How to fix syncing issues with the left Joy-Con controller on Nintendo Switch

Since Nintendo Switch hit retail stores, we've been hearing murmurings of issues with the left Joy-Con controller disconnecting from the Switch, leaving gamers up a creek without a paddle (if you're playing a game where you're in a boat). There's been plenty of speculation as to what's causing the problem, and plenty more people trying to come up with home remedies.

If you've been tempted to crack open your left Joy-Con controller and try installing a new antenna where no antenna should go, you might just want to try calling Nintendo. Sean Hollister of CNET did what none of us had thought to do (probably because we're a bunch of DIY tech geeks that think we can fix the problem ourselves). He called Nintendo's customer service and they promptly repaired his controller.

Imagine my surprise when -- again, at 6:00 p.m. PT on a Saturday -- a customer support rep immediately picked up the phone! She spent only a few minutes verifying that yes, I did indeed have wireless issues (and not merely some gunk caught in the gap around the analog stick) and verifying my serial numbers before agreeing to repair my controller for free.

The most interesting part of this story is that Hollister had the foresight to take a picture of the guts of his Joy-Con before sending it off, and again upon its return.

There was no new antenna, no new motherboard, and no new connectors. The only noticeable difference from before and after was a tiny piece of conductive foam sitting on top of the antenna traces.

There isn't any detailed information to confirm what the material is made of, but it appears to be your standard conductive foam fare, which means this is totally plausible as an at-home repair job that won't even negate your warranty if you decide to try it.

If you are having connection issues with your left Joy-Con controller and don't want to wait for Nintendo to repair it, why not try sticking a piece of conductive foam in there? You can get a large sheet of it for fairly cheap, and you won't have to remove anything or permanently fix anything to your controller just to try it out. If it works, great! If it doesn't, you can always follow up with a call to Nintendo.

Did you try this trick at home? If so, let us know how it turned out in the comments. We'd love to know if it's as easy as it sounds.

Lory Gil

Lory is a renaissance woman, writing news, reviews, and how-to guides for iMore. She also fancies herself a bit of a rock star in her town and spends too much time reading comic books.  If she's not typing away at her keyboard, you can probably find her at Disneyland or watching Star Wars (or both).