Nintendo Switch Controller Sync Problems – What’s Going On? (UPDATE)

Henry Gilbert
Games Nintendo
Games Nintendo

The Nintendo Switch is finally here and despite strong launch sales, users are still complaining of Switch Joy-Con sync issues. It still seems that people are experiencing de-syncing issues with the left Joy-Con controller as they delve into the first wave of Switch games.

Since the console’s day one patch, we here at Fandom haven’t experienced the Switch Joy-Con sync issues, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t a problem.

Nintendo is investigating the problem though, although it seems that the company doesn’t really fully understand the issue.

“We’re asking customers a lot of questions,” said Nintendo of America boss Reggie Fils-Aime in an interview with Time. “That’s why we want to get consumers on our help line, so we can get as much information to understand the situation as possible.

“And so we are in a fact-finding mode, to really understand the situation and the scenarios. And with that information, we’ll look and see what the next steps are.”

What’s Going On With Switch Joy-Con Sync?

This last week has seen multiple outlets discuss their Joy-Cons being an issue. Most of them follow a similar pattern of the left Joy-Con, the one you use for movement in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, will briefly stop responding. It can only be for a moment, but that’s just enough for Link to make a costly mistake in-game. After Fandom’s own Samantha Loveridge experienced it, we dug into the phenomenon a bit more.

Here are some of the others who experienced the issue with pre-release systems:

This type of issue with the Joy-Con isn’t a great sign for the Switch if it’s widespread with players on launch day. Then again, the Switch systems that press like Fandom have are pre-launch, meaning they don’t have the day one patch that’s planned. System updates on launch day are basically required these days, as no off the shelf system has up-to-date software when you buy it new.

Then again, the issue could be something that can’t be patched so easily. Like the human body. Because YouTuber GameXplain posits that the issue might just be the human body blocking the signal.

How to Fix the Switch Joy-Con Sync Issues

At the moment, there doesn’t seem to be a clear fix for the Joy-Con sync issues. Nintendo has a list of vague advice to help you remedy the situation somewhat, though, which goes something like this:

  1. Ensure your console has the latest system update.
  2. Ensure the Joy-Con controllers are charged.
  3. Try to decrease the distance between the Joy-Con and the Nintendo Switch console.
  4. Ensure that the Nintendo Switch console is placed to minimise interference with the Joy-Con. It is best if the Nintendo Switch console is placed out in the open and that it is not:
    • Behind a TV
    • Near an aquarium
    • Placed in or under a metal object
    • Pressed against a large amount of wires and cords
    • Within three to four feet of another wireless device, such as a wireless speaker or a wireless access point.
  5. Check for possible sources of interference and turn them off. Interference can be caused by devices, such as:
    • Laptops, tablets, etc.
    • Wireless headsets
    • Wireless printers
    • Microwaves
    • Wireless speakers
    • Cordless phones
    • USB 3.0-compatible devices such as hard drives, thumb drives, LAN adapters, etc.

    In most cases it will be enough to move these devices three to four feet away from the Nintendo Switch console and/or Joy-Con controllers. However, if you continue to experience this issue, please power these devices off while using the Nintendo Switch console.

Have you had Joy-Con sync issues? Reach out to us on Twitter at @getfandom and tell us all about it.

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Henry Gilbert
Henry Gilbert is Senior Games Editor at Fandom. He's worked in the gaming press since 2008, writing for sites as diverse as GamesRadar, IGN, and Paste Magazine. He's also been known to record a podcast or two with Laser Time. Follow him on Twitter @henereyg.
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