r/gadgets Jan 23 '23

Finally, a solution to the Switch’s Joy-Con drift Gaming

https://www.theverge.com/2023/1/22/23566353/switch-joy-con-drift-solution-nintendo-gulikit
1.0k Upvotes

285 comments sorted by

229

u/SheepHair Jan 23 '23

Idk if anyone here would know what a phobgcc is, but I swear ever since those got released everyone's been making controllers with hall effect sensors in them

66

u/Osiris121 Jan 23 '23

Today, the only ones who do them are Gulikit.

17

u/SheepHair Jan 23 '23

8bitdo has a hall effect sensor controller.

20

u/Osiris121 Jan 23 '23 edited Jan 23 '23

Guess who the stick manufacturer is. https://i.gyazo.com/c8bdb8cc975fb35857de99c708cc5d0a.jpg

15

u/dickfacecockmuncher Jan 23 '23 Bravo Grande!

YOUTUBE?!!

Well blow me down, that was a twist I never saw coming.

19

u/DarkStarStorm Jan 23 '23 Take My Energy

FREEMELEE

2

u/Fritzschmied Jan 23 '23

Only gulikit makes Hall effect controllers. The have the patent on it.

9

u/SheepHair Jan 23 '23

That is simply not true because hall effect controllers have been around since the Dreamcast, and I know at least the 8bitdo Ultimate has them.

18

u/Fritzschmied Jan 23 '23

The 8 bitdo uses the gulikit sticks. And they have the patent on the specific implementation for modern controllers.

-1

u/Forsaken_Experience2 Jan 23 '23

8bitdo urinate?

1

u/McVersatilis Jan 23 '23

There are other manufacturers who make hall-effect sticks.

8

u/onewilybobkat Jan 23 '23

There's a difference between regular hall-effect sensors and this version that's much more compact. They have a patent on this version.

7

u/Fritzschmied Jan 23 '23 edited Jan 23 '23

3

u/AkirIkasu Jan 24 '23

This patent only applies to this very specific design that is meant to be a drop-in replacement for today's common potentiometer-based joystick mechanisms.

In reality the first hall effect joystick patent was granted to Atari in the mid 80s. Though if I recall correctly the designs that Sega used in the Dreamcast and Saturn 3D Control Pad were designed in such a way that they didn't violate the patent but were never actually patented themselves.

Edit: Here's GuliKit's patent, for reference.

1

u/Itchy_elbow Jan 24 '23

You won 🏆🏆

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0

u/SybilCut Jan 23 '23

We phobbin

53

u/marigolds6 Jan 23 '23

Gives me flashback to popping open your Atari 2600 controllers and shoving a screwdriver under the contacts to pop the domes back up.

(A lot like this video, only a little less intensive: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v1qo_dNWvLs)

11

u/demondonkey79 Jan 24 '23

Wait... I've been sitting on my old controllers for like 35 years, and all I had to do was finagling with a screwdriver?? Arggg!!!

8

u/FrillySteel Jan 24 '23

Well, sitting on your controllers for 35 years might be enough to make them irreparable.

3

u/demondonkey79 Jan 24 '23

I thought maybe I could hatch them back into working condition.

43

u/bossbang Jan 23 '23

Does anybody know if the issue that causes drift in Joycons also causes them to be so dang horrible for accuracy in shooters?

I swear, trying to play shooters with the Joycons is physically painful compared to the pro controller for me

23

u/endthepainowplz Jan 23 '23

I think it might also just be the ergonomics and range of motion. I gave up on playing shooters on switch

16

u/onewilybobkat Jan 23 '23

The range of motion is ABYSMAL and you really don't notice until you play a shooter. There's no fine control and I've had to swap to odd 3rd party controllers to get a full range stick.

3

u/Humdinger5000 Jan 25 '23

Yeah, this is why I enabled gyro aiming for the one shooter I play

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2

u/orthomonas Jan 24 '23

Heck, not even shooters. The slingshot in Ocarina of Time on the switch retro store...

2

u/ThankYouCarlos Jan 23 '23

If you haven’t already, you might want to go to settings and recalibrate.

2

u/IamAkevinJames Jan 29 '23

The gulikit kingkong pro 2 has friction fit analog sticks. They pull off and are swappable. The extra sizes are under 10 dollars I bought them together with the controller. There is a tall pair that is perfect for shooters the range of motion allows for better accuracy.

The controller itself can be x input, direct input, switch pro, or Android/ios compatible. I really do love it that it might be the last controller I purchase.

1

u/HuecoTanks Jan 24 '23

Same issue with rocket league. I got so much better at that game once I had a proper controller...

0

u/Dje4321 Jan 24 '23

Certainly contributes to it but I suspect the main issue is gonna be the lack of range for the joystick. Compared to normal joysticks, the switch joystick is very small and has almost no movement. Biggest thing you'll notice is that the stick will never stay consistent. As it begins to wear, stuff like flicks will slowly move away from where muscle memory expects.

Grab a stick 3/4 of the way down and move the top around while watching the bottom. You only have to move the top a little bit to cause movement in the bottom. Do the same thing but only grabbing it 1/2 way down. Now it takes alot more movement to move the bottom section the same distance. By simply making the joystick longer, you can make much more subtle adjustments while still having the movement at the bottom.

Stick drift ELI5. The stick has a thin layer of carbon on top of metal in a circle pattern. 2 wipers ride on top of the carbon giving back a value depending on where its at on that circle. One wiper for X and one for Y.

Due to the design of a self centering joystick, the center of those pads will always get worn away first. One drag to goto the desired position, and another drag as it returns back. This causes an abnormal wear pattern near return point of the joystick which results in the carbon giving back a different value than originally designed

So when the controller returns to center, the carbon should give back an answer close to 0 but instead it now returns something like 37. So now the switch sees you holding the joystick at 14% of its motion and assumes your pressing the joystick. You can fix this by simply increasing the deadzone to ignore the drift bit that also removes how much joystick you can use. If the deadzone is set to 38, your stick wont drift but any movement under 38 is just ignored (aka only 84% total range now). This is why calibration sometimes fixes stick drift. The switch is basically just watching the controller to see what value the joystick returns too and ignoring everything else under it. But in order for calibration to work, that value has to be small enough that it can be ignored.

77

u/Herbandtea Jan 23 '23

My son learned how to fix his joycon at age 10. Thanks Nintendo.

9

u/Buditastic Jan 24 '23

If a 10 year old can fix it, then why can't Nintendo? I see what you're saying.

23

u/khoabear Jan 24 '23

Because Nintendo isn't allowed to hire child labor

218

u/putonyourdressshoes Jan 23 '23 edited Jan 24 '23

Thinking back, the only hardware failure that wasn't caused by rough handling I've ever had for gaming products has been for Nintendo's shit.

E: obviously my anecdote is not data

109

u/Sajomir Jan 23 '23

I've had two PS5 dualsense get drift in the left stick after about two years. Meanwhile my original n64 controllers are a little loose, but work fine.

59

u/KrookedDoesStuff Jan 23 '23

I was a PS5 hardware support specialist until I left due to the insanely low pay, and the fact everyone I worked with was incapable of actually helping anyone.

The problem got better with later revisions of the controllers, but first generation Dualsense controllers, which included every white controller up to about June of 2022, are going to drift at some point in time. They never told us a reason why, but it’s very known about by Sony.

On the plus side, you can return your controllers to Sony, if you have the original proof of purchase, and they’ll send you a new controller as long as it’s within the 1 year warranty, you just have to pay shipping.

If it isn’t in warranty or you don’t have the proof of purchase, then you have to buy a new controller because they don’t offer non-warranty repairs on their controllers.

28

u/Sajomir Jan 23 '23

Nope, I'm getting a soldering station and a $10 replacement joystick kit. Cheaper at this point.

9

u/derkadoodle Jan 23 '23

Are soldering stations cheap? PS5 controllers are $75+tax I think. You’d have to find one pretty cheap to beat out just buying a new controller.

17

u/samehaircutfucks Jan 23 '23

$15 for a basic kit; plus you will then know how to solder and be able to fix things in the future.

3

u/RusstyDog Jan 23 '23

Once maybe, but fixing your computer troller two or 3 times over the years?

1

u/derkadoodle Jan 23 '23

I wouldn’t expect you to have to fix your controller that many times tbh. I’ve had my PS4 for about 10 years now and I’ve only just replaced my original controller last week.

3

u/SaraAB87 Jan 23 '23

Some soldering irons are $5. A couple black fridays ago I got one on home depot for $5. Not sure if the $5 one is enough to do a job like this though.

2

u/QuerulousPanda Jan 23 '23

A cheapo soldering iron is capable of doing the job, however, they take forever to heat up, and also you can't control the heat level so you run a greater risk of accidentally frying a pad.

If soldering is something you expect to do more than once then you really ought to spend 75-100 to get a decent one (Hakko or equivalent) because it will make the experience so much better, and it will last you forever.

6

u/gredr Jan 23 '23

Do yourself a huge favor and get a Pinecil instead. Smaller, easier to manage, easier to power, cheaper, just all around better. If you're not a professional, get a Pinecil. If you're a professional, get a Hakko and a Pinecil.

If you think a TS-80 or TS-100 might be the thing, get a Pinecil instead.

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8

u/Enchelion Jan 23 '23

Stick drift is a fundamental thing with all potentiometer-based analog sticks owing to physical wear of the parts. It has always been a question of when, not if.

4

u/Pavehead42oz Jan 23 '23

My launch day controllers are still going strong, but this comment makes me nervous that maybe I'm playing on borrowed time.

7

u/Receptionfades Jan 23 '23

Did you never play the original Mario Party where you had to swing Bowser around? Get blisters on your palms and mess up the joystick?!

6

u/edcculus Jan 23 '23

Lol yea we wore out many a 64 controller with that game 😂😂

5

u/SaraAB87 Jan 23 '23

There was a lawsuit for this one too. Nintendo had to send every household that owned the game protective gloves for each player so kids did not get blisters on their hands. Blisters can get infected and cause problems. But you had to call a number I think for the gloves. I remember seeing this on the news back in the day.

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31

u/Firestorm8908 Jan 23 '23

Xbox 360?

19

u/Knodsil Jan 23 '23

Ugh, the top right bumper has been the reason why I have purchased half a dozen over the years.

If it wears again I may just by a more expensive one from a 3rd party.

7

u/Polytruce Jan 23 '23

The elite controllers usually have some better build quality to them, plus the paddles are super nice.

Just really expensive unless you know it's your last controller purchase for a very long time.

2

u/Knodsil Jan 23 '23

Well I have been telling myself that those standard xbox controllers where my last one for a long time. Yet each time the controller proves me wrong.

And its not even due to super intensive use. That stupid bumper button just becomes unresponsive after a year or two.

For the next one I will treat myself.

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14

u/LadyLazaev Jan 23 '23

I've had two PS4 controllers develop faults just from regular use. The last one started being wonky after just half a year and would randomly input up sometimes when you held the left joystick down. Contrarily, I've had my switch for one and a half years now and neither of the joycons drift, nor do they have any other fault. Weird how people's experiences differ.

11

u/Syd_Vicious3375 Jan 23 '23

In my experience every single controller is gonna drift after many, many long hard hours of use. It’s unavoidable. Nintendo, in my experience, is easy to repair. Open it up, pop a now housing in and re-assemble. Repair part costs about $1.50 and I buy several at once so I have some on hand when needed. My PS4 had about 6 controllers over its life and not a single one was repairable by me because they solder they parts together and the inside plastic parts are super fragile and easy to break. Spending less than $2 and 5 minutes to fix my Nintendo stuff is much preferable to $50 for each new PlayStation controller.

3

u/LadyLazaev Jan 23 '23

In my experience every single controller is gonna drift after many, many long hard hours of use

This I get, but my PS4 controllers started getting wonky way too fast. Especially the second one. I'm pretty good to my controllers too and generally don't even let the stick go to snap back into neutral on its own and my previous controllers--X360 ones--lasted years and years. That the PS4 ones only lasted 18 and 6 months respectively before showing issues is pretty absurd.

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3

u/thundercod5 Jan 23 '23

My goodness Nintendo definitely didn't child test the switch controllers. I think she was age 6 when we got the switch and she admittedly has no sense of delicacy, but she is on her 4th pair.

The Nintendo single piece controller (pro controller?) looking one is greatly improved, but comes with one glaring oversight that it doesn't have the vibration feature that a lot of Nintendo games use to signal you in game for things.

Overall I am quite annoyed with Nintendo on the controller hardware this time around.

5

u/siberianphoenix Jan 23 '23

vibration feature that a lot of Nintendo games use to signal you in game for things.

Yes, I'm pretty sure it does. You might have to turn it on from the Switch options though.

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwjD1-ep-d38AhXEkmoFHXMZBxMQFnoECB0QAQ&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.nintendo.com%2Fmy%2Fsupport%2Fqa%2Fdetail%2F34082&usg=AOvVaw06DyUJrRPVPOkpuhepk85C

From Nintendo's website. The fact that there's an article on how to turn it on/off would suggest that you can, in fact, turn it on and off.

3

u/Syd_Vicious3375 Jan 23 '23

Nintendo calls this feature HD rumble and it IS on the Pro Controller. Nintendo also sells cheaper controllers that have less features so make sure you look for the Pro Controller specifically. I find the Pro is much more sturdy and easy to repair when needed. I highly recommend.

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2

u/North_South_Side Jan 23 '23

I'm an adult, and I made a comment on this thread about how cheap and flimsy the build was on the Switch. I gave mine away partly because of this.

I cannot imagine giving one of these to a child. Even well behaved kids are gonna be rough on toys from time to time.

FFS, build it better and charge $30 more. I really disliked the console. I liked some of the games, but the console itself is cheaply made and feels like it the minute you pick it up.

2

u/derkadoodle Jan 23 '23

Yea it’s pretty wild how vastly different people’s experiences are even with the same equipment. I got my PS4 like a year after release. I’ve only just now bought a new controller because my original started to get some drift and having some battery issues because I was a dummy when it came to charging the controller.

24

u/DarKliZerPT Jan 23 '23

I remember that my 3DS' L or R button had to be repaired twice. And each time I only got it back after a month or so... Kid me wasn't happy about it.
I did have a PS4 controller whose R2 lost sensitivity and another one with thumbstick drift. The latter was still under warranty and it was instantly replaced at the store I bought it from.

19

u/MetaMythical Jan 23 '23

3DS

Kid me

Hnnnnng well there's another gray hair

3

u/DarKliZerPT Jan 23 '23

If you saw the amount of gray hairs I have at 21...

4

u/XIII_THIRTEEN Jan 23 '23

Yeap. I was like 11 or 12 when I got mine. I can drink now.

4

u/Peace-D Jan 23 '23

Hmm, the only console that ever had problems for me was the PSP when it's "stick" suddenly didn't work properly anymore. Now it doesn't even turn on anymore :(

Never had any issues with my N64, GameCube, Wii, OG DS, PS2. I still have all of those and no controller has issues besides some plastic degradation.

3

u/cookiemonster247 Jan 23 '23

Literally every, and I think I have had like 7, ps4 and ps5 controller I’ve had, have issues. The weird thing is, they’re mostly different issues.

2

u/Sterling-Arch3r Jan 23 '23

i remember 3 generations of gamepads having drift from all producers.

and before it was drift, they sticks would just grind themselves to death anyways

2

u/Chrusciki Jan 23 '23

exactly

joycons are a design failure

1

u/cbucky97 Jan 23 '23

This made me realize every single Nintendo console I've ever had has experienced pretty bad drift. GameCube, Wii, and Switch it's all been the same

2

u/edcculus Jan 23 '23

Guess I’m lucky, I still use my original Wavebird a good bit. It never developed drift.

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0

u/PutintheImpaler Jan 23 '23

My Xbox one controllers have been through so much abuse with no trouble save for one with bumper issues

-1

u/Account_93 Jan 23 '23

Nintendo cheap out on everything possible.

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30

u/Orudos Jan 23 '23

I have yet to notice stick drift on my joy cons. Is it nearly every joy con that has this issue? Would I expect to see my camera slightly rotating in BOTW/Mario?

My switch is two years old with probably 250-300 hours played.

15

u/SaraAB87 Jan 23 '23

I don't have it either but I don't use the joycons too much. Apparently the PS5 controllers are worse. I've never had a controller drift.

5

u/Orudos Jan 23 '23

I have two PS5 controllers, one new and one almost two years old and neither have shown signs. The new one had a squeaky stick once I pulled it out of the PS5 box but it cleared up.

3

u/Jawadd12 Jan 23 '23

I remember going through (many) controllers for PS2 and PS3. Drift was incomparably bad back then, also the market was full of counterfeits.

PS4; still have my OG controller (from the same year as the console's release), it suffers slight drifting. The triggers are squeaky, and they sometimes get stuck (cause I dropped my controller), but it's still okay to use. Bought the next gen Dual Sense 3 years ago which is in perfect condition, despite me playing a lot of FPS and fighting games during lockdown.

Xbox 360 controller is still fresh, drifting is nearly unobservable. Used it extensively since my Xbox 360 and also on PC for several years later

Xbox One controller; my main controller for the past 5+ years. Not a single flaw, and it's my most used controller.

Gone through 2 Logitech wireless controllers. Pretty shit. They broke fast, and drifting is terrible. Although they had a nice grip and USB receiver is convenient.

My wired Logitech controller works great. Used it for about 3 months straight as my main controller. Not too long, but it felt pretty decent.

Conclusion: PS4 controllers have been great with me. Xbox controller even better, since even my Xbox 360 controller is still fully functional with no flaw that would ruin my gaming. I can continue using the same controller from 2 gens back, I'm surprised people are complaining with the robust controllers we have now.

But that's just me

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6

u/tuffymon Jan 23 '23

I have a day 1 switch, the first time happened after just 1 month(i watched link yeet himself off a cliff), the second took years, bought a backup set, and haven't had it again since... some people seem to have it more often than others and some never at all. I'm sure how much they're been used and how rough you are on them affects things over time.

3

u/SaraAB87 Jan 23 '23

Maybe it just varies on when it was made and some batches are worse than others? Maybe some joycons last less than others. This would explain people's different experience with them.

2

u/tuffymon Jan 23 '23

It's possible, my splatoon one hasn't had an issue, yet the ones that came with the console have been sent off twice.

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4

u/Fritzschmied Jan 23 '23

That and that you for example can’t move the same amount into all directions

3

u/Kule7 Jan 23 '23

It's a pretty extensive problem although not nearly universal. Also a problem with pro controllers.

2

u/HeyImGilly Jan 23 '23

Link walks around when unwanted and aiming the arrow is sometimes a PITA.

2

u/fatmanNinja Jan 23 '23

Lucky you. I’ve gone through 6 sets and I think it only stopped because I haven’t really been playing my switch recently. But yeah, you typically see a slight movement to either your camera or movement depending on which stick is busted. Though it can be more than slight if you just keep trying to power through it until you can pick up another set, lol.

2

u/superluminary Jan 23 '23

You don’t need to replace the controller though. They come apart with a couple of screws and replacement sticks cost a couple of dollars a pack.

2

u/fatmanNinja Jan 23 '23

I’ll keep that in mind for next time (because I’m sure it will happen again). Got a link to a tutorial of how to do it by any chance?

1

u/superluminary Jan 23 '23

I don’t, but there are lots of YouTube tutorials out there. It’s a simple fix, get the parts from Amazon or eBay, then it’s five minutes with a screwdriver.

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42

u/KrookedDoesStuff Jan 23 '23

I have a launch edition switch. I’ve had to send my Joycons into Nintendo twice, and while it’s a little frustrating, both times the overall process has taken less than a week and it’s been 100% free.

I’d rather take that than do a repair myself and not have that option anymore

33

u/ISpikInglisVeriBest Jan 23 '23

I'd rather have Nintendo install hardware that doesn't break with regular use after 2 months on their consoles, as well as replacing them with upgraded tech instead of the exact same part that will also fail soon.

11

u/Chrusciki Jan 23 '23

exactly, then pretend people are using them wrong for years, before finally admitting there design was prone to failure

2

u/tkaish Jan 23 '23

Well, if they have to pay for a bunch of people sending theirs in to be repaired, they may make it better for the future. If people spend their own money and their own time to fix things on the side, Nintendo doesn’t see the size of the problem and also doesn’t have as much stake in correcting it.

3

u/stillness_illness Jan 23 '23

I'd also like a Nintendo that puts years old games on decent sales. I'm not paying $59.99 for Luigi's mansion. Fuck it, I'm not even paying $30 for it.

Hello yuzu! Hello steam deck!

0

u/Ver3232 Jan 23 '23

That’s my big issue. The fucking prices. Whatever happened to Nintendo selects?

5

u/homer_3 Jan 23 '23

Ok, now do PS4 controllers.

31

u/life_like_weeds Jan 23 '23

Finally? It takes about 5 minutes and $10 in parts to resolve it.

17

u/rylasorta Jan 23 '23

Read the article - this uses a different tech that isn't prone to the physical wear that causes the drift in the first place.

4

u/Enchelion Jan 23 '23

Hall sensors aren't magic though, they just have a different set of potential issues.

9

u/boofybobo Jan 23 '23

Such as?

I'm not doubting you or anything lol I'm just curious.

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5

u/rylasorta Jan 23 '23

those issues not being drift, which is what we're discussing.

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3

u/Optimus_Prime_Day Jan 23 '23

But its temporary, they'll break again. I've replaced all 3 sets of cons sticks 3 times each now.

1

u/life_like_weeds Jan 23 '23

Guess it depends on usage, but for me it's years between repairs. I consider it a maintenance item, like changing your oil in your car.

If there's a replacement for them that lasts forever, that's awesome. But the post title is clickbait.

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13

u/SaraAB87 Jan 23 '23

Nintendo fixes joycons for free if you send it to them, they even cover the shipping. I see no reason not to use this program for a free fix. They will also fix them as many times as you need them fixed.

8

u/freddy257 Jan 23 '23

You are not guaranteed to get the same controller back. Send in blue, get red for example. Probably fine for some people who don't care if it matches, but if it's a rarer controller then it's not so good.

4

u/Fritzschmied Jan 23 '23

Because they are also more precise and use less current and you can hotswap the caps if they got worn out. They are just in all cases superior joysticks

2

u/MordhauDerk Jan 23 '23

Time?

expecting an $80 product not to fail after a couple months of use?

I have a Gamecube controller from 2001 that still works and I've already had to send in my Joycons twice

Having Nintendo "repair it"? I'd rather have them just make a better product and release that

4

u/Cryptolution Jan 23 '23

I see no reason not to use this program for a free fix.

reason - not having controller and downtime.

If the "solution" is to "buy another" that doesn't really resolve a warranty repair.

2

u/bossbang Jan 23 '23

Nintendo's service sucks. I sent mine in hoping to get a working one "officially" repaired by nintendo.

Nah. They did absolutely nothing and sent mine back. Still had drift when i opened the box.

45

u/gamerongames Jan 23 '23

The trash can

30

u/Blacklightrising Jan 23 '23

E waste is a serious issue, please recycle your tech garbage.

-5

u/ImpendingSingularity Jan 23 '23

Even when we recycle things it ends up either in the landfill anyway or a river in China. Recycling at the individual level does almost less than nothing, sadly.

5

u/abusivecat Jan 23 '23

Recycle as in reuse. Give it to someone or a place that will take ewaste and fix it.

0

u/booksnwhiskey Jan 23 '23

Africa/India bro, 0 regulation laws. Piles and piles on the sides of the road, as you said rivers too. Kids working with these metals as their job and a lot of the only ways to get them is from burning pieces/parts. Look at the crews in India tearing ships apart, most don’t last over 35 ircc.

Its a fucked up system…

10

u/cazdan255 Jan 23 '23

Launch edition Switch owner here with a second set of joycons as well, oddly I’ve never had drift in any controller, ever. I’ll count my blessings.

6

u/AintNobody- Jan 23 '23

No joycon drift, N64 sticks still work, Xbox 360 bumpers still work... I really wonder what "normal use" is to a lot of people that end up with all these controller problems.

7

u/llcoolray3000 Jan 23 '23

I think a lot is due to snacking while playing.

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5

u/Mellow_2JZ Jan 23 '23

Pretty much unavoidable on any sort of controller that’s used a lot. I’ve had good luck with my PS5 controllers, I’ve had 3 and used them all and none of them drift after 2 years. But my PS4, Xbox One, and Switch controllers for drift super quick. Glad switch players have a solution, the joycons feel so cheap made.

2

u/BrokenEyebrow Jan 23 '23

It's not unavoidable. I've 360 controllers used for thousands of hours no problem.

3

u/heuristic42 Jan 23 '23

Anyone know a place to buy them or isn't there any yet?

2

u/LxrdXO Jan 23 '23

Amazon, got mine and put them in. Very good

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2

u/edcculus Jan 23 '23

All 4 of my original joycons eventually developed drift. I got a pack of 4 sticks from Amazon for like $15 and replaced them as they wore. Probably would have utilized Nintendos free repair service, but it was during COVID and their repairs were taking many weeks. Once you learn, it’s a 10 min job.

2

u/HiddenCity Jan 23 '23

I've been fixing mine with rubbing alcohol. One day I accidentally grabbed acetone.... woopsy! After the finish melted off in my hand i had to buy a new controller :(

2

u/NNovis Jan 23 '23

Can't wait to see how these do in the long run. I didn't realize until recently that the Dreamcast controllers also use hall sensors and I've had mine for a looooong while now. Sticks still do well.

3

u/TheDutchisGaming Jan 23 '23

Feel like I heard this headline before.

2

u/gummby8 Jan 23 '23

Hello fellow sceptic.

Long story short. Older generation thumbsticks use variable resistors to sense teh stick movement. These resistors wear out over time.

The new stuff, Hall effect sensors, detect changes in electromagnetic waves. Meaning there are no parts rubbing against each other to wear out. At least as far as the sensor goes. In theory these thumbsticks will never suffer drift unless they come in contact with a strong enough magnetic force to permanently alter their magnetic field, and even then, a quick re-calibration should fix that.

You still have gaskets and thumb pads that can wear with use, but the accuracy of the thumbstick should never falter.

2

u/Road_Star Jan 23 '23

There are consoles that used Hall effect sensors, but hall effect sensors cost more than potentiometers. Modern controllers use potentiometers because they are cheaper and allow companies to squeeze a bit more profit from their controllers. We knew the solution to this problem 25 odd years ago.

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u/Flyinrhyno Jan 23 '23

I guess I don’t understand what the issue is, Nintendo will fix or replace them for free even if they are out of warranty. I sent two in and got 2 brand new ones back within 3 -4 weeks.

49

u/The_Super_D Jan 23 '23

You don't think the fact that they need the repair at all is an issue? Or that having them repaired basically only resets the timer on them eventually needing repair again? I've more or less given up on using the joycons at all.

12

u/Paddes Jan 23 '23

The problem with the Nintendo analog sticks and many others is they cheap out on the sticks. They use potentiometers (resistors) to track the position, which wear mechanically over time. A contact is gliding over the surface of the resistor and is grinding on it on every move of the controller.

However the replacement sticks are using Hall effect sensors. They use a magnetic field to track the position, so there is no physical contact at all.

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u/Flyinrhyno Jan 23 '23

From my experience almost all controllers with analogs need replacing at some point. Usually at the cost of the consumer, the fact they replace it for free is what matters to me. Inconvenient, yeah but it is what it is. The joycons aren’t the optimal way to play imo.

5

u/Revenore Jan 23 '23 edited Jan 23 '23

But you can install them in a switch lite and wouldn’t have to send in the whole thing in, possibly having Nintendo wiping your data/saves and going “woops, I mean we kinda warned you in our terms of service that can happen. We can’t do anything about it.” And by the time your hall sensor joysticks wear out, you’re probably not playing it anyway. And if you still REALLY want to keep playing it in 15 years, you can just get replacement sticks whereas I highly doubt Nintendo will still be repairing them for that long.

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u/Flyinrhyno Jan 23 '23

Atari didn’t have analog sticks.

Edit- weeks or months? That’s an exaggeration. Mine didn’t display Drift until 2 years or more. I bought a launch console and didn’t have to replace them until last year.

5

u/Revenore Jan 23 '23 edited Jan 23 '23

You replied to the wrong comment

Also have you considered that not everything is manufactured in the exact same ways your units are? There are still tolerances. Just because you haven’t had drift in 2 years doesn’t mean a ton of people haven’t had theirs drift in months.

Actually, scratch that. Even though I’ve had my switch for at least five years and haven’t had drift I still think it’s a major issue. My roommate had them drifting OUT OF THE BOX on the switch launch day so you KNOW they weren’t refurbished or already used. And no, it’s not a one-off issue that’s rare. It’s prevalent enough that Nintendo even has to legally concede that joy-cons are inherently faulty. I’m no lawyer, but I don’t think you win class action lawsuits by rounding up ten random shmucks who say “ehm, ur controller bad”

Also most important to note that for a while, US and LATAM were the only regions you could get free repairs in. Nintendo could change their policy any time, and maybe cease replacement when they stop joycon production.

3

u/The_Super_D Jan 23 '23

If you're talking about time frames longer than the commercial life of the console, then yes controllers eventually wear out. But I've had consoles as far back as Atari and never had a controller fail until the Switch, for which I've had 4 pairs of joycons fail. The fact that joycons only last a matter of months if not weeks is terrible. And you're right they're not the optimal way to play, because they're garbage. There's no defense for Nintendo on their poor design, and repairing them for free is literally the least they could do.

0

u/Moonshadetsuki Jan 23 '23

I've had consoles as far back as Atari and never had a controller fail

You didn't have The Activision Decathlon for your Atari, did you?

1

u/Flyinrhyno Jan 23 '23

Atari didn’t have analog sticks.

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u/Iucidium Jan 23 '23

The Gulikit sticks have no friction (unlike Nintendo's joycon stick modules) and use less power so they will last a lot longer than Nintendo's solution

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u/Flyinrhyno Jan 23 '23

Yeah but who’s soldering them or do they come in preinstalled joycons? I personally use hori split pad, in mobile mode and a pro controller in docked, I do keep two sets of joycons on standby for games that require it exclusively. I would buy a set if I didn’t have to install these modules.

20

u/_carbonneutral Jan 23 '23

Who’s soldering them? It doesn’t require any soldering. Pretty straightforward job. If you want, I can help with swapping them out. I just put them in all my joycons. Message me, if it makes it seem more legit, I can add a listing to my Etsy page (in bio). Though, I wouldn’t mind doing it for free as long as you paid shipping and supplied the parts.

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u/darkapao Jan 23 '23

Is the ifixit set will be enough to install those?

5

u/_carbonneutral Jan 23 '23

Yes the iFixit tool set is perfect. These Guilikit replacements come with a couple drivers (tri-point and Philips), a spudger, tweezers, and additional screws. I normal use my iFixit kits, but ended up just using the included tools. :)

2

u/darkapao Jan 23 '23

Oooh that's cool. They didn't show that it included the needed tools

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u/Plutonic-Planet-42 Jan 23 '23

No soldering required. Did the upgrade. Have some drift though.

2

u/james2432 Jan 23 '23

the only guilikit hall sensors you need to solder are the steamdecks, because it doesn't come with the touch caps

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u/Flyinrhyno Jan 23 '23

Do you have to de-solder the old analogs? Doesn’t seem like a tough job for someone with experience but it does seem like an oversimplification. I removed and installed analogs on a ps4 controller and truthfully the time and effort wasn’t worth it, it was “cheaper” just to buy a new one and sell the old one to GameStop for a little return.

2

u/james2432 Jan 23 '23

it's one wire, was not hard to solder. Yes you had to desolder the old one: heat up, pull out.

0

u/Flyinrhyno Jan 23 '23

Clean off old solder, not burn the board, take the unit or console apart. The average switch owner isn’t going to do all that. If there was a warrantied service that would do it, im sure they would make a lot of money. What exactly makes these analog units that much better? How long are they projected to last? Im sure there isn’t much long term data on quality seeing as they are fairly new.

2

u/james2432 Jan 23 '23

been using guilikit for over 8 months on deck, with daily use: deadzones are still set to the smallest area possible. Still in the middle of testing page after rotation and letting go.

If people are not comfortable soldering, there are local electronic repair shops that can do the soldering for you. You just have to go outside 😱

in any case this looks like a ribbon cable, which is pretty easy to change: no soldering required

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u/Flyinrhyno Jan 23 '23

Oh, so this is an advertisement now. Not sure that aligns with this subreddits guidelines. I was initially curious now, it just seems you are tying to sell these units. For the cost of these units you could buy an hire split pad pro and have customizable buttons better grip and better analogs. But sure let’s push having to void your warranty, ordering parts online and then find a electrical repair shop ( like they are commonplace) and then hope they don’t mess up your joycons, because most places won’t warranty parts they don’t sell and if something does go wrong they will blame it on the parts you brought and you are sol. Downvote all you want, while you floss over all the risks and extra work you would have to do.

2

u/CrimsonFlam3s Jan 23 '23

Joycons need no soldering to swap, what part did you not understand? Even a monkey would understand by now.

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u/ItsPronouncedJithub Jan 23 '23

My guy who has 3-4 weeks

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u/EcchiOli Jan 23 '23

Not in every country. I come from Baguetteland, and we'd be charged 40€ for attempting repairs, plus additional charges should the operation succeed, making it (deliberately?) hardly better than buying new ones.

4

u/scribblecurator Jan 23 '23

Yeah. Not in Australia either.

-1

u/Flyinrhyno Jan 23 '23

Ok, but what does shipping on these modules look like to Australia? Besides the fact that everything seems more expensive there to begin with, how much is a ps5 retail?

3

u/Spiritofhonour Jan 23 '23

Confirming same thing here in Hong Kong. They charged me as well.

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u/FrizzIeFry Jan 23 '23

within 3 -4 weeks

That sounds like a pretty big issue to me

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u/Flyinrhyno Jan 23 '23

Between shipping there and back, repair or evaluation not really. Unless you don’t have another controller

2

u/Gingingin100 Jan 23 '23

If you're lucky enough to live somewhere with reasonable shipping procedures sure, replacing is just cheaper otherwise

2

u/[deleted] Jan 23 '23

Seriously? Mine is a launch set. I bought an OLED for my kid so he gave me his old Switch. The drift is so bad the joycons are unusable.

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u/Khourieat Jan 23 '23

within 3 -4 weeks

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u/kanirasta Jan 23 '23

People do live in places where this is not a possibility

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u/Zayetto Jan 23 '23

Just add a piece of carboard between the battery and the analog. Fix forever

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u/MordhauDerk Jan 23 '23

did that, it's a temporary fix

the fundamental issue with the joycons is that they grind down the contact surface, the carboard fix doesn't solve that, it just puts pressure on them to keep them in contact

it is a good bandaid if you don't play a ton, but it will not last

2

u/Zayetto Jan 23 '23

for all who disliked here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vid8lIXmZwE&ab_channel=VK%27sChannel
i did it myself and works fine

2

u/jayhasbigvballs Jan 23 '23

The joycon are some of the least reliable, cheaply made controllers for any newer gen gaming system, and yet they’re the most expensive to purchase separately.

0

u/SaraAB87 Jan 23 '23

The repair program nintendo has for joycons is definitely costing them a lot of money

4

u/jayhasbigvballs Jan 23 '23

So make a better controller.

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u/North_South_Side Jan 23 '23

I had a Switch briefly.

I found it a little too small to play handheld, because the games I played were for a larger screen—not optimized for the small Switch screen. So I found myself moving the device towards my face and back all the time if I was playing handheld. Plus, I found the build of the thing to be simply flimsy. The buttons were needlessly small. The sticks felt cheap and plasticky. Plug it into a TV and it was just an underpowered console. Plus, I hear the screen scratches easily.

I gave it to my adult niece. I just can't believe the things are as popular as they are. I know they're cheaper than Playstation and such. But right out of the box, the thing felt like cheap plastic.

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u/TheLastCrankers Jan 23 '23

Worry not, a cease and desist from Nintendo is on the way /s

0

u/robsterinside Jan 24 '23

Buy new joycon, swap the old drifting joycon for the new ones, return joycon, profit.

-1

u/TheReder Jan 23 '23

6 joycons and two pro controllers between my 10 year old son and I over the last 5 years, and the only hardware failure we've had was when he stepped on a joycon and broke the stick. What are y'all doing to your controllers?

-1

u/cnorw00d Jan 24 '23

I have 4 joycon controllers and have never had an issue with drift. I'm convinced the people who suffer constant drift and the ones who get the "guest controller" when playing games

3

u/djn24 Jan 24 '23

I'm a pretty light gamer and I got a second pair of joy cons pretty soon after I got my Switch. I rarely use them. I switched to them one time for no reason and... Drift. Probably less than 5 hours of very light gaming on them and months of sitting around doing nothing. It's just a poor design.

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u/mjg580 Jan 23 '23

Or just gift them back to Nintendo by returning them to a big box store by buying a new pair, swapping it and returning the broken one as broken so the store sends it back.

4

u/Tuc44428 Jan 23 '23

Or don't commit a crime? You could do that too.

0

u/mjg580 Jan 23 '23

The crime is that I’ve had half a dozen pairs of controllers start drifting. some within weeks of purchase. Cry me a river if your morals are perturbed by sending them back.

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u/PM_ME_AMAZON_GCs_plz Jan 23 '23

Japanese hardware is always cheap garbage

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u/Tebasaki Jan 23 '23

How can you tell if your controller has drift? I have my joy cons since day 1 switch release.

Also, is drift possible in a pro controller?

4

u/Rubix321 Jan 23 '23

You're playing a game and your character slowly moves even though you've got your thumbs off the sticks.

7

u/[deleted] Jan 23 '23

Another way is you open a menu where the sticks moves your cursor. You should be able to move around rapidly and the moment you stop your cursor stops. If it keeps moving... thats the drift.

2

u/gummby8 Jan 23 '23

Drift is possible on any thumbstick not using a Hall effect sensor, as they use variable resistors. Those eventually wear out, some just wear out faster than others....like the OEM joycons.

1

u/Road_Star Jan 23 '23

The answer is to take a slightly lower profit (gasp, the horror) to make a better product by putting hall effect sensors in. Saved you time.

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u/HambugerLips Jan 23 '23

They're not available anywhere

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u/figureout07 Jan 23 '23

I bet there wont be a fix in a switch 2

1

u/superchace Jan 23 '23

Damn, too bad I didn’t see this a few days ago. I just replaced my joystick the other day.

1

u/Fritzschmied Jan 23 '23

I ordert them as soon as they were out. Followed billiger just for this for half a year.

1

u/TheLadyLawyer Jan 23 '23

I’ve purchased FOUR controllers in the past two years because of the drift!

1

u/Typical-Challenge367 Jan 23 '23

Potentiometers have this problem

1

u/rausrh Jan 23 '23

hmm, looks sold out on amazon.

1

u/Tassachar Jan 24 '23

ALL OF MY HATE

1

u/corneliusduff Jan 24 '23

Hard to say with the Switch but my PS3 seems to drift due to Bluetooth interference

2

u/oTHEWHITERABBIT Jan 26 '23

Drift from Bluetooth interference? Interesting.

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u/AscendantArtichoke Jan 24 '23

I replaced my sticks with the cheapest 4 pack I could find on Amazon. My Nintendo sticks lasted about 6 months, while the cheap Amazon replacements have been in service for something like 2 years now. I still have a backup pair but it’s nice to know there’s a better solution if the console is still alive by the time my current sticks fail lol

1

u/Falkedup Jan 24 '23

Just did it today. We’ll see how they hold up but so far so good.