After years of dealing with Joy-Con drift and no satisfactory answers from Nintendo, we may finally have our fix. A company called Gulikit created a set of Switch joystick replacements that promise to banish joystick drift once and for all (via gizmodo).
Unlike your standard Nintendo Joy-Cons, Gulikit’s joystick replacements use something called Hall Effect sensors to essentially make them drift-proof, the same technology used by the ’90s-era Saturn 3D and Dreamcast controllers. mow. As iFixit points out, the sensors use magnets to detect joystick movement, meaning none of the components rub against each other and wear out like the sensors used in Joy-Cons do.
One of the reasons Joy-Cons drift in the first place is that they use potentiometers. This technology deteriorates over time, resulting in incorrect readings that make it appear as if the controller is possessed. In 2021, Nintendo executive Ko Shiota likened the problem to car tires that “wear out as the car moves, since they are in constant friction with the ground to turn.”
That’s where Gulikit joysticks come in. The joysticks, which are available for $29.70 on Amazon, will likely put an end to frequent Joy-Con replacements and repair orders (that shouldn’t be the case at all). Of course, you’ll have to install the replacement joysticks yourself, but this iFixit video should point you in the right direction when it comes to dismantling the Joy-Cons. Gulikit joysticks also come with a screwdriver, spare screws, pliers, and a plastic pry tool to help you get started.
While we haven’t had a chance to test them ourselves, Amazon users have left mostly positive reviews. However, some say they leave a small gap between the ring which is supposed to prevent dust and other debris from entering the Switch, though it’s unclear how or if this will affect the sticks (or the Joy-Cons themselves). . Gulikit also has replacement joysticks for the Steam Deck, as well as a KingKong 2 Pro controller complete with hall effect sensors.
Keep in mind that adding the third-party sticks could void your Switch and Joy-Cons warranty, but it’s still a potential fix if you’re sick of stick drift. It’s sad that, in the year 2023, we have to go through all of this just to get things to work properly when the technology is already there and has been there for decades.