First reports of 'joystick drift' emerge for Nintendo Switch Lite

Cal Jeffrey

Posts: 2,724   +662
Staff member

Redditor TorteDeLimi posted a video (below) showing his new Switch Lite display symptoms of “joystick drift.” Assuming the video is real and not just a calibration issue, this could be a serious problem for Nintendo. At least with the original Switch, the JoyCons are a separate easily replaced component. The Switch Lite has integrated controllers requiring repair instead of simple controller replacement.

When JoyCons fail out of warranty, users have two solutions — buy a new set of controllers for around $70, or repair the faulty components themselves. The parts are readily available on Amazon for about $14, and replacing them is simple. It does void your warranty on the JoyCons but not on the console itself. DIY-ing your Lite controllers is not as straightforward.

YouTube channel Spawn Wave did a teardown of a Switch Lite and reports that Nintendo appears to have used the same joystick switches that it uses for the JoyCons. A closer look at the mechanisms, however, revealed a different part number than the ones used in the other controllers. Whether this is because the company attempted to fix the drift problem or it is just a matter of "same part, different device" is unknown.

Regardless, repairing the problem sticks on the Lite looks to be a pain. Getting to the joystick mechanisms pretty much requires a complete disassembly. The repair is much more complicated than simply replacing the faulty sticks on the JoyCons. it also voids your warranty of the entire handheld in the process. Users are better off sending in their Switch Lite for a warranty repair.

So far, Nintendo has not officially addressed the problem in the original JoyCons, even in the face of a class action lawsuit. It also has not commented on the apparent issue with the Lite. Perhaps a fresh dose of returns of the new handheld-only device will spur it into action on both fronts.

Then again, maybe it is nothing more than a calibration issue in this case. We'll have to wait and see if more users report the same problem.

Image credit: George W. Bailey via Shutterstock

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hwertz

Posts: 18   +8
Analog joysticks DO drift. They always have. The ones for 8-bit systems like Apple II (well I had a Laser 128...) had little wheels to recenter X and Y. Why on earth would Nintendo not include, say, a key combo you push at startup that then has you move the stick up, down, left, right, and center, and stores the calibrations? Crazy.
 

johnofo

Posts: 22   +18
Analog joysticks DO drift. They always have. The ones for 8-bit systems like Apple II (well I had a Laser 128...) had little wheels to recenter X and Y. Why on earth would Nintendo not include, say, a key combo you push at startup that then has you move the stick up, down, left, right, and center, and stores the calibrations? Crazy.
There is a calibration option. My original Switch JoyCons had a drift issue but I found the calibration option and its worked fine since. Though usually I use the Pro Controller
 

R00sT3R

Posts: 341   +845
I think the problem is that these things just aren't built for clumsy, fat Western hands but for smaller, gentler Japanese ones.

..its been a common theme with Nintendo hardware.
 

Prrredictable

Posts: 19   +5
I think the problem is that these things just aren't built for clumsy, fat Western hands but for smaller, gentler Japanese ones.

..its been a common theme with Nintendo hardware.
I'm not a "fat Westerner," but this is the most asinine comment I recall ever reading on a gaming site. And that's saying something.
 

captaincranky

Posts: 16,301   +5,086
I'm not a "fat Westerner," but this is the most asinine comment I recall ever reading on a gaming site. And that's saying something.
Well, reasonably speaking, most burly men who run jackhammers, don't get part time jobs sewing lady's underwear. And believe it or not, most 4' 6" 85 Lb Asian women who sew lingerie, don't get part time jobs running jackhammers.

Is that, "asinine", as you explain it, or is it just the way the world works?

I sincerely hope the parallels I've drawn here aren't too "abstract", or again as you put it, "asinine". Do I care if they are? Not really.

In other news, have you been to a lot of other "gaming sites"? I could picture hearing a lot of asinine things there. But don't mind me, I'm not a gamer. In any case, I'm glad we were able raise the bar for your future assessment of what is ridiculous content. Do cherish your time with us, here in the theater of the absurd! :laughing:
 
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Prrredictable

Posts: 19   +5
Well, reasonably speaking, most burly men who run jackhammers, don't get part time jobs sewing lady's underwear. And believe it or not, most 4' 6" 85 Lb Asian women who sew lingerie, don't get part time jobs running jackhammers.

Is that, "asinine", as you explain it, or is it just the way the world works?

I sincerely hope the parallels I've drawn here aren't too "abstract", or again as you put it, "asinine". Do I care if they are? Not really.

In other news, have you been to a lot of other "gaming sites"? I could picture hearing a lot of asinine things there. But don't mind me, I'm not a gamer. In any case, I'm glad we were able raise the bar for your future assessment of what is ridiculous content. Do cherish your time with us, here in the theater of the absurd! :laughing:
Well, reasonably speaking, most burly men who run jackhammers, don't get part time jobs sewing lady's underwear. And believe it or not, most 4' 6" 85 Lb Asian women who sew lingerie, don't get part time jobs running jackhammers.

Is that, "asinine", as you explain it, or is it just the way the world works?

I sincerely hope the parallels I've drawn here aren't too "abstract", or again as you put it, "asinine". Do I care if they are? Not really.

In other news, have you been to a lot of other "gaming sites"? I could picture hearing a lot of asinine things there. But don't mind me, I'm not a gamer. In any case, I'm glad we were able raise the bar for your future assessment of what is ridiculous content. Do cherish your time with us, here in the theater of the absurd! :laughing:
Thanks for the post. My opinion still stands.