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Nintendo Switch: Joy-Con Drift

The Nintendo Switch is a fun, family console with a variety of games. With the Joy-Con controllers, the console offers different play styles with a great focus on motion-control. Due to the sensitive nature of these controllers, it can be frustrating when things don’t go quite to plan. Over time, it is possible you may experience issues with the control stick either feeling sticky or not returning to its normal position. This has been labelled ‘Joy-Con drift’ by the gaming community and below are some tips on how to resolve this.

Cleaning Debris

One of the easiest things to do with a controller issue is checking for any debris on the connector points or physically around the buttons/joysticks themselves. Using a clean, dry toothbrush, gently brush the areas around buttons and connector points to remove any debris that may be preventing contact. If you have any casing over the joy-cons it is always worth removing this and checking if there is any debris or pressure being applied by the casing which is causing the controller to malfunction. You may find that a particular design of casing is not suitable and could be causing the issue.

Resetting Joy-Con

The controls themselves can also be reset fairly easily. Simply press the ‘SYNC’ button on the joy-con (the small button beneath the lights on the controller) whilst detached from the console itself to reset and disconnect from the Switch. Once disconnected, press any button on the joy-con to reconnect and pair with the console. This is useful as it can potentially resolve any communication issues between the controller and console.

Firmware Updates

It is important to ensure the controllers have been updated to the latest firmware. This can be done by entering the HOME Menu, selecting ‘System Settings’, ‘Controllers and Sensors’ and ‘Update Controllers’. This will search for any new updates and install them to the joy-cons if available. It is recommended to periodically check to ensure the controllers are up to date in the menu to prevent from experiencing any controller related issues.


You can also recalibrate the joy-con controllers with the console itself. The calibration option on the device is useful for ensuring the controls and motion controls are correctly aligned. In order to perform this, ensure that the joy-cons are detached from the console. From the HOME menu, select ‘System Settings’ and then ‘Controllers and Sensors’. You can choose between ‘Calibrate Control Sticks’ and ‘Calibrate Motion Controls’ depending on the particular issue you are experiencing. This will take you to a page to calibrate the controls following on-screen instructions.

If you are still experiencing issues after following our advice, visit the official Nintendo support site here for more tips and repair options.