How to fix Steam Deck stick drift: Make gaming handheld joysticks respond accurately again

One of the biggest problems plaguing Steam Deck is its tendency to develop drifting joysticks, since the ones it comes with don’t feature Hall Effect sensors. Steam Deck stick drift, or simply Steam Deck drift, makes it so the joysticks sense input without anyone actually touching the thumbsticks. If you’re experiencing this, you know how frustrating it can be to control your character or the camera when your joystick seems to be wandering on its own. 

Thankfully, there are a few simple things you can do to fix Steam Deck drift. I’ll go over everything from the recalibrating thumbsticks to replacing them so you can hopefully get right back to playing the best Steam Deck games

Why does stick drift happen?

Steam Deck drift can happen for a few different reasons.  (Image credit: Rebecca Spear / Windows Central)

There are a few reasons why your Steam Deck could be experiencing joystick drift. 

  1. Grime, crumbs, or dust could be messing with them. 
  2. The system might be out of sync or could be experiencing another issue. 
  3. Your joystick(s) could be damaged and in need of replacement. 

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