If you’ve been frustrated by the signal issues on your new Nintendo Switch controller and are handy with DIY tools, you might be able to fix it yourself. YouTube channel Spawn Wave cracked open the Switch’s Joy-Con controller to find out the reason behind persistent issues with the left Joy-Con’s signal at extended distances.
Digging around the internals of each controller, Spawn Wave found some design issues that could be the potential culprit. While the antenna for the right Joy-Con controller is a separate unit, the left Joy-Con’s integrated antenna is blocked by a metal box.
To work around the design problem, Spawn Wave installed a wire via solder inside the controller to extend the signal. In the second part of the video, he demonstrates being able to use the controller at distances of up to 40 feet.
As helpful as the video can be for Switch users, it obviously comes with a pile of caveats and disclaimers. Of course, breaking open your brand new controller voids the warranty; and as Spawn Wave points out, his video isn’t a walkthrough and is only him experimenting and tinkering with the Switch.
Still, the issue isn’t an ideal one for Nintendo and the Switch. In the runup to the Switch’s launch, game journalists reported persistent problems with the left Joy-Con’s signal, and via Kotaku, owners have continued to experience the same issues. While there are some tweaks Switch owners can try to improve the controller’s signal, it remains a hurdle Switch owners will have to work around for now.