How do you fix joy con drift without taking it apart?
How do you fix joy con drift without taking it apart?
- Calibrate or recalibrate your Switch Joy-Cons. The first thing you should do if you notice Joy-Con drift (especially on the left Joy-Con) is calibrate your controllers.
- Clean your Joy-Con’s joystick.
- Nintendo will fix Joy-Con drift for you.
- Buy a new Joy-Con for your Switch.
- Replace the joystick yourself.
Is Nintendo fixing joy-con drift for free 2021?
Nintendo will repair the drifting Joy-Con controllers for free, but even the refreshed Switch models are experiencing problems.
How do I get my Joycons repaired for free?
If you are currently experiencing this “Joy-Con Drift” issue, be sure to go to support.nintendo.com/joyconrepair to submit a ticket so you can get yours repaired for free. If you have an existing or completed repair order, call in (US & Canada) to 1-855-548-4693 to get your refund.
How bad is Nintendo switch drift?
Joy-con drift is an issue that can affect the controllers on the Switch console, and can cause characters to move across the screen by themselves without players touching the controller. They say the problem was so bad that they had to replace the Joy-con controllers with new ones.
How do I track a Nintendo repair?
Check your Repair Order Status here and track your shipment with your carrier. If you used our Factory Return Program, you can track your shipment online at www.ups.com. Your tracking number for the return shipment to Nintendo can be found on your return shipping label.
How do I fix my Nintendo switch when it wont charge?
- Perform a hard reset by holding down the POWER Button for twelve seconds, then press the POWER Button once for the console to turn on.
- If the issue persists, Try using a different wall outlet. Try using a second Nintendo Switch AC adapter.
How can I tell if my switch is charging?
No matter the charging method you’re using, you’ll notice that, in the top left corner of the screen, a small battery symbol will appear. In turn, a flash of lightning will also appear next to it. If you see those particular symbols, you can rest assured that the Switch is charging.
How can I tell if my PS5 controller is charging?
To check the status while charging, tap the PS button on the DualSense wireless controller. While the DualSense wireless controller is charging, an animated battery icon will be displayed on the screen. When the DualSense wireless controller is fully charged, the battery icon will stop animating and display three bars.
Whether I'm building an island in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, soaring on a glider across Hyrule in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild or just enjoying the chaos of MarioKart 8, the Nintendo Switch ($344 at Amazon) is my absolute favorite piece of tech released in the past few years. But with its plastic build, weird kickstand and just-OK battery life, it's far from perfect. And now after two years of use, my Switch suffers from Joy-Con drift, which makes games seem possessed. When I'm not touching a Joy-Con, characters walk off on their own or selection screens become a rapid scrolling mess. It's like someone else has taken over the console and they're not great at playing games.
Joy-Con drift has been known for years, but with the increased gameplay happening during the coronavirus pandemic, more Switch and Switch Lite ($199 at Walmart) owners are experiencing the annoying phenomena for the first time. In fact in June, Nintendo's president Shuntaro Furukawa apologized for the "inconvenience that Joy-Con issues have caused."
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The good news is you have options to fix this inconvenience, some of which don't involve tools or spending any money at all. Here are five ways to fix, clean and replace your Joy-Cons on your Nintendo Switch.
1. Calibrate or recalibrate your Switch Joy-Cons
The first thing you should do if you notice Joy-Con drift (especially on the left Joy-Con) is calibrate your controllers. This is the most straightforward way to bring things back to normal. It's worth knowing how to do this because you'll end up checking the calibration at some point for pretty much all these tips.
- Remove your Joy-Con from the body of the Switch
- Go to System Settings
- Scroll to and select Controllers and Sensors
- Select Calibrate Control Sticks
- Then press down on the control stick for the controller you want to calibrate.
You'll come across a calibration check screen. If you're not touching or moving the control stick, you should see a plus sign in the middle of the circle. And when you're touching the controller or moving it, you should see a dot. Move the problematic joystick around and you should see the color of the circle change from black to blue. If not, it's time to recalibrate your control stick.
To recalibrate, press the X button. You'll be asked to move your joystick in a specific direction and let go. Eventually, after doing this left, right, up and down, you'll be prompted to rotate your control stick in a circle clockwise.
2. Clean your Joy-Con's joystick
If you still experience Joy-Con drift after calibrating and recalibrating, the next thing you should do is clean the control stick. In the body of the Joy-Con at the base of the control stick is a sensor. Cleaning that sensor will resolve the problem of Joy-Con drift for most people.
If you look closely at the joystick, it looks like it's wearing a graduation cap, the bottom of which has a rubber or silicone covering over the top part of the mechanism. Saturate a cotton swab with 70% isopropyl alcohol and then dab the swab against the bottom part of that "graduation cap" to get some of the alcohol under it.
Once you've worked your way around, rotate the joystick for 30 seconds to work the alcohol across the sensor inside. After you do that, let it sit for 15 minutes and check the calibration.
Two warnings: Don't apply the isopropyl alcohol directly to the joystick. It could seep past the joystick mechanism and onto other parts in the Joy-Con. Also, make sure your Joy-Con's battery is fully drained before cleaning. Electricity and liquids don't always mix well.
When I first did this, it worked well. Cleaning the control stick periodically got my Joy-Con back in tip-top shape.
3. Nintendo will fix Joy-Con drift for you
If calibrating and cleaning don't help, get Nintendo to fix it. The company has a Joy-Con repair program for hardware within its one-year warranty. However Nintendo has been fixing Joy-Cons with drifting issues for free even if they're out of warranty.
The catch here is that because of the coronavirus pandemic, Nintendo's repair facilities are scaled back and shipping might be delayed. So who knows how long it will take for you to get your Joy-Cons back.
Go to Nintendo's support page for more information.
4. Buy a new Joy-Con for your Switch
Another option (possibly the most costly on this list) is to buy a new single Joy-Con for around $50. However, single Joy-Cons are often out of-stock. Even if you find one to buy, it might not be the side or color you want.
And at $80, a pair of Joy-Cons will cost you even more. I also wouldn't recommend buying used ones because they might already suffer from Joy-Con drift.
5. Replace the joystick yourself
This last tip is the most drastic. You can remove the problematic joystick and put a new one into the housing. There are numerous kits online. I got one on Amazon for $14 which comes with two new analog stick modules, and tools.
Opening up the Joy-Con, removing the joystick and putting it all back together requires an intermediate level of skill and a high level of patience. Also, this process will void Nintendo's one-year warranty.
To see what the process entails, please watch my step-by-step guide. I should note that since I did this, my Joy-Con no longer has drifting issues. That said, in the process of putting the controller back together, I snapped a cable and lost the use of my left trigger button. This was obviously not the ideal outcome, but I'm happy to sacrifice my trigger button to get rid of Joy-Con drift.
Now that your Joy-Cons are sorted, check out how to connect your PS4 DualShock controller or Xbox One controller to a Mac.
Now playing:Watch this: Yes, you can fix your cracked Nintendo Switch
How to customize the look of your Nintendo Switch Joy-Con controllers
If you’ve ever wished that your Nintendo Switch Joy-Con controllers had a little more color, you have two options: buy a new $80 set, selecting from the very limited batch of color options that Nintendo makes, or customize the ones that you already own.
I’m not talking about simply applying some decal stickers.
Several manufacturers sell replacement cases for Joy-Con controllers, and a search on Amazon will show you just how much variety there is. There are matte-textured ones, like those Nintendo makes, or ones with a glossy finish. There are pastel-colored cases, as well as translucent options if you’re feeling nostalgic for the see-through Nintendo 64 and Game Boy Color. And you can even find cases that include a proper directional pad replacement for the left-hand Joy-Con (making it similar to the one used in the Nintendo Switch Lite).
The big upside of this project is that your Joy-Cons will stand out from the crowd of default color options, and you can get a few sets of vibrant Joy-Con shells for far less than the cost of a set of new Switch controllers.
But there are a few downsides as well. You’ll (probably) void your controllers’ warranty when you open them up to transplant the parts. While you don’t need to tear any warranty stickers to get inside of a Joy-Con, should you ever need to have one fixed, Nintendo will probably be able to figure out that you’ve been mucking about inside.
Also, this project isn’t as simple as you might think. Thankfully, you won’t have to do any soldering, but there are a ton of screws, ribbon cables, and other very small parts inside of each Joy-Con that you’ll have to carefully detach, then reattach.
Before we get started, two things. First, if you’re swapping cases for both Joy-Con controllers, start with the left controller. It’s far easier to operate on than the right one, and it will serve as an intro to fiddling with Joy-Con internals. The right controller houses more parts, and they’re more intricately organized, making for a tougher time if you don’t already know the general layout.
Second, as you’ll soon find out, I’m not a professional at taking things apart. You may be able to do this in a faster, more elegant, and perhaps more organized manner. But I let my bliss and curiosity guide me, and it led me to some colorful Joy-Cons that work perfectly. It can work out for you, too, with the right tools and a lot of patience.
So let’s start.
For some, this might be a tough step. At Amazon, there are plenty of colors to choose from, and you can mix and match to your liking. Use your imagination and go wild with it. I purchased a set of translucent charcoal Joy-Con shells, complete with colored face buttons in the styling of the Super Famicom. I also bought a set of matte-textured periwinkle shells because that color is highly underrepresented in gaming accessories, and it’s also one of my favorite colors. Each set costs around $20.
You can get creative by using the Joy-Con shells that you already own. Say you have a pair of gray Joy-Con, and a pair of neon blue and red. You can swap those colors around for a unique look without having to spend money on new shells.
iFixit’s Pro Tech toolkit has way more tools than you’ll need for this project, including everything you’ll need to get inside of your Joy-Con. This kit costs $59.99, and if you like to do projects like this regularly, it’s well worth the cost.
If you want to go a la carte, here are the essentials that I used for this project:
- Opening picks (to pry open the Joy-Con)
- Spudger (to gently detach and reattach components)
- A screwdriver with two bits. First, a J00-type JIS bit to use on the innards of the Joy-Con — it looks similar to a Phillips head, but differs in subtle and important ways. Second, a Y00-type tri-point bit for the screws holding the Joy-Con together.
- Open up the Joy-Con using the Y00-type screw bit, and store the screws carefully.
- Use an opening pick or a thin card to open up the Joy-Con, gently separating the two sides along the rounded edge so you don’t pull on the ribbon cables holding them together.
- Gently pry the battery out with the spudger. (You can see I'm using a metal one, but plastic would be even safer: you don't want to accidentally puncture the cell.) The battery is secured to the black middle plastic section with some adhesive, but it doesn’t take much effort to lift it up. Just do it carefully so you don’t bend the battery. As you proceed, try to keep the adhesive dust-free so that it retains some stickiness when you reinsert the battery later on.
- (Note on dealing with adhesive: The battery and a few other vital components that you’ll encounter in this operation are secured by adhesive. It’s not particularly strong adhesive, just a small, sticky strip applied to certain parts. So, you don’t need to worry about making a mess, and as long as you’re careful when removing the adhered components, you shouldn’t have an issue getting the adhesive to stick when it’s placed in the new case.)
- With the battery lifted out, unscrew the black plastic cover that’s held down by two J00-type screws. Store them carefully, then lift out the plastic to reveal the main board.
- You can make the next few steps a little easier by detaching the rear part of the case. Use the metal spudger to lift the small switches that secure the two ribbon cables leading to the Joy-Con’s rail (I’m holding it in my fingers in the picture above). Once the switches are up, you can gently pull the cables out.
- If you want to switch your Joy-Con’s SL and SR buttons, unscrew the board covering the Joy-Con rail, exposing them and its sync button. If your replacement shells came with new buttons, you can pop them in now, taking care not to accidentally put the SL button in the SR slot. Also ensure that the rubber membrane covering the sync button is properly seated before you screw the small board back onto the rail.
- While you’re on this step, lift up the switch holding the ribbon cable that leads to the ZL button (fastened into the black plastic piece at the top of the image above), then gently pull it out. Not having this in your way will make the rest of the process a little easier.
- Remove the last two J00-type screws holding the green board into the Joy-Con housing (if you haven’t already done so) and keep track of those screws. Detach the L button, the minus button, and their respective circuitry, which are held down by J00-type screws from the Joy-Con. Take special care when you lift the L button out of the housing, as its spring can easily go flying out.
- You can leave these ribbon cables attached to the main board, which will make life easier when you put the components into a new Joy-Con case.
- We’re getting close to the end for the left Joy-Con, but some of the trickiest steps are still ahead of us. Unscrew the analog stick’s two J00-type screws, then carefully pull the stick out, being mindful of the small plastic gasket (visible in the picture below) that’s in place between the stick’s housing and the Joy-Con shell. You’ll need to transplant this gasket into your new case, so be very careful.
- This might help: there’s a deliberate break in the gasket which you can lift up to easily make room for the stick to pull through. But if you’re moving every component into a new Joy-Con case, you should fully remove the gasket along with the stick. To do this without ripping it, gently lift up on the gasket where it’s attached to the case by adhesive, then keep it in a safe place until you’re ready to put it in the new case. Just don’t forget to reapply the gasket because its job is to keep dust and other grime out of your Joy-Con.
- You can finally remove all of the major components out of the Joy-Con shell, including the HD rumble motor that’s seated with some adhesive. Congrats on getting this far!
- You can see the membranes that cover each of the buttons, including the minus button, the four face buttons, and the screenshot button. Go ahead and lift those away to reveal the plastic buttons underneath, but be sure to reapply them exactly as they were when you removed them. You can also remove the L button, but again, keep a close eye on its spring. Our replacement cases didn’t come with springs, so you’ll be in a tough spot if you lose it.
- Now you can swap out the buttons and pop them into your new case. Thankfully, the button fixtures are notched in such a way that they only go in one way, though make sure that you have the correct button in each slot. It’s easy to get disoriented, unintentionally placing the A button in the B button slot, so give your work a second check, or you may have to completely disassemble your Joy-Con to repeat this step.
- One last note: if you intend to switch out the middle black plastic piece that has the ZR button fastened to it, you’ll need to remove the button and its circuitry, which is held by a screw. It’s not an easy feat to get the button off, since it’s snapped into the plastic fixture. I had luck gently prying it off with the metal spudger, but keep in mind that there are springs directly underneath the button, so hold your hand over it as you remove it, and keep a close eye on them.
Finally, put the Joy-Con back together by following the above steps in reverse. That’s one down, one to go.
(Note: As I mentioned earlier, I highly suggest starting with the left Joy-Con, as it has fewer components to shuffle through. But if you feel ready for the right Joy-Con, let’s get started.)
- After removing the four Y00-type screws holding the case together, slide the opening pick around the edges of the Joy-Con to open it up.
- The front and back of the Joy-Con are attached near the flat rail with fragile ribbon cables, as shown up above, so carefully open it from the side with rounded corners.
- The most obvious place to start is to remove the battery and HD rumble motor. They’re both held in by adhesive, and you can easily lift them away from their resting places with the metal spudger. Optionally, you can detach them fully by gently wiggling their plugs from the board.
- Here’s the first part that you’ll encounter that’s unique to the right Joy-Con: an antenna. You’ll want to carefully lift this up and out of the plastic enclosure that it rests in, taking note of how it should go back in. You don’t need to completely detach it from the board; the rest of the Joy-Con swap process wasn’t made any harder with it left attached.
- Next, remove the three screws that fasten the battery’s plastic housing to the main board. Once the housing comes free, I suggest that you avoid detaching the ribbon cable that attaches the ZR button to the main board (near the screwdriver bit in the picture above). You can do it, but it takes some intense effort (and a few swear words) to get it reattached. I removed it for the purposes of this guide because it makes each step in the process a little easier to see.
- The green board is held in by two J00-type screws. Remove those and keep them safe. Then, you can unscrew the two screws of the same type that hold down the analog stick.
- At this point, it’s worth noting that there are still a few more components to keep a lookout for: the IR camera at the bottom of the Joy-Con, and the NFC antenna that sits underneath the board. The IR camera can be lifted off along with the board, but we’ll deal with the NFC antenna after the next step.
- Gently lift the board from the Joy-Con case, along with all of the various components attached to it (if you’ve decided to leave them attached, as I did). You can now also lift the analog stick through the hole, as we did with the left Joy-Con. However, be careful as to not rip the gasket that covers up the gaps around the joystick to keep dust out of the Joy-Con. Carefully detach that if you’re swapping your Joy-Con case.
- Next, gently lift the NFC antenna out of the shell. It’s the component that I’m pointing at in the image above. The rectangular-shaped antenna is held in with adhesive, so carefully pry it up with the metal spudger. When you transplant these parts into your new Joy-Con case, the analog stick’s gasket will need to go first, followed by the NFC antenna.
- Lastly, as you did with the left Joy-Con, replace the buttons as you see fit into your new shell. To put your more colorful Joy-Con back together, follow the above steps in reverse. Remember to make sure that your button membranes are applied correctly, and that you plug in any ribbon cables that you unplugged.
You’re all done! Hopefully, these steps helped you give your Joy-Cons an affordable, fun makeover. If you’re like me, this project might make you want to take all of your controllers apart, if only to give them a good cleaning and appreciate how everything is laid out.
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How to fix Joy-Con drift on the Nintendo Switch
Nintendo Switch Joy-Con drift is a a pain when it strikes but knowing how to fix it can help you avoid characters floating off in one direction or another. Not all these fixes are guaranteed - it all depends on what the problem is - but there are a range of options you can try before you start pricing replacements.
The key thing is whether the problem is a physical Joy-Con issue, or another potential source drift that you can investigate. Follow our advice in this guide for some Nintendo Switch Joy-Con drift fixes, which should hopefully get you up and running again. Of course, while the obvious solution is to just go and buy some new Joy-Cons, that's expensive and there are a couple of things you can try before resorting to anything quite so drastic. With that in mind, let's look at a few of the options you can try for a Joy-Con drift fix.
1. Update and recalibrate your Joy-Con in System Settings
Heading into the settings to update and recalibrate your Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons should be your first port of call if you're experiencing Joy-Con drift. It's the simplest, least invasive option so it's always best to start here before you consider anything else.
Here's how to do it:
- Head into Systems Settings and click on Controllers and Sensors.
- Chose Update Controllers and hit A to start.
- Once that's done, head down the menu for the Calibrate Control Sticks option.
With the controllers up to date you're ready to start calibrating, which is the option underneath Updating. It'll let you click to choose a stick, and then see the input the Switch is receiving from it.
If something does look off, then you can pick the calibrate option. This will ask you to move the stick in certain directions on cue and rotate it, to try and re-centre it. Hopefully ironing out any kinks it might have developed.
If this recalibration routine doesn't fix things then there are other things you can do, but they enter into warranty invalidating territory, and can cost some money. So anything other than this is at your own risk.
Use switch and contact cleaner to clean out your Joy-Cons
Just to reiterate - once you start pulling apart bits of your Switch there's a chance you could cause damage or make things worse, so you're doing this at your own risk if you proceed.
If calibrating your Switch doesn't fix your Joy-Con drift issue, then the next option is to try and clean the contacts without opening anything up. To do this you'll need professional switch and contact cleaner specifically designed for cleaning electronic components. Don't be tempted to try any old spray you have around the house - look specifically for the stuff made to clean electrical contacts.
As well as the proper switch and contact cleaner you'll need a small tool, like a tiny screwdriver or tweezers. Push the affected Joy-Con stick back gently and, using the tool, lift up the tiny rubber skirt around the base so you can see under it. Squirt the tiniest amount of cleaner into the gap you've made, release the rubber skirt and gently massage the stick in all the directions it can go in. Always use the least amount of cleaner possible, as you'll need to leave the Joy-Con to dry afterwards so you don't want it swimming in the stuff.
If you're lucky the cleaner will clear out any gunk and fluff from the contacts, and restore the Joy-Con to it's former, centred glory.
Replace or repair the Joy-Con stick
This isn't an option we're really going to go into, because unless you have skill with electronics it's not an easy task. It is possible to crack open the Joy-Con and physically replace the affected stick, or even dismantle it and clean it directly, but as we said, it's definitely a pro move that we're just mentioning for information. If you're going to go down this route, make sure you do the proper research beforehand.
Joycon taking apart
Nintendo Switch Wiki Guide
This portion of the Nintendo Switch IGN wiki explains what Joy-Con Drift is and how you can attempt to fix any Joy-Con Drift issue as quick and easy as possible. Note that often the best course of action is to contact Nintendo and open a ticket for repair. However, some users have reported that other steps have helped them with temporary Joy-Con Drift issues. For other Nintendo Switch issues, be sure to check out the Problems and Troubleshooting page.
Joy-Con drift is when Joy-Con register input where there is none. This means your character, or a reticle, could move in a direction without your input. This problem was first reported early on in the Nintendo Switch's lifecycle. Reports on Joy-Con drift led the filing of a class action lawsuit by the law firm of Chimicles Schwartz Kriner & Donaldson-Smith (CSK&D) against Nintendo in the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington.
Nintendo reacted with an official statement to the reports in July of 2019 and acknowledge the issue: "We are aware of recent reports that some Joy-Con controllers are not responding correctly. We want our consumers to have fun with Nintendo Switch, and if anything falls short of this goal we always encourage them to visit https://support.nintendo.com so we can help.”
It's unclear what the cause of Joy-Con drift is but one Joy-Con teardown published on Reddit by user u/rainbopython in April 2019 claims that the drift problem could be caused by wear-and-tear over time while other theories point towards build-up of dust inside the casing around the stick. However, given that in some cases even a thorough clean doesn't fix the issue reliably, it is likely that the more permanent problem isn't merely caused by dust.
Unfortunately isn't a "quick and easy" fix for the Joy-Con drift issue, but there are a number of ways to address the problem, whether it's a simple at-home trick, getting in touch with Nintendo directly, or cracking open your Joy-Cons for some DIY tinkering.
Send it to Nintendo For Repair/Refund
Since the issue is widespread, Nintendo actually offers to fix Joy-Con drift for free (and has allegedly fixed the issue on newer Joy-Cons). This is currently the only "official" method of dealing with drift, though check below for some ways you can address the issue yourself.
There is a catch, though. If you have one of the special color variants (like the deeper red that shipped with the Mario Odyssey bundle), Nintendo may not be able to issue a replacement in that exact color should they not be able to repair it.
Here's how to send your Joy-Con in for a repair:
Here's how to request a refund for a previous repair:
You can send in multiple Joy-con with one shipment. Again, the only downside is that Joy-con that can't be repaired may result in a replacement of a different color.
Recalibrate Your Thumbsticks
It's possible that you just need to recalibrate your controller. This only works if it's a software or minor issue -- a physical defect can't be fixed through calibration. Here's how to do it.
To calibrate the joysticks, go to:
- System Settings
- Controllers and Sensors
- Calibrate Control Sticks. Follow the instructions by pressing down on the affected Joy-con (usually the left one) and see if that addresses the issue.
If calibration doesn't work, there are some other things you can try:
Update Your Joy-Con
Joy-con firmware can be updated. Now, your Switch may prompt you to do that, but just in case, check in the Settings, Controllers menu for the "Update Controllers" option. It takes only a few minutes and addresses some connectivity issues with earlier Joy-con.
Clean the Joy-Con with Compressed Air
Sometimes, debris can get lodged underneath the thumbstick, causing some blockage. This is common across all controllers and can affect buttons and sticks. Get yourself a a compressed air can/cleaner -- available at any electronics store. You can then blast air right at the seam under the thumbstick to dislodge debris. Wipe it afterwards and check in the calibration menu whether that fixed your issue.
How to Fix Joy-Con Drift at Home
Recently we found a DIY fix for Joy-Con drift that, after testing for ourselves, we can confirm works to get rid of the issue - though it isn't an official fix by any means.
YouTuber VictorSTK may have found the solution we’ve all been waiting for. By analyzing tons and tons of other youtube tutorials on how to fix Joy-Con drift, he stumbled upon a video by Fantastic Quack that inspired a possible solution - that it’s not necessarily the Joy-Con getting dirty or losing power, but that it’s mostly about connectivity and pressure on the components.
So, if you’re ready to void your own warranty - which you absolutely will if you do this - in the hopes of ridding yourself of the evils of Joy-Con drift here’s how you can make it happen
You’ll need a variety of tools to open up the Joy-Con, some of which might be a bit too specific for your general toolbox. I used an older iFixit kit I’ve had for some years now, but my recommendation would be to utilize their Pro-Tech Kit if you’re looking to do this more than once or for other challenging tech fixes. Otherwise, you can use the tools I’ve listed individually.
List of tools:
- 1x Spudger
- 1x Tweezer
- 1x Opening Pick (a guitar pick or something similar will work in a pinch)
- 1x Tri-point Y00 Screwdriver
- 1x Phillips #0 Screwdriver
- 1x Pair of Scissors
- 1x 5mm Card stock or a business card.
This, surprisingly, is the critical component to preventing Joy-Con Drift, so our recommendation is not to use traditional printer paper or anything without a little heft to it. You'll want to avoid any paper that may shred over time or flake, such as glitter-coated or laminated paper.
- 1x Compressed Can of Air (Optional)
It’s also important to note that the left and right Joy-Cons aren’t perfect mirrors of each other, so there are slight differences to be aware of when opening each one.
The first thing is to remove the four screws holding on the back-panel of the Joy-Con using the Y00 Screwdriver.
Using your opening pick, gently lift up on the back panel to expose the battery and interior components. You can use a guitar pick or something similar if you don’t have a traditional one, but be careful not to pull or separate the ribbons connecting the two adjoining pieces.
Using your spudger, very gently lift up the battery connector from the socket and it should pop out of place.
This might be the most stressful part, as the piece is very brittle and its wires are small. It’ll make a nice “pop” when you do it correctly though.
From there, take your pick - or really any gentle tool and carefully lift the battery out of it’s socket, separating it from the controller. This may be taped in place, so you may get some tension when lifting. Once it’s out, you can put it aside for now.
Steps 5 & 6 (Right Joy-Con Only):
This is where things start to differ with the right Joy-Con. Remove the antennae, remembering how it was initially placed in its socket.
Once lifted out of place, take the sharp point of your spudger and detach the antennae’s coaxial cable from the motherboard.
Both Joy-Cons have three gold Philips screws holding the midframe together.
You'll find one at the top, one in the middle, and one at the bottom for the left Joy-Con.
The right Joy-Con has two at the top and one at the bottom. Using your Philips #0 head - not the smallest one, but the second smallest one - unscrew them and lift the midframe gently out of the controller, being extra careful not to detach or damage the connected ribbons.
Step 8 (optional)
It’s a good idea to clean out any accumulated dust or dirt that may have gotten into the controller using compressed air, and this is a good point in the process to do that.
Once that’s out, you should see a silver metal plate. This is as far as you need to go in terms of taking the whole controller apart.
Carefully measure the size of this metal plate and cut the card stock so it’s small enough to fit on top, but covering the whole plate.
No need to glue or tape anything down, just simply drop it into place. This creates the necessary pressure to keep the JoyCon from losing connection, thus preventing drift.
Now you’re ready to put it back together.
Place the midframe back onto the plate with the card stock in between, and screw the gold Philips screws back into place.
Steps 11 & 12 (Right Joy-Con Only)
For the right Joy-Con, use your tweezer and spudger to place and reinsert the antennae coaxial cable.
Next, gently thread the cable back how it was. Make sure to insert the antennae where it sat before in its specific holding.
Reinsert the Battery onto the midframe.
Using your spudger again, gently press the battery connector straight down onto the socket and it should click back in place.
Carefully put the back panel into place, and using your Y00 screwdriver head tightly screw those four initial screws back in.
And voila! Your Joy-Cons should no longer drift.
To make sure the fix worked, go into the Settings menu on your Switch, and under controllers and sensors, select Calibrate Control Sticks and follow the instructions and test the accuracy of the controller in question.
Replace the Thumbstick
If you want to go further, you can replace the entire thumbstick yourself. But it's more risky than sending it in for repair. However, if you have previously opened the Joy-con, changed the shell, or have a rare color variant (eg: Tsum Tsum or Dragon Quest edition), this may be your best bet. You could of course also buy a new Joy-con and change the shells in that case.
- Buy a Venic 3D Joystick. You can get it on Amazon.
- The pack comes with a screwdriver and the instructions, but it basically involves you opening the shell and replacing the entire thumbstick unit.
The Nintendo Switch Lite doesn't have detachable Joy-Con. While the design of the Nintendo Switch Lite, and the fact that it's the newest iteration of the Switch, could mean it won't have these problems users are concerned that drift could still be an issue.
If that's the case, users would have to send in the entire console for a repair because the Nintendo Switch Lite does not have detachable Joy-Con.
The Nintendo Switch Lite comes out on September 20, 2019 for $199.99. Once it's out, we will keep up to date on any reported issues.
Introduction: Nintendo Joycon Drift Fix (Not Software Related)
After a year of heavy use, i started to notice that my joycon would drift when not touching the analog stick.
I tried re calibrating and blowing air in the analog stick but this didn't solve the issue.
I looked for a replacement analog stick but they are 25-30 USD so that is way to much, so went online but could not find anywhere on how to clean the analog stick so I went ahead and ventured on doing it myself and documenting it for everyone to try, if you're brave and patient enough.
Do not try if you don't like to tinker, the taking apart of the analog stick is super tedious, patience is key. Also you have to be super careful as thin fragile ribbon cables are involved in this.
DO AT YOUR OWN RISK. This will most definitely void the warranty.
Hope it helps and enjoy.
[Doing this for the L joycon, but you can try the R joycon too, slightly different opening procedure]
Step 1: Opening the Joycon
-Remove screws, on from first pic.
-Carefully fold open the joycon. ****BE CAREFUL, there is ribbon cables so don't pull too hard
-Carefully remove the battery with a plastic pry tool, dont use metal as you might damage/short the battery
*More hints in the pictures
Step 2: Removing Ribbon Cables to Access the Analog Stick
-Start by removing carefully the ribbon cable for the Z button, there is a small brown flap that you SHOULD flip up to allow the ribbon to come out easily.
-Remove the ribbon cable for the L button
-Carefully remove the ribbon cable for the analog stick after flipping the black flap
-Now to remove the screws of the analog stick, be careful with the L button ribbon cable that is over one of the two screws
-Wiggle the analog stick out being careful to not damage the small black dust guard. If you pop that black guard off, just place it back.
Step 3: Now the Fun Part,
-Loosen the clips on as on the pictures, use a small flat head screwdriver to get the metal to clear the small plastic tabs
-Super carefully, with a small flat screwdriver unclip from where the picture shows the metal clip. This clip is really tricky and super hard.
**Be careful as too much force might slip the driver in to the ribbon cable or you might stab your hand, also, dont want parts flying everywhere
*** This is where patience and strength are needed
Step 4: Now That It's Open, Lets Clean the Contacts
-Clean the contacts shown in the pictures with a alcohol infused Qtip, if you dont have alcohol, a dry one should be enough to get the dust off.
-BE SUPER careful with the 3rd pictures contacts, they are hair thin and get bent easily, i by mistake bent them twice and it took a lot of patience with a needle to shape them back to normal.
-Clean the brush contacts
-If there is dust clean that too, be careful as the plastic half is made of of many pieces and they all can jump out of place, mine fell apart so I had fun getting that puzzle back together to fit and work propperly
Step 5: Now, Lets Put It Back Together.
If you thought it was tricky, hold on to your bucks....
-Try to get everything to look like the first picture
-If you bent the metal trying to open the analog stick now is the time to straighten it up as much as you can
-Before clipping everything back together make sure that if you move the analog stick it moves the brush contacts smoothly and correctly, it should also kind of center itself.
-Make sure that there is the thin washer under the spring which should have the wide part in the bottom
-After checking and rechecking, clip the metal back to the plastic.
Please be super careful putting it back together, it takes patience as trying to clip it might make some pieces inside to pop off place and you have to start again to arrange and try to clip again.
Step 6: Check the Analog Stick
-Once you got it all back together, please check that the stick can move in all directions and then centers itself
-Now walk backwards on the steps:
-Place the analog stick on its place in the joycon
-Screw the analog stick
-Connect the ribbon cables remembering to move the flap to get the cable in and then locking it to secure the ribbon cables
-Put the battery plastic housing, then, place and connect the battery
Step 7: Lets Test the Joycon
-Before fully screwing everything together test to see if the controller and analog stick work (just click the controller in place)
-Click buttons in you joycon to wake it up
-Go in to your Switch "Controller and sensors" setting, navigate to calibrate control sticks, go through the calibration.
-And your sticks should not drift anymore.
-If they do or its not responsive, check you ribbon connections hopefully nothing has been ripped. Check the analog stick and see if the brushed contacts are not bent
-If all is working, go back and screw everything shut and enjoy.
Step 8: Hope This Helped You
Hope this saved you form purchasing a replacement analog stick or just purchasing a new joycon.
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