Xbox Facing Lawsuit Over Controller Drift

Published: April 30, 2020 9:45 AM /


An Xbox Elite controller

The gaming industry's controller woes continue. A class-action lawsuit has been filed against Xbox over drifting controllers. It's a very similar issue to the suit filed against Nintendo back in July last year.

In the Xbox lawsuit, plaintiff Donald McFadden - represented by Cynthia Heidelberg of BJT Legal - alleges that drifting issues are common among owners of Microsoft's Xbox Elite controller and that Microsoft is aware of these issues. McFadden says that when consumers pay the $179.99 asking price, they're paying "more for the controllers than they are worth". According to McFadden, Microsoft has failed to disclose the drifting defect despite being fully aware of it, and has also failed to provide necessary repairs when the fault does manifest.

Why are Xbox Elite controllers having drift issues?

The lawsuit also contains technical details regarding why the Xbox Elite controllers manifest this issue. McFadden's lawsuit says that the potentiometer inside the joystick "scrapes resistive material off a curved track, which then adheres to the wiper". This causes unwanted electrical contact without any input from the user, which is what causes the sticks to move on their own. McFadden says he purchased another controller since the first one was defective, only to have the same issue occur three or four months later. He also spent long periods of time trying to fix the issue on his own but to no avail.

It remains to be seen how Microsoft will respond to this lawsuit. This definitely isn't the first time this issue has reared its head, and for a controller as expensive as the Elite, it would definitely be good optics for Microsoft to respond favorably. After similar issues hit Nintendo, the Japanese gaming giant reportedly repaired faulty Joy-Con controllers for free, regardless of date of purchase in North America. We'll bring you more on this suit as we get it.

Have you been hit by Xbox Elite controller drift issues? Let us know in the comments below!

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| Senior Writer

Joe has been writing for TechRaptor for five years, and in those five years has learned a lot about the gaming industry and its foibles. He’s originally an… More about Joseph