Common Switch JoyCon Issues (and How to Fix Them)

The Switch controller can be a source of problems

If the Nintendo Wii failed in anything, it was in its controls. The Wiimote was big, heavy, and not ergonomically shaped. It had a motion sensor, but no accelerometer, which forced Nintendo to have to release a new revision of the controller – and complement the existing ones with the Wii Motion Plus. But the worst thing about the Wii was not the Wiimote, but its companion controller, the Nunchuk, which had barely any precision.

With the Nintendo Switch, the Japanese presented the generational change that the Wii deserved. The Joy Con they are, in essence, those “twin” controllers that we would have liked to have on the Wii. They are smaller, weigh very little and are very precise when registering movement. But not everything is good when we talk about the Joy-Cons. To make such a device possible, Nintendo had to resort to miniaturization. Any electronic component that gets smaller also becomes more expensive. And in the case of the Switch controls, they were also made more sensitive to errors.

Basic faults: recalibration and update

Before starting to talk about the classic Joy-Con drift problem, we will talk about the official solutions that Nintendo has given us to fine-tune its controllers. They are the following:

Joy-Con update

The Joy-Cons have internal firmware, and may fail if this software is not updated to the latest version. last version. To be up to date, make sure you perform the following steps:

  1. go to console settings
  2. Choose Controls and Sensors
  3. Accede to update controllers

In a couple of minutes at most, your Joy-Cons will be updated to the latest version.

Recalibrate the Joy-Cons

This method is the one that Nintendo added to solve the famous problem with the joysticks, although if your problem is due to dirt, this will not fix it.

For recalibrate controls with this method, do this:

  1. go to console settings
  2. Go into Controls and Sensors
  3. active Calibrate Levers

The wizard will give you a series of sequences that you have to do with the Joystick to detect failures and be able to adjust based on what it detects. If this method does not work for you, do not be scared, because the usual thing is to have to do a cleaning.

The ‘drift’, the great cross of the Joy-Cons

joy-con drift cardboard

The worst thing that can happen to you on your controllers for Nintendo Switch is the drift. This problem is quite easy to detect. If you have drift on your right stick and you play a title where you have to move both camera and character, you will notice that the camera moves on its own. If you have this problem on the left stick, then the character will move on its own.

If you want to make sure you have this problem, put a game like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and leave the controls on a table. If Link moves without you touching anything or the camera starts doing weird things, your controllers have drift.

The drift It is not a problem that affects only the Nintendo Switch controllers, as it is also a common failure in the PlayStation 4 controller. Solving it is not easy, and in many cases it requires opening the control to carry out cleaning. If you are not very skilled at manipulating electronic devices, we recommend that you do not do it yourself. Although I send you it seems small, the way in which its plates and sensors are arranged inside it has its science. Therefore, by opening it you expose yourself to finish damaging your Joy-Con.

The phenomenon of drift or drift can occur for many reasons. In many cases it may simply be due to dirt on the device board. However, according to many specialized technicians, what causes this failure is the use of poor quality potentiometerswhich record values ​​that are not correct and are transmitted to the game.

Clean Joy-Sticks from Joy-Cons

clean joystick switch

Before throwing in the towel, you can try this method. The process is relatively simple and will hardly cost you any money. To do this, you must buy isopropyl alcohol. You can find it online, but surely in your neighborhood drugstore you can buy it for very little money. Basically, it’s almost pure alcohol. It leaves no residue and helps moisture to be removed from circuits.

To make the process move the joystick aside and add a few drops of isopropyl. Go moving the control so that the alcohol is distributed well inside. In a few minutes, the alcohol will be evaporated, and in many cases, the problem will be solved.

remove switch knob

If not solved, there is an alternative, which is completely disassemble the Joy-Con and repeat the process, only from the plate itself. This method has a higher chance of success, but you take a lot of risk if you don’t have the right tools. The process you must do is disassemble the remote, remove the battery and access the back, right where you connect the joystick. With the help of a cotton swab or a brush for electronic components, spread the alcohol to clean the area well. Do not close the Joy-Con until the alcohol has evaporated.

If cleaning doesn’t help…

joycon drift kit

You have two more options. The first is to call nintendo support and try your luck. If your controller is under warranty, use this route directly. If it is not, you can request a quote or go directly to a local technician who can help you with this problem.

However, if you are very handy, you can try it yourself by buying a Joy-Con replacement kit. The bad news here is that getting it repaired by a professional or doing it yourself can be even more expensive than buying a new controller for your console. In addition, nobody assures you that the quality of the part you buy is better than the one that came from the factory. Therefore, proceed with caution and assess what works best for you.

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