There are mounting complaints that the PS5 DualSense controller is being hit by drift problems, as Sony struggles to deal with repair requests.
After a pretty smooth launch last year - well, apart from Black Ops Cold War and Miles Morales crashing systems - the PlayStation 5 is facing a few controller critiques in 2021. It was out with the old, in with the new, as the PS5 took over from the staple PlayStation4. With the PS4 coming to the end of its career and rounding off an impressive lifespan that started back in 2013, Sony is taking the best of its predecessor and tweaking for a truly next-gen console. One of the big changes has been the introduction of the snazzy DualSense controller to replace the classic DualShock. Now, there are reports of that dreaded drift plaguing the DualSense.
Following in the footsteps of the all-singing, all-dancing PS4, the PS5 has big shoes to fill. Sony has a strong legacy of record-breaking consoles, and while we might never top the PS2's sales of over 155 million, the PS4 takes fourth place of best-selling consoles of all time with a respectable 114 million. Although the PS5 has started strong, it still has a long way to go climbing the ranks. Thankfully, its monster size should help it barge the competition out of the way. Still, dodgy drift on the controller is hardly the PR Sony is looking for.
Is the PS5 being hit with DualSense drift?
As reported by Kotaku, PS5 DualSense drift is becoming more than just a niggle. On Reddit, u/EverGreatestxX reported problems with controller glitch just 10 days after they opened the box. This has been backed up by a number of other threads that call out Sony's supposedly state of the art controller. It was followed by a video uploaded to Reddit by u/Verity21, showing some serious drift problems while playing Destiny 2.
Problems with controller drift are rife in the gaming world, with both Microsoft and Nintendo being hit by class-action lawsuits for this exact reason in 2020. The problem comes from stick drift making characters effectively move on their own. If the left analog stick is affected, an avatar will move without the player wanting them to. If it affects the right, the camera will go rogue. Leaving a stick idle cause some unwanted consequences. While it's not exactly a console-breaking issue, it's not something you'd expect from a system that's so new off the conveyor belt and that comes with such a high price tag.
Is there a fix for PS5 DualSense drift?
The Redditors who've complained about their controllers have tried a variety of fixes, but we wouldn't recommend you go fiddling with your DualSense. You can sometimes do a simple reset on a controller to tackle drift, however, more serious issues require a physical fix that can leave you without a DualSense or stumping up the bill. Even though the situation is frustrating (to say the least), Kotaku explains that Sony’s PlayStation support page has a dedicated section for problems with PS5 hardware. This should be your go-to to try and fix your DualSense, but the site noted Sony is currently swamped with requests on where people can buy the PS5 - let alone trying to fix it.
Even though you'll have to foot the bill for sending your controller away to the Sony hospital for sickly controllers, at least the company will pay for return shipping. Then again, most of us stumped up for the base PS5, just so we could get our hands on it - meaning we've only got one DualSense. A second model isn't exactly cheap. You could always dust off your old DualShock, but remember, there was that whole debacle that the DualShock will only pair with the PS5 for PS4 games. The drift drama comes hot off the heels of complaints the DualSense's adaptive triggers are breaking.
We were more than impressed with the ingenuity of the DualSesne when it was first unveiled, but what's the point in having a futuristic controller if it can't get the fundamentals right? Hopefully, Sony can "control" the problem before it gets any worse.
Images via Sony