You can overhaul your Steam Deck controls with these drift-resistant Hall effect joysticks

(Image credit: GuliKit)

Game controller specialists GuliKit have unleashed their second-gen Hall effect joysticks for the Steam Deck. This time around, they install without any soldering, use even less power and include the joystick cap.

As before, the new SD02 kit includes both left and right joysticks. GuliKit told us that the joysticks will be available next month for $29.90 for the pair. The previous SD01 joysticks required soldering to fit, which was likely a major stumbling block for many Deck owners.

There are a few potential advantages of upgrade your Deck with Hall effect joysticks. For starters, Hall effect sensors use magnets to calculate position and don't contain any moving parts. The so-called ALPS joysticks in the standard Deck use potentiometers to calculate position and the sensors themselves do contain moving parts.

The upshot with ALPS joysticks is that they can suffer from drift over time. With moving parts, they're also more prone to wear and tear. What's more, GuliKits Hall sensor joysticks are said to reduce the joystick's deadzone, which should make you Deck feel zippier and more responsive. And with fewer moving parts, they have a smoother, less sticky feel.

The downside is that Hall effect joysticks require a higher constant voltage and therefore tend to use more power, whereas ALPS joystick reduce voltage when idle. 

However, GuliKit says there second-gen Hall effect joysticks use 50% less power than the original items. So hopefully the impact on the Steam Deck's battery life won't be too significant.


The new SD02 GuliKit sticks do not require soldering. (Image credit: Gulikit)

Of course, you'll still have to be happy with cracking open your Deck to fit these sticks. But GuliKit does provide instructions and the process, including calibration, doesn't look too onerous.

At the very least, it's an interesting option if you're very particular about controller feel and response.


Steam Deck review: Our verdict
Accessories for the Steam Deck: Get decked out
Steam Deck availability: How to get one
Steam Deck battery life: The real battery life
The emulation dream machine: The ultimate emulator
The best budget gaming PC: Price point hero

Jeremy Laird
Hardware writer

Jeremy has been writing about technology and PCs since the 90nm Netburst era (Google it!) and enjoys nothing more than a serious dissertation on the finer points of monitor input lag and overshoot followed by a forensic examination of advanced lithography. Or maybe he just likes machines that go “ping!” He also has a thing for tennis and cars.