Hmm. Unfortunately, it appears that our fears about the Switch Lite experiencing the dreaded 'drift weren't unfounded as reports are popping up of the first instances of the phenomenon occurring in Switch Lite consoles just days after launch. If you're an owner of a shiny new Switch Lite, we'd like your help to get an idea of just how widespread the issue is.
'Joy-Con drift' (when one of the sticks in an apparently neutral position continues to register movement) has been a steadily spreading plague in the original Switch controllers, and we had hoped Nintendo would redesign the mechanism for its new portable-only iteration of the console. While various teardowns have revealed minor differences, the overall construction appears to be practically identical to the previous design.
If you're wondering what causes drift exactly, Spawnwave's video on the topic takes the stick apart and shows precisely where the problem occurs, and Step 4 in our DIY replacement guide gives you a similar look at the problematic contacts inside the stick assembly. While taking the stick itself apart is a fiddly job, replacing the unit entirely is relatively cheap and painless to do yourself. The fact remains, though, that it's a persistent issue which Nintendo has failed to address.
From a hardware perspective, Switch Lite was already well into production when a class-action lawsuit was filed over these drifting issues back in July, but this problem isn't new and its disappointing to see no effort made to rectify it.
Of course, Switch Lite is brand new and a previous Nintendo Life poll suggested a great many of you were happy with your standard Switch and didn't plan to purchase a Lite. For those of you who have got one of those cute little consoles, though, we'd love to know if you've experienced any issues with the dreaded 'drift.
This seems like a very genuine issue to us - it's highly unlikely that all these people are just attention seekers sneakily using Pro Controllers to simulate drift; neither have they been pouring Mountain Dew into the mechanism or simply forgotten to calibrate their sticks. If you've read through this and don't have a Switch Lite, why not help us out with suggestions for a new name for this analogue-based plague - we can't very well go on calling it 'Joy-Con drift' on a system that doesn't have Joy-Con, can we? We await your wittiest responses below...