When my friends and I play multiplayer games on the Nintendo Switch and someone hast to leave, one controller is unused. Is there an option to remove this active controller (JoyCon or Pro Controller) from the list of active controllers? Or is it possible to turn of a controller?

I am aware of the possibility to access the Switch menu where you can disconnect all controllers and reconnect all as if you start all over. But that could change the position of each player if they don't wait for pressing R and L. And it is not as fast as an ingame option.

  • 2
    Well if you press (not hold) the sync button it turns off the controller but I'm not sure what that does if the controller was being used in a game.
    – BlueBarren
    Commented May 9, 2017 at 12:02
  • Ok. Thats a good point to start. I'll give it a try and tell you later
    – Phil
    Commented May 9, 2017 at 13:32
  • @BlueBarren: This works for me. But thats not an ultimate solution because you have to remove the caps of the JoyCons to press the tiny sync button. Are there more options?
    – Phil
    Commented May 16, 2017 at 11:25
  • When it comes to turning off a controller that's the only known option so far. If you Switch is docked you could slide the Joy-Cons back on the Switch itself because I'm pretty sure they won't count as active controllers while they're attached and the system is docked.
    – BlueBarren
    Commented May 16, 2017 at 12:00

1 Answer 1


As mentioned in the comments, a short press of the Sync button instantly turns off a Joycon or Pro controller. There are no other shortcuts for this.

Games which behave nicely will update the number of controllers that they support, automatically turning unused ones off for you anyway.

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