TL;DR: Open the controller and cover the inner half of the metallic contacts below the D-Pad with some adhesive tape. See pictures below.

The Problem

This is the Nintendo Switch’s Pro Controller:

It was launched along the Switch back in March, and from day one, some people have been reporting that the D-Pad registers unwanted Up and Down inputs when pressing Left or Right. [citations]

I finally got one yesterday and it was, indeed, a defective one. The test that many people performed, playing Puyo Puyo Tetris, failed for me as well. While I could score over 200k points in single player Tetris with the Joy Cons, I couldn’t get to 100k when using the Pro Controller’s D-Pad. And that was mostly because I kept getting unintentional fast-drops.

So, after less that 24 hours of getting it, my Pro Controller looked like this:

A Simple & Effective Solution

I looked around and found several brave souls [citations] that opened their controllers and tried to fix them by modifying some parts or padding in some places with cardboard. But I didn’t want to trim or file down any part, and I wasn’t happy with adding padding that could, with time, change in shape or move out of place, forcing me to open the controller again to “re-fix” it.

While I was still understanding the “mechanical problem”, I noticed that, in the PCB, the gap between the metallic contacts of each direction is aligned with the center. The black rubber thingy that closes each button’s circuit needs only touch one tiny part of both contacts to work.

I suspected that unintended touches were rubbing just slightly the inner parts of this metallic contacts:

So I tried reducing the available contact area by covering just a bit beyond the inner half of all contacts with tape:

This is my (not too pretty) implementation with transparent adhesive, which is also visible in the images above:


This solution is simple since we don’t need to modify anything. And it’s mechanically durable, since the tape rests on the PCB and the button is just pressing down on it.

The result is quite good. Unlike some other solutions I still can get Up and Down when pressing Left or Right if I want to, and I think that’s ok. But I don’t get them unintentionally except if I do Left-Right-Left-Right… repeatedly and quickly.

I just played a round of single-player Tetris after this fix and I got to 190k points without one single unwanted fast-drop.

Not too shabby ;)

PS: Thank You

I’m happy to know my controller has this message from Nintendo inside it:

Switch Pro Controller PCB contains the message THX2 ALLGAMEFANS!

Thank you, Nintendo.