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How to fix Joy-Con Drift on Nintendo Switch

by Megan Miller 26 Aug 2020

If you like to game on the Nintendo Switch, you might be familiar with a controller malfunction called Joy-Con drift. Joy-Con drift is when your Nintendo Switch detects movement input being made without you physically moving the joystick. This can result in your controller cursor constantly gliding across the screen, or even your character moving on its own. Here’s some easy solutions to fix Joy-Con drifting! 

Step 1: Cleaning the Joystick

The Joy-Con control sensor is located at the base of the joystick. Cleaning the area around this sensor should be an easy fix for most people. First, detach the Joy-Con controller from the system and slightly lift up the rubber skirt on the joystick by using tweezers.

Next, lightly damp a Q-tip with isopropyl alcohol. Gently push the Q-tip under the rubber cap where the control sensor is located. Rub the Q-tip in various angles, working your way around the stick. 

*Reminder: Do not apply the alcohol directly to the Joy-Con controller, always use a Q-tip

 Once the area has been sufficiently cleaned, move the joystick in circles for 30 seconds to fully coat and clean the sensor. Afterwards, let the controller sit and dry for 10 to 15 minutes before moving on to the next step. 

*Tip: If you don’t want to use isopropyl alcohol with a Q-tip, this cleaning method can also be done with a can of compressed air.

Step 2: Recalibrate your Joy-Cons

After you’ve finished cleaning the joystick, it’s now time to recalibrate your Joy-Con controllers! 

  • Go to “System Settings”
  • Scroll down and select “Controllers and Sensors” 
  • Then click “Calibrate Control Sticks” 
  • Press on the controller you wish to calibrate 

This will take you through a series of tests for your controller to find the right calibration, hopefully eliminating anymore drifting issues. 


Step 3: Nintendo Offering Free Repairs

If the above steps didn’t work for you, your Joy-Con damage may be more permanent than others. As of right now, Nintendo has been issuing out free Joy-Con drift repair or replacements to customers. Fill out a “Help Ticket” on the Nintendo Support website to apply. 


Step  4: Upgrading your Joy-Cons

Now that you know how to fix your Joy-Cons, it’s time to one-up your play style by using a thumbstick that has been specifically designed for Nintendo Switch. By adding Eclipse Performance Thumbstick® to our Joy-Cons, you'll increase comfort, grip and accuracy while gaming. With a combo of drift free Joy-Cons and new performance thumbsticks, you’re now ready to take on any gaming challenge headed your way!   

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