Nintendo Switch Joy-Con drift: how to fix a broken Switch controller

Nintendo Switch Joy-Con drift is annoying, but there are fixes and workarounds.

by Jason Coles

The Nintendo Switch is undoubtedly an incredibly successful console, bot in terms of sales figures and what it achieves as a nifty hybrid bit of hardware.

However, it’s not perfect, along with issues regarding things like the Nintendo online services, you also have a few hardware ails to consider whenever you boot yours up.

One of the biggest issues that you’re likely to face is the dreaded Joy-Con drift. This is where your controller becomes possessed by ghosts (dirt or something) and becomes sentient (goes whatever direction it wants). Hopefully, this won’t be an issue with the Nintendo Switch Pro, but the good news is that there are ways of dealing with it, so, here you are.

Send it to Nintendo

This is probably the safest one as it’s done by the pros. You can, if you so desire, simply send your affected Joy-Con back to its masters at Nintendo to get fixed (using Nintendo’s official repair website to kick off the process).

It can take a couple of weeks normally, but obviously things like this vary depending on demand and working conditions.

If you do decide to go this route, just keep in mind that you’ll be without a Joy-Con for a while, so you may need a backup.

The good news is that we’re coming up on an excellent backup option that you may already have.

Read more: How to remap buttons on Nintendo Switch controllers

Replace or repair the parts yourself

This is probably the highest risk option because it requires an awful lot of technical expertise, and a mistake can cost you the controller.

If you want to do this, you can find all of the information you need on sites like YouTube, where people are happy to show you a step-by-step guide.


It’s an option for sure, but not one we recommend as a single mistake can lead to you voiding the controller for actual repairs, which isn’t a risk suggest you take. It’s there, but it’s probably not worth it.

Read more: Best Nintendo Switch controllers to buy

Use an app

This is by far and away the most innovative solution, and it’s one that only came about recently.

There is now an app from DeepBlue Labs called JoyCon Droid that lets Android phones do a fairly good impression of a Joy-Con.

It even allows your phone to mimic a Pro Controller, though keep in mind the buttons aren’t quite as satisfying as either. Better still, it allows you to connect a USB controller to your phone and send the signal to the Switch.


This is probably the easiest way to deal with Joy-Con drift, and it even means you can keep playing while you send your actual Joy-Con for the repairs it needs.

And hey, anything that keeps us playing while we wait for the Xbox Series X and the PS5 to arrive is very welcome indeed.

Read more: PS5 vs Xbox Series X specs

Jason Coles