Tutorial [TUTORIAL] How to use Joy-con in split mode when SL/SR button are broken

andiandi

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It happened to many of us : SL/SR buttons doesn't work anymore for left joy-con, right joy-con or even both of them at the same time (which happened to me).

You can repair them by replacing the cable as you know, but what if you just want to play games that doesn't use SL/SR buttons ?
Or what if, like in my case, your SR button is dead on the motherboard, even than you tried a ton of fresh cables ?

Well, you have a bunch of solutions :


  • Firmware 10.0 and up
Since 10.0, Nintendo added a Button remap option.

Just go to your Switch system settings > Controllers and Sensors > Change Button Mapping.

Then select the problematic Joy-Con and choose "Change". Now remap SL/SR buttons with whatever you want e.g. L/ZL AND remap L and ZL to whatever other button to avoid conflict and not be able to sync Joy-cons.

Then, sync your Joy-Cons with the new buttons corresponding to SL/SR ! You can save profiles to make things easier by switching between default and custom mapping.
  • Firmware 9 and under, without Switch Hack (1 Joy-Con must work)
You propably all know that workaround, but still, it's important to remind it here.

In your Switch Home Menu, go to "Controllers" settings with your Joy-Cons attached to the Switch. Then "Change Grip/Order". Remove your working Joy-Con and sync it as a horizontal controller with SL+SR. Then attach that Joy-con back to the Switch and validate with the button (it'll quit the sync menu and will go back to controller menu). Attach that Joy-Con back to the Switch.

Now detach the other Joy-Con (the broken one, with SL/SR not working) without going to Change Grip/Order menu : your broken Joy-Con is now synced as an horizontal controller ! You just have to play any game (that doesn't need to do SL+SR at the main menu like Mario Kart 8...) and you can add the working Joy-Con as a second player.

  • Firmware 9 and under, with Switch Hack (both Joy-Con can have broken side buttons)

Note that I tried this on SX OS, I don't know about other hack like Atmosphere, but in theory it should be possible.

- Install Retroarch on your SD Card.
- Launch the game you want to play in multiplayer or with a single Joy-Con
- Press "Home" (don't quit the game)
- In home menu, go to 'Album" (it's SX OS menu shortcut), then "homebrews", and load retroarch.
- In retroarch go to "Settings" > "Input", scroll down and activate "Split Joy-Con 1" and "Split Joy-Con 2".
- Now remove both of your Joy-Cons from the switch : they're both synced as horizontal controllers !!
- Now Press "Home" button on the right Joy-Con to exit Retroarch, and go back to you game
- That's it, now you can play solo or multiplayer with your broken Joy-Cons !

Of course, that method works with firmwares 10 and up, if you dontd want to remap your buttons.

If you don't have SX OS, but another hack, make sure that you're able to launch homebrews without exiting your game, and that workaround should work.
 
Last edited by andiandi,

Der_Blockbuster

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It happened to many of us : SL/SR buttons doesn't work anymore for left joy-con, right joy-con or even both of them at the same time (which happened to me).

You can repair them by replacing the cable as you know, but what if you just want to play games that doesn't use SL/SR buttons ?
Or what if, like in my case, your SR button is dead on the motherboard, even than you tried a ton of fresh cables ?

Well, I looked for a solution and I found two of them.

  • Without Switch Hack (1 Joy-Con must work)
You propably all know that workaround, but still, it's important to remind it here.

In your Switch Home Menu, go to "Controllers" settings with your Joy-Cons attached to the Switch. Then "Change Grip/Order". Remove your working Joy-Con and sync it as a horizontal controller with SL+SR. Then attach that Joy-con back to the Switch and validate with the button (it'll quit the sync menu and will go back to controller menu). Attach that Joy-Con back to the Switch.

Now detach the other Joy-Con (the broken one, with SL/SR not working) without going to Change Grip/Order menu : your broken Joy-Con is now synced as an horizontal controller ! You just have to play any game (that doesn't need to do SL+SR at the main menu like Mario Kart 8...) and you can add the working Joy-Con as a second player.

  • With Switch Hack (both Joy-Con can have broken side buttons)

Note that I tried this on SX OS, and Firmware 10, I don't know about other hack like Atmosphere, but in theory it should be possible.

- Install Retroarch on your SD Card.
- Launch the game you want to play in multiplayer or with a single Joy-Con
- Press "Home" (don't quit the game)
- In home menu, go to 'Album" (it's SX OS menu shortcut), then "homebrews", and load retroarch.
- In retroarch go to "Settings" > "Input", scroll down and activate "Split Joy-Con 1" and "Split Joy-Con 2".
- Now remove both of your Joy-Cons from the switch : they're both synced as horizontal controllers !!
- Now Press "Home" button on the right Joy-Con to exit Retroarch, and go back to you game
- That's it, now you can play solo or multiplayer with your broken Joy-Cons !

So if you don't have SX OS, but another hack, make sure that you're able to launch homebrews without exiting your game.
Never heard of this problem but not bad. Guess that's easy enough for most people to do. Nice one.
 

andiandi

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Actually I didn't knew that problem until I got it.
Then I was surprised that it was so spread, so it may be useful to share those solutions.
 
Last edited by andiandi,

LeyendaV

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Pretty interesting tweaks. Good thing this is around in case someone is needing it, you never knows when your joyccons are gonna decide they just don't wanna work anymore.

Thanks for sharing, bud!
 

demsec

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I have a similar problem with my right joy con too. My SL button is not working, and when I assign any other in place of it, settings menu showed a new button is assigned but in the games it just won't work.
Does anyone have any ideas that might help me with this?
 

a-problem

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I'd like to contribute with a method I know of. It allows connecting up to 8 sideways joy-cons, even if they're all defective. It does require a copy of Super Bomberman R. This is all from memory, so please bear with me.
1. Connect 4 pairs of Joy-cons to use as 4 players.
2. Enter Super Bomberman R.
3. Enter the Normal mode (not Grand Prix), and choose Multiplayer Battle.
4. At some point after choosing a stage, there is a "Horizontal Mode" button. Press it.
5. your 4 joy-con pairs are now 8 split joy-cons.
6. You probably don't want to play Super Bomberman R. If that's the case, you may close the game, and your controller mode will still be used.
It's a bit complicated, but very useful when used correctly.
 
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