The PlayStation 5’s controller is a marvel of innovation, providing gamers with immersive haptic feedback, adaptive triggers, and enhanced gameplay experiences. However, like any input device, it isn’t impervious to occasional issues, and one problem users may encounter is the Triangle, Circle, Cross, and Square buttons that stick.
The DualSense controller’s buttons are generally responsive and tactile. However, it can sometimes become unresponsive or exhibit a sticky sensation when pressed. It ultimately hampers the gaming experience, leading to a growing frustration as gameplay precision is compromised.
If your PS5 controller button sticking is becoming a “sticking point” in your PlayStation or PC gaming experience, there’s no need to fork out on a new DualSense controller immediately! We’ve prepared this comprehensive guide, offering solutions to restore your controller to its former glory, so you can return to Elphael and finally defeat Malenia in Elden Ring.
Reasons Behind PS5 Controller Button Sticking
Regularly cleaning your controllers is a practice that one shouldn’t overlook. You see, during gaming sessions, your hands naturally perspire, leaving residue that finds its way into every nook and cranny of your controller, accumulating in the grooves, beneath the face buttons, under the shoulder triggers, and virtually any other recessed area.
Sticky buttons on your DualSense gamepad are often a result of this filthy blend of dust, dirt, debris, dander, and moisture. Particularly during those marathon gaming sessions, your sweaty palms will inevitably leave grime all over the controller. Snack crumbs or accidental spills can also contribute to this issue.
It’s essential to address this build-up through proper cleaning and maintenance. But how do you do so?
How to Fix PS5 Controller Button Sticking?
As mentioned earlier, the accumulation of dirt, oil, and filth of other kinds around the face buttons can lead to a mushy or sticky sensation when pressing them. A simple solution is to clean the buttons using IPA.
For effectively cleaning the PS5 controller buttons, some cotton swabs and IPA are your best allies. We recommend opting for the highest concentration of IPA available to you, which has lower water content and minimises the risk of water damage to the internals. Try not to use any alternate cleaning substances.
This cleaning method doesn’t require you to tear down the controller. Hence, the IPA won’t come into contact with the circuitry. The membrane pads beneath the buttons also serve as an added layer of protection. With your DualSense controller turned off, here’s how you clean it:
- Lightly dampen a cotton swab in some IPA. Apply it to the edges and opening of the sticky buttons for effective cleaning.
- Gently wiggle the face buttons, allowing the IPA to make contact around all sides, effectively cleaning and removing any dust or grime present.
- Another option is to use a super-thin paintbrush or a toothpick, carefully inserting it into the opening around the button to remove any debris causing the sticking.
- Finally, sweep the buttons with a clean microfibre cloth.
You can also fix the PS5 controller button sticking by clearing away dust or trapped particles underneath them using a compressed air can or a dust blower. Gently wiggle the buttons as you blow air into the crevices, allowing the airflow to dislodge the debris.
With all that done, see whether you still have a problem pressing the button that was sticking before on your DualSense controller. If it still occurs, try out the following fixes.
Video Guide: How to Fix Sticky/Stuck PS5 DualSense Controller Buttons
Use Electrical Contact Cleaner
An alternative approach to resolving sticking PS5 controller buttons involves using the WD-40 Specialist Electrical Contact Cleaner (or BW-100 Electronic Contact Cleaner) spray, perhaps alongside a cotton bud or a fine brush.
This industrial-grade spray gets rid of any dirt, moisture, oil, and 95% of common surface contaminants from sensitive electronics without leaving any residue while also drying quickly. It leaves no stain on rubber and plastic parts, making it suitable for use on a DualSense controller. Here’s how you use it:
- To begin, ensure the controller is fully powered off.
- Use the WD-40 Specialist Contact Cleaner’s ‘Smart Straw’ attachment to spray along the edges of the squishy or sticky face button.
- After applying the WD-40 cleaner solution around the edges of the sticking button, give it a few minutes to fully dry and set, then gently wipe the exterior with a microfibre cloth.
- Apply firm pressure with your thumb on the mushy button. With the button pressed down, move it in a circular motion. You can rotate it clockwise, counterclockwise, or in both directions.
Once you follow these steps, the controller button you were having a problem with before should feel normal again when pressed.
What to do if PS5 Controller Button Sticking Continues?
We advise against taking apart the DualSense gamepad due to its intricate nature, as it poses a significant risk of inadvertently damaging the PS5 controller, especially during the disassembly and reassembly process. Plus, you’ll also be voiding the warranty.
Instead, if none of the above solutions works, we recommend contacting Sony and asking them for a free-of-cost replacement, assuming your DualSense controller is still warranty-covered, along with the original purchase receipt to show as proof.
Visit playstation.com/service to request a repair or replacement under warranty. There, select Accessories > Dualsense wireless controller > Troubleshoot > PlayStation Repairs and follow the rest of the on-screen prompts to initiate a return. If you got your DualSense controller from a nearby retail shop, pay a visit there and explore your options.
Provided your DualSense controller is out of warranty, you’ll have to take it to a qualified repairer to get the sticky buttons fixed, or just bite the bullet and purchase a new DualSense in one of the new colours or more advanced and modular DualSense Edge wireless controller.
But if you know your way around DIY repairs and have the proper tools, there are many disassembly guides for the particular gamepad you can follow to fix the problem yourself.
Video Guide: How to Fix Sticky/Stuck Buttons on PS5 Controller
Now that you know the ways to fix the PS5 controller button sticking issue, you also need to know the things you could do for this problem from not repeating in the future.
This includes keeping your DualSense controller clean and handling it with care, e.g., not pressing the face buttons too hard or throwing the device in a fit of rage. It goes without saying that treating your gaming gear well will extend its lifespan.