How to Fix VR Drift – In-Depth Guide with FAQs & More

Have you ever found yourself in the middle of an immersive virtual reality (VR) game experience and noticed that your in‑game position suddenly shifted? Or did you notice that you were suddenly unable to navigate through menus?

Many VR gamers have experienced similar issues with their controllers. The cause of these issues is called “joystick drifting.”

Worry not; you’ve come to the right place. We will tell you exactly how you can fix your VR drift.

How to Fix VR Drift?

Joysticks tend to get stuck when they’re not used for a long time. The Nintendo Switch Joycons are notorious for this issue, and even the PlayStation 5 has been known to suffer from joystick sticking. If a controller gets stuck, it means that the joystick moves on its own without any input from the user.

It can lead to the aforementioned issues of intermittent character movements and difficult menu navigation.

If you’re having trouble dealing with joystick drift, your first instinct may be to buy a new gamepad. However, there are things you can do to help save some cash.

If you want to try and fix the joystick drift on your own before ordering a new Oculus Touch, here are some things you can try.

Replace your Batteries

If you’re experiencing joystick drift on your Oculus Rift, the first thing you should do is just take out the battery for a few minutes and then put it back in.

If that doesn’t help, try switching batteries. It’s possible that changing your battery might fix your problem.

If that’s the situation, then you may want to consider changing brands or investing in rechargeable batteries.

Cleaning the Controller

Next, check for any debris inside or around the controller. If necessary, use a flashlight to get a better look at the controller. Also, ensure that there’s enough light so that you can clearly see everything.

If you notice anything around the joystick, then cleaning it up could be the solution to the problem. Wiping it down with a microfibre cloth may be enough to fix it.

Many Oculus Rift users report that the issue can be fixed simply by moving the joystick and then using air pressure to blow away any dirt or dust stuck to the sensor.

If you don’t want to re-live any of the out-of-breaths struggles from the era of cartridge games, you could use a can of compressed gas instead.

If replacing your batteries and cleaning out your controller hasn’t fixed your joystick drifting issues, then there’s nothing you can do on your own.

You’ll need to contact Meta Support.

Do all Oculus Controllers Get Joystick Drift?

If your Oculus controller has not experienced any joystick drift so far, there’s no need to worry; it may never occur.

The cause of joystick drift is usually something that can be easily corrected, and regularly cleaning your joystick can help prevent drifting. If your joystick has been acting up for some time, you may need to send it in for repair or replacement.

What is Oculus Quest Controller Drift?

If you’re not sure whether this is the problem you’re having, we’d like to take a moment to discuss stick drift. Stick drift occurs when the sticks don’t move smoothly across the surface of the gamepad.

If you notice strange behaviors when playing, you might be experiencing stick shifts. So you may need to press forward but then suddenly veer off to one side. Or you’ve lost control of the joystick, but your game keeps going.

It’s not just annoying; it also makes it harder for you to play your game because what you want to happen isn’t always going to be represented by what your character does.

Of course, that might signify your limitations as a basketballer. Not every miss is due to stick drift! If you’re finding that your instructions are becoming even more erratic than normal, stick drift definitely enters the conversation.

Why do Controllers Experience Joystick Drift?

There are several reasons why controllers may experience joystick drift. Dirt buildup, manufacturing errors, and wear and tear are some of the most common causes. Basically, the components that control the movement of the joysticks do have a limited lifetime, so the more use they get, the greater the chance that one of these components will fail and begin causing joystick drift.

Don’t bash it against a brick if you’re frustrated; keep it clean, and hopefully, you won’t experience stick drift. But chances aren’t good that it will never happen.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What Causes Controller Drift?

If your game or the controller moves even though you aren’t pressing any buttons, then the problem may be caused by either the analog stick or the potentiator being dirty. Analog stick or potentiometer damage could cause similar issues.

How do you recalibrate Oculus?

To recalibrate the joystick:

  1. Open the Oculus app on your phone.
  2. Tap More and then select Controller.
  3. Tap your controller below paired controllers.
  4. Click in the top right corner and then click Recalibrate.
  5. Follow the on-screen directions to calibrate your controller.

Does Oculus have full body tracking?

You can get the best experience out of your new Oculus Quest 2 with the help of an external sensor. With the Oculus Touch controllers, you’ll be able to interact with virtual objects in previously impossible ways.

What do I do if my Oculus Quest 2 gets wet?

If the VR Head Mounted Display (VR HMD) becomes wet, contact Oculus Support immediately. Don’t put the VR HMD in any environment where it might become heated, including on or near a stove, oven, iron, or radiator; directly exposed to sunlight; or in an enclosed space.

How do you change the Oculus dead zone?

  1. Extract the archive anywhere.
  2. If you’re using any VR apps, close them. Also, if you’re using SteamVR or Oculus desktop software, close it.
  3. Launch the tool.
  4. Choose Touch controller from the dropdown menu.
  5. You can change the values of X and Y to either decrease them or raise them.
  6. Click the Save button, then restart OVRservice.


Drift isn’t just due to rough gameplay or bad design; it’s also due to the game’s surroundings. Dust and grime were previously discussed, but environmental factors include things like greasier, saltier snacks or even the fur shed by a cat.

We hope this article was helpful to you and you have successfully fixed your drift. Feel free to reach out to us in the comments below.


  • Victor Marquez

    Victor is the Editor in Chief at Techtyche. He tests the performance and quality of new VR boxes, headsets, pedals, etc. He got promoted to the Senior Game Tester position in 2021. His past experience makes him very qualified to review gadgets, speakers, VR, games, Xbox, laptops, and more. Feel free to check out his posts.

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