Some Steam Deck users claim they are experiencing joystick drift

Image via Valve.

With the release of Valve’s first-ever console, the Steam Deck, some users have already taken to the internet with claims they are experiencing the dreaded joystick drift that has plagued other consoles in the past.

The problem has existed in several other consoles, such as direct competitor and fellow handheld-hybrid Nintendo Switch, and even the PlayStation 5 controller. However, Valve has recently stated they are working to address that and other issues that coincided with the handheld PC-gaming device’s launch on Friday.

An example video of the drift occurring was posted on Twitter by gaming steward Wario64, captioning it, “some people are already experiencing Steam Deck drift.”

The tweet included links to two different posts on Reddit, and we were able to confirm a third post on the r/SteamDeck subreddit that appeared to show a similar problem.

“My Steam deck also has drifting on the right joycon after light use :(” wrote Reddit user u/hollandje in one post.

According to The Washington Post, the drift issue is just one of many concerns plaguing the console’s launch that the company is now trying to address, with other complaints surfacing in relation to battery life and shortages of the console itself.

When it comes to the drifting issue, Steam Deck engineer Pierre-Loup Griffais told the publication that Valve specifically used “state of the art” thumbsticks that are more common in standard controllers than handhelds.

The modules aren’t attached to a larger board, Griffais said, making them easily replaceable.

“We hope that customers don’t need to replace anything. We hope this lasts as long as they ever want it to…But if they do [need to replace something], then it’s not terribly difficult,” Steam Deck designer Jay Shaw also told The Post.

In addition, Valve also partnered with consumer electronics site iFixit to offer replacement parts, including when there is a complete battery failure. Shaw said they are working on ramping up production to address shortages.

We’re willing to give Valve CEO Gabe Newell a second chance when it comes to some of these Steam Deck hiccups since he has engaged in a high number of good faith gestures to consumers recently. This includes hand-delivering some of the first rounds of Steam Decks to customers and getting their direct feedback, publicly releasing the Steam Deck CAD files so the console’s external shell dimensions are available for gamers to perhaps experiment with 3D-printing custom designs, banning games from Steam that integrate the controversial crypto technology called non-fungible tokens, and even extending an olive branch to Microsoft to integrate their Xbox Game Pass into Steam, Valve’s popular digital distribution platform for video games.

Valve did not immediately respond to a request for comment.