How to Fix Thumbstick Drift on Xbox One Elite Controller

A thumbstick drift on the Xbox elite controller issue means the movement of the thumbstick in any direction n even when not in use. a failing thumbstick may result in a high frustration rate making one wish to fix the issue immediately. Some of the reasons that may result in the thumbstick drifting involve accumulating dust and dirt on the device.

There are several steps to follow to troubleshoot the problem. First, ensure you have all the materials you may need, such as cotton swabs and isopropyl alcohol. Follow the recommended steps to obtain the positive results desired. Also, refer to the manufacturer’s manual guide in case of any problem.

The article below provides some of the best steps to bring your thumbstick to functioning. Also, it contains frequently asked questions and additional information concerning the Xbox one elite controller and its thumbstick component. Hopefully, the article will help you fix your device and bring it to correct functioning.

Reasons for Xbox One Elite Controller Thumbstick Drift

Reasons for Xbox One Elite Controller Thumbstick Drift

There are various reasons why the thumbstick on your Xbox One Elite Controller is drifting. Finding the source of the problem aids in the speedy resolution of the problem. Let there be some light on the grounds;

i. Thumbstick Internal Degradation

Your Xbox One controller’s thumbstick can sometimes be the source of the problem. Since the internal circuit is to blame, no matter how much work you put into cleaning up your controller, the drifting problem persists. The thumb stick has a sensor component that connects to the controller’s internal circuit board. If the issue is with the sensor or the electronic circuitry, it is referred to as an internal thumbstick malfunction.

ii.            Thumbsticks are filthy.

Casual gamers frequently overlook the hygiene of their Xbox One controllers. Dust collects in large volumes over time, causing the controller’s thumbsticks to malfunction, resulting in drifting issues. Furthermore, due to a long period of dust deposition, the thumbsticks become worn down over time. The worn-out thumbsticks will cause more drifting issues that will demand rapid attention.

iii. Malfunctioning device’s springs.

The stick comprises two main components: the sensor and the springs. These springs are in charge of repositioning the stick once the thumb has been withdrawn. However, regular controller usage can wear out the springs, resulting in controller drifting.

How do you fix thumbstick drift on an Xbox controller?

how to fix thumbstick drift on xbox one elite controller

It’s always a good reason, to begin with, the basics of fixing issues with thumbstick drift on Xbox One controllers. Given that we’ve already addressed the causes of thumbstick Xbox One Elite Controller drift, let’s focus on the solutions that can assist you in resolving the issue so that you can fully utilize your favorite Xbox games on one of the greatest platforms.

Tools necessary:

i. Isopropyl alcohol.

ii. Cotton swabs

iii. T-8 or T-9 safety prying tool

iv. Replacement thumbstick pads

v. a Torx Shim of your choice

check the cotton swabs on Amazon

Check out this quick table:

How do you fix thumbstick drift on an Xbox controller?FunctionsTools necessary
Cleaning up the thumbsticksTo remove dirt and debris on the thumbsticksCheck the isopropyl alcohol on Amazon
Remove the Xbox One Elite Controller from the console.To fix the thumbstick driftsT9 safety Torx
Repair or replace the thumbstick springs if necessaryTo bring the device to correct functioning. 
Carefully remove the springs with the tweezers.To get rid of the faulty springs and get new ones functioning correctly.Tweezers
Replace the springs and reinstall the controller properlyTo bring your device to function. 

Step 1: Cleaning up the thumb sticks

Cleaning up the thumb sticks

To start, wiping the thumbstick on your Xbox One Elite Controller is the simplest solution. Perhaps the thumb stick pad on your controller hasn’t worn out yet. In this scenario, basic cleaning will undoubtedly be beneficial. Please follow the methods outlined below to clean the thumbstick pads properly.

i. Soak one of the sides of a cotton bud in isopropyl alcohol.

ii. Clean the thumbstick pad with a rounded surface with the damp cotton bud.

iii. Ensure the pad is completely clear by turning the stick back and forth and side to side.

iv. You can check the gamepad if you think you’ve wiped the pad properly. If the controller continues to drift, you can open it, which is a difficult task.

Step 2: Remove the Xbox One Elite Controller from the console

If cleaning the thumbstick pads does not cause the controller to drift away, you can disassemble the controller using T8 and T9 safety Torx. The Xbox One Elite Controller disassembly aims to see if the thumbsticks are in the wrong location. You’ll also be able to tell if the thumbsticks are loose or not. If you notice that the thumbstick pads are loose, try replacing them with new ones.

Step 3: Repair or replace the thumbstick springs if necessary

The thumbstick springs are another important reason for your Xbox One Elite Controller to drift. These springs, as previously said, go through a series of wear-and-tear processes throughout time. To verify the status of springs, please follow the procedures below. Begin by disassembling your Xbox One controller. There are green plastic covers at the bottom that you must remove with extreme caution, as any damage here will result in the thumbstick being replaced entirely.

Step 4: Carefully remove the springs with the tweezers

The process helps you get rid of the faulty springs and get new ones functioning correctly. After removing the springs, replace them with ones that are functioning correctly. You can get such springs by buying them from a genuine shop.

Step 5: Replace the springs and reinstall the controller properly

Replace the springs and reinstall the controller properly

Completely replace the thumbsticks. The two fixes listed above may or may not work for certain folks. Both thumbsticks may need to be replaced. If you want to replace the thumbsticks on your Xbox One controller, it’s one of the most difficult operations, so if you’re not comfortable soldering and desoldering, we recommend hiring a pro.

However, the procedure is dangerous for an amateur. You can change the thumbsticks by carefully following the procedures in the information below.

i. Start by removing the T8 and T9 Torx from your Xbox One controller. T7, on the other hand, will be required to disassemble the circuit board.

ii. A soldered connection connects the circuit board and the thumbstick. As a result, a desoldering device is necessary to separate the thumb stick from the board.

iii. After that, please insert the new stick assembly on the circuit board and solder it in place.

iv. Finally, reassemble the controller and test to see if the controller drift problem continues.

Frequently asked questions:

  • How to Replace the Thumbstick Springs on an Xbox One Elite Controller that has been worn out?

If you’ve attempted to repair your thumbstick patches and realized that they’re not dirty or weak, replacing your thumbstick springs is the next fastest solution. If one thumbstick is causing you difficulties, only change the springs on that one.

You’ll need the following items to complete this repair:

  1. T-8 safety prying tool
  2. Analog stick springs
  3. Torx
  4. Tweezers

Here’s how to fix the analog stick springs on an Xbox One controller:

i. Using the recommended tool, the T-9 safety Torx, dismantle your controller.

ii. Gently remove some parts, such as the green plastic covers from the thumbstick chamber’s bottom and right sides.

iii. Disconnect the springs from the frame.

iv. Change the springs with new ones or springs from another controller.

v. Replacing the green plastic covers is simply snapping them back into place.

vi. Reattach your controller and run it through its paces.

  • What can I do about my Xbox Elite controller drifting?

To try to correct your Xbox Elite controller, you may do a few things. The first step is to double-check that your controller is set correctly. To do so, hit the A button while holding down the synchronization button on the front of the controller. Then push the B button, then let go of both buttons. Lastly, hold down the B key and unlock it when the Xbox logo displays.


The issue of your thumbstick on the Xbox One Elite Controller keeping drifting can be very frustrating and will require immediate attention to continue playing the game. Luckily, the article above states some of the steps to follow to fix the issue on your own. But, if the issue persists, it is necessary to seek help from a professional or an expert to help you solve the issue instantly.

Finally, remember to follow the manufacturer’s instructions while performing the activities. Nevertheless, never forget to service your device more often to keep it in good condition and prevent frequent repairs and replacements. Hopefully, this article will be of great importance and has answered your question about fixing thumbstick drift on Xbox one controllers. 

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