Earlier this month, we ran a story about someone who had supposedly come up with a solution for Joy-Con drift. In case you missed it, the fix requires you to insert a small square of paper or cardboard into the same spot as the analog stick locations in order to reapply pressure to the case of the controller. It's that simple, and so far seems to be working.
Now, a Nintendo Switch user by the name of @Mario_RPG_Fan on Twitter has opened up their brand new Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD controller (yes, someone actually did that) and discovered two foam strips around the analog section of the case...
While it seems like this could potentially be an exciting fix, since it 'blew up' online many other Switch fans have now highlighted how similar strips have also been spotted on much older Joy-Con. YouTuber Spawn Wave shared his own yellow Joy-Cons from a few years ago, alongside the new Legend of Zelda ones:
Fellow YouTuber Erica Griffin responded to this, noting how it's apparently been a "good while" since these "foam pads" have been in the Joy-Con, but they won't necessarily resolve the drift issues:
"I first saw them on my neon purple and orange joy-con, Oct 2019. I reshell these things all the time. It has the pads and still drifts a bit. *shrug* Silly fix for a multifaceted issue."
While these foam pads may have slightly improved Joy-Con controllers, it seems they're not necessarily the official fix everyone is hoping for...
Have you seen these pads in your own Joy-Con before? Leave a comment down below.
[source twitter.com, via youtu.be, nintendoeverything.com]
Certified Nintendo Moment
hmm how am I. not surprised lol
Brave soul for opening up their JoyCon, but this'll be nice if this is actually the fix.
The video was posted three days before the SS Joy Cons were released, and the controllers were in production for several months if not more prior to that, so it's really just an interesting coincidence
Was his video put up early enough for them to manufacture these or did they do this on their own before his vid?
And after so many people thought they were being slick joking that these were gonna drift.
Nintendo would eventually fix it, the problem lies in how long it actually took...
Yeah, it's a weird comment that Nintendo saw a video from YouTube and maybe managed to open all of the joycons which were heading to retailers in order to add this. If this is the solution from Nintendo, it was implemented way before the video came out.
Maybe the video maker caught wind of this change already in the works?
Oh wow, this is interesting.
Hopefully soon the joycon drift fiasco can finally become a thing of the past.
give it like a few months and we'll see
Wait seriously! Now I’m even more mad that these are scalped like crazy.
Future Nintendo does what Nintendidn't.
WHAAAAAT? they actually fixed it?
@NEStalgia this is what I’m thinking too.
I've updated this story.
This is a risky move on their part because it could be used as an admission of guilt in the drift lawsuits.
I think it’s been fixed for a while now. I’m not opening mine up, but the replacement set I got from NOA when I sent my OG neons in 1.25 years ago are of higher quality, the shells are snug and don’t squeak like the old set, and most importantly; they don’t drift and definitely would by now (I’m hard on sticks). The pink/green set I bought at that time are the same way, much higher quality than the originals.
Hoping this works as I managed to get a set of the SS joy cons and they're luvverly, so I'll be so bummed if they start drifting.
(Though have watched the original "cardboard fix" vid and it seems legit too, so am ordering a set of tiny screwdrivers off eBay to try it on one of my originals that's started a-driftin' again.)
Another YouTuber found the actual weakness in the engineering for the joycons, along with a semi permanent fix:
Surprised you mention spawn wave, as he has mainly been debunked by the aforementioned video.
Keep that Control Stick smokin'!
When I replaced shells on my OG model there were no foam pads. 🤷♂️
I have my launch grey Joy-Cons that have developed drift twice after being serviced, and a Neon Red/Blue pair I bought separately later to replace them.
I haven't opened either personally but I'd be interested to learn if the latter have the foam pads. I lack the triwing screwdriver to open it up though, and haven't really the need at this time.
I'm hurt by the fact that this person just opened up a $60.00 set of Joy-Cons (with a special Zelda design no less!) as if it were nothing.
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@tntswitchfan68 ok but hear me out here, i have about 6 different game consoles all in the same area some of which have had dust collect on the actual console, but none of the many controllers left there (including some of Nintendo’s old controllers) have ever drifted . I have my switch in a completely different area where there’s never been an issue with dust but my joy-cons drifted within a year and a half so I don’t think what you’re saying is true, it’s 100% an issue on Nintendo’s end
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Dust? nope I got drift in one of mine and I take excellent care of them. It wasn't even my launch day ones but splatoon neon ones. About a year old nintendo fixed it for free saying fault with stick in their letter.
Which was quick and painless in fairness to their repair team.
I've a nes that still works along with every console I've bought since the early 90s.
It's a manufacturing fault which seems to be way too common than you misused them.
@tntswitchfan68 Wow, victim blaming huh? I have hundreds of controllers that have got filled with dust and still work perfectly fine. My Joy Cons I've ALWAYS been careful with, and both of my pairs STILL DRIFTED multiple times. And even then, dust is EVERYWHERE, so Nintendo should have made a controller that's much more dust resistant, but nah, just blame the fans for not "taking care of the controllers" even though there's almost no damn way to avoid this problem because everyone has dust in their house of some capacity, and the controllers should have some sort of resistance against dust in the first place, like, notice how little people complained about the PS4, Xbox, Wii U, Wii, or even Switch Pro Controller drifted, because those cases aren't as bad/widespread as with the Joy Cons.
Even if YOU didn't have a problem with them, doesn't mean you never will, and that doesn't mean that other people haven't had the problem or are irresponsible.
Sorry for the rant, it's just a comment hasn't made me that mad in a while.
...every Joy-Con I've ever opened to mod or repair (...starting early 2019) has had these two black-strips on the battery-tray ...I know this for sure because I tried, without success, to transfer them to the new battery-tray during a shell-swap ...I'd be more interested if someone had a pic of an OEM Joy-Con that "doesn't" have these strips. Actually, also wouldn't mind having a roll of this black-strip "tape" to make my shell-swaps a little more authentic.
I know they've been doing it since at least 2019. Which would confirm my suspicion that joycon released after the v2 Switch have a lower defective rate than early joycon.
I don't think you can ever truly eliminate it. That housing is going to wear eventually. But added pressure should at least extend mean time to failure. We've seen in the recent video how it can eliminate drift.
I tried it on my brother's joycon which had the most severe drift I've ever seen, and it worked. It still was off a tiny bit on calibration screen but not enough to register inputs. Before it was unusable. Now it works fine.
@Fujimoto-San no different to opening a fridge.
I recently got a Joy-Con replacement kit, and while I was changing the sticks, I realized changes were already made to newer Joy-Con sticks. I still had my launch day stick, and I noticed how the case of the stick has changed. Before, the case got a little bump, due to the part barely fitting on it. Now, the case comes with a little extra part in the middle, that's rounded and prevents the bump from occurring. Also, the case's arms are much more easier to open, so that the fix of the stick is easier to perform.
@The_New_Butler @scannerdarkly7 I'm terrible with machines. If I had bought these controllers I wouldn't even think about opening them up with my track record. I don't know how simple it is or how complicated but I find the thought unbearable ha ha!
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@The_New_Butler Just being honest, mate. I let myself and my sister have it too. Is that the best response you can give?
@Dizzymario Hear me out. When we started taking care of our stuff, we haven't had any problems. Like it or not, all of this drift, (PS5, 4 and Xbox drift too), I am not saying that Nintendo didn't have any problem, but after awhile, you gotta ask yourself if drift was an enate problem, why didn't a lot of Joy Cons get them?
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How immature of people to call someone names just for pointing out a fact. That people are somewhat to blame for the drifting problem. Dirt does effect the performance of the analog sticks, so try to protect them as much as you can.
@The_New_Butler Stop calling people dishonest when they have loved it. You just don't want to admit that some of the problems is on you. You don't have numbers? Then you must be lying right? See how that works?
The PS4 had over 36% of drift. But, no one here has had it. 🙄🙄 So try acting mature instead of calling people dishonest when the not problem with Joy Cons has been dust. Be more responsible.
@The_New_Butler You just called someone dishonest. I heard the Switch was over 40%, all I am saying is, that it happens, not just to the Joy cons. Even then, I do not blame the company all the time.
@The_New_Butler PS4 was a dang poll, so never mind, but no, a lot of it has to do with people being careless. Now, the PS5 controllers are getting near Joy Con numbers.
None of this is new. PS3 controllers had an issue with the analog sticks that could be fixed by a small piece of foam or cardboard.
@tntswitchfan68 if a controller has that higher fail rate then I think it goes from being a user made issue to a Nintendo issue, no other controller has this much of an issue and like I explained, I take good care of my joy-cons and mine were still drifting within a year and a half (which is also a ridiculously short lifespan for drift compared to other controllers). Also to mention your point about the ps5 being the users fault, the controller is literally designed to wear away and cause drift after about 300 hours of playing so that’s definitely on Sony
@SalvorHardin what did they admit? Revisions of products come about all the time. Nintendo never said they were going to or did fix any drift issue.
@The_New_Butler the joy con issue is because of dust. It gets in the controller and works it’s way around the component and ends up causing it to stick. This has happened forever and even on d-pads and buttons, especially the left right buttons, it is nothing new. Of course like you said it is a temporary fix which means that fiat gets back in the device and starts all over. I have cleaned many controllers and joy cons and they work perfectly fine for quite awhile before acting up again.
Maybe you or whoever continues to have the issues uses the wrong cleaner? Maybe you or they don’t take care of the joycons and throws them around here there and wherever. There are many plausible reasons you could be having issues. My wife’s brother goes through a controller every 6 months to a year meanwhile I have the same controllers from day one and this is for all systems. He’s already on controller 2 for the series x as a matter of fact.
Has anyone with Joy-Cons proven this wrong yet?
This YT user fix sounds like what this pad is about.
@CivilMadman I did the cardboard trick to 3 of my left joycons, it worked on all 3 and while I usually use a Pro Controller for every game I can, I have been trying to use the joy cons as much as possible to test them and so far no issues. I already had the tiny screwdrivers from a 3ds repair kit I had bought last year, but it was worth it.
A little food for thought.
What if the foam pads are designed to reduce, but not outright resolve the failure rate?
They might want a sweetspot for a product that neither fails too often, nor never at all.
My take on this: while it looks like the wear on the graphite pads doesn't cause the drift issues, it will at some point, because that's how normal controllers start to drift.
Increasing the pressure by adding a piece of cardboard might fix a joystick that already has issues but adding it on a factory new one will increase wear which shortens the lifespan of the joystick. The foam pads are probably a compromise that doesn't really work out.
A few made up numbers to make it more clear:
Switch Pro Controller: starts to drift because of wear after 5 years of heavy use.
Joycon: starts to drift because of the discovered issue after 1 year, is fixed and continues to work for another 2 years, then starts to drift because of wear.
Joycon where the fix was applied when it was new: starts to drift because of wear after 2,5 years, effectively cutting lifespan in half compared to the pro controller.
TLDR: the fix is a great way to increase the lifespan of your Joycon if it already has drift but is not an optimal fix for Nintendo.
Now if only they will fix the switch lites joycons, bc mines has a major issue, and its not drift.
luckyly i still have not sufered the dreadful Joy-Con Drift, i play daily my extended battery Switch that i have since dezembre 8th 2019.
@Fujimoto-San I was being sarcastic, mate Going inside controllers is a nightmare. I've fixed a PS4 R2, 8bitdo SN30+ R, 360 left stick. Honestly these days, they should just sell a torx screwdriver with your controller. Nothing more embarrassing than the wife popping in and seeing me crawling around the floor looking for a spring that's flown off! Meanwhile, we have the Tetris pros still using original NES controllers from the 80's!
Anybody else miss the days when Nintendo put their official Seal of Approval on their products? I do.
SNES controllers were built pretty good. We had two that survived constant abuse like being thrown to the floor in fits of rage.
Eventually we had to fix one of them ourselves. I can't imagine any of today's controllers lasting after being thrown in a fit of rage.
Which I gladly no longer do anyway. When you get older and pay for your own stuff, you learn quick to stop doing that, or keep spending money. 😄
Wow, talk about kate to the party, lol. I have seen every gaming site under the sun do this story after the 1st day this happened, but this is way later than the rest & the headline is misleading after we have known for days that this wasn't new, or a fix 🤦🏻♂️.
My bad, i guess Bing & google just suggested this story today, so y'all must be way down their list because they have suggested so many sites that I've never even heard of, in addition to the sites i frequent. I actually do visit this site daily, yet neither service suggested this story.
@Kang81 they still do, but they put it on horrible hori controllers, so it means nothing these days.
@Giancarlothomaz my launch joycons didn't do it forever, so i thought i had lucked out,,also, but it came. I had problems w arena of valor for a while & thought it was the game, or my internet connection, until it got bad enough for me to realize it was the controller (this was before it was widely accepted or reported, so i only found a few stories about it after mine did it.
Ofc, half the people in the comments blame it on u not taking care if your stuff, when mine is immaculate. I have sold many used games & system on cheapassgamer.com & have a perfect reputation, things like a ps2, GameCube & other systems & hardware, so to think i just all of a sudden decided to treat my Switch differently is absurd. I still have a perfectly working launch Xbox one & a ps4 that came out less than 1 yr after launch w original controllers that work great. I think 1 issue is the joycons are attached to the system,,which needs to be in an open space to vent properly, but my other controllers are put up, in a closed box so just can't get on them,,when I'm not using them. If Nintendo was honest about this issue early, i would have kept the joycons with them, so no dust particles could get in the controller (it doesn't take much it seems to cause drift). By the time it was finally admitted by Nintendo, in the form of free repairs, i had long sold my joycons & had only used pro controller until i finally got hori split pad pro after release & the even better C25 joycons. I didn't play in handheld much until the last 6 months or so, so i didn't need replacements then.
@Kang81 Do be fair the NES and SNES controllers were effectivly just a buch of buttons (even the d-pad is just four buttons with a fancier piece of plastic on top). I don't think I ever had issues with any worn out buttons regardless of the controller. And I only remember one instance of a faulty d-pad: My New 3DS sometimes doesn't register when I press left on it. For some reason it is super noticeable in the home menu but not really an issue when playing games.
speaking of Joy-Cons, I have GREAT NEWS!
I have three pairs that I’ve owned since 2017 but would have them collecting dust since I always use my Pro Controller with the Switch connected to the TV. over the years, I did notice drift on some, some buttons not working on others and so on. oh, and I’ve also managed to drop one and spill drinks on others. to sum it up, I’ve been careless with these controllers to the point that I only had two out of six Joy-Cons functioning. I procrastinated for years to send them in because I had a fear I would rightfully be charged.
as a result, I decided to send the four broken Joy-Cons to Nintendo with hopes of not being charged an arm and a leg. I sent them on Monday, and to my surprise, they arrived back today! according to the invoice, they had to replace parts on three of them and they replaced one…AT NO CHARGE!!!
the Joy-Con drift may still exist regardless, but I am super happy with Nintendo for their repair services!
here’s to Joy-Con drift being a thing of the past 🤞🏼
@Arckadius Hey, thanks for that positive news and extra info. Never had to open my old DS or 3DS so will order a set of those screwdrivers today. Besides the SS ones I have two old sets of joy cons in rotational "repair" (compressed air/contact cleaner) for over a year, so it's worth the minimal investment for tools, for even the possibility of a permanent fix.
@The_New_Butler I was not being dishonest. Got it? I was just speaking the truth. Now, others are telling you that dust is the no1 thing that causes Joy Con drift. So, maybe you want to shift the blame from the fans being reckless, to the company.
@Dizzymario Dust is the no1 reason for Joy Con drift. The PS5 is faulty design.
@tntswitchfan68 firstly where are you even getting this information from? Secondly, as I’ve said before my switch has been nowhere near dust and still got drift within a year and a half whereas I have tons of other consoles where I’ve come back to the controller being covered in dust and they’ve never drifted so it’s clearly an issue that only the switch has which makes it a manufacturing issue. Finally even if dust is the main cause of drift, the controllers should still be more resistant to it than they are, you hear tons of people saying they had issues with drift within the first 6 months or so which caused by dust or not shows a clear lack of quality put into the controllers as it’s not like everyone just suddenly stopped taking care of their consoles with the switch that would cause the dust issue, people pulling out GameCube and N64 controllers caked in dust that do not drift even 20 years later should show you that dust usually isn’t a huge issue for controllers, it’s a purely Nintendo caused issue that your trying to blame shift to something else because the controller lacks the basic function to have any resistance whatsoever to dust
@Dizzymario Dust is all around you, you don't live in a 100% dust free environment.
Secondly, it is how long you keep it docked, how dirty the dock itself gets and if you leave your Switch out after using it for hours.
@tntswitchfan68 it’s not your fault if dust breaks controllers within 6 months, that’s faulty hardware design as controllers should be built to withstand dust far more than the joy cons do. Also like I said before it’s not like everyone just suddenly stopped taking care of their consoles with the switch, I guarantee you 90% of switch owners treat it the same way as any other console however while those consoles (include previous Nintendo consoles) can last years without drift in the same conditions, while the switch can’t. Finally, like you said no one lives in a dust free environment, you’ve got to remember this consoles being marketed towards children who I guarantee you don’t treat the switch in your optimal conditions because at the end of the day people want to actually use their switch. It’s down to the poor build quality that the joy cons drift because no matter how much you want to blame dust it’s still completely unacceptable that the joy cons are often worn away in the first year of having them, dust resistance is obviously a basic function in other controllers so why isn’t it in joy cons? That to me says the joy cons are built poorly which ultimately makes the issue Nintendo’s faulted the joy cons weren’t built with a basic function in mind
@Dizzymario Then why hasn't all Joy Cons drifted? If the problem is an inate problem, then all of them should drift, but they don't.
@tntswitchfan68 I can ask the same question about why my joy cons did drift though. Also the design flaw is that it’s more susceptible to dust than a controller should be as it has no protection against it, so some people just get lucky
It's unacceptable that joy cons should have this flaw and still be so expensive to replace. They're basically consumables. We moan about this ***** when it's Hewlett Packard making their ink carts expensive, but we accept it from Nintendo.
@Dizzymario No, that isn't a good response. If the design is meant to drift, everyone will get drift. No, some peoole just take good care of their stuff. Try it sometime, it might work.
@tntswitchfan68 I’ve explained multiple times that a basic function of a controller is to resist dust and that not having that is a design flaw especially when some can’t even make it too a year like mine which packed it in within 18 months despite being taken care of very well considering the fact it’s a portable console that is supposed to be stored in the dock and not a safe. Also the issue isn’t something that everyone will experience as it lacks dust resistance and some people will get lucky with dust not managing to get in, especially if the console is not used much, so there’s an explanation for how some people aren’t affected. The innate issue is the lack of dust resistance however the consequences of this innate issue aren’t always seen if no dust can ever get in however this is unreasonable to expect as this is not only a children’s console recommended to people 3 and above but also a portable console that is supposed to be taken with you and a lot of places you can take the switch are going to have dust, to suggest keeping the area around the switch clean is not a solution as that doesn’t take into account the literal gimmick of the system which is it’s portability. Im sorry you feel the need to defend this poor design quality so hard because in reality this is a games console which is supposed to be fun and not a chore that you need to cleanse every time it is used
@tntswitchfan68 you’re also acting as though everyone suddenly stopped taking care of their consoles when the switch came out by saying this isn’t an innate issue as there is a far larger volume of complaints about drift in joy cons than any other Nintendo controller despite the wii u being very similar to the switch in terms of the gamepad, however you rarely here of issues with the wii u drifting despite people pulling out their old wii u’s being covered in dust which still work just fine with no signs of drift
@Dizzymario Again, if it was inate, why don't all of them do it? And, no, saying they got lucky isn't an answer. Take care of your stuff. Stop making excuses.
@Dizzymario a lot don't take care of their stuff, then they cry when their controllers don't work anymore. Again, if the problem was inate, it would happen to all controllers.
@tntswitchfan68 I’m really not sure what it is that you don’t seem to be understanding here, every switch has an issue with dust resistance making it an innate issue as they all contain this design flaw whether or not drift arises from this design flaw depends on if dust actually gets in however some consoles aren’t used much so don’t really run into this issue or people just get lucky and dust never gets into their controller, I took great care of my switch however it still drifted which is probably because I actually used it because when it’s being used is the optimal time for dust to get in, you’re not really gonna tell me to not use handheld mode, the main feature of the switch? I guarantee you a ton of people take care of their switch the same way they took care of their wii u however drift was never an issue for that console despite the sticks of the game pad also being designed to be left out. Also if luck isn’t a point then neither is taking care of the switch as I and plenty of people did that and still got drift meaning it isn’t an argument as it’s not a proper solution.
@tntswitchfan68 If something has a design flaw it doesn't necessarily mean that it's going to fail for every single user. For example, the Xbox 360 Red Ring of Death was a widespread problem, but didn't occur on every 360 - same with the YLOD on PS3.
I've replaced the sticks on my son's launch model a couple of times and he even took out accessory insurance from Game on the second pair he bought from there - worked out about the same price as a set of replacement sticks from Amazon so figured he'd rather have new controllers than new sticks if they failed. He's already had one replacement set under the insurance due to drift on both joy-con. He is pretty hard on the joy-cons but he's basically gone through 5 individual joycons in 4 years despite using a pro controller when docked. That can't be down to misuse alone considering he's never replaced a controller on any other console he's had going back to PS3. I've had my Switch for about 18m and have had drift on the left joy-con twice, both times fixed with some contact cleaner.
The fact that Nintendo were repairing them for free in the US outside the warranty period suggests it wasn't an issue with user misuse.
True, there is no doubt controllers are more complex these days which can lead to far more problems.
@dmcc0 false. The design flaw will show itself. There are people who've had their Joy Cons since day 1. It is your fault (not the ones that quit pretty quickly, but if you get drift after 6 months, it is on you.
@Dizzymario Wrong again. Because you keep avoiding what I am saying. That if it was an inate design flaw. It would show up in the large majority or all of them. Which, it hasn't happened.
@tntswitchfan68 At this point I'm not really sure if you're trolling or if you really don't understand how these things work.
All electronics manufacturers have an expected fail rate of their products - that's why stuff is sometimes faulty out the box and the reason they offer a warranty. But, anecdotally at least, this seems to go way beyond what is an acceptable fail rate so it stands to reason the sticks are either not fit for purpose - whether that's because the build quality isn't up to much/they are susceptible to dust ingress etc or everyone has suddenly become ham-fisted and can't look after their stuff.
The fact that the contact cleaner method seems to fix quite a large proportion of these issues suggests that there's some contaminate getting into the internals of the sticks - possibly from external dust, or maybe even the sticks themselves creating the dust during play. Do you really think that this is more likely to be down to misuse than there being a design issue? What exactly is it it you think folk are doing to joy-cons that is causing it?
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@dmcc0 again, if the problem is inate, it would happen all the time. Not trolling, just not being immature is all.
@tntswitchfan68 That's really not how it works - It's not all-or-nothing with these things. Product recalls for design flaws happen all the time, but that doesn't mean they all fail at exactly the right time does it? Some might never fail at all. Going back to my previous example of the Xbox 360 and PS3. There was a design flaw in those that caused failures, but it didn't happen with every unit.
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Let's stop that plz.
@dmcc0 No, that is how it work. If something is faulty, it won't pick and chose which controllers to drift on.
@tntswitchfan68 Ok, well I don't know what else to say. I've given an example, I could give more, but I feel like your just going to sit there and repeat the same nonsense over and over no matter what, so I'll just leave it there.
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