Players have reported connection issues with the Nintendo Switch’s left Joy-Con controller, and one YouTuber thinks he found the issue.
Prior to it’s release, one of the most concerning Nintendo Switch reports from a number of outlets referenced Joy-Con connection issues, specifically that the left Joy-Con controller was repeatedly losing its connection to the console. The issues persisted through the console’s launch, with many players reporting that they were also experiencing the issue.
Earlier this week, Nintendo addressed the reports in the official FAQ, offering a few recommendations – avoid aquariums and wireless devices, turn off nearby possible sources of interference like laptops, microwaves, and wireless printers, and more. However, it still wasn’t clear what the issue was, or why it seemed to only impact the left Joy-Con.
Spawn Wave on YouTube disassembled both Joy-Con controllers in a video, and found that the right Joy-Con controller featured a stand-alone antenna component, and the left Joy-Con doesn’t. When he found the Bluetooth antenna in the left Joy-Con controller, he noted two issues: the antenna is not a separate piece, but rather is printed on the controller’s circuit board, and second, it’s located next to the housing for the joystick, which is a metal box. It’s beneath the shoulder button, so it’s not uncommon for the area to be covered by a person’s finger.
After noting the issue, Downey decided to solder a copper wire to the antenna circuit in order to move the antenna to the bottom of the controller. After a bit of work – which he details in the video above – the left Joy-Con controller was improved, and actually out-ranged the right one.
This probably goes without saying, but I don’t think you should try this at home.