Steam Deck stick drift is real, but dead zone calibration can help

Gamers report Steam Deck stick drift, but luckily the device lets you adjust dead zone with Steam Input calibration modes.

@DeekeTweak
Published Tue, Mar 1 2022 4:37 PM CST   |   Updated Fri, Mar 25 2022 4:05 PM CDT

UPDATE: Valve is issuing a new firmware update to address the drift issues:

Gamers are reporting stick drift on Valve's new Steam Deck handheld-PC hybrid.

Steam Deck stick drift is real, but dead zone calibration can help 8 | TweakTown.com

Anything with a joystick is susceptible to stick drift, including the $69.99 DualSense (ours drifted in the first week) and the "best in class" thumbsticks used in the Steam Deck.

Multiple gamers have reported instances stick drift on the Steam Deck, giving us flashbacks of the tumultuous game-ruining Switch JoyCon drift days. Three separate Redditors have published videos (see below) showing the right analog stick drifting in calibration settings.

Luckily gamers can adjust the dead zone via Steam Input, which should alleviate some of the issues as calibration is streamlined and optimized.

"That's less "hardware failure drift, like a Switch controller" and more "lack of deadzone". A software tweak oughta be able to fix that right up," game developer Jayenkai tells me on Twitter.

"I don't think I've had an analogue stick that hasn't needed at least a 0.25 deadzone on it."

This is bound to happen and Valve will assuredly repair these models free of charge...but it's still disappointing and reminds gamers that handhelds can be finicky and frustrating devices.

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Derek joined the TweakTown team in 2015 and has since reviewed and played 1000s of hours of new games. Derek is absorbed with the intersection of technology and gaming, and is always looking forward to new advancements. With over six years in games journalism under his belt, Derek aims to further engage the gaming sector while taking a peek under the tech that powers it. He hopes to one day explore the stars in No Man's Sky with the magic of VR.

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