Nintendo Switch Joy-Con Drift Issue (Solved)

By Eleventy8 | 12/10/2020

This may seem an odd article to read here but Paul of Eleventy8 took a number of photos of the process and was so happy with the result, that we thought the subject of replacing analog sticks on a Nintendo Switch Joy-Con might interest other people.

What is Joy-Con drift?

Since the launch of the Nintendo Switch in 2017, there have been reports of the detachable Joy-Con controllers experiencing a lagging effect in games. Better explained, when in-game the drifting issue can cause false inputs, causing a character or vehicle to continue moving in a certain direction when taking your thumb off of the analog sticks. Obviously this causes a lot of frustration and can cause gameplay to become almost impossible.

Having bought a Nintendo Switch in 2017 on launch day, Paul discovered two sets of Joy-Con controllers he owned suffer from this very issue.

Nintendo haven’t been willing to publicly admit there is an issue with their Joy-cons, even going as far as stating they didn’t think it was a real issue and then later apologising for it’s faulty hardware.

Anyway, rather than sit around waiting for Nintendo to acknowledge and do something about this issue, lets get on and fix it.

Since the Joy-con drift is a well known issue, unless you work for Nintendo, a simple search for ‘Joy-con repair kit’ on Amazon returns a number of kits that supply some tools and replacement analogue sticks.

It looks a little daunting at first when you look at what is included but its pretty self-explanatory. The first fear is opening the Joy-cons in order to get to the analogue sticks. There are some very small ribbon cables to attach.

Opening the Left-hand Joy-con is a case of undoing some small screws and then being brave enough to gently prise them open using the supplied tool. There are a few clicks that send the blood-pressure up a little but generally its very straight forward.

Battery removal is easy, it is just sat in place with nothing holding it in but gravity and pressure from both plastic Joy-con pieces. You shouldn’t even have to remove it entirely, just let it rest on the surface you’re using.

In order to get to the analogue stick you have take out an additional layer that separates the battery. Once this is removed you’re able to unclip the ribbon cables and take out the analogue stick.

To replace the old with the new, its just a case of reversing the process, it’s recommended to take photos as you do it so that you can go backwards with a visual guide.

Once you’ve reversed the process with your new analogue stick in place, you’ll need to try it out. Choose a game you know you’ve experienced Joy-con drift in before, in our case it was Luigi’s Mansion 3. When removing a thumb from the left analogue stick, Luigi would be left slowly creeping off to the right every-time.

With the new Joy-con analogue stick in place, no more drifting!

The replacement analogue stick looks exactly the same as the original, so nothing looks out of place. A win-win.

You can find these Joy-con repair kits for as little as £5.99 on Amazon, and nothing during the process really caused any concern. Obviously, if you are within the Nintendo warranty period, doing this is likely to void that, but if you’ve owned a Nintendo Switch for over a year and are suffering from Joy-con drift, this really is an easy way to resolve it.