Microsoft Faces Class Action Lawsuit Over Xbox Controllers, which Allegedly Suffer from Joystick Drift

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Image: Microsoft

Imagine paying nearly $200 for a controller with analog sticks that begin inputting random commands right after the warranty period ends. That’s what one unlucky Xbox Elite Controller owner has alleged in a class action lawsuit filed against Microsoft this week. According to plaintiff Donald McFadden, who went through two of them, joystick drift has been a real issue plaguing Xbox controllers since 2014 – but Microsoft won’t own up to it.

“McFadden alleges that Microsoft is fully aware of the drifting defect after numerous online complaints received from its customers, and yet ‘failed to disclose the defect and routinely refuses to repair the controllers without charge when the defect manifests,'” reported VGC.

“The lawsuit claims the potentiometer within the joystick component—the mechanism that translates the physical movement of the thumbstick into movement within a game—contains a design flaw.”

“It says the wiper component of the potentiometer scrapes resistive material off a curved track, resulting in unwanted electrical contact without input from the user.”

Nintendo faces a similar lawsuit for its Switch Joy-Cons, which also suffer from drift. While that case hasn’t been settled yet (it’s still in arbitration), the company has gone ahead and offered free repairs to those with faulty joysticks. Judging by its deep pockets, Microsoft could certainly afford to do something similar.

Tsing Mui
News poster at The FPS Review.

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