Why Is My Xbox Series X Controller’s Trigger Sticking?

Having recently bought the new Xbox Series X console, I had a feeling my controller wasn’t responding to my trigger clicks as it should. This problem seemed noticeable, especially when I was playing Forza Horizon 4. 

I would accelerate the vehicle with my right trigger, and after letting the trigger go it would take a few seconds to spring back up.

So, why is my Xbox Series X controller’s trigger sticking? The Xbox Series X trigger sticks because the rubber pads – the pads that are used to dampen the sound of the trigger – have moved because they have been glued down incorrectly. This results in the Xbox Series X controller’s trigger staying in place for longer than it should when it is pressed down. 

Let’s see what you need to do if you find yourself in this sticky situation (pun intended!). 

What Should I Do If My Xbox Series X Controller’s Trigger Starts Sticking?

The Xbox Series X controller is an amazing controller, with its perfect design and immersive controls. Yet, the sticking trigger ruins the gaming experience.

So, what should you do about your Xbox Series X Controller’s sticky trigger… 

Option 1:

The first thing you should do if your controller’s trigger starts sticking is to take it back to the shop you bought it from.

Often, companies like Microsoft are aware of defects in the designs of their gadgets, and they tell shops to exchange defective controllers for new controllers that have eliminated the problem.

So, take your Xbox Series controller, and its sticky triggers, back to the shop. Tell them about the problem, and ask them to exchange it for a new controller.

Option 2: 

The second action you should consider taking, if the shop won’t offer you an exchange, is to claim on the warranty. The odds are that you have only recently bought the console, and so it’ll be within its warranty period. 

All you need to do is contact Microsoft support and get more information on your console’s warranty. They’ll be more than happy to help you out. 

Although claiming on your controller’s warranty is the best option, there are some conditions in which Microsoft will be unable to help you. Keep reading to find out what those conditions are.

Why Might Your Warranty Claim Get Rejected?

There are lots of reasons that can restrict you from claiming on the warranty of your Xbox Series X controller, some of which include:

  • The warranty period might have expired.
  • The controller might have endured physical damage and this voids the warranty.
  • You tried a DIY fix and ended up breaking the warranty seal on the controller.
  • Microsoft may not support shipping to your country.

It is worth noting that the warranty on the Xbox Wireless Elite Series 2 controller has been extended from 90 days to a year (from the date of purchase). If you have this particular controller, and you’re still within this warranty timeframe, it would be better for you to claim it, instead of trying to fix the problem yourself.

Option 3:

If you want to play it safe, buying a new Elite 2 controller is always a great backup option. The Elite 2 controllers usually come at a whopping price though, so if the Elite controller is out of your budget, you can use an Xbox One S controller on your Xbox Series X console as well. They can be picked up for a far lower price!

Option 4:

Sometimes you have to take matters into your own hands, and although I really don’t recommend you perform a DIY fix on your expensive controller, desperate times call for desperate measures. 

So, here are a few DIY ways you can try to stop your Xbox Series X Controller’s triggers from sticking.

How Do I Fix Sticky Triggers On My Xbox Series X Controller?

Fixing your Xbox Series X Controller yourself is a delicate business, and you must do this at your own risk. Plus, you need to know that any mishaps along the way will potentially void your warranty. So, only do the next steps if you really have to.

First things first, you can attempt to sort out superficial problems before rushing into unscrewing your Xbox Series X Controller. 

Superficial fixes include:

  • Passing high-pressure air underneath the sticky trigger to blow away any obstructions.
  • If you hear a squeaky noise while pressing the trigger, you can spray a small, and I mean small, amount of rust remover fluid onto the trigger. Wipe away any excess liquid with a cloth.
  • Try repeatedly pressing the trigger to reduce the sticky effect. Literally, just keep jabbing away at the trigger! 
  • Try gently shaking your controller, so any obstructions get dislodged and can be removed with the jerk, while the plastic remains unharmed. Don’t even think about throwing your controller about to shake it up – gently, gently does it! 

If none of the above-mentioned steps work, it’s time to start taking your controller apart!

(Disclaimer: This fix is dangerous, not only will it void the warranty of your Xbox Series X controller, but you can potentially ruin your controller, so perform this fix at your own risk).

Follow the steps mentioned below to disassemble and fix your Xbox Series X controller’s sticky triggers:

  • Press the triggers and remove the side panels on the controller with a guitar pick or any flathead screwdriver.
  • Remove the battery cover.
  • Use a T8 Torx security screwdriver to unscrew the back of the controller from the front.
  • After unscrewing the two screws on each side, tear the sticker behind the battery cover and unscrew the final screw located in the centre. (Note: The warranty on your Xbox Series X controller is now void).
  • Carefully take apart the controller and remove it piece by piece.
  • Make sure you remember which part fits where when you’re dissembling the controller. You can take a picture before taking everything apart, or make a video while you’re unscrewing the controller, and review it when you need to put it back together.
  • Find your trigger and see what is causing your controller to stick, remove the obstruction and start re-assembling your controller.

Now that you know how to fix your controller trigger(s) from sticking, let’s take a look at other common Xbox controller problems that you may encounter.

What Other Problems Can You Encounter with Xbox controllers?

Xbox has always dominated the controller market. The unique design of Xbox controllers made them a favorite for gamers worldwide. But, one thing I know from experience is that Xbox controllers face minor problems, regularly, which really do irritate users.

The most common issue faced with Xbox controllers is the stick-drift issue. This is when the analog stick fails to centre. I have dealt with this numerous times on my Xbox 360 and Xbox One S controller, and the only solution to this problem is to replace the analog stick.

Another common problem with Xbox controllers is the loss of grip on the analog sticks after excessive use. The tiny grips on the analog sticks give the controller a nice feel, and improve accuracy when playing a game, but they wear out eventually. Luckily, this problem can be solved very easily by purchasing third-party rubber grips for analog sticks.

Last but not least, you might face a connectivity issue on your Xbox Series X controller. This is when the controller’s light keeps blinking, but it doesn’t connect to the console. This is a very common problem, and it can be solved by the good ol’ ‘turning it off and on again’ technique. 

Beth Morris

Beth's love of gaming started when she first played Frogger on her Tiny PC. Since then she's developed a love for FPSs, a need for speed playing Forza, and a hunger to find dragon's eggs in Spyro! When she's not gaming she's either cooking, reading, or spinning around in her car!

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