The dreaded stick drift problem seems to be plaguing some early Steam Deck owners. For those unaware, Valve launched the Steam Deck on Friday, February 25 and allowed the earliest reservation holders to complete their orders.
Those people are just now or have recently received their Steam Deck units in the mail. It’s a joyous time to be a PC gamer for anyone that’s included in the batch of customers who already have their units (mine arrives next Monday, and I couldn’t be more excited). But it’s not all sunshine and rainbows as they say.
As spotted by The Verge, some users who have gotten their Steam Deck units early are reporting stick drift popping up on at least one of their thumb sticks. As a hardware early adopter, perhaps some issues are to be expected. But that probably doesn’t do a whole lot to make people feel better about the issue showing up after light use just days into receiving the product.
Steam Deck units with stick drift will be able to get replacement parts
It’s not an immediate fix, but users with stick drift problems will be able to replace their thumb sticks. At some point. Last month, Valve confirmed that replacement parts for the Deck will be available through iFixit. They may also come to other retail partners eventually. The company didn’t mention all the parts that can be replaced. However it did state that thumb sticks would be one of them.
The only issue there is that it hasn’t confirmed yet when replacement parts would go up for sale. So if you do notice the problem surface, you may have to wait a little while before you can get parts to swap out. And unfortunately, there doesn’t currently seem to be a permanent fix for the issue via software updates. You can however mitigate the problem a little by calibrating thumb stick dead spots.
If it’s any consolation, the problem with stick drift may not be happening to that many units. Only a handful of people on the official Steam Deck subreddit have reported the issue. And Valve estimates that “tens of thousands of Steam Decks” have been sent out already.