What is Controller Deadzone?

What is controller deadzone

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Controller deadzone is the amount your stick can move before it’s recognized in game, the bigger the deadzone the more the stick can move before it registers an input. A low deadzone is more responsive, a subtle touch will result in an input, there’s a flip side, if your controller is a little worn or the sticks are a little loose it could lead to drift. Larger deadzones trade off responsiveness to avoid accidental inputs.

Optimal deadzone in Fortnite

Fortnite Deadzone Settings

Fortnite has in-game settings for deadzone. For optimal settings, you want to set the lowest possible deadzone without any drift. Keep in mind that this isn’t something that is set and forget it, as your controllers wear and change you might need to go back and adjust over time.

Deadzone in Rocket League

Rocket League Deadzone

Controller deadzone is pretty basic, lower this setting as low as possible without any drift.

Dodge deadzone is how much you have to move your stick before you perform a dodge. There’s a really handy deadzone visualizer webapp made by Rocket Science that helps you see how much you have to move your stick to turn and dodge: https://halfwaydead.gitlab.io/rl-deadzone/

Steam Deadzone Settings

Steam Deadzone

The always helpful Valve has also created settings in Steam to set controller deadzones for all your games. The deadzone is super helpful when your sticks start to drift, you can increase your deadzone, you lose a little responsiveness but your controller is still going to work.

To get to the deadzone setting in Steam:

  1. In the menu: Steam > Settings
  2. In settings: Go to Controller > General Controller Settings
  3. In Controller Settings – Click the controller you want to configure > Hit calibrate
  4. In the popup set your deadzone settings per stick.

Fixing stick drift

Fixing stick drift isn’t typically an easy task, there are a couple of things you can try.

  1. Blast canned air into the analog stick hole to try and dislodge any particles
  2. Dissemble and re-insert any loosening parts
  3. Disassemble and replace analog sensor parts

Here are some resources I found on Youtube for fixing different controllers.


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