Nintendo will now fix Joy-Con drift for free worldwide
Roll up, roll up – get your Joy-Con repairs
Nintendo will now offer free repairs for faulty Joy-Con controllers suffering from dreaded stick drift for free in the UK and across Europe, even if the controllers are no longer under warranty.
Nintendo Life spotted the update on a Nintendo support page, advising players on how they can try to rectify stick drift, which Nintendo calls ‘responsiveness syndrome’, themselves. At the bottom of the page is a link to Nintendo’s customer service repair portal and a note about its hardware mending policy.
➡️ The Shortcut Skinny: Joy-Con drift
🎮 Nintendo has extended its Joy-Con drift repair policy
💰 It will now repair drifting controllers in the UK, US and Europe for free
🙌 That includes Joy-Cons that are past their warranty
📣 The policy change follows a consumer watchdog report from last year
“Until further notice, Nintendo offers to consumers who purchased the respective product in the EEA, UK and Switzerland that repairs for responsiveness syndrome relating to control sticks will be conducted at no charge by official Nintendo repair centers,” the page reads.
“This applies even if the syndrome is caused by wear and tear and even if the 24-month manufacturer’s warranty provided by Nintendo has expired.”
You won’t be entitled to a free repair, however, if the drift has been caused by some third-party accessory, it’s been caused by accidental damage, or the controller has been used for commercial purposes. So in most cases – you’re good.
Nintendo already offers free, post-warranty Joy-Con repairs in the US, but this extension to other countries perhaps signals the scale of the problem. Complaints of stick drift, which makes playing some games infuriating and is potentially game-breaking for others, have dogged the Nintendo Switch since it launched in 2017, and Nintendo has faced multiple lawsuits over the issue in the US.
Last year, consumer watchdog Which? concluded stick drift is caused by a mechanical fault. Director of policy and advocacy Rocio Concha, said “Nintendo must get a grip on the problem and provide free repairs, compensation, refunds or replacements to any consumers who have been impacted by this issue since the launch of the console.”
If you’re tired of replacing or repairing your Joy-Cons, consider third-party gamepads. Some of the best Nintendo Switch controllers use hall effect sensors rather than the traditional potentiometer analog sticks found in Nintendo’s Joy-Cons. The sensors rely on magnetic fields to register inputs, rather than physical contact plates that can wear away through repeated use, and so don’t suffer from drift.
Of course, there’s no beating the range of Nintendo Switch Joy-Con colors, but does style really beat substance? When it comes to something as irritating and as stick drift, I’d wager not.
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