Have You Experienced Joy-Con Drift?

Joy-Con drift is becoming a serious pain on the Switch, forcing users to take apart their controllers by hand, send them in for repair or, more commonly, buy a new set of Joy-Cons. But how many of you have suffered so far?

I've had at least one case of serious drift in a left Joy-Con controller. It was one of the original Joy-Cons that shipped with the console, and although it wasn't the only problem that Joy-Con had — the ZL trigger was basically fucked, so I was done with the Joy-Con at that point — it was enough to spell doom for the little controller.

Although I've owned a Switch Pro Controller for a while, I've recently dropped down on a pre-order for the new SN30 Pro+. That was partially because of the extra functionality — I like a controller that's compatible across multiple systems — but also because I'm slightly worried that one too many game nights will force me to replace another Joy-Con down the road. So I'd rather just have an extra controller that I know is solid to go with the Pro Controller, which hasn't had any issues so far.

What's disturbing about all the user reports filed in, both our own anecdotal ones and what everyone has complained about on social media, Reddit, YouTube comments and just about everywhere else, is how quickly it seems to happen after purchase. My left Joy-Con started to go weird after about six months, which wasn't great. But it was also the very first revision of the console, so I was prepared to put up with some initial launch woes, which most consoles in the past have had. But the problem is so prevalent, and the radio silence from Nintendo so concerning, that I'd be genuinely concerned about buying a Switch Lite.

Switch Owners Share Horror Stories Of Trying To Fix Joy-Con Drift

“Joy-Con drift,” which results in a thumbstick that reads movement without player input, has been an ongoing problem for Nintendo Switch owners since the console’s launch back in early 2017. Without large-scale fixes from Nintendo, however, players have taken to fixing their $100 controllers themselves, sometimes with disastrous results.

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If the problem on standard Joy-Cons hasn't been resolved, what's going to happen when you can't replace the Joy-Cons at all? Some of your own stories have been pretty troubling as well. Here's a tale posted by reader jesder about their own misery with Joy-Con drift:

We just recently went through a painful process of dealing with Nintendo customer support here in Australia over 7 (yes 7!) Joy-cons all with drift issues. You would think with 7 controllers all having the same issue (we have 4 switches in the house) that their support would be wanting to help sort it out without fuss. Instead we were hounded for weeks over receipts and had blame put on to "damaged" boards being the cause with several the controllers.

Their support were completely useless and unhelpful to deal with and even claimed to be unaware of any drift issues with their hardware. Nintendo wanted $50 per unit (so $100 for a pair) to replace them with "refurbished" ones. If we didn't want to pay the $50, we would be charged $20 per unit to return them unrepaired. At the time Big W had them on sale for $99 a set - brand new. So it would be cheaper to buy a brand new set from a retailer over their used refurbished junk. I don't know how they justify that. In the end we refused to to pay the $20 per unit unrepaired return fee and managed to get them back.

So I'm curious to get a quick poll from everyone. From everyone who's owned a Switch, have you suffered Joy-Con drift at some point with the console, and how long did it happen after the consoles were released?


    I have started experiencing the joycon drift in my left stick recently. This is on the launch version. But one other thing that always drove me nuts on the joycons is the Bluetooth strength. If I play it docked I need to make sure my switch has a very close and direct line of sight to the controller otherwise it doesn't work very well. I usually put the unit on some boxes.

      Yes this exactly! I much prefer playing with the joy-cons seperate than with a pro controller, especially for games like BoTW where I’d only need to turn one con to make use of motion controls. But as you said the Bluetooth connection is horrible and I haavw to my switch in front of the tv to get an alright connection at best.

    But they're totally not overpriced cheap plastic garbage. Right guys?

    For Australians I don't understand why anyone would deal with Nintendo directly. If the things malfunction and drift after 6 months of use take it back to where you got it and ask for a replacement. Australian Consumer Law says they have to give you a replacement or refund for faulty goods, simple as that. Technically they could send it out for repair too but for a retailer like Big W etc they'll just replace it.

    No point talking to Nintendo unless you bought it from them, you can only deal with the place that you have a contract of sale.

      I regret getting mine vs an ebay online retailer sale. >.< It makes returns/replacements much more of a hassle than just walking into a store with the receipt.

        That's the reason I bought my laptop from a computer store for $100 more than I could get it online. Gotta weigh up the ease of returns vs cost of the item.

      Legally if it's a minor fault the retailer has the right to repair. Is this a major fault which we legally have the right for an exchanged or refund? I don't think so.

      Try your luck at the retailer but I bet they have not idea what your talking about and your left standing around wasting your time.

      I've found EB generally good to deal with.

        If you say something is broken they tend to just take it at face value and replace it. I've returned an xbox game I managed to scratch by moving the console when it was running, perfect scratch in a circle the whole way round. Got an exchange no questions asked.

        Big retailers tend to not care much.

    Joycons are the most flimsy controllers ever. Poor bluetooth connectivity, and I swear every left thumbstick drifts. $120 for a set, absolute ripoff. I bought a new PS4 controller the other day for $50 and they don't suffer from issues like this

      I have had 2 DS4 controllers experience joystick drift. So yes, they do. A quick google will find many results of people who've experienced the same.

    My left joycon drifted after about 8 - 10 months, seeing that i didn't even use it as much as my pro controller says alot about it's build quality.

    EB Games said they could fix it for $50 but that's almost the same cost as buying a refurbished joycon. Replacing it brand new would typically mean buying a full pair which i don't need.

    In the end i bought a Hori D-pad joycon which fixes the issue in the short term. No issues with it so far!

      EB games have to replace it or repair it for free, so go back and give them a bit of a push.

    I had it happen with my main Joycon at the very start. But I sent it to Nintendo (in warranty) and they fixed it just fine.

    My second set had no issues with it.

    I was experiencing drift on my joycon within two months of purchasing my Switch at launch. Eventually I ended up just buying a second set of joycons, only to have the same issue happen again within 6 months. I've just been using pro controllers ever since. I don't plan on ever buying any more joycons until Nintendo have fixed these issues.

    I possibly could have taken them back to EB at the time but I wasn't aware 2yrs ago it was a wide spread problem, I had assumed they'd think I was treating them roughly so I didn't bother. I was so glad to see this had become a thing a few months back when I came across a video of Spawnwave addressing it in a video where he took one of the joycons apart.

      This is exactly what happened to me. I was pretty disappointed they broke so quickly but broken controllers aren't exactly a super surprising thing to me so just bought new ones. It was only when THOSE ones failed quickly as well that I've realised.
      I now own five joy cons, two of which I cannot use.
      Pretty irritating.

    I don't really use the joycons that much beyond checking the shop every so often or for other non-gaming tasks because I find them to be absolutely terrible to use but haven't had any drift issues yet. Last year I bought one of the official wired controllers (with Nintendo designs on them) and within a few weeks the left analog stick was drifting something fierce despite trying to repair and clean it.

    It seemed to be a common issue so in the end I bought a Switch Pro controller and haven't had any issues since. It really doesn't surprise me that there are issues like this with the joycons though given how poorly designed they are.

    I have indeed experienced Joy-Con drift, and I play almost exclusively in portable mode so it's been unavoidable for me. ????

    I've at least been using a HORI Joy-Con L on the left hand side for the time being, but the right Joy-Con is just as bad if not worse than my left one was. Either I need to repair them or buy a new pair.

    The drift is annoying, but it's the shitty bluetooth reception that annoys me more.

    Trying to button mash in Hyrule Warriors docked to the TV and I just can't, because every other attack button in the combo doesn't register.

    I have had mine just over 12 months and I have noticed some drift in the left joycon. I have only noticed it in the last week or so though, and it seems to be up only (Noticed in Stardew Valley when my person would randomly walk off)

    I'm thinking of going 3rd party and risking it, Hori or PowerA seem to have decent controllers.

      I'm really looking forward to the customisable SN30 Pro+ when it ships. Supposedly early next month.

      I'm also looking at 3rd party controllers. I've been luck in that it's taken 18 months to get joycon drift

    Wow 56% if peeps said (as of 2.40pm) said they have borked joycons? That's pretty messed be up. Seriously reconsidering getting one now.

      It's a great console otherwise. I've found the drift only really affects me on BotW.
      Maybe don't discount it just yet. Sit on it.

      Yeah, if there's not something you're in a hurry to play right now then I'd probably hold off for a year or so and see how this all pans out. You'd assume Nintendo will have to do something about it now that it's blown up so publicly.

    Nintendo clearly don't care about the quality of their hardware anymore. Particularly the Switch, which feels incredibly cheaply made.

    No glass screen. Joycon drift. Joycons don't fit snuggly in the Switch after 6+ months. Almost everyone I know has had their stand break off. Lots of problems with docks not always outputting to screens. Weird compatibility issues with 3rd party charging devices because of Nintendo doing things in non-standard ways. Etc.

    And to top it all off, their game prices are ridiculous. Three year old games still sell for the same price they did at launch. Honestly, Nintendo know that fanboys are going to buy their stuff anyway, so they've just stopped caring.

      I haven't experienced any of these problems but I do take care of my stuff, plus, i think maybe I just got lucky because I have experienced joystick drift on 2 ps4 controllers now.

      I've never bothered with the stand. It's just too fiddly.

      Nintendo games have always been expensive and are rarely discounted. That is not a new thing. I'm not sure if Nintendo has ever cared, they're an incredibly wealthy company.

    Nope. Because for the most part i play with a different controller (GC for Smash, Pro for everything else).

    I purchased my Switch back at the start of December 2017, and the joycon started drifting in May this year. I'd gone through periods of use / long non use before then, so when I noticed it when playing in the new Diablo season I was thoroughly puzzled. Trying to do timed events when pushing downwards moves you at a walk is more than a bit frustrating.

    I've got my controller to use when its docked, but I'd like to play on the go without getting frustrated. Until there is an announcement from Nintendo that the issue is fixed from X series of joycons onwards, I really don't want to throw $120 at another set that'll just break more likely than not.

    I bought a pre-owned switch from EB Games yesterday, and had drift (and other issues) with both original controllers the second I turned it on. They replaced them and then I had issues with the right one drifting again immediately. Was going to get them to replace it again, when the switch simply stopped turning on. Ended up taking it back and returning it and paying the bit extra to get a brand new one (not too much since they're on sale now - should have just bought new to begin with!).
    Not ragging against them specifically - my brother bought a pre-owned one from the exact same store a couple years ago and his is mostly still going strong. But I definitely don't trust the longevity of their joy cons.

    Got my switch second hand with some very minor drift on the left (neon), but mainly used pro or power a controllers. Drift is now 60% of the time unusable. Right worse than left at times. I thought maybe it's my fault for being too rough with rocket league or South Park mini games, but seriously I've got original controllers from ps1-ps3, Xbox - 360, steam controllers they are all perfect. Heck my orignal grey 360 controller has been used so much the rubber thumb grips have been worn down to oblivion but the controller still functions as if it were new. When I had a master system I stepped on the controller as a kid and smashed the dpad cover, even then the buttons underneath still functioned until I sold it at a garage sale! Very disappointed in the joy cons, which is sad because the switch is my current favourite console. Just bought a pair of yellow ones on prime day, scared to use them "too much" in case they drift.. which is dumb. Have always associated Nintendo with quality until now.

    Joycon drift has put me off ever buying a switch.

    My xbox 360 controller has only just started getting a little and its over 10 years old.

    If a switch controller is doing it in under 2 months its clearly subpar build quality.

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