- Check for debris that might be hindering your joystick movement. Examine your joysticks for any visible debris, dust, or residue. Sticking joysticks can often be caused by foreign materials that can hinder movement.
- Clean the controller. Use a can of compressed air to remove loose debris from the controller. You can also use 90% Isopropyl Alcohol and a microfiber cloth to wipe down the controller's exterior to ensure cleanliness.
- Restart your Controller and Console. If your thumb sticks have the normal range of movement, but are entirely unresponsive, try to power cycle both your controller and console and see if that restores functionality to your controller. However, if your thumb sticks have some resistance when being moved or are stuck altogether, then read on.
Over time, dirt, dust, and other residual materials can get into the crevices between the joysticks and work their way inside the controller. Dried sugar may hinder your joystick movements if you've spilled a sugary drink onto the DualShock 4.
- Use the analog stick replacement repair guide to clean your controller from the inside. Clean the joystick's mechanism with a can of compressed air to remove any debris.
- You can deep clean the joystick covers by removing the sticks and washing them with soap and water. If this doesn't work, you may need to replace the joysticks.
If your thumb sticks are locked in place, the likely cause is damage to the controller.
- Before taking apart your controller, move your thumb sticks around and look for anything obstructing their movement. If the joystick covers are damaged, replace them with a new Analog Stick Cover. You can also learn how to replace the covers with our Joystick Cover Replacement Guide.
- There is a good chance that the joystick's potentiometer is broken. In this case, you'll need to order a replacement analog stick and follow the analog stick replacement guides (Left Analog Stick and the Right Analog Stick).