An angry gamer is suing Microsoft over Xbox One controller 'stick drift' issue

(Image credit: Xbox)

Microsoft is facing a class-action lawsuit from a disgruntled Xbox player, who claims its Xbox One controllers suffer from inherent "stick drift".

The class-action complaint revolves around there being a known defect in the Xbox One controller design, which Microsoft has failed to disclose. The plaintiff, Donald McFadden, suggests that customers are having to pay for repairs to the controller, as the problem tends to arise after customers' 90-day warranty period has expired. 

Stick drift is a frustrating controller defect which usually occurs after extended use. As players continually move, press and wiggle the analog sticks, it's an area that's susceptible to damage or wear and tear over time. 

The end result is that it can cause your aim, character or on-screen cursor to move around on its own, even if you're not touching the stick.

The suit against Xbox was filed on April 28 at the US District Court and was made by McFadden when his Xbox Wireless Controller Series 2 – which retails for the princely sum of $180/£160 – began to demonstrate stick drift. McFadden went on to purchase a second Xbox Elite Controller, only to discover the same problem had reared its ugly head within "three or four months".

Not to be deterred, and presumably in a way to recoup some of his losses, McFadden tried to fix the misbehaving joystick himself, and spent "a considerable amount of time" doing so. Sadly, it was to no avail. 

McFadden claims the issue is well-known, as "a simple Google search on this issue reveals multiple forum and message boards dedicated to stick drift; YouTube instructional videos of users attempting to fix the issue on their own; and even replacement joystick components from Amazon and other sellers," the filing states.

Sticky situation

Nintendo is also facing a class-action lawsuit over its Nintendo Switch Joy-Con controllers exhibiting stick drift, which was filed in September of last year. 

The issue is reported to occur on the Nintendo Switch Lite, causing further headaches as, unlike with the regular Nintendo Switch, the Joy-Con cannot be removed from the device and sent for repair.

Controller complaints can be hard to quantify as, although they're designed to withstand hundreds of hours of use, everyone handles them differently – from the pressure they place on the sticks, to how well they look after them. Nevertheless, McFadden's claim will still need to be dismissed by Microsoft.

We contacted Microsoft, who declined to comment on the matter.


Adam Vjestica

Adam was formerly TRG's Hardware Editor. A law graduate with an exceptional track record in content creation and online engagement, Adam has penned scintillating copy for various technology sites and also established his very own award-nominated video games website. He’s previously worked at Nintendo of Europe as a Content Marketing Editor and once played Halo 5: Guardians for over 51 hours for charity. He is now an editor at The Shortcut.