Joy-Con Fighting Game Character Is So Accurate, It Constantly Drifts Left

Gif: Dan Fornace / Kotaku

Smash-like platform fighter Rivals of Aether allows players to create custom characters and put them up for download through the Steam Workshop. One such character, modeled after the Nintendo Switch’s ubiquitous Joy-Con controllers, is pretty dang accurate. So accurate, in fact, that it even drifts like a real Joy-Con.

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The fighter, simply named Joy Con, was released last month by third-party modder srPerez, who has developed a variety of characters for Rivals of Aether. After messing around with it for a bit, it’s easy to tell a lot of work went into making Joy Con a fully fleshed-out character, if a little unwieldy due to the inherent drift. That said, it’s found fans among the game’s community.

“I thought this was just gonna be a crappy meme character, but it was actually really good,” wrote one commenter.

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“This character is unironically fun to play,” wrote another.

Joy-Con drift has been an ongoing problem for Switch owners since the console’s release in early 2017. Users have had a hard time pinning down an exact reason it happens, but Nintendo took any personal responsibility out of the equation when it began offering free repairs in 2019. This is a particularly fun experience for Switch Lite owners, who have to send in their entire system.

That wasn’t enough to avoid legal trouble, however. A class-action lawsuit filed last year is still undergoing arbitration. Nintendo president Shuntaro Furukawa eventually offered a personal apology for the problem in June 2020. Unfortunately, the issue is known to pop back up even after repairs.

While annoying, Switch users—like Kotaku reporter Nathan Grayson—have grown accustomed to the drift. What better way to deal with failing $80 controllers than turning them into a meme?

Staff Writer, Kotaku

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DISCUSSION

We’ve had analog sticks on console controllers since 1996, and yet we’re still stuck dealing with this exact same problem after all these years.

You’d think they’d either 1) increase the build quality so this kind of failure doesn’t happen as often, or 2) design the controller to allow the user to adjust the dead zone, so that as the controller ages they can just make the dead zone a little larger and eliminate this kind of drift entirely.