told that DualSense drift is covered under warranty. You will, however, have to pay for shipping your controller to a Sony repair center—a cost that varies based on a number of factors, including location and the total weight of your package—but Sony apparently covers the return shipping. No recoup on whatever you pay for that first shipping label.

Kotaku reached out to Sony for comment but, at press time, had not heard back.


The PlayStation 5 has been out for less than three months. It’s anyone’s guess as to whether or not “DualSense drift” will become the next “Joy-Con drift”—stoking everything from a wave of customer uproar to a years-late executive apology—or if it’ll fizzle out. At the very least, hopefully this issue is buttoned up before a vampiric law firm smells blood and kicks off yet another class action suit.

PS5 DualSense Controllers Are Drifting, And Repairs Are A Hassle (kotaku.com)
 

Iced Arcade

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Canada eh
jurassic park dinosaur GIF
 

ComputerBlue

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Dec 6, 2013
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The Dualsense uses the same analogue parts as the DS4, it’s no wonder it’s an issue. Sony controllers have always sucked to some degree, if they had good build quality, they were tiny, uncomfortable etc. When they reshaped them and fixed the triggers, the battery life and build quality went to hell. The only thing that has been consistently good with them is the D-pad.

I never had to replace a controller from PS1 - PS3. I had 4 break on me on PS4. One of them broke while it was still under warranty, I sent it into them, and they sent me back one that had even more issues and had somebody else’s dirt and grime stuck in the cracks. It was soooo gross. My Dualsense has completely lost charge while turned off overnight a few times. I plan to send it in eventually.
 

Mr Moose

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The Dualsense uses the same analogue parts as the DS4, it’s no wonder it’s an issue. Sony controllers have always sucked to some degree, if they had good build quality, they were tiny, uncomfortable etc. When they reshaped them and fixed the triggers, the battery life and build quality went to hell. The only thing that has been consistently good with them is the D-pad.

I never had to replace a controller from PS1 - PS3. I had 4 break on me on PS4. One of them broke while it was still under warranty, I sent it into them, and they sent me back one that had even more issues and had somebody else’s dirt and grime stuck in the cracks. It was soooo gross. My Dualsense has completely lost charge while turned off overnight a few times. I plan to send it in eventually.
Your Dualsense is dying already? Jesus.
I've had some PS3 Dualshock controllers have loose sticks before and I think a trigger was kinda shit on one, no issues with my PS4 Dualshocks and thankfully none with my Dualsense, that shit is only a few months old. I kinda wish it wasn't white though (just the grips/back, they should be black).
 

Concern

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Sep 20, 2020
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The Dualsense uses the same analogue parts as the DS4, it’s no wonder it’s an issue. Sony controllers have always sucked to some degree, if they had good build quality, they were tiny, uncomfortable etc. When they reshaped them and fixed the triggers, the battery life and build quality went to hell. The only thing that has been consistently good with them is the D-pad.

I never had to replace a controller from PS1 - PS3. I had 4 break on me on PS4. One of them broke while it was still under warranty, I sent it into them, and they sent me back one that had even more issues and had somebody else’s dirt and grime stuck in the cracks. It was soooo gross. My Dualsense has completely lost charge while turned off overnight a few times. I plan to send it in eventually.


I still have my launch ds4 and secondary one. I just swapped out the sticks on both but battery life is bad .
 
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Captain Toad

I advertise for PlayStation. For free.
Dec 1, 2020
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Every controller with an analog stick had some percentage of analog drift. So finding a couple PS5 or Series controllers with drift, out of the millions, does not indicate an issue.

If there is an issue, it WILL be known beyond any doubt. The Switch (joycons, not the Lite or Pro controller) is the only one with an actual drift problem.
 

Mr Moose

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Every controller with an analog stick had some percentage of analog drift. So finding a couple PS5 or Series controllers with drift, out of the millions, does not indicate an issue.

If there is an issue, it WILL be known beyond any doubt. The Switch (joycons, not the Lite or Pro controller) is the only one with an actual drift problem.
I'm wondering how many are experiencing it with Cyberpunk and then thinking its the controller. If anyone sees it during that game, more likely than not it's just the game, because its a buggy piece of shit.
 

driqe

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Dec 2, 2020
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First, the haptic feedback backlash, then this... I'm a little concerned about the dualsense now...

So far no drifting on the series controller.
Most people I've seen praise the dualsense.

My only complaint about the haptic feedback is that the only game it feels good on is astro bot

No drift yet but the battery life is noticeably worse than when I first got the system
 

zcaa0g

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Nothing wrong with high quality sealed pots. The problem is, console manufacturers don't use them. I would rather pay more to not get shit.
 

Mr Moose

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Most people I've seen praise the dualsense.

My only complaint about the haptic feedback is that the only game it feels good on is astro bot

No drift yet but the battery life is noticeably worse than when I first got the system
*ting ting ting ting* love that game. I keep mine wired so I don't have to worry about the battery. I hear wireless has less latency (or is that only on PC?).
 
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Skifi28

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Well, the same cheap potentiometers have been used in controllers longer than I can remember. We already know what to expect.
 

RCU005

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It seems like Kotaku hates the industry. Most of their articles lately are about someone complaining about something. TBH, I used to enjoy Kotaku because they were somehow fun and silly, but now they just complain, critique or something negative.

I know many people hate Kotaku already, but still.
 
May 8, 2019
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Anyone else remember when some games would tell the player not to touch analog sticks during boot up and loading screens because it might cause calibration issues?

So now it's built-in rumble/haptic feedback that's fucking things up? Glad I set it to low during the first week of launch and haven't noticed any drift.
 

Guilty_AI

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It seems like Kotaku hates the industry. Most of their articles lately are about someone complaining about something. TBH, I used to enjoy Kotaku because they were somehow fun and silly, but now they just complain, critique or something negative.

I know many people hate Kotaku already, but still.
Hate, complaints and negativity always gives more clicks. It also feeds the ego more
 

jaysius

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I've heard of issues with springs breaks in Dual Senses and plastic bits that make the resistance, more moving parts the worse.

But this is bush league shit, analog sticks have been around for a very long time.

Sony Playstation Division must have some of the lowest paid Q&A in gaming, the Dual Shock 4s with their shitty rubber that disintegrated after use for the first tens of thousands.

Coil whine in MANY PS5s.

Sony doesn't start giving fucks until it really starts costing them big time.

Buying a Sony console FIRST isn't a great idea, a year from now maybe it'll be "safe" to do so.
 
May 8, 2019
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I've heard of issues with springs breaks in Dual Senses and plastic bits that make the resistance, more moving parts the worse.

But this is bush league shit, analog sticks have been around for a very long time.

Sony Playstation Division must have some of the lowest paid Q&A in gaming, the Dual Shock 4s with their shitty rubber that disintegrated after use for the first tens of thousands.

Coil whine in MANY PS5s.

Sony doesn't start giving fucks until it really starts costing them big time.

Buying a Sony console FIRST isn't a great idea, a year from now maybe it'll be "safe" to do so.
Playstation controllers have been made out of the cheapest materials since PS3. Pull any Dual Shock 3 you got out of storage and I bet the joysticks have melted slightly. Don't get me started on PS5 being made out of flimsy plastic they used for the white sides.
 

Mr Moose

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Playstation controllers have been made out of the cheapest materials since PS3. Pull any Dual Shock 3 you got out of storage and I bet the joysticks have melted slightly. Don't get me started on PS5 being made out of flimsy plastic they used for the white sides.
I heard the thumb sticks used to be made from dog noses back in the day.
 
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hybrid_birth

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Can we get an FPS comparison between the XSX and the PS5?

I'd also like to see Nintendo Switch sales in Japan before I make a decision.
Fails per second (FPS) of the consoles are estimated to be:

PS5: 6.5
Xbox: 6.6
Switch : Forty Nine controller fails per second.

Having a huge install base and sales contributes to having a high defect rate on switch controllers.

I pulled these numbers out of my ass
 
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TransTrender

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I got around this whole problem by simply buying another controller at Best Buy, stuffed the broken controller back in the box, and then returned it. Well not really returned it, I exchanged it because at the end of the day I want two controllers.

This whole situation is a klusterfuk and I'm not really heartbroken about shortchanging Best Buy considering how much I spend there every year.
 
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MagnesG

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Unrelated, but those adaptive triggers are easily broken with how small the moving parts is.