Xbox One Drifting Controller Investigation

Is your Xbox One controller experiencing “stick drift”? That is, does the analog stick drift, or cause movement, on its own, without your touching it?

Online complaints indicate that this can happen even when controllers are only a few months old. Unfortunately, warranties on these accessories can be as short as 90 days, so that there’s little if any time between the appearance of a problem and the expiration of the warranty.

If these controllers are failing because they’re defective, a class action may be needed.

User Complaints

Complaints at Microsoft and other websites indicate that drifting controllers are not a rare problem:

“I am so sick and tired of every [X]box [O]ne controller that I buy [] drifting up…. I own three [X]box [O]ne[s] and have spent many hours fighting with drifing controllers. Eventually every controller starts to drift and most after 2 months of playing….”

“I’ve owned 4 or 5 Xbo[x] [O]ne controllers and at least 3 of them got stick drift within 6 months.”

“It just seems that these controllers tend to fail much quicker then [sic] any other controller that I have used. I’ve been playing since Atari 2600 and still own an original Intellivision and pretty much every major console since, but the issue seems to be worst off [sic] with these controllers.”

A Defect in the Controller?

Some users claim that the problem is that the controllers are made with the wrong materials. They say the thumbstick wears against the shell of the controller, creating plastic dust and clogging the analog mechanism that detects the position of the thumbstick.

A lawsuit that has already been filed claims that a component called a potentiometer scrapes “resistive material” off of another part, and that that material sticks there, causing an unintended electrical contact.

In any case, this is not the kind of problem that can be solved by adjustments available to the consumer. While gamers are sometimes given advice online to open the console and clean it out, this action will void any remaining warranty, and an unskilled consumer can potentially cause more damage.

Defeats the Purpose of the Controller

A controller that a gamer cannot control is not fulfilling its purpose. The fun of gaming, after all, is for gamers to control screen actions so well that they defeat the game. A drifting controller adds its own input, interfering with gamers’ intentions.

What’s Your Experience?

If you have an Xbox One controller that is experiencing drift, or movement without any input from you, fill out the form on this page. We’d like to know what your experience has been.

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Consumer
No case events.
Tags: Defective Electronics System, Electronic Games, Electronic Parts Components and Systems