The idea of the Nintendo Switch is groundbreaking. Powerful gaming with uber portability, highlighted beautifully by the Joy-Cons, allowing users to easily switch from handheld mode to docked mode in under 30 seconds.
Upon seeing my Switch for the first time, I noticed the colorful Neon Joy-Cons were the most eye-catching detail of it. However, there was another detail I noticed; their durability. They seemed like they were destined to break. Sliding out plastic controllers over and over again seems like a great way for them to wear out.
My concern proved to be well placed.
A couple weeks ago, I was playing Super Mario Odyssey trying to collect as many Power Moons as possible in New Donk City when my right Red Joy Con slipped out by itself. I didn’t press the lock button so this shouldn’t have happened.
I reattached the Joy-Con and pushed it off without pressing the button, and again, it slid off easily. I attempted this a few more times to reassure myself that my four-month-old Switch wasn’t broken already. Unfortunately, it was.
Upon further inspection, I surmised the issue stemmed from the little grey piece on the back part of the slider that locks the Joy-Con into place. This little part was chipped from the top, providing a sort of ramp when sliding the Joy-Con off without pressing the lock button, resulting in the unintended release. My right Joy-Con just wasn’t going to lock into place anymore.
After accepting my fate, a co-worker suggested I send my Joy-Con to Nintendo for repair. I had heard about Switch repairs from Nintendo, but I wasn’t familiar with the process. So I did some research and embarked on the journey to fix my beautiful red Joy-Con. Assuming there’s a high probability that others will suffer the same issue with their Switch, I chronicled this journey to provide a guide in case you ever need to embark on the same annoying process.
The first step of the process is to contact Nintendo. I went through its support site where it has a repair page, but nothing can be done here. It mostly offers troubleshooting advice. I did, however, confirm that all Nintendo systems come with a standard 12-month warranty, so my four-month-old Switch was covered.
Continuing my research, I discovered I’d have to call Nintendo to get the repair order started – there’s no other way. In case you need it, the Nintendo’s support number is 1-800-255-3700. Calling a Nintendo representative is as annoying as it sounds. The rep I got was doubtful my Joy-Con was having issues and suggested I continue using the faulty Joy-Con if it wasn’t affecting my gaming.
I held firm and told Nintendo I wanted my Joy-Con fixed, and after another roundabout of questions, they began the repair process. For this, I had to give him the serial number at the bottom of the Switch to verify my console was in its warranty period. (It was.) Anecdotally, I was also asked if I minded receiving a different color Joy-Con. Seeing as this would eliminate the beautiful two-tone Neon scheme I loved, I said I did mind and I wanted the same color back.
He then told me was going to send me an email with the shipping label included. If you are as impatient as I am, be warned that the email may take a while to be delivered. Don’t contact Nintendo saying your shipping label was never sent five minutes after you got off the phone and demand a new one.
Send in your Joy-Con
About thirty minutes later, I received an email with the shipping label and directions for the return process. You must only send in the affected product. That means if you are dealing with a Joy-Con issue, only send in the Joy-Con and not the whole system.
The rep also informed me that if the repair specialist deems the product to have physical damage outside of the warranty coverage, it will be sent back without being repaired.
The email contained a link to my specific repair account that could be accessed with the repair number and shipping number. This will let me know when Nintendo receives the product that’s sent in, fixes it, and sends it back.
I contacted Nintendo on a Tuesday and shipped my Joy-Con to the company the next day. My Joy-Con then arrived to Nintendo on Thursday, and when I checked back on Friday, it had been fixed and sent back. Come Monday, my Joy-Con was delivered back to me safe and sound.
The entire process of contacting Nintendo, sending in the Joy-Con, and getting it back took six days. It would have taken even less time if I had shipped it out the day I received the return label. That’s a pretty impressive response time by Nintendo.
Joy-Con is good as new
Once I pulled my fixed red Joy-Con out of its bubble wrap enclosure, I slipped it into my Switch to see if the issue had been fixed. To my delight, it locked into place like it was meant to do.
My Nintendo Switch was good as new.
The Nintendo Switch is one of my favorite systems of all time, and even with the setback early in its lifespan, I still don’t regret buying it.
I can now go back to finding as many Power Moons as possible.