Nintendo Switch Fans Fix JoyCon Drift With Cardboard

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Photo: Nintendo

Earlier this week, a video by VK YouTuber Channel supposedly finally having yang fix the destructive Joy-Con drift that annoyed Nintendo Switch fans. It is the latest in a a large number of home treatments attempts by desperate people who don’t want to see 70-80 dollars run out. Since the method described actually works for some people, the video has since gone viral.

Joy-Con floated, for those lucky enough to have never experienced it, is a known drawback of the Switch controller’s analog joystick. Over time, the guard starts to act as if you are moving the stick in a certain direction even if you don’t touch anything. Even the Switch Lite is not immune to this. It sucks!

Ia especially annoying because even the newly announced Changing the OLED model will not happen for what might be the number one problem with the console. Japanese companies do offer quick repair and replacement solutions at no extra cost, but not just the hassle of packing up your controllers and waiting for them to return (or your entire console, if you have a Switch Lite), this doesn’t really solve the root problem at its manufacturing level. Sometimes, even Nintendo can’t fix it and the company ends up sending Joy-Con to you in full a different color than the one you sent. A lot of people just end up learn how to live with it, although lucky drift stick is now appearing on next generation consoles as well.

Okay, but what is this effective killer method that has overcome Nintendo’s inaccuracies over the years? As it turned out, it was a small piece of cardboard. You can watch the VK Channel explain how he got to the bottom, even if it’s 10 minutes for something that takes a little more time to explain. Skip to the 6:35 mark if you run out of time. Note that if you don’t put cardboard, people also use several sheets of paper, pieces of business cards, and tape that are suitable for electronics. Basically, anything thin that can be cut to fit the area shown during the video is fair game.

The simplicity of everything is a little deceptive. In some thread and comments section reviewed by Kotaku, there are a lot of people who say that this doesn’t work for them because there are people who swear by it. It is very likely that Joy-Con drift is caused by a variety of different factors, which means that there is no comprehensive solution. Maybe your drift is due to dirt, or due to hardware deterioration. Maybe it’s something else entirely.

While it’s hard to know what, exactly, is causing your particular case to drift, there is indeed an easy way to find out if YouTube’s tricks will work for you. The owner of the Switch is on the handle river rage was told Kotaku that before attempting the cardboard assembly, they “confirmed that the pressure on the casing, as shown in the video, neutralizes drift.” If your movement doesn’t stop when you press an empty area on your controller, chances are this won’t help you at all.

A man presses a red Nintendo Switch Joycon to test for congestion.

This is where you should press down to test if the method is right for you.
Screenshot: VK channel

There are also more basic obstacles to opening a controller in the first place. Kotaku Ethan Gach’s staff wanted to try a repair, but found that he didn’t have the right screwdriver. Plus, there are prospects for cancel your warranty here-never potentially mess up your Joy-Con any further if you don’t know what you’re doing.

Again, for those whose guards are already too many, what needs to be lost? Aand Goodsmith, the owner of the Switch who tried the cardboard method, told Kotaku via email that he has tried several things since Joy-Con stopped working in 2019. These include using cleaning alcohol to clean the inside and using and blowing compressed air through the controller, both of which have helped some people overcome this problem at the time then. The only reason he didn’t try more things, he said, was because he bought a replacement rather than keep trying and solving problems of what appears to be a doomed tool. This is what many people end up doing, but because this is a widespread problem, this approach can be expensive.

“I already have electronic repair kit from iFixit which contains the three -wing bits needed to open the shell, ”he wrote, before detailing the procedure in full. Those of you who want to give it a try may find this useful:

After releasing the screws, you must open both sides of the shell carefully as there is tape attached to the main PCB and rails so that your Joy-Con can talk to the switch when installed, but also to fill on the rails. Once you’re inside, carefully lift the battery … From there you’ll see some Philips screws holding the battery cell holder in place.

Once removed, it will open the back of the joystick. From there I used two pieces of thin stock card to achieve the recommended thickness of 1mm, and reversed the steps to close it.

The three-wing screw, he also said, should be handled with care, as there is a risk of stripping it. It’s also not a bad idea to refer to the guide on how to open your controller properly. But since performing the cardboard repair, he said, he has been using the controller for more than a day at the moment and now it works perfectly.

“I spent about an hour trying to force a drift by clicking the stick and pushing in the direction that tended to drift,” he said. “Nothing.”

Even so, there is uncertainty here. Yes, there are documented cases of people out there trying it, and people’s testimonials say that it’s valid. What we don’t know is how it works in the long run, because most people who do these modifications only have it for a few days, if that. There are some concerns that, while cardboard works now, it could also exacerbate the problem in the long run. If a problem arises because the underwear is damaged or taxed in a certain way, there is a possibility that the cardboard can speed up the decline. It should be noted whether this is still effective a few months or years.

But even if it’s only a temporary reduction, being able to spend some playing time out of your faulty controller might not be a bad problem. At least that’s the attitude on social media, where many shared their experiences with Joy-Con cardboard repairs after watching the video. But hey, it’s better than that time everyone lick their Switch cartridges, right?

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