Switch Owners Are Still Reporting Joy-Con Connectivity Issues

Some Nintendo Switch owners continue to say the console's left Joy-Con controller has sync problems. Even after the console's first system update, they're left wondering what they can do for a fix.

Image: Kotaku

The issue appears to occur while playing in TV mode and when the controller's signal is interrupted, such as when another person stands between the Joy-Con and the Switch. This results in the left Joy-Con controller dropping connection or becoming unresponsive.

Nintendo provided us with the following statement: "We have received some reports and are looking into them. As with all Nintendo video game systems, we will continue to monitor the performance of Nintendo Switch hardware and software, and make improvements when necessary. For help with any hardware or software related questions, visit http://support.nintendo.com."

Please note that not everyone is currently experiencing this. Here are some who apparently have been:

[Image via NeoGAF] (Click this image's upper right to enlarge.)

[Image via NeoGAF]

There are some reports of sync issues in Japan, with the left Joy-Con being seen as the problem.

"When I detach the left Joy-Con, I cannot use it."

"In short, the left Joy-Con buttons aren't getting any response."

Once again, the left Joy-Con controller could be the culprit. Eguri89 experienced lag in TV Mode as well as in Tabletop Mode.

Konami has actually issued a statement about the Super Bomberman R lag, recommending that for battle mode, players don't use the Joy-Con Grip, but rather change to Handheld Mode or detach the Joy-Con controllers for Tabletop Mode.

Yet, as this Twitter user shows, there still appears to be lag in Tabletop Mode with the left Joy-Con. (His character is in the upper right corner. The delay is most noticeable when the game clock is between 2:30 and 2:22.)

Oddly, in Handheld Mode, Super Bomberman R also appears to suffer from lag in the above clip, leading to Eguri89 to wonder if the problem was with the game itself rather than the hardware.

Prior to the console's release, there have been reports of sync snafus. In Kotaku's Switch review, for example, Kirk Hamilton mentioned the left Joy-Con issue, writing, "I've also run into a frustrating issue where the left Joy-Con momentarily loses tracking and stops responding to my inputs. I'll be playing Zelda with the two Joy-Con combined on the grip, and the left thumbstick momentarily detaches from the game." Other Kotaku staffers (and other Switch reviewers) have also experienced left Joy-Con sync problems.

Digital Foundry examined the issue, creating this chart to explain the Joy-Con sync quality.

[Image: Digital Foundry]

Digital Foundry noted that the signal strength is not as strong as that of a regular game controller. "The fact there is a difference at all between the two Joy-Cons here is curious though," Digital Foundry added. "After all, the right Joy-Con has only two spec differences, in its extra infra-red pointer and NFC chip." Besides this, it continues, the controllers are the same. (For more, read Digital Foundry's full report.)

[Image via NeoGAF]

The day one patch, some claimed on Reddit and NeoGAF, fixed this de-sync issue, but there are still folks claiming to have problems.

[Image: Reddit]

[Image: Reddit]

[Image: Reddit]

The reason given for the update not fixing the problem is that after the update the Switch must be rebooted with the Joy-Con controllers attached. Yet, that didn't appear to work for everyone.

YouTube's GameXplain rebooted with the Joy-Con controllers attached, but spotty connections remained.

Hardware launches are often rocky, and consoles usually get better as time passes in their production life. That, however, isn't any comfort to those new Switch owners who are currently experiencing Joy-Con lag.

[Image via NeoGAF]


    That Joe Merrick post is Serebii of the Pokemon community, and is also parodying people's complaints. He's championing the Switch and ignoring every valid flaw the console has.

    I feel as though I made the right decision to hold off buying one... Maybe some hardware revisions are in order...

    I'd be curious to know just how widespread this issue is. Hard to believe it could make it through testing if it really is that common.

      I'd be willing to say it has more to do with distance from the console and what other wifi devices are are right next to it.

      I'm using two wifi routers in my house, multiple wifi devices but none are sitting on top of the Switch right now, and I'm having absolutely no issues.

      It's an amazing device. Even better than what I had hoped for!

      Hey remember the Xbox 360 red ring of death!!!

        Yeah but that really became apparent over time. We're talking about day 1 here!

          Oh no man there were gross amounts of redrings from even day 1. The scope just grew and grew. Likely what will happen here

    none of my friends who've gotten one are having issues after the update. it may just be the distance you sit/other signals in your area/way you hold controller/where the switch is sitting or then it may just be some joycons are weaker than others.

      It is exactly that. I have similar issues with my PS4 controller if I play with it obscured by my legs/body/chair. Yes it's slightly inconvenient to always play with a clear line of sight, no more than 6-8 feet from the PS4, but you get used to it.

        i've never had issues with my ps4 controller, to test i just took it from my study to my kitchen (2 walls in between) and could still get signal.

          Yeah, in general I can do that too. It's just on occasion it goes haywire and I need to give it a clear LOS to the PS4 to get it to behave itself again. I think it's a bluetooth issue.

    No issues here either. Played 1-2-Switch without any hassles, Shovel Knight using the two Joy-Cons for co-op works well. I'll be playing largely in handheld mode though, that's my preferred setup for now.

    Played a good 12 hours of Zelda so far - absolutely no Joycon issues what so ever.

    How far are people from the console? It is running in Bluetooth LE to save on battery power - which also means weaker signal. may be a chance they could turn it off for short Joycon battery life.

    I'm afraid it's a hardware issue, not a software one ?
    Makes me very hesitant to get a switch despite wanting one badly.

      From what I've read it's most likely an issue with the bluetooth signal being too low which 'should' be fixable with a firmware update but would probably reduce the battery life of the Joy-Cons.

      Personally I haven't had any issues at all yet though I did install all the initial updates in handheld mode so I'll be interested to see if that does end up being the problem (joy-cons just not getting the update)

    Rebooting with the joycons attached after the update did it for me, and boy did it do it well. Went from having to move the switch to the coffee table because the ~2m from tv to couch was too far to being able to be penetrate two brick walls.

    I had the controller desync briefly while I was playing Zelda last night and Link took off running. Thankfully not in a major place but it was enough to be noticeable.

    Wheres kotakus article on docks scratcging screens? Vids and photos appearing now


      I'd be getting a screen protector ASAP...

        I did, just like I did with every device I own that has a screen. It's like buying a car and getting insurance.

          Are there any that feel like the actual screen? I've been running my phones naked for about 7 years and no scratches yet, but maybe it's time.

          Tablets always get covers though, they live in my bag at times.

    I was having this issue last night when my Switch was next to the router. Moved it a foot or so to the side and it's been totally fine ever since. Does seem to require a bit more line of sight than the PS4, though.

      Apparently interference from other devices is an issue as well as line of sight. I wonder if WiFi and Bluetooth enabled phones in pockets is also causing an issue for some?

    Bought one. Super frustrating. Playing Zelda from the couch is awful. Constantly cuts out on the left joycon.

    It sucks, because it's perfect in mobile mode... I'm hoping EB will let me swap for a new one.

    Very disappointed. Otherwise, Zelda is amazing.

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