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How to Fix Xbox 360 Controller Stick Drift

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Does anyone else suffer from the same problem that I do? It's a problem that causes one (or both) of your analog sticks to drift in a certain direction even when you aren't touching them.

Usually, you can fix this simply by making a minor adjustment in the opposite direction, but this is extremely frustrating and can actually screw you over pretty well in games that require quick movements such as first person shooters.

Last night, I decided to get to the bottom of this issue. I did some searching, and found that it's a very common problem. However, the best advice I could find was "buy a new controller".

The problem is that this issue doesn't seem to be specific only to old controllers. In other words, you might buy a new controller and a few weeks later it could be suffering from this problem. I decided to try and actually address the problem instead of waste money on a new controller.

Here is a video that I made which describes both the problem and the solution. At five minutes, it's rather long -- I didn't have time to make a proper tutorial video. But the answers are in there, and should you have more questions, ask away!

Also, here is a photobucket album which shows some close-up high-res pictures of the fix. For reference, my controller has been modified to correct for a left analog stick that drifts to the left. (This seems to be the most common variation of the problem)


Materials Needed
- a staple
- a thin rubber band
- some kind of adhesive (preferably solder)

caae49e5.jpg
post #2 of 15
All 5 of my controllers have this so one day I cracked all of them open replaced a few sticks that we're really grimy used some cleaning stuff and cottons buds and other things cleaning around the base of the controll and it fixed most of them but I'll give this a try on the other it didn't work for
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Project: Skeeb
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Project "Skeeb"
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Intel Core i5 2500K Z68 Extreme4 Gen3 HIS HD 7950 HIS HD 7950 
RAMHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
Kingston HyperX T1 16gb Seagate barracuda 500gb  Sony Alphacool Livingstone 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
XSPC EX360 Laing 3.25 18W Alphacool DDC top EK 250 basic res 
CoolingCoolingCoolingOS
XSPC 1/2 3/4 black nickel compression fittings Masterkleer 1/2, 3/4 Mayhems Deep Blue  Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit 
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Yamakasi Catleap Tesco Value Be quiet dark power pro 1000w Gigabyte sumo 5112 
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Dell mouse OCUK XXL mat Some Amp B&W 2003's 
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post #3 of 15
With $2 and some soldering skills you can just replace that little gizmo as well.
post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Madman340 View Post

With $2 and some soldering skills you can just replace that little gizmo as well.
Yep, I ended up doing just that because I had an extra controller laying around which was busted up. The sticks were still good, though.

To those wanting to swap the sticks out, make sure you have de-soldering braid. It takes only a little patience, as there are about 14 solder points that need to be de-soldered/ re-soldered, but they are quite large and easily accessible. It's a breeze, really.
post #5 of 15
Here is a replacement one: http://www.tmart.com/Replacement-Analog-Stick-Controller-Thumbsticks-Thumb-Joysticks-for-Xbox-360_p123841.html

I want to find a higher quality analog stick that can be installed on a 360 controller. Anybody know where to start looking or know of one?
post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Madman340 View Post

Here is a replacement one: http://www.tmart.com/Replacement-Analog-Stick-Controller-Thumbsticks-Thumb-Joysticks-for-Xbox-360_p123841.html
I want to find a higher quality analog stick that can be installed on a 360 controller. Anybody know where to start looking or know of one?
That's fantastic -- I didn't know you could get new sticks for so cheap! This makes a bad controller a thing of the past.

As far as a higher-quality stick goes.. I have no idea. That's an interesting idea though. I kind of doubt that such a thing exists, but you never know. With that part you linked to, 360 controllers can be repaired for so cheap that it almost wouldn't matter.

Also, that site says that there are about 8 solder points.. in actuality I believe there are about 14. No big deal though.

Wants absolutely stupid is that you can't suggest something like this on official Microsoft forums. I tried to once and the thread got deleted because I was essentially violating the TOS by talking about "modifying" the hardware. It's so stupid. I can't believe they won't allow someone to open up their own controller and repair it. It's not like I'm suggesting a rapid-fire mod (of which I have done two).
post #7 of 15
I thought it was just me. I have 4 that do this and 2 have done it since new and both of those are the newer black ones that come with the S Console. M$ hardware quality is just nasty mad.gif
     
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post #8 of 15
Nice i will keep this in mind if any of my controllers do this ^_^ i own a After Glow so hopefully they aren't prone to this.
post #9 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by lukeman3000 View Post

That's fantastic -- I didn't know you could get new sticks for so cheap! This makes a bad controller a thing of the past.
As far as a higher-quality stick goes.. I have no idea. That's an interesting idea though. I kind of doubt that such a thing exists, but you never know. With that part you linked to, 360 controllers can be repaired for so cheap that it almost wouldn't matter.
Also, that site says that there are about 8 solder points.. in actuality I believe there are about 14. No big deal though.
Wants absolutely stupid is that you can't suggest something like this on official Microsoft forums. I tried to once and the thread got deleted because I was essentially violating the TOS by talking about "modifying" the hardware. It's so stupid. I can't believe they won't allow someone to open up their own controller and repair it. It's not like I'm suggesting a rapid-fire mod (of which I have done two).

They probably are against making it common knowledge that it's an easy fix. Otherwise some people wouldn't buy a new controller.

Anyway, I think one of the sides requires more soldering, because you need to remove one of the triggers tor each it. I'm thinking using some dielectric grease will help make the movement smoother, but I'll have to wait for a few things to be delivered to try anything.
post #10 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by KRaZiGLiTcH View Post

Nice i will keep this in mind if any of my controllers do this ^_^ i own a After Glow so hopefully they aren't prone to this.

If it uses analog sticks it is prone to this. It's just wear; after a while it will weaken. Really any moving part is subject to wear.
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