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How to Fix Nintendo Switch Joy-Con Drift Issue

The Nintendo Switch is one of the most popular handheld gaming devices currently available. It offers an excellent gaming experience on the go. However, there is a glaring issue with the switch that has been brought up time and time again. Users have been complaining about the Joy-Con drift issue for several months now. For the uninitiated, the Joy-Con drift refers to the automatic registration of touch even if you do not move the Joy-Con.

As expected, this can be frustrating while playing games since the character moves by itself or another input is registered. Furthermore, fixing the issue isn’t as simple as just cleaning the Joy-Con. The problem might be a result of various issues. Thus, there’s no miracle solution that guarantees a fix. However, there are a few things you can try out that might help fix the issue. In this guide, we’ll show you a few solutions that could possibly fix the Nintendo Switch Joy-Con drift issue. Although before we being, let’s first take a deeper look into what is the Nintendo Switch Joy-Con drift problem.

Nintendo Switch

What is the Joy-Con drift issue on the Nintendo Switch?

As we briefly mentioned above, the Joy-Con drift issue might be caused by various reasons. According to some, the issue might arise due to the collection of dust around the stick. This is a reasonable explanation since dust does manage to get in and around joysticks. However, it cannot be the sole reason for the Nintendo Switch Joy-Con drift issue. This is because some users tend to have the problem even after cleaning their controller. Another possibility for the problem is wear and tear during regular usage.

Nonetheless, there are a few things you can try out that might help solve the problem. Keep in mind that none of the solutions would guarantee that you do not face the same problem in the future. So now let’s check out some possible solutions to fix the Nintendo Switch Joy-Con drift issue.

How to fix Joy-Con drift?

At present, Nintendo is offering users a free fix in case they are experiencing the issue on their unit. In case you have the issue and do not wish to try fixing it yourself, then you can report the issue here: https://en-americas-support.nintendo.com/app/contact

With that being said, here are the few methods that you can try to fix the issue.

1. Update and Recalibrate the Joy-Con

You can recalibrate the joysticks on the controller via software. This is useful if your joysticks are not calibrated correctly. However, it will not solve the problem if it is caused by a hardware issue. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Go to the System Settings on your Nintendo Switch.
  2. Select Controllers and Sensors and then select Update Controllers. Press A to start the update.

    Nintendo Switch Joy-Con drift
    Image source: Nintendo
  3. After the process is completed, head back and select the option labeled as ‘Calibrate Control Sticks’.
  4. Follow the on-screen guide and press the Joy-Con which you are experiencing the issue with.

In case recalibrating the Joy-Con does not fix the problem, don’t fret. There are a few other methods that you can use to fix the problem.

2. Clean the Joy-Con

Cleaning the Joy-Con might seem like an obvious solution. However, you have to be really careful while you do this. Nintendo does not recommend taking apart the controller or tampering with any parts. Thus, we recommend doing this cautiously. Any further damage caused by trying to clean the Joy-Con might lead to your warranty to become invalid.

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To clean the joystick, you can use a can of compressed air to blow out any debris or dust that might be lodged inside. Alternatively, you can use a high-quality contact or switch cleaner. Make sure to be extra careful when lifting the skirt around the Joy-Con. Squirt some of the cleaning solution under the Joy-Con. Then gently navigate the joystick in a circle for the cleaner to work and remove any dust that might be stuck. Make sure to leave the controller to dry out before you begin using it again.

3. Replace or repair the Joy-Con

This must be done only as a last resort when you have no other option. Moreover, we’d suggest skipping this method in case you aren’t familiar with repairing electronics at all. However, if you don’t mind the risk and the effort involved, then you can proceed. You would need to buy a new joystick for the Nintendo Switch. Then you need to open up the controller’s shell and replace the faulty joystick with the new one.

Make sure to keep all the screws carefully to avoid misplacing them. Once done, reassemble the shell and test out the joystick. If all goes well, the Nintendo Switch Joy-Con drift issue should be fixed. You could also watch videos online to help you in the process of replacing the joystick.

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Wrap up

Well, those are a few ways that you can try out to fix the problem on your Nintendo Switch. If you have the patience and time, we’d suggest leaving the fixing for Nintendo to do. Since they are offering a fix for the issue at no cost, it makes more sense to allow them to fix the problem the right way. Nonetheless, these methods can be helpful if you do not wish to send in your Switch for repair.

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