Fixing Quest 2 Controller Thumbstick Drift And Removing Scuffs

Fixing Quest 2 Controller Thumbstick Drift And Removing Scuffs

When it comes to maintaining Quest 2 the two things I hear most often are: How do I clean these ugly scuff marks off my controller and fix thumbstick drift? This article will help with both.

Remove Scuff Marks

When playing, it’s very easy to bash the Quest move controllers (and headset) into walls and furniture which can mark them. Whilst the marks might not affect performance, the black scuffs can look unsightly on the clean, off-white plastic of the Quest 2. Thankfully, these marks can be partially or completely removed with some simple household items.

First, try to buff the marks off using a microfiber cloth and some regular glass cleaner. This will clean off any light marks or dirt on the surface, but if the marks remain then you might need something a bit more heavy-duty. 

The next step is to try something more abrasive. A regular pencil eraser or even toothpaste has mild abrasive properties and can be very effective. Just rub the eraser or toothpaste firmly across the mark and watch it disappear. You might need to repeat this a few times to get the full effect.

magic eraser

If the marks are still there, one final thing to try would be a Magic Eraser sponge. You might not have one of these at home but they can be purchased from most supermarkets and hardware stores for just a few dollars. All you need to do is slightly wet the sponge and scrub away at the mark using small circular motions which should do the trick.

Fix Thumbstick Drift

Drift is when the thumbstick incorrectly registers input even when it is not being moved and can lead to frustrating situations where the player loses full control. There are two main causes of thumbstick drift, mechanical deterioration, and dirt.

If you experience drift, the first thing you may want to try is contacting Quest Support. Open a ticket with the support team and they might be able to assist by giving advice or offering to service your controller. If that doesn’t work for you then you might want to try cleaning dirt from the thumbstick mechanism.

To dislodge dirt from the thumbstick internals, first, take out the battery. Then push in the thumbstick and rotate it in a circular motion whilst spraying compressed air into the gap between the controller and the base of the thumbstick. 

If that doesn’t work, do the same thing but with Isopropyl Alcohol or WD-40 Contact Cleaner. Please note that this is not regular WD-40, but a specialized cleaner made to clean circuitry. Do not use anything other than the recommended contact cleaner. Then leave the controller for at least 10 minutes after cleaning before reinserting the battery.

Fix Thumbstick Drift: Advanced

If thumbstick drift persists, you can try the more advanced method. Be warned that this method requires you to open your controller and may cause more damage in the process. Only try this if you are confident in doing so and accept the risk that comes along with taking the controller apart.

First, remove the battery from the controller. Then separate the black faceplate from the Quest 2 controller using a thin, flat-edged tool. I started by carefully inserting a utility knife or spudger between the faceplate and the controller to create a gap. Then I slipped a flat-edge screwdriver into the gap I had created and gently prized the faceplate from the controller.

The faceplate is stuck onto the controller by an adhesive material and some plastic posts, so be careful with this part. It may take around five minutes to get the faceplate removed completely so be patient and don’t apply too much force.

Once the faceplate is off, the top of the thumbstick can then be removed for a deep clean. Pinch the thumbstick between two fingers and gently but firmly pull. The top of the thumbstick should come off, leaving us with the spring and the black stick underneath. Now try again to clean the mechanism by using compressed air, WD-40 Contact Cleaner, and Isopropyl Alcohol on the thumbstick whilst pushing it in and rotating in a circular motion.   

A toothbrush in combination with the WD-40 Contact Cleaner or Isopropyl Alcohol is also a great way to work the cleaning liquid into the thumbstick mechanism. Leave the controller for about 10 minutes before testing it and repeat the process if the drift remains.

Still Have Thumbstick Drift?

If drift is still a problem, then the joystick may be irreparable which means you can either order a replacement Quest 2 controller or attempt to replace the analog joystick yourself. This guide shows how to disassemble your Quest 2 controller and you can buy new joysticks from somewhere like Amazon. Replacing the joysticks is beyond the scope of this guide and can be tricky, but it’s certainly a lot cheaper than investing in a new controller.


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