Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning we get a small commission if you make a purchase through our links, at no cost to you. For more information, please visit our Disclaimer Page.

It is a common occurrence that a controller’s buttons may feel stiff or hard to push.

Dirt and grime are likely to be the cause of an older controller that is beginning to stiff. Using rubbing alcohol, clean the outside surfaces of the joystick. If this doesn’t work, you will need to disassemble the controller and clean it inside so the joysticks are appropriately seated.

game controller2 (1)

Are Brand New Controllers Stiff?

Some brand-new controllers have buttons that are quite stiff, while most are not. Because of the stiffness of the buttons, it might get difficult for some gamers to enjoy their favorite game using the controller. However, if your button is stiff, do not worry because you can fix it with a little effort.

Choosing the Right Controller

Video game controllers, also known as gamepads, joysticks, and joysticks, are considered indispensable. Consoles were the foundation of gaming for a long time, while PC gamers used keyboards and mice primarily.

There has, however, been a marked rise in the demand for PC controllers in the past couple of years, mainly because many games that are later made available for PC are also made available for consoles, making an ad hoc controller necessary in these cases.

It is also because many gamers cannot live without a controller, preferring it to the keyboard and mouse and recognizing its convenience over other, more traditional tools.

These products find a further reason to exist today since digital platforms that offer cloud gaming services require a compatible controller, a display, and internet access.


A controller’s compatibility with our gaming platform refers to its ability to connect and interface. This factor is less relevant to PC controllers since its prime purpose is to work right out of the box.

When you buy a Plug and Play device, you can use it with the PC as soon as you plug it in without installing third-party software or buying extra accessories (USB adapters).

As possible, you can use the same gamepad on both consoles and PCs in the compatibility factor. In addition, some video games are available only via particular consoles.

It often leads to users having access to both a PC and a console and using the same controller. For the best controller, use one compatible with both platforms – that way, you can use the controller from your console with your PC .


It is also important to consider the controller’s connectivity before selecting one. However, what makes it so crucial? Many controllers still function and feature the same as they used to, but they have seen improvements in connecting with their respective platforms.

You can use traditional cables to connect. Console manufacturers have introduced so-called wireless controllers with the seventh generation to make them discrete and easier to use to streamline these devices’ connections and reduce the weight and complexity.

Battery & Range

To work without an external connection, wireless controllers require batteries. The controller is equipped with a lithium battery rechargeable (sometimes interchangeable) and a cable to charge the battery when it is low. Some battery-powered models do not require cables.

The range is also an important consideration. In the case of a wired connection, these controllers require between two and three meters of distance from the console or PC, while in the case of wireless controllers, it varies between nine and ten meters.


Manufacturers do not alter some functions and most of the basic features of controllers during their evolution. A modern video game controller has almost all of these buttons, which is the number of command keys that most video games require.

Almost all controllers include a vibration system that enhances gameplay, which has become an important element for many gamers as of the fifth generation of consoles.

Modern controllers also include an audio jack, which is becoming more and more common. Multiplayer games can certainly benefit from this headset port, as communicating with your teammates becomes easier with this feature.

game controller (1)

How Do You Loosen a Stiff Controller?

You will find it increasingly difficult to use a stiff joystick. A dirty controller or an older model that sticks may result from grime and dirt built up over time. Use rubbing alcohol to clean the joystick’s external components.

To make sure the joysticks are seated correctly, you’ll have to disassemble the controller and clean the insides. It may damage your warranty if you open your controller.

Clean the Outside of the Controller

Place the cotton swabs and other materials on a surface that is flatter, as it will help you in easy cleaning of the controller. Work in an area with plenty of space. Remove any surface grime from the joystick by wiping it with rubbing alcohol.

The process may need to be repeated numerous times, depending on how dirty the controller is. Cleaning the bottom parts of the controller where the joystick rests on a cotton swab dampened with rubbing alcohol is recommended.

To get the best angle possible, move the joystick around. Ensure no gunk is on the edge of the controller where the joystick attaches; this can hinder smooth operation.

Disassemble the Controller

For disassembling the controller, make sure you have the right screwdriver. Using a small Phillips screwdriver is essential when disassembling the PlayStation controller.

An Xbox 360 controller will require a security screwdriver that is not generally available for disassembling. Your controller’s body should be free of screws.

You should remove the Xbox 360 controller’s battery pack if applicable. PS3 controllers are held together by five screws. A hidden barcode sticker behind the barcode sticker hides one of the eight in the back.

Pull straight up the back of the controller after setting it face-down. If the Xbox 360 and PS3 controllers are not jostled too much, they can fall out.

The complicated pieces complicate the process of reassembling everything. Using cotton swabs and rubbing alcohol, clean the joysticks within the game controller.

If they are very sticky or dirty, you may have to take them off the circuit board. If other internal components need cleaning, you can do it at this time. Clean the joysticks and look at the function after moving them around a bit.

Make sure the joysticks are properly seated on the logic board. After you’ve cleaned and reassembled your controller, you must reassemble the controller’s body.

You will oppositely reassemble the controller from the way you opened it. Instead of using clean clothes, you can also use rub alcohol wipes.

The unused joysticks may need to be used for a few days to loosen up on new controllers. In case they aren’t loosening up after use, contact the manufacturer.

Don’t saturate a cotton swab or cloth with too much-rubbing alcohol. Although rubbing alcohol evaporates rapidly, it remains a liquid and should not be taken into your controller in excessive amounts.

Does Increased Thumbstick Tension Help?

Increased tension has the greatest benefit of giving you better control of the thumbstick, boosting thumbstick accuracy. By using the thumbstick more precisely, you will be able to hit the target more accurately.


Most gamers do not like playing games on a stiff controller. Still, the controller makes it a bit difficult for gamers to press the button. If you also do not like the stiffness of your controller, do not worry because this article will guide you.

Further, you may require disassembling your controller if dust is the prime reason behind the stiffness. You can use various approaches to take apart the controller.

You can either use rubbing wipes or clean clothes to fix the stiffness. Instead of using clean clothes, some people prefer rubbing alcohol wipes to help reduce stiffness.

With new controllers, these new joysticks may have to loosen up after a few days of use. Consider contacting the manufacturer if the nails do not loosen up after use.