Was the solution staring us in the face the whole time?
Drifting joysticks in Nintendo Switch Joy-Con controllers has been a point of contention for many users for a couple of years now. It’s a valid complaint; when your joysticks drift, even slightly, it can completely mess up your inputs and, by extension, your experience with a game. I had to deal with drifting joysticks while playing a shooter once, and every time I needed to stand still for some dialogue, my character would try to moonwalk out of the room.
While the precise cause of Joy-Con drift hasn’t quite been nailed down as of yet, one brave DIY YouTuber may have finally found a permanent solution, or at least the beginnings of one. Victorstk, owner of VK’s Channel on YouTube, did some in-depth research on the mechanics of the Joy-Cons, their sticks, and potential drift causes. He watched hours of YouTube videos on the subject and disassembled and reassembled his own Joy-Cons before he came to a realization: the metal bits that hold the parts of the controllers together had loosened, creating a tiny yet meaningful gap between the contacts of the joysticks and the graphite pads that read its inputs.
— Nintendo Life (@nintendolife) July 14, 2021
As a test case, Victorstk opened up his Joy-Con and placed a small, milimeter-thick piece of cardstock paper on the metal contact in the center. When he sealed it back up, sure enough, the drift had disappeared completely. By creating a little spot of pressure in the center of the device, he was able to force the joystick contacts back down onto the pads, and in the two months since he performed this procedure, the controller hasn’t drifted at all.
While not a perfect fix, especially for those who aren’t comfortable with opening their hardware like that, it could lead to a potential breakthrough toward ending drift once and for all. All that remains is to see whether someone at Nintendo picks up the news.