Ever since the Switch Lite was first unveiled earlier this year, it’s been a hot topic in the gaming community as to whether or not it would be susceptible to the same issue that many Switch owners have been facing for the past few months: Joy-Con stick drift. “Stick drift” is an issue characterized by an analog stick constantly registering an input without the user even touching it, such as a car drifting out of control. This greatly disrupts the flow of gameplay and menu navigation.
With the Switch Lite having built-in controls rather than detachable Joy-Con, having to fix an issue like this would require gutting the system itself rather than just taking apart a single controller. Thus, Switch fans have been hoping that Nintendo would address this issue by redesigning the analog sticks.
YouTuber Spawn Wave did a teardown of the system to find that its sticks are very similar to that of the Joy-Con, which isn’t good considering their track record. However, another YouTuber by the name of The Retro Future did his own teardown to look into this issue specifically.
In his video, The Retro Future discovered that the metal shielding surrounding the analog stick on the Lite is different than that of the Joy-Con. This relatively minor difference does not stop them from being interchangeable, however. Later on in the video, The Retro Future demonstrates using the stick from the Lite inside a right Joy-Con, which works flawlessly.
While there have been some reports of stick drift after just a few days, this appears to be a factory defect. As with any product at launch, there is always bound to be a few units that suffer from some issue or another. Thus, realistically, we won’t know for sure if the Switch Lite truly has any major issues with stick drift until after a few months of being out in the wild, just as was the case with the Joy-Con.
Here’s hoping Nintendo really has looked into this issue, however. Just this past summer, a class-action lawsuit was filed against Nintendo in the United States over the drifting problem. This led to a quiet change in its repair policy which allowed Switch owners in select countries to be able to have their Joy-Con fixed for free.