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Right to Repair

Parts & Tools

Introduction

The Nintendo Switch comes with two Joy-Con controllers. This guide will show you how to replace the joystick of the right Joy-Con. The procedure for repairing the left Joy-Con is different, so be sure to follow the correct set of instructions for your controller.

Please note that this repair does not have the same steps as the left Joy-Con. If you are looking to replace the left Joystick, please follow my other guide with the specific details.

    • Remove the four tri-point Y00 screws from the back panel of the Joy-Con.

    • These screws are each 6.2 mm long, but it's still a good idea to keep them organized and make sure they go back in their proper holes!

    I found it easier to remove the rubber cover over the joystick before changing it, and to remove it on the replacement before installing it. So that would be step 1 for me next time.

    kmcrawford111 - Reply

  1. Insert an opening pick under the lower side of the back panel (opposite the R and ZR buttons). Slide the flat edge of an opening pick up the side of the Joy-Con. Be careful not to slide the opening pick too far inside the Joy-Con. This may damage the inner components. The back panel has shallow interference-fit tabs on the side opposite the charging rail. These  loosen fairly easily, so not much pressure is needed.
    • Insert an opening pick under the lower side of the back panel (opposite the R and ZR buttons).

    • Slide the flat edge of an opening pick up the side of the Joy-Con.

    • Be careful not to slide the opening pick too far inside the Joy-Con. This may damage the inner components. The back panel has shallow interference-fit tabs on the side opposite the charging rail. These loosen fairly easily, so not much pressure is needed.

  2. Open the the Joy-Con like a book, with the charging rail facing away from you. Don’t try to fully remove the back panel yet. There are still two cables connecting the charging rail to the motherboard.
    • Open the the Joy-Con like a book, with the charging rail facing away from you.

    • Don’t try to fully remove the back panel yet. There are still two cables connecting the charging rail to the motherboard.

  3. Use a spudger to gently pry the battery connector from its socket on the motherboard. This will keep the Joy-Con from powering on during the repair. Be extremely careful while you pry up the battery connector. If it does not come up easily, try gently pulling on the wires to disconnect it.
    • Use a spudger to gently pry the battery connector from its socket on the motherboard. This will keep the Joy-Con from powering on during the repair.

    • Be extremely careful while you pry up the battery connector. If it does not come up easily, try gently pulling on the wires to disconnect it.

    Could've done with a narrower spudger for this and on the way back

    James - Reply

    The plug is difficult to get a spudger under and leads to a lot of failed attempts where something could be damaged. I found it comes apart easier if you gently pull the wires with tweezers.

    Robert L - Reply

    I damaged this connector while trying to remove by pulling on the wires as suggested. The plastic over the wires broke out. I was able to “repair” it by carefully placing the pins in place without shorting, covering the top (only) of the connector with a little super glue. After curing I placed it over the receptacle as closely as possible with tweezers, and gently pressed in with a pencil eraser tip.

    I like the narrower spudger idea, but have never seen one.

    kmcrawford111 - Reply

    Hey, I was wondering if you damaged the part that attaches to the motherboard because I’ve done that and I’m not sure how to fix it?

    Milli3 -

    Hey so when I did this step it turns out I pulled the entire battery connector out not like the wires or the plug in but the entire connector that connects to the motherboard. I was wondering if anyone knew if it was possible for me to fix this or if I’d have to buy yet another set of joycons :(

    Milli3 - Reply

    Milli, unfortunately repairing that connector is a tough fix unless you’ve got some microsoldering equipment. :( That said! You shouldn’t need to buy a whole other set of Joy-Cons. What you can do is find a replacement motherboard online, or even a cheap used Joy-Con from ebay and replace your motherboard with that one! I’m sorry about your bad luck, I hope this helps!

    Taylor Dixon -

  4. The following two steps show the removal of the battery and the coaxial antenna cable from the midframe. These two steps make for a less cluttered repair, but are not essential. If you want, you can leave the battery and the grey coax cable in place here and proceed to step 7. Insert an opening pick between the battery and the Joy-Con housing. Gently pry out the battery, which is lightly taped in place. Be careful not to deform or puncture the battery—it can catch fire or explode if damaged.
    • The following two steps show the removal of the battery and the coaxial antenna cable from the midframe. These two steps make for a less cluttered repair, but are not essential. If you want, you can leave the battery and the grey coax cable in place here and proceed to step 7.

    • Insert an opening pick between the battery and the Joy-Con housing. Gently pry out the battery, which is lightly taped in place.

    • Be careful not to deform or puncture the battery—it can catch fire or explode if damaged.

    I don’t have a pick, just spudgers and blue plastic pry tools. There are gaps on the rail side of the battery where you can very easily get a spudger in and get the battery out.

    Robert L - Reply

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  6. Before you perform this step, take note of how the antenna cable and its PCB are seated for proper reassembly later. Carefully de-thread the upper half of the grey antenna cable out of the battery cavity.
    • Before you perform this step, take note of how the antenna cable and its PCB are seated for proper reassembly later.

    • Carefully de-thread the upper half of the grey antenna cable out of the battery cavity.

  7. Pry up with the pointy end of a spudger to disconnect the antenna cable's coaxial connector from the motherboard. Remove the grey antenna cable.
    • Pry up with the pointy end of a spudger to disconnect the antenna cable's coaxial connector from the motherboard.

    • Remove the grey antenna cable.

    • During reassembly, reconnect the antenna cable, then make sure it is routed through the battery cavity in the midframe as it was before you took it out.

    The antenna cable is very difficult to reconnect so if possible leave the coaxial connector connected

    Ethan Puente - Reply

  8. Remove the three 3.5 mm Phillips #00 screws on midframe.
    • Remove the three 3.5 mm Phillips #00 screws on midframe.

    • Do not attempt to remove the midframe yet. There is a fragile cable that still connects the ZR button on the midframe to the motherboard underneath.

  9. Carefully flip the midframe over and away from the motherboard. Do your best not to stress the short ribbon cable attached to the ZR button during this step.
    • Carefully flip the midframe over and away from the motherboard.

    • Do your best not to stress the short ribbon cable attached to the ZR button during this step.

    At this stage, the R button pops off very easily. Almost inevitable. And when it does, you’ll probably lose the spring. Better to carefully take it off yourself and make sure the spring stays with it.

    Athul Acharya - Reply

  10. The ZR button cable is locked in place by a small ZIF connector on the motherboard. Use tweezers or a spudger to flip up the ZIF connector lock. Use tweezers to gently pull the ZR button flex cable out of the ZIF connector socket. The midframe is now disconnected and can be removed. Use tweezers to gently pull the ZR button flex cable out of the ZIF connector socket. The midframe is now disconnected and can be removed.
    • The ZR button cable is locked in place by a small ZIF connector on the motherboard. Use tweezers or a spudger to flip up the ZIF connector lock.

    • Use tweezers to gently pull the ZR button flex cable out of the ZIF connector socket. The midframe is now disconnected and can be removed.

    Putting this back together was the hardest step

    James - Reply

    Who knows an easy way to put this back in?

    Mr Krabs - Reply

    My children learned to drive, went to college, got married and had children, by the time I got this to reconnect!

    I used the tweezers to carefully grab the end and slide it in. Make sure the lock is up because without the ribbon it falls down really easy.

    The left joy con is easy peasy compared to this one.

    Bethany Shillet - Reply

    This is the worst step

    Devan Miller - Reply

    I think this step should warrant upgrading this from Moderate… I can’t understand why Nintendo decided to put SOO much slack on the left controller and then absolutely no slack on the right…

    errolsayre - Reply

    I wasn’t remotely prepared for how much more difficult this was compared to the left Joy-Con. I ended up ruining the entire unit trying to reinsert the ZR cable into the zif connector.

    Andrew Ellis - Reply

    I found this to be easier than the left joycon, maybe because I did the right joycon first. The cable is very rigid, so I just held the two parts of the joycon together so that the cable was already lined up with the connector. From there, you can make the final adjustment with tweezers, and the cable won’t fight you as much in the process.

    Charlie Lewis - Reply

  11. The joystick cable is also locked into place by a ZIF connector. Use tweezers or a spudger to flip the ZIF lock upward and carefully disconnect the cable. The joystick cable is also locked into place by a ZIF connector. Use tweezers or a spudger to flip the ZIF lock upward and carefully disconnect the cable. The joystick cable is also locked into place by a ZIF connector. Use tweezers or a spudger to flip the ZIF lock upward and carefully disconnect the cable.
    • The joystick cable is also locked into place by a ZIF connector. Use tweezers or a spudger to flip the ZIF lock upward and carefully disconnect the cable.

  12. Remove the two 3.5 mm Phillips #00 screws from the joystick.
    • Remove the two 3.5 mm Phillips #00 screws from the joystick.

    Also do your best not to bump the “R” button as it my fall out and you might break off the solid state device it activates. My device broke off as I was unaware of my hand placement while holding the controller. I recommend others learn from my mistake and hold the controller by the long edge only.

    Edmund Cooper - Reply

  13. Carefully remove the joystick from its housing. There is a thin black gasket around the hole where the joystick pokes through the Joy-Con. Do your best not to disturb this gasket as you remove the joystick!
    • Carefully remove the joystick from its housing.

    • There is a thin black gasket around the hole where the joystick pokes through the Joy-Con. Do your best not to disturb this gasket as you remove the joystick!

    • Once the Joy-Con is fully reassembled, connect it to your Nintendo Switch and calibrate the new joystick.

    The first time I tried to re-seat the new joystick, I had very slightly disturbed the black gasket (it ended up laying “on top” of the nearby wires, rather than underneath). This caused my joystick to register very slightly off-center after re-assembly. Once I took it apart again, gently slipped the gasket back into the right place, then the joystick registered perfectly centered. FYI!

    Geoffrey Potvin - Reply

Conclusion

To reassemble your device, follow the above steps in reverse order.

Take your e-waste to an R2 or e-Stewards certified recycler.

Repair didn’t go as planned? Check out our Answers community for troubleshooting help.

83 other people completed this guide.

Kyler Saunders

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19 Comments

A good guide though for the antenna instead of disconnecting the cable it would be easier to simply slide out the plate and wire from the side of the battery tray

Tyler Karabin - Reply

Agree with Tyler - no need to disconnect the antenna.

Thanks for the guide!

David K - Reply

The antenna and battery don’t need to be disconnected, you can easily move them out of the way.

When reassembling, reconnecting the ribbon cable for the RL button is fiddly, easier if you can avoid disconnecting it as well. Just rotate the plastic battery plate a quarter turn counterclockwise to get it out of the way and access the analog stick.

You can test the controller immediately after seating the joystick to make sure the ribbon cable is properly connected.

Peter Amstutz - Reply

In agreement with the others, antenna definitely doesn’t need to be removed. Also noticed that the Y000 bit worked a lot better than the Y00 for the outside screws.

Steve Cazier - Reply

Hello I have followed the guide succesfully for the most part, however the joy con doesn’t seem to power up after reconnecting the battery and the anthenna. I even tried swapping the batteries between joy- cons and battery from the right one does work in the left one. The right joy con doesn’t turn on even with the other battery inserted. Any ideas?

kajterman - Reply

If you are able to isolate that the battery from being the source of the issue, it unfortunately may be that the battery connector socket has some damage or was shorted. I recommend inspecting that part closely to see if there is any issue and use compressed air in the relevant area.

Cooper -

I think the issue is elsewhere, since I can’t even connect the joy con physically. The other one does work even when I take out the battery and insert it into the console. This one doesn’t.

kajterman -

I agree, it sounds like it’s not a battery issue. If the right one doesn’t work even when attached to the console there’s probably a shorted or broken connection in the power circuitry of the motherboard.

Andrew Ellis -

Caution: it appears the new joycon have a revised analog stick and the older replacement sticks will Not work. This is from an evening of research and taking apart 5 controllers. Nothing official.

New joycon have an analog stick with an “H" pattern pressed into the metal back of the stick. Older replacement sticks have an “X" imprinted and older joycon look like they have an “#".

It looks like the “#" and the “X" are interchangeable but the cable on the “H" are thinner. So the motherboard won't accept the older thicker style.

I've spent a few hours on this and have broken two replacement sticks finding this out. I haven't found anything official about Nintendo changing the sticks but I guess they eventually would to prevent the drift issue.

Scott Nieman - Reply

sorry, but this doesn’t seem to be the case in my experience. I have just removed a stick from a UK switch that I got on launch day, and this had the H shape on the back. I replaced it with a stick bought the other day off amazon that claims to be ‘new’ design and has a # shape on the back. This is my 1st time doing this but the connectors seem to fit and everything seems to be working. So I don’t know how you can conclusively say H is new and H and # don’t interchange, because in my case that’s not true.

N Carter -

just replaced original joy-cons marked H with replacement joysticks with # and working as they should.

Jacob Croxford -

Just chiming in with a differing experience. I have three left Joy Cons I bought at the end of 2017, one is the original from the Switch, two were bought separately. All three had the H stamped in the back, and all three were compatible with the #-stamped replacement parts I bought from the store here. I should have whipped out my calipers, but the ribbons didn’t feel any thicker.

I’m sure Scott is right: there are probably some early controllers that have a different style of connector, but I don’t believe the stamp shape is a reliable way to determine compatibility.

Scott: I hope you were able to repair your controllers!

Ben Etherington -

a good guide but instead of guiding you through the process of rescrewing and reconnecting everything you just say “yea follow the guide back”. I mean it worked for me but its still better to atleast give some tipps on how for example reconnect the battery, because i personally had the most trouble with it.

Daniel Aldushyn - Reply

Daniel, that is definitely one of the drawbacks of our guides! What specifically did you struggle with while reconnecting the battery? I can add a reminder bullet to that step to help people in the future.

Taylor Dixon -

I agree, pulling out the cables is a lot easier than trying to slide them back in.

N Carter -

Nicely done. Thank you for sharing.

kmcrawford111 - Reply

Fixed my joycon thanks iFixit!!!

Devan Miller - Reply

good guide overall, but I messed up the battery connector socket and now it appears it needs to be soldered back on the board. It would have been great to have a better close up of that since it was unclear to me. Any suggestions on this more in-depth repair?

Nathaniel Wilson - Reply

No problems completing this what so ever. I did opt to not disconnect the battery and antenna. Mostly because I was having issues getting the spudger near the battery connection. Thanks so much for the fantastic guide!

Cameron Sorbie - Reply

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