How to fix stick drift Xbox One


Stick drift in Xbox One controllers is a common issue that gamers encounter. It refers to the phenomenon where the analog sticks on the controller move slightly even when they’re not being touched, causing unintended movement or cursor drift in games. This can be frustrating, but there are several steps you can try to fix the issue.

Understanding Stick Drift

Before diving into solutions, it’s important to understand the causes of stick drift. It often results from wear and tear of the potentiometer (the component under the joystick that measures its position), dust or debris getting inside the controller, or a calibration issue.

1. Cleaning the Controller

Materials Needed:

  • Compressed air
  • Isopropyl alcohol
  • Cotton swabs


  1. Turn off the controller: Ensure the controller is disconnected from the Xbox One and turned off.
  2. Use compressed air: Gently use compressed air around the base of the thumbsticks to dislodge any dust or debris.
  3. Apply isopropyl alcohol: Dampen a cotton swab with isopropyl alcohol and clean around the thumbsticks. Alcohol helps in removing grime and evaporates quickly.
  4. Dry and test: Let the controller dry completely before testing it.

2. Recalibrating the Controller

Sometimes, recalibrating the controller’s software can resolve stick drift.


  1. Access the Xbox Accessories app: This app, available on Xbox One, allows you to customize and update controller settings.
  2. Follow recalibration instructions: The app provides a walkthrough for recalibrating your controller.

3. Firmware Update

Ensure your controller’s firmware is up to date, as updates can resolve hardware issues.


  1. Connect the controller to the Xbox One: Use a USB cable or connect wirelessly.
  2. Navigate to Settings: Select ‘Devices & accessories’ and choose the controller.
  3. Update firmware: If an update is available, follow the prompts to install it.

4. Resetting the Controller

A simple reset can sometimes fix minor glitches, including stick drift.


  1. Power off the controller: Hold the Xbox button for a few seconds.
  2. Remove the batteries: Wait for a minute before reinserting them.

5. Professional Repair or Replacement

If none of the above solutions work, the problem might be mechanical or related to wear and tear. In this case, consider professional repair or replacing the controller.

Preventative Measures

To prevent stick drift, regularly clean your controller, avoid excessive force on the thumbsticks, and store the controller in a clean, dust-free environment.


Stick drift in Xbox One controllers is an annoying problem but often fixable through cleaning, recalibration, firmware updates, or resetting. If these solutions don’t work, professional repair or replacement might be necessary. Regular maintenance can help prevent the issue from arising in the first place.

This guide provides a comprehensive overview of the steps to diagnose and fix stick drift in Xbox One controllers. Remember that gentle handling and regular maintenance can significantly extend the life of your gaming hardware.

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