Stick drift is an annoying issue whereby analog sticks will begin registering inputs even when they aren’t being touched due to the accumulation of dust or other small particles on their internal sensors. This issue has reportedly been pervasive in certain peripherals such as Nintendo’s Joy-Con controllers, but according to Valve, its new portable PC, the Steam Deck, won’t suffer from the problem. Speaking with IGN, Valve’s hardware engineers confirmed that they were conscious of stick drift while designing the device and confirmed that it has gone through reliability testing to minimize the problem. While Valve wouldn’t go so far as to offer a guarantee, the company did suggest that it did everything it could to ensure that stick drift wouldn’t be a problem with the Steam Deck’s “best-in-class” thumbsticks, which feature built-in capacitive sensors.
“We’ve done a ton of testing on reliability, on all fronts really – and all inputs and different environmental factors and all that kind of stuff,” replied hardware engineer Yazan Aldehayyat. “I think we feel that this will perform really well. And I think people will be super happy with it. I think that it’s going to be a great buy. I mean, obviously every part will fail at some point, but we think people will be very satisfied and happy with this.”