When Nintendo introduced the world to the Switch hybrid, one of the main selling points were the Joy-Con controllers. The detachable controllers are arguably the face of the whole platform, but that has come back to bite the company a bit. The durability of the Joy-Con’s analog sticks has been called into question in major ways, like with a lawsuit filed in the United States. Now, the Dutch Consumer Association is calling the durability of the sticks into question.
The DCA has joined forces with nine other EU consumer authorities in the hopes of pushing Nintendo to do something about the issue of the now-infamous problem, “Joy-Con drift”.
As most know by now, Joy-Con drift is characterized by an analog stick inputting incorrect directions without any action made by the user. As one engineer found out, the reason why this happens is that as a Joy-Con’s sticks are rotated, extremely tiny pieces of debris slowly chip away. This messes with the sensors, which then causes the incorrect inputs to be registered.
Nintendo has made steps to rectify the situation by offering free repairs in some regions (even if your controllers are past their warranty). However, an official redesign has yet to truly surface. As a result, the DCA wants to push the company in this direction. A spokesperson from the DCA has said that as long as Nintendo continues to sell controllers that will inevitably malfunction it is “doing it wrong”. If the DCA cannot convince Nintendo on its own, then it will take the matter to court.
How to fix “Joy-Con drift”
If your Joy-Con are suffering from this problem, then the easiest way to fix it would be by means of using electronic contact cleaner. This can be purchased from stores that sell hardware products. Just spray it into the socket where the stick protrudes from, roll the stick around afterward and in about five minutes you should be good to go. This is a temporary fix, however.
For a more permanent fix, you’ll need to resort to buying a replacement set of analog sticks and following the several YouTube tutorials that are out there. I had to do this with my left Joy-Con about a year ago, and the replacement stick is still going strong to this very day.
The never-ending saga
While the Nintendo Switch Joy-Con are not the only controllers prone to developing “stick drift”, the amount of units that have suffered from this issue is noticeably higher compared to other controllers. What’s worse is that the problem tends to appear (for some folks) in just a matter of months. For myself, my original left analog stick started drifting roughly a year afterward.
With this problem being broadcast so loudly, Nintendo has taken notice but still hasn’t announced any major changes to recent units. As long as this reaction (or lack thereof?) is being presented by the company, then situations like what’s happening with the DCA will no doubt continue to occur as time goes on.