Sure, there’s something that we all love about the original Nintendo controller and its simplicity, but controllers these days pack a much bigger punch and can offer a greater level of immersion in a game.
One key way games do this is by integrating controller vibration at strategic points in the game.
But what happens if your PS4 controller gets stuck in vibrate mode? Even if the controller works perfectly otherwise, the constant thrum of the controller would be incredibly annoying and drain battery life.
Luckily, there are a few fixes.
What To Do When Your PS4 Controller Won’t Stop Vibrating
If your PS4 controller won’t stop vibrating, go through all of the normal things like powering on and off and unpairing/re-pairing if you’re using a wireless controller. If those don’t work, disable vibration settings and/or reset the entire controller with common household items.
Sometimes the controller vibrating is awesome, whether you’re feeling raindrops in Returnal, feeling a cat purr as you pet it in Ghost of Tsushima: Director’s Cut, or watching an in-game character having a telekenetic effect on your controller after you set it on the floor in Metal Gear Solid.
But it’s no secret that vibration-heavy games aren’t to everyone’s preference, and they can really drain the battery life on your controller.
Some players even notice that their aim is worse when the vibration on.
If a quick on/off doesn’t fix the situation, disconnect and reconnect the controller.
If that doesn’t work, it’s time to dig into some settings.
Disable Vibration Settings in the Game
Obviously, every game has different menu setups within their setting, but in the same way that you can control the audio and brightness settings, you should be able to get in there and turn off the vibration.
If you’re noticing some games seem to spark the continual vibrate more than others, look into just turning it off for that one game.
Those settings should save, but if you start a new campaign, you may have to go in and reset it per campaign.
Disable Vibration Settings on the Console
If the problem doesn’t seem to be limited to a certain game, go into the setting on your PlayStation and turn off the vibration altogether.
You can find this in your settings, which you can get to from your home screen.
Press the up button until you access the menu that has the notification and chat icons, among others.
Click towards the right until you see the icon that represents settings. Unlike a lot of other phones and consoles, the settings on the PS4 aren’t represented by a gear. Instead, the settings icon on the PS4 looks like a suitcase.
Once you find it, follow these steps: Devices > Controllers > Enable Vibration
Hit X to toggle the check mark off. This should turn off any vibration effects from going to the controller.
Of course, if you’re stuck in the vibration mode, it may not work.
Reset the Controller
Did you know that you can actually do a hard reset on your PS4 controller? Before you do this, you’ll want to turn off your PS4 console and your controller.
Then flip the controller over, where you’ll notice a small hole near the L2 button.
With a paperclip, bobby pin, or SIM card ejector, gently press the button that’s hidden inside the hole.
Hold the button down for five to six seconds, then release. Remove your poking object and count to ten.
After that’s done, find a micro USB cable and plug it into your PS4 and your controller.
Power everything up and then push the PS button on your controller.
Once the light bar is lit up, you’ll know that the console and controller have paired again, and you can unplug it from the console.
This should fix your vibration issue.
For Level 10 Tinkerers
At this point, many folks would be tempted to buy a new controller or use an old one they have lying around.
That’s perfectly legitimate and a good way to go.
However, if you’re interested in some DIY, gather some supplies and attempt to fix the thing inside the controller that causes the vibration.
What do you need to replace the rumble motors in your PS4 controller?
- New rumble motors
- #000 Phillips screwdriver
- Soldering iron and solder
- A metal spudger
Once you’ve collected all of your supplies (and a guardian’s permission, if you’re under 18), follow these steps.
- Unscrew the four screws on the back of the controller. These are tiny and easy to lose, so set up a safe place for them before you get in there with the Phillips head. A cupcake liner works great, and they’re usually colorful.
- Get your metal spudger and wiggle it into the opening to pry the back of the controller off. If you don’t have a spudger, pry gently with something else, but be warned that you’ll probably damage the plastic a little bit.
- Desolder the malfunctioning rumble motor from the motherboard. The rumble motors live in the grips, so just touch your hot soldering iron to the red and white connections that you see. That will essentially remelt them, and you’ll be able to pull the wires off of the motherboard.
- Lift out the battery to access the fifth and final screw. You should be able to use the same screwdriver as you did with the other four. Toss it in your cupcake liner with the others to keep it safe.
- Remove the front plastic piece of the controller to expose the motherboard. You’re essentially down to the guts of the controller now.
- Push the rumble motors out of their sockets by applying downward pressure and pressure towards the opening. This may take a fair bit of force, so start slow and build up steadily until they pop out.
- Slot in your new rumble motors, paying attention to the right and left orientation of the motors. They’re not the same, so we advise taking pictures as you go to make sure you get everything matched up properly.
- Start reversing the process. Rumble motors in, front face back on and screwed in, battery replaced, quick solder on the wires to the rumble motors. Let that cool and then pop on the back plate and screw it back in.
Power back up and the consistent vibration will be fixed one way or the other.
Either you did it correctly and it’s functioning as it’s meant to, or you didn’t do it right and the rumble motors don’t work at all.
But at least it isn’t vibrating incessantly.