Some Sony PS5 owners have expressed concern the new DualSense controller is experiencing issues with drift, and a class-action lawsuit could be on the way. Here’s what you need to know.
The Sony PS5 DualSense controller has been almost universally lauded since it arrived in November, but it appears some gamers using the pad are experiencing issues with drift.
It’s not clear how widespread the issue is at this point – none of the Trusted Reviews team has experienced it – but a considerable number of PS5 owners are taking to social media to showcase an issue with the controller’s thumb sticks while playing the best PS5 games.
As you can see from this Reddit user, despite his left thumb being off the stick while playing Destiny 2, the character appears to be moving to the left in a circle. Some gamers have reported similar issues with the right thumb stick.
Others have shown evidence that when pressing ‘up’ on the thumb stick to move a character forward, the character veers off to the left or right after the gamer releases the stick. Attention was drawn to the issue more than two months ago, when a PS5 users reported stick drift after just ten days of use.
What can I do about DualSense drift?
As Kotaku reports, Sony has an online portal where you can fill report issues with its PS5 gaming hardware. When cycling through the options, there’s no option to select analogue stick drift at this point. Gamers are advised to contact Sony with the issue, when they reach the end of the path, via a phone line listed in the United States as “800 345-SONY (7669)”
The Kotaku reporter who eventually got through to a human was informed the DualSense controller is covered by the PlayStation 5’s warranty, but would need to be sent to Sony for repair at the owner’s cost.
There is no news of any firmware update that could address the issue either and, judging by users who’ve posted about the issue, no amount of restarting the controller or the console provides a remedy for the problem.
So when’s the class action lawsuit?
The law firm that represented consumers in a class action lawsuit filed against Nintendo, whose Joy-Con controllers have long and contentiously suffered from a similar issue with drift, says it is looking into whether similar legal proceedings can be brought against Sony.
“CSK&D is investigating a potential class action based upon reports that Sony PS5 DualSense controllers for the PlayStation 5 console can experience drift issues and/or fail prematurely,” law firm Chimicles Schwartz Kriner & Donaldson-Smith said in a statement (via Eurogamer).
“Specifically, it is reported that the joystick on certain PS5 DualSense controllers will automatically register movement when the joystick is not being controlled and interfere with gameplay.”
Those affected are advised to fill in an online form.
Where have I heard drift before?
The issues experienced by DualSense users aren’t new. Many Nintendo Switch owners have been battling the issue where the controller detects inputs from users when there haven’t been any. Nintendo is still advising gamers to send their controllers in for repair, but its response has not been widely heralded.
Users can also choose to recalibrate the thumb sticks themselves by visiting System Settings > Controllers and Sensors. It’s also worth attempting to update the controller’s firmware via the same menu.
In extreme cases some users have had luck purchasing replacement thumb sticks and replacing them manually. This isn’t something we’d recommend, unless you’re a master tinker-er. Hopefully there’ll be some easy fixes for affected PS5 gamers soon.