Early impressions from online journalists and content influencers for the Nintendo Switch have been flowing, and the most troubling bit of news concerns the Joy-Con controllers. Early on, many were claiming the left Joy-Con had “sync” issues, as the system would seemingly stop responding as Link uncontrollably sprinted to his death off the edge of a cliff in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
As it turns out, the situation is a bit more complicated than that. The Switch Joy-Con does not actually seem to lose sync. However, according to an analysis from GameXplain, the issue is more about signal interference. In the video, the speaker shows how using your hand to cover the Joy-Con, either one, messes with the signal. Holding the controller behind your back has the same effect.
So here’s the thing: the Joy-Cons don’t have syncing issues, but they do have signal issues. The signal doesn’t appear to be weak, necessarily, but very susceptible to interference. In your living room setup, you’ll definitely want to be aware of potential blockage in line of sight to the system, distance, and other signals in the room.
Even with this more tangible explanation, it doesn’t mean this isn’t a problem. Nintendo has yet to respond to the matter, but we’re all hoping this is something that can be resolved on a software level. Hopefully a firmware update can help, but there’s no guarantee. In the meantime, you either want to buy a Pro Controller or just be more careful with your setup. Or, just use the handheld mode, because that’s the best part of the Switch anyway!