The bad news is that controller drifting has come to the recently launched Steam Deck. The good news though being that a fix has already been released.
Taking to Reddit earlier today, a few Steam Deck owners reported that they were already experiencing drifting issues on the right analog thumbstick. Captured footage confirmed that the thumbstick was failing the built-in controller input test by moving across both axes even when the handheld was not being used.
Following the drifting complaints, developer Valve was quick to start an investigation. It turned out that the controller drifting issue for Steam Deck was caused by “a deadzone regression from a recent firmware update.”
Valve has already released a new firmware update to address the aforementioned Steam Deck drifting reports. All users are advised to update their handhelds by heading into Settings and then Software Updates.
Hi all, a quick note about Steam Deck thumbsticks. The team has looked into the reported issues and it turns out it was a deadzone regression from a recent firmware update. We just shipped a fix to address the bug, so make sure you’re up to date.
— Lawrence Yang (@lawrenceyang) March 2, 2022
Drifting has been a long-running problem for all controller thumbsticks. The controllers basically start moving on their own without any human input, which can be bothersome during gameplay. The player has to either repair the faulty controller or purchase a brand new one, the latter being a costly option since even the new replacement can start drifting.
It should be noted that both the Xbox and DualSense controllers have suffered from drifting issues, but the Nintendo Switch Joy-Con controllers have taken the most serious hit.
There have been several lawsuits against Nintendo for knowingly selling faulty products and refusing to offer free repairs since the day the Switch was launched. It took a YouTuber to find an actual fix to salvage drifting Joy-Cons.