In its first detailed acknowledgment of connectivity issues that some gamers are having with its new console’s controllers, Nintendo has offered suggestions—some of them incredible—about how to alleviate the problem.
Nintendo advises that people don’t put the Switch behind a TV, near an aquarium or “within three to four feet of another wireless device, such as a wireless speaker or a wireless access point.” Doing so can disrupt the signal the console sends to its detachable Joy-Con controllers.
The advice appears on a new page on Nintendo’s support site titled: “Joy-Con Not Responding Or Responding Incorrectly When Used Wirelessly.”
The page describes the exact kind of problems that some Kotaku staffers and other members of the games media have been reporting about the Joy-Con for the last week:
When using the Joy-Con controllers wirelessly, the characters seem to move on their own or do not respond correctly.
When used wirelessly, the Joy-Con controllers respond intermittently.
The Joy-Con controller appears to lose connection with the console.
Kotaku staffers had this issue when playing The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild while using the Joy-Cons in TV mode—separated from the base console. The issues seems to occur when we were sitting several feet from the console and had some sort of obstruction between the controllers and the console. That obstruction, in some cases, seemed to just be the player’s leg while they held the controllers in their lap. We’d find that Link in Zelda might continue to walk even after we stopped pressing the stick on the left Joy-Con. The issue was alleviated if we moved the console into the clear. No such connectivity issues happened when we played the game with the controllers attached to the console in handheld mode.
The remedies? While some have wondered if Nintendo could improve the wireless signal in the controllers, the company is currently suggesting that the Switch, even after it is given its day one patch, be placed in a better spot:
Try to decrease the distance between the Joy-Con and the Nintendo Switch console.
Ensure that the Nintendo Switch console is placed to minimize interference with the Joy-Con. It is best if the Nintendo Switch console is placed out in the open and that it is not:
-Behind a TV
-Near an aquarium
-Placed in or under a metal object
-Pressed against a large amount of wires and cords
-Within three to four feet of another wireless device, such as a wireless speaker or a wireless access point.
Check for possible sources of interference and turn them off. Interference can be caused by devices, such as:
-Cell phones, laptops, tablets, etc.
-USB 3.0-compatible devices such as hard drives, thumb drives, LAN adapters, etc.
In most cases it will be enough to move these devices three to four feet away from the Nintendo Switch console and/or Joy-Con controllers. However, if you continue to experience this issue, please power these devices off while using the Nintendo Switch console.
It is still unclear if this issue affects all Nintendo Switch units or just some. We’ve seen discussion on social media by people who’ve run into the same Joy-Con de-sync issue issue. Others say they have not.
When we asked Nintendo for an update about the problem earlier today, they provided the following statement:
“We have received some reports and are looking into them. As with all Nintendo video game systems, we will continue to monitor the performance of Nintendo Switch hardware and software, and make improvements when necessary. For help with any hardware or software related questions, visit http://support.nintendo.com.”