For years, Switch users have changed the color scheme of their Switch Joy-Con controllers through the use of wraps and custom paint jobs. Less common: Changing a Joy-Con’s color virtually.
In other words, even if you turn your standard-issue gray Joy-Con into a royal purple one in the real world, your Switch would still “see” it as a gray controller throughout the operating system: in the “change grip/order” menu, in “low battery” pop-ups, and so on. But you can actually alter that display color on a system level, provided you have some time, some technical know-how, and a computer with Bluetooth capabilities.
The trick has been around for some time, courtesy of a program called Joy-Con Toolkit, posted by GTATemp user CTCaer in 2017. (Follow that link to a forum post containing a download link for the program, plus a detailed changelog, and some other nitty-gritty details.) Further, here’s an excellent video tutorial from the folks at Spawn Wave:
Of course, Nintendo being Nintendo, going through the process assumes some level of risk in terms of warranty and such. But if you’re interested regardless, the basic rundown is as follows:
- First, you’ll need to sync up your Joy-Con to your computer. Basically, hold your Joy-Con’s sync button—the tiny dot on the interior side—until it starts searching, then open your computer’s Bluetooth menu. You should see the Joy-Con pop up. If done correctly, it should automatically show up in the Joy-Con Toolkit program.
- In the Joy-Con Toolkit, you’ll see an option to “backup SPI,” which will create a default state you can revert to. You should probably do so, just in case anything goes wrong. (According to Spawn Wave, the process lasts about ten minutes. It doesn’t require any interaction on your part. You can just sit there and wait.)
- From there, you should see some self-explanatory options to change “body color” or “buttons color.” Clicking on those will pull up a color wheel, akin to what you’d see in, say, Photoshop. Choose the colors you want.
- Hit “write colors.”
That’s more or less it. Once you slot your Joy-Cons back onto your Switch, it should register them as whatever colors you assigned. And you thought you’d never get a chance to play with those gorgeous yet nearly unattainable Animal Crossing Joy-Cons.