“Joy-Con drift.” Man what a loaded discussion! It’s been an issue since the Nintendo Switch launched, and Nintendo’s answer has mostly been to quietly greenlight controller repairs: with a warning that you might not get your original Joy-Con back. That…could be a problem for elusive collector’s items like the new Zelda: Skyward Sword HD Joy-Con, but there seems to be some sort of fix involved with those remotes. Kinda.
As the Spawn Wave Twitter account points out, Nintendo has put foam inside of the Joy-Con “behind the Joystick module.” The aim is clearly to cut down on Joy-Con drift, as this YouTube video succinctly explains. The thing is, this isn’t exactly new, according to several Joy-Con industry experts, including Spawn Wave itself.
Another tweet explains that “Nintendo seems to have been doing this for a little while,” like oh say, a couple of years. Spawn Wave showcases a yellow Joy-Con that also has the “foam fix.” But unfortunately, it’s not really a permanent fix.
So back to the aforementioned YouTube video. VK’s Channel breaks down the whole Joy-Con drift situation perfectly, explaining why it happens, while providing an actual cheap fix. All you really need to do is open up your Switch and put a small piece of cardboard in to prevent drift from happening. They execute this fix in real-time with a drifting Joy-Con, showing deadzoning, then highlighting the fixed directional inputs post-cardboard. Other people have their own custom fixes as well!
To say that Joy-Con drift is an engineering/manufacturing oversight is understating it a bit. It’s a massive problem, and one that Nintendo could have nipped sooner. Time will tell if future Joy-Con will actually have permanent fixes, and in the meantime, intrepid content creators will be breaking them apart and giving us the rundown. Someone has to!