With the new Switch Lite, some may have been hoping that Nintendo would have ironed out the Joy-Con drift issues of the regular Switch. However, it looks like this isn’t the case with the new handheld, as some users are reporting that they’re experiencing Switch Lite Joy-Con drift issues.
For those not familiar with the issue, Joy-Con drift is refers to a hardware concern where the joystick on one of the Switch’s Joy-Cons, usually the left one, would register an input even if the player wasn’t holding it. Nintendo chalked this up to a “manufacturing variation” that only affected a few of the units. More importantly, the company claimed that Joy-Con drift would not be an issue moving forward. However, it seems that this isn’t the case for the Switch Lite.
YouTuber Alexis Javier recently posted some videos demonstrating that the Switch Lite suffers from the same Joy-Con drift issues as its big brother. In the first video, which was posted last week, Javier uses The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, showing the game’s camera rotating slowly around Link on it’s own. While Javier does touch the right thumbstick a bit to reposition the camera, the video clearly shows it moving before he did so, as well as after.
Following the first video, Javier posted a follow-up addressing some of the questions raised by the initial video. Again, Javier uses Breath of the Wild, however this time they make sure to show that there are no other Joy-Cons or any other controllers connected to the unit, and that there isn’t anyone else in the room with them. Additionally, they also go into the Switch Lite’s joystick calibration menu to demonstrate the issue. Here, a slight drift is noticeable after they move the thumbstick to the left.
As part of the second video, Javier also posted some notes on the videos description on YouTube. He clarified that the issue “comes and goes,” and that while it noticeably affects Breath of the Wild, some other games, such as Dragon Quest 11, seem to be immune to the problem.
While the possibility that the Switch Lite also suffers from Joy-Con drift is disappointing, it’s not quite surprising. A tear down of the handheld by YouTube channel Spawn Wave noted that the thumbsticks it used were quite similar to those used in the regular Switch. That said, the fact that they did have different part numbers seemed to give hope that the issued had been addressed.
Following Javier’s video, a few other Switch Lite owners have also come forward sharing their own experiences of Joy-Con drift. In one of these, Twitter user Emily Mantone shows Mario moving on his own (eventually falling off a cliff) in Super Mario Odyssey. Meanwhile, another Twitter user going by BokuNoBeard demonstrated Joy-Con drift using the same calibration menu as Javier, but this time for the left joystick.
When the Joy-Con drift issues with the regular Switch started blowing up, Nintendo did offer to repair any defective Joy-Cons free of charge. Whether or not the company will do the same for the Switch Lite is yet unknown. With that said, any such program would be a much bigger issue with the Switch Lite, as the entire unit would need to be sent in, not just the affected Joy-Con.
More importantly, the fact that this problem exists in a newly released piece of hardware like the Switch Lite doesn’t really inspire confidence in Nintendo’s ability to fix the issue in the short term. Hopefully this isn’t the case, and the company finds a way to keep Joy-Con drift from happening in future revisions of the Switch and Switch Lite.