When playing Zelda: Breath of the Wilds on the Nintendo Switch, when I play with the Switch docked and the Joy-Cons physically disconnected, the left Joy-Con frequently "lags" or becomes disconnected from the Switch base unit altogether.

When the left Joy-Con lags, the Switch acts as though whatever input I had been using was still being held down. For example, Link will occasionally keep running briefly even after I release the analog joystick.

Only the left Joy-Con has this issue. The right Joy-Con always stays connected and has no lag issues.

The issue doesn't occur when the Joy-Cons are attached to the Nintendo Switch base unit itself.

The left Joy-Con does seem to work ok when it is within about 3 feet of the Nintendo Switch base unit, and there is no line-of-sight obstruction between the Joy-Con and the Switch

I have applied the "day one patch" to the Switch, with the Joy-Cons connected to the base Switch unit as the patch was applied.

Upon researching, this issue is has been widely reported on gaming news sites. (Refs: 1, 2, 3)

There's also an article on the Nintendo Support site about general Joy-Con wireless connectivity problems. However, that article doesn't make any mention of the problem specific to the left Joy-Con.

My question: How can I resolve this intermittent wireless connectivity problem with the left Joy-Con?

  • Ars Technica's review also reported this issue, but the reviewer said that it only happened when docked. "I've only had this happen when the system is docked to a TV that is roughly seven to 10 feet from the controllers—it never happens when the system is merely propped on its kickstand, when the controllers tend to be much closer." So a short-term fix may be to just play in the undocked mode. Mar 4, 2017 at 3:45
  • Nintendo's official troubleshooting: Avoid aquariums, other wireless devices like routers and wireless speakers, and putting the Switch behind something.
    – Timmy Jim
    Mar 4, 2017 at 13:21
  • @TimmyJim - Yep, linked to original version of that article in the 2nd-to-last paragraph of the question above. That advice helps somewhat, but it really shouldn't be necessary: None of my other wireless controllers in the same room have similar issues, including the right Joy-Con, various Wii U controllers, and various Xbox controllers! Mar 4, 2017 at 15:49
  • 1
    The other alternative is to purchase the Nintendo Pro Controller, which I did today after having Link mysteriously walk straight off a mountain without me doing anything at all.
    – gotnull
    Mar 6, 2017 at 5:09

3 Answers 3


This is a known design flaw which is only effecting early models of the Switch.

It's something to do with electrical shielding (or something technical). Left Joy Con with and without shielding

First try these steps to make sure you are using the Joy Con correctly

Joy Con Not Responding or Responding Incorrectly When Used Wirelessly

If that didn't work, talk to Nintendo and they will "fix your problem for free" - which means you send in your joy con and they fix it and send it back. This can take up to 2 weeks.

Here are some helpful links for support:

Contact Nintendo Support in America

Contact Nintendo Support in Australia and New Zealand

Contact Nintendo Support in Europe


I have exactly same issue. Left JoyCon, lag most of the time, sometimes disconnects. Try to sit close to the console (like 1 meter) - this seems to helps a little but even then it happens every now and then.

Otherwise you might want to consider exchanging to a different Switch console in the shop.


The Left JoyCon does seem to have some connectivity issues. I sit at least 6' away from my console without any problem. (Probably farther.)

  • Nintendo has said to be sure the JoyCon has line of sight to the console. (Make sure there is nothing between you and the console, like a blanket or table.)
  • They have also released an update to the Switch to help correct this issue. Make sure your Switch is connected to the internet and check for system updates.
  • Finally, Nintendo says it will replace JoyCons if need be. They may have you go through a few troubleshooting steps first.

Nintendo also released a list of devices that might cause signal interference:

  • Cell phones, laptops, tablets, etc.
  • Wireless headsets
  • Wireless printers
  • Microwaves
  • Wireless speakers
  • Cordless phones USB
  • 3.0-compatible devices such as hard drives, thumb drives, LAN adapters, etc.
  • I think Wi-Fi routers and modems were listed too.
    – Camilo
    Dec 4, 2017 at 2:12

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