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These $27 Joy-Con sticks are drift-resistant and easy to install

Here’s a good weeknight/weekend project (just note that you’ll likely void your Joy-Con warranty)

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A pair of GuliKit analog joystick replacements for the Nintendo Switch Joy-Con.
These unassuming sticks claim to be drift-resistant, thanks to their hall effect design.
Image: GuliKit via Polygon
Cameron Faulkner (he/him) is Polygon’s commerce editor. He began writing about tech and gaming in 2013, and migrated from The Verge in 2023.

I have two sets of Joy-Con controllers, both of which suffer from analog stick drifting. If you’re lucky enough to have avoided that (so far, at least — it comes for us all, I believe), it’s when your sticks lose accuracy and sometimes register movement even you’re not moving them. The drifting occurs when each of the sticks’ sensors are worn down from use to the point that not even recalibration within the Nintendo Switch’s system settings can save them.

Hall effect joysticks are the answer to this problem, and a company called GuliKit sells replacement Joy-Con sticks and a small set of tools for about $27 a pair at Amazon. They claim to be drift-resistant due to relying on magnets to send input signals, rather than needing the stick to physically rub on the sensor to register movement. It’s not new technology; Sega used them in the Dreamcast controller, and both GuliKit and 8BitDo make some fantastic Switch controllers featured here that have them, too.

I’m recommending them here because I recently bought a set and replaced my Joy-Con sticks. Not only was it fairly easy, it fixed my problems immediately. Better yet, the kit linked above that Amazon and sell includes all of the tools required to open your Joy-Cons (as well as replaceable joystick tops if you want a different look).

However, note that opening up your Joy-Con will likely void its warranty, so follow along at your own risk. If you aren’t experienced with opening up your tech, or eager to learn, I’d recommend that you stop reading and just reach out to Nintendo to see if the company will fix your Joy-Cons for free, especially if you own a Nintendo Switch Lite (that process is a lot more involved).

If you need a hand with the process, I wrote a guide for The Verge (with great photos from Verge photographer Amelia Holowaty Krales) on how to take out all of the Joy-Cons’ components to do a case swap for cosmetic purposes. Some of that info isn’t important for this job, so I’ve distilled the most important steps relating to the stick installation here.

How to replace the joysticks in a Joy-Con

Update (June 27): Checked prices and stock, and removed a line that mentioned the upcoming release of The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom.

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