Steam Deck has a stick drift problem — er, never mind


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After a slew of raving Steam Deck reviews, fans got excited about Valve’s new hardware. But a handful of reports from early adopters briefly threw cold water on that anticipation. The Steam Deck has issues with analog stick drifting – at least according to some posts on reddit† But in the hours since those reports, Valve claims to have identified and eliminated a software bug that caused the problem.

On Reddit, users like Hollandje demonstrated that the analog stick continues to receive input even after releasing it. This is very similar to the drifting issue affecting the Nintendo Switch and the gamepads for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S.

My Steam deck also floats on the correct joycon after light use 🙁 from SteamDeck

But according to Valve designer Lawrence Yang, this is no longer a problem. Valve claims that the problem was a bug in the firmware. This glitch caused a “deadzone regression” that apparently works like stick drift.

Of course, this does not mean that Steam Deck is drift-free. All analog sticks fail over time, and some launches have failed – just like a stuck pixel screen. Even then, the good news is that the Deck’s sticks are very easy to replace. You may not want to fix them yourself. That is understandable. But you can take them to a local repair center and get the device back quickly as long as they have the correct components.

The bigger story here is that it’s easy to give in to FUD and hype in the early days of new hardware. If you’re sensitive to either one, you’ll need to drop off. It will take a while for the Steam Deck scene to collect enough data to know the real truth about this device. So sit back and don’t fear the worst of every negative headline.

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