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Nintendo finds a simple fix for Switch controller issues: A small piece of foam

Why it matters to you

Have you been experiencing issues with the left Joy-Con controller on the new Switch console? Nintendo has a simple fix.

The Nintendo Switch has its share of technical problems, and none has been as prevalent as the one with the left Joy-Con controller, which disconnects when the system is being played in its “docked” configuration. Though patches have been released in an attempt to alleviate the problems, they appear to be hardware-related, and Nintendo’s official fix is much simpler than you might expect.

CNET’s Sean Hollister sent his desynchronizing Joy-Con controller to Nintendo for a repair, and within a week he received his controller back and found that it was functioning properly.

Earlier teardown videos placed the blame for the disconnection issues on the left Joy-Con’s internal antenna, which is built into the motherboard instead of being a separate piece. In an apparent attempt to limit any interference that could be responsible for the issues, Nintendo placed a small square of what appears to be conductive foam right on top of the antenna.

It’s a simple solution that seems to fix any issues you might be having with the controllers, and one that shouldn’t require any technical know-how. A large chunk of conductive foam — easily enough to fix your controllers, your friends’ controllers, and anyone’s controllers in a 10-mile radius — will set you back about $25.

For an even more permanent solution, you can also try soldering on an extra wire that runs along the length of the left Joy-Con. This extends the antenna while also limiting any interference that it might be receiving, but it’s not something we would recommend doing without prior soldering experience — a disconnecting controller could quickly turn into one that doesn’t work at all.