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Joy-Con drift


B.A.
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Member · Posted

Joy-Con drift is a known problem on the Switch.  I have been having a ton of issues with mine lately, I'm getting pretty sick of it!

I have 4 sets of these things and I have replaced the thumb stick on all of them.  They didn't all have issues, but I figured what the hell if I was doing half of them might as well just keep going.  I did this about 2 months ago, and now a couple are starting to act up again.  

Have any of you experienced problems with yours?  

Just ranting because while I'm locked in my house it would be nice if my stupid controllers would work at least! 🤬

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Yes, no matter how many I buy, refurb, or clean, the drift always returns.  So I bought a pro-controller, a SNES pad and an NES pad so I can minimize the number of games that actually need the blasted things, and then buy one pair for just those games.  It's the only thing I am annoyed by on the Switch.

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  • 1 month later...

Was just starting to research getting a Switch, but this issue seems serious enough to forget about it. The Lite in particular is really tempting at the price point, but not if the stick will need constant repair over time.

Getting other non-Joy-Con controllers sounds like a decent solution, but it seems silly to play a (mostly) handheld system with an external controller.

Any other possible solutions? Maybe just wait a couple of years and see if Nintendo fixes things on later models?

Or am I just overreacting?  Would love to hear everyone's thoughts. Thanks!

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Member · Posted
10 minutes ago, rdrunner said:

Was just starting to research getting a Switch, but this issue seems serious enough to forget about it. The Lite in particular is really tempting at the price point, but not if the stick will need constant repair over time.

Getting other non-Joy-Con controllers sounds like a decent solution, but it seems silly to play a (mostly) handheld system with an external controller.

Any other possible solutions? Maybe just wait a couple of years and see if Nintendo fixes things on later models?

Or am I just overreacting?  Would love to hear everyone's thoughts. Thanks!

The issue does indeed exist and is very real, but there are also times it doesn’t happen. I had my two blue joy-cons for about a year and didn’t experience any. I’m about half a year in on my yellow ones and while the sticks are starting to feel odd I haven’t noticed a drift - yet. That being said, you have to just be mentally prepared for the fact that it could happen. The pro controller is a very comfortable and capable controller, but like you said not convenient if you want to play handheld.

What I would do is ask yourself a few questions - are there any exclusives you’re dying to play? Considering a large chunk of the library are indie games and ports that can be had elsewhere, you may want to think about obtaining those on another platform and decide how badly you want the exclusives. But that does bring me to my next question, which is how much do you value the handheld aspect? There are plenty of games I could get on my PS4 over the Switch but my lazy ass values the ability to lay down and have a game right in my face.

Most people have said their issues come in after about a year of use. I’ve never experienced drift, but I also am not logging in large amounts of hours on any games with intense movements (maybe @B.A. could fill us in on what kind of use your Joy-Cons get? Not saying the drift is your fault, just asking purely for data).

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I've got three sets of Joycons and haven't noticed this problem, even with a couple hundred hours on the original controllers. I suppose it's possible that it is happening, but the games I play don't show it prominently. Recently I've changed over to using only the Pro controller when docked and the Split Pad Pro when in portable mode, so that could be a solution for some people if you don't need all the features of the Joycons.

Edited by DoctorEncore
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It makes you wonder if these problems regarding moving and "wearable" (the word for something that gets worn over time if there is such a word) are simply innate and here to stay. IN THIS DAY AND AGE YOU STILL HAVE TO CONTEND WITH THIS TYPE OF BULLSHIT IN THIS DAY AND AGE! It's so damn common for the rubber membrane to wear out it's not even funny how many different console controllers i've had where i press one input on the d-pad and it registers however the fuck it wants to register instead. The Genesis 3-button and Xbox 360 controllers do this even from the very first day they are retarded by design.

I think these types of issues will go on forever.

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Two left joycons have gotten it so far.  Typically I get 1-1.5 years before it kicks in.  My switch lite shipped with the drift issue and required immediate repair.  One joycon is in a bag waiting to get shipped for repair. My replacement set was from Amazon Japan since I couldn't find any online.


I worry about these consoles for the long haul. Down the road I could see it being a docked only console.  Eventually all my joycons will wear out leaving only my pro controllers.

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Member · Posted

I probably should've mentioned how you update your joycons' firmware. 

Go to the switch home screen --> system settings --> controllers and sensors --> update controllers

You can also calibrate the control sticks and motion controls. Probably best to fiddle with these before buying new joycons or sending buggy ones back for repair.

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The sticks are dirty mate. Just spray contact cleaner in em and recalibrate. Keep they in a drawer or something. I've never had an issue and have 3 pairs I regularly use since launce.

Pet hair gets in there too. I took apart my friends joycon and there was literally dog hair in the mechanism. 

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53 minutes ago, RegularGuyGamer said:

The sticks are dirty mate. Just spray contact cleaner in em and recalibrate. Keep they in a drawer or something. I've never had an issue and have 3 pairs I regularly use since launce.

Pet hair gets in there too. I took apart my friends joycon and there was literally dog hair in the mechanism. 

Do you open up the joystick assembly or just spray along the base? I wouldn't mind trying to repair mine before mailing it off.

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You don't have to open it at all of just spray some in there. At the base of the joystick, theres a little rubber skirt you can just lift up and give a little spray in there. If Its dust, which 90% of the time it is, just a squirt will do it.

 

My friend has a dusty ass house with a dog and we gave his a squirt over a year ago and it's been good since then. I did buy a broken one on eBay to see if I could fix it and it had a ton of animal hair in the mechanism so I just swapped the whole joystick. 

 

I would say at least 4 / 5 times it's some dust in there. It's just bc the rubber skirt isn't enough to keep debris out. It's a shame most ppl don't know better. I keep mine in a drawer to keep dust out it

 

A similar thing happens w the 3ds and the buttons. Except with the 3ds you have to take it apart to clean the contacts. But either way, you should keep handhelds in drawers or dust them regularly with the rest of your stuff in the house.

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I've had it happen once. I just replaced the stick. They're cheap enough and it only takes a few minutes. @RegularGuyGamer Ive heard a ton of people spray stuff in there, but it's never great to do that to closed electronics. You could be just pushing the debris over to something that will short and cause bigger problems, or not dry enough before use, etc. Using cleaner to fix it is fine but in my opinion the controller should still be opened to do so.

Edited by LeatherRebel5150
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49 minutes ago, LeatherRebel5150 said:

I've had it happen once. I just replaced the stick. They're cheap enough and it only takes a few minutes. @RegularGuyGamer Ive heard a ton of people spray stuff in there, but it's never great to do that to closed electronics. You could be just pushing the debris over to something that will short and cause bigger problems, or not dry enough before use, etc. Using cleaner to fix it is fine but in my opinion the controller should still be opened to do so.

$15 for a replacement part from ifixit doesn't seem bad at all. Might as well go this route over trying to make the bad part run again. 

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Member · Posted

Well I've had my system and joy-cons since day one, not sure how many hundreds of hours I've put on them either, but neither have done it as of yet.  I do have a pro controller, but let's be honest, I'm lazy about TV mode and like to get comfy in my big chair so I play it like 90% of the time as a handheld as it's just more comfortable to me as such.  I don't doubt it's an issue for a vocal minority, but I've always wondered what causes it?  Abuse, environmental issues, temperatures, a mix of some/all those, maybe something else?

I just find it hard to swallow Nintendo would develop something like that which is just so lemony fresh as they're rare on doing bonehead stuff, say like, GLUING one half of the ribbon cable in the Virtual Boys eye pieces.  At least I can easily solder fix those things...yeesh.  I find it equally strange there's supposedly no cure for those things on the aftermarket like the virtual boy cables have.

 

EDIT: I did find this useful bit here for replacing the stick on the standard joycon, he did the video above for the lite too.  I guess it's not that bad at like $10 to fix it.

Edited by Tanooki
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As I've said before, I tend to be a late adopter of new consoles, and the Switch was no exception.  I didn't get a Switch until last December.  Since that time I've experienced several instances of a character (usually in Mario Kart) moving in some direction despite me not even touching the joy con.  This is unrelated to the auto-steer feature since I usually have that turned off, and the issue I'm experiencing moves my character in one direction constantly even to the point of moving them off course if I don't correct it.  I don't know if that is "Joy Con drift" or not, but I have usually been successful in getting rid of it by recalibrating the sticks on the Joy Cons.  The fix isn't permanent, but it usually lasts a while before the problem returns.

The main reason I'm posting this here is because from my experience, this problem has not been limited to my Joy Cons.  I have had the exact same experience with my Pro Controller on multiple occasions.  Recalibrating the sticks fixes the issue, just like with the Joy Cons, but ultimately, the problem will eventually come back.  Pretty disappointing overall, especially considering that I waited almost 3 years before buying it.  There is no excuse for an issue on launch consoles to exist 3 years later without a fix.  

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I've never been a Switch owner, but my stock Xbox One controller was drifting after just a few months of ownership. However my other two from 2016 are still good. They just don't make 'em like they used to, though. The only vintage controller I've ever had go through my hands that genuinely didn't work right was a Sega Master System controller that was dead. I have had the start button on an SNES controller go, but that was a simple fix by scraping a notch into the board with the head of a screwdriver.

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