Class-action lawsuit against 'drifting joysticks' on Xbox controllers continues with amended complaint

Xbox Series X S Controller Hero
Xbox Series X S Controller Hero (Image credit: Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • The lawsuit against the 'drifting joysticks' issue on recent Xbox controllers is still continuing.
  • The amended complaint adds seven new plaintiffs, requests a jury trial, and adds the Xbox Elite Series 1 and 2 controllers to the list of affected accessories.
  • The ongoing lawsuit is going after Microsoft over the alleged widespread issue of joystick drifting in Xbox controllers, due to a defect in the hardware.
  • The plaintiffs are seeking monetary relief from Microsoft, as well as a public injunction that would require Microsoft to inform their customers of the issues.

A new report from VGC has come out today with some updated information regarding the class-action lawsuit against Microsoft and alleged joystick drifting issues. In the report, VGC claims that the ongoing lawsuit was amended on October 2, 2020, with seven new plaintiffs, a request for a jury trial, and an updated list of affected peripherals that now includes the Xbox Elite Controller Series 1 and Series 2.

The class-action lawsuit has been in effect for a while now, claiming that Microsoft's critically acclaimed Xbox controllers have a widespread joystick drifting issue, something that Nintendo has also come under fire for with concerns to their Joy-Con controllers for the Switch. The plaintiffs allege that a known hardware flaw with a component known as the "potentiometer," the part that translates physical movement to software movement, and a grease-like lubricant causes unwanted movement even when the user isn't actively touching the controller, which can grow worse over time.

The lawsuit is not only seeking monetary compensation from Microsoft, but is also seeking a public injuction, which would require Microsoft to openly inform their existing customer base of the issues, as the lawsuit claims that "The injunctive relief sought by Plaintiffs will protect the public from Microsoft's deceitful marketing practices which misrepresent and omit material facts."

It's still not clear if the lawsuit will succeed, or if the reported joystick drifting issues with Xbox controllers are as serious as the lawsuit alleges, but it is interesting that the case continues to evolve over time, especially as Microsoft seeks to launch their next-gen consoles like the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S. The new consoles also come with a brand-new refreshed controller which makes some important and distinct changes to the internals of the controller, possibly avoiding the alleged defect that affects previous controllers from Xbox.

Have you experienced joystick drifting on controllers before? Do you think this lawsuit has merit against Xbox controllers specifically? Let us know in the comments below!

Xbox Series X/S


Zachary Boddy
Staff Writer

Zachary Boddy (They / Them) is a Staff Writer for Windows Central, primarily focused on covering the latest news in tech and gaming, the best Xbox and PC games, and the most interesting Windows and Xbox hardware. They have been gaming and writing for most of their life starting with the original Xbox, and started out as a freelancer for Windows Central and its sister sites in 2019. Now a full-fledged Staff Writer, Zachary has expanded from only writing about all things Minecraft to covering practically everything on which Windows Central is an expert, especially when it comes to Microsoft. You can find Zachary on Twitter @BoddyZachary.