If you’ve ever wished that your Nintendo Switch Joy-Con controllers had a bit of extra coloration, you’ve gotten two choices: purchase a brand new $80 set, deciding on from the very restricted batch of coloration choices that Nintendo makes, or customize the ones that you just already personal.

I’m not speaking about merely making use of some decal stickers.

Several producers promote alternative circumstances for Joy-Con controllers, and a search on Amazon will present you simply how a lot selection there’s. There are matte-textured ones, like these Nintendo makes, or ones with a shiny end. There are pastel-colored circumstances, in addition to translucent choices if you happen to’re feeling nostalgic for the see-through Nintendo 64 and Game Boy Color. And you’ll be able to even discover circumstances that embody a correct directional pad alternative for the left-hand Joy-Con (making it related to the one utilized in the Nintendo Switch Lite).

The massive upside of this mission is that your Joy-Cons will stand out from the crowd of default coloration choices, and you will get just a few units of vibrant Joy-Con shells for a lot lower than the price of a set of new Switch controllers.


But there are just a few downsides as effectively. You’ll (in all probability) void your controllers’ guarantee once you open them up to transplant the components. While you don’t want to tear any warranty stickers to get inside of a Joy-Con, do you have to ever want to have one mounted, Nintendo will in all probability find a way to work out that you just’ve been mucking about inside.

Also, this mission isn’t so simple as you may assume. Thankfully, you gained’t have to do any soldering, however there are a ton of screws, ribbon cables, and different very small components inside of every Joy-Con that you just’ll have to rigorously detach, then reattach.

Before we get began, two issues. First, if you happen to’re swapping circumstances for each Joy-Con controllers, begin with the left controller. It’s far simpler to function on than the proper one, and it’ll function an intro to fidgeting with Joy-Con internals. The proper controller homes extra components, and so they’re extra intricately organized, making for a harder time if you happen to don’t already know the normal format.

Second, as you’ll quickly discover out, I’m not knowledgeable at taking issues aside. You could find a way to do that in a quicker, extra elegant, and maybe extra organized method. But I let my bliss and curiosity information me, and it led me to some colourful Joy-Cons that work completely. It can work out for you, too, with the proper instruments and loads of persistence.

So let’s begin.


For some, this could be a tricky step. At Amazon, there are loads of colours to select from, and you’ll combine and match to your liking. Use your creativeness and go wild with it. I bought a set of translucent charcoal Joy-Con shells, full with coloured face buttons in the styling of the Super Famicom. I additionally purchased a set of matte-textured periwinkle shells as a result of that coloration is very underrepresented in gaming equipment, and it’s additionally one of my favourite colours. Each set prices round $20.

You can get artistic by utilizing the Joy-Con shells that you just already personal. Say you’ve gotten a pair of grey Joy-Con, and a pair of neon blue and crimson. You can swap these colours round for a singular look with out having to spend cash on new shells.


iFixit’s Pro Tech toolkit has far more instruments than you’ll want for this mission, together with every thing you’ll want to get inside of your Joy-Con. This kit costs $59.99, and if you happen to like to do initiatives like this recurrently, it’s effectively price the price.

If you need to go a la carte, listed here are the necessities that I used for this mission:

  • Opening picks (to pry open the Joy-Con)
  • Metal spudger (to gently detach and reattach parts)
  • A screwdriver with two bits. First, a J00-type JIS bit to use on the innards of the Joy-Con — it appears related to a Phillips head, however differs in delicate and essential methods. Second, a Y00-type tri-point bit for the screws holding the Joy-Con collectively.

  • Open up the Joy-Con utilizing the Y00-type screw bit, and retailer the screws rigorously.

  • Use a gap decide or a skinny card to open up the Joy-Con, gently separating the two sides alongside the rounded edge so that you don’t pull on the ribbon cables holding them collectively.

  • Gently pry the battery out with the metallic spudger. It’s secured to the black center plastic part with some adhesive, however it doesn’t take a lot effort to carry it up. Just do it rigorously so that you don’t bend the battery. As you proceed, attempt to hold the adhesive dust-free in order that it retains some stickiness once you reinsert the battery afterward.
  • (Note on coping with adhesive: The battery and some different important parts that you just’ll encounter on this operation are secured by adhesive. It’s not significantly robust adhesive, only a small, sticky strip utilized to sure components. So, you don’t want to fear about making a large number, and so long as you’re cautious when eradicating the adhered parts, you shouldn’t have a problem getting the adhesive to stick when it’s positioned in the new case.)

  • With the battery lifted out, unscrew the black plastic cowl that’s held down by two J00-type screws. Store them rigorously, then carry out the plastic to reveal the fundamental board.

  • You could make the subsequent few steps a bit of simpler by detaching the rear half of the case. Use the metallic spudger to carry the small switches that safe the two ribbon cables main to the Joy-Con’s rail (I’m holding it in my fingers in the image above). Once the switches are up, you’ll be able to gently pull the cables out.

  • If you need to change your Joy-Con’s SL and SR buttons, unscrew the board masking the Joy-Con rail, exposing them and its sync button. If your alternative shells got here with new buttons, you’ll be able to pop them in now, taking care not to unintentionally put the SL button in the SR slot. Also be sure that the rubber membrane masking the sync button is correctly seated earlier than you screw the small board again onto the rail.
  • While you’re on this step, carry up the change holding the ribbon cable that leads to the ZL button (mounted into the black plastic piece at the prime of the picture above), then gently pull it out. Not having this in your method will make the relaxation of the course of a bit of simpler.

  • Remove the final two J00-type screws holding the inexperienced board into the Joy-Con housing (if you happen to haven’t already achieved so) and hold monitor of these screws. Detach the L button, the minus button, and their respective circuitry, that are held down by J00-type screws from the Joy-Con. Take particular care once you carry the L button out of the housing, as its spring can simply go flying out.
  • You can go away these ribbon cables hooked up to the fundamental board, which is able to make life simpler once you put the parts into a brand new Joy-Con case.


  • We’re getting shut to the finish for the left Joy-Con, however some of the trickiest steps are nonetheless forward of us. Unscrew the analog stick’s two J00-type screws, then rigorously pull the stick out, being aware of the small plastic gasket (seen in the image under) that’s in place between the stick’s housing and the Joy-Con shell. You’ll want to transplant this gasket into your new case, so be very cautious.
  • This may assist: there’s a deliberate break in the gasket which you’ll carry up to simply make room for the stick to pull by way of. But if you happen to’re transferring each element into a brand new Joy-Con case, it is best to absolutely take away the gasket together with the stick. To do that with out ripping it, gently carry up on the gasket the place it’s hooked up to the case by adhesive, then hold it in a secure place till you’re prepared to put it in the new case. Just don’t overlook to reapply the gasket as a result of its job is to hold mud and different grime out of your Joy-Con.

  • You can lastly take away all of the main parts out of the Joy-Con shell, together with the HD rumble motor that’s seated with some adhesive. Congrats on getting this far!
  • You can see the membranes that cowl every of the buttons, together with the minus button, the 4 face buttons, and the screenshot button. Go forward and carry these away to reveal the plastic buttons beneath, however be certain to reapply them precisely as they have been once you eliminated them. You may also take away the L button, however once more, hold a detailed eye on its spring. Our alternative circumstances didn’t include springs, so that you’ll be in a tricky spot if you happen to lose it.

  • Now you’ll be able to swap out the buttons and pop them into your new case. Thankfully, the button fixtures are notched in such a method that they solely go in a method, although just be sure you have the right button in every slot. It’s straightforward to get disoriented, unintentionally putting the A button in the B button slot, so give your work a second verify, or you’ll have to fully disassemble your Joy-Con to repeat this step.
  • One final notice: if you happen to intend to change out the center black plastic piece that has the ZR button mounted to it, you’ll want to take away the button and its circuitry, which is held by a screw. It’s not a straightforward feat to get the button off, because it’s snapped into the plastic fixture. I had luck gently prying it off with the metallic spudger, however understand that there are springs immediately beneath the button, so maintain your hand over it as you take away it, and hold a detailed eye on them.

Finally, put the Joy-Con again collectively by following the above steps in reverse. That’s one down, one to go.

(Note: As I discussed earlier, I extremely recommend beginning with the left Joy-Con, because it has fewer parts to shuffle by way of. But if you happen to really feel prepared for the proper Joy-Con, let’s get began.)


  • After eradicating the 4 Y00-type screws holding the case collectively, slide the opening decide round the edges of the Joy-Con to open it up.

  • The back and front of the Joy-Con are hooked up close to the flat rail with fragile ribbon cables, as proven up above, so rigorously open it from the aspect with rounded corners.

  • The most blatant place to begin is to take away the battery and HD rumble motor. They’re each held in by adhesive, and you’ll simply carry them away from their resting locations with the metallic spudger. Optionally, you’ll be able to detach them absolutely by gently wiggling their plugs from the board.

  • Here’s the first half that you just’ll encounter that’s distinctive to the proper Joy-Con: an antenna. You’ll need to rigorously carry this up and out of the plastic enclosure that it rests in, taking notice of the way it ought to return in. You don’t want to fully detach it from the board; the relaxation of the Joy-Con swap course of wasn’t made any more durable with it left hooked up.

  • Next, take away the three screws that fasten the battery’s plastic housing to the fundamental board. Once the housing comes free, I recommend that you just keep away from detaching the ribbon cable that attaches the ZR button to the fundamental board (close to the screwdriver bit in the image above). You can do it, however it takes some intense effort (and some swear phrases) to get it reattached. I eliminated it for the functions of this information as a result of it makes every step in the course of a bit of simpler to see.

  • The inexperienced board is held in by two J00-type screws. Remove these and hold them secure. Then, you’ll be able to unscrew the two screws of the similar kind that maintain down the analog stick.


  • At this level, it’s price noting that there are nonetheless just a few extra parts to hold a lookout for: the IR digital camera at the backside of the Joy-Con, and the NFC antenna that sits beneath the board. The IR digital camera may be lifted off together with the board, however we’ll take care of the NFC antenna after the subsequent step.
  • Gently carry the board from the Joy-Con case, together with all of the varied parts hooked up to it (if you happen to’ve determined to go away them hooked up, as I did). You can now additionally carry the analog stick by way of the gap, as we did with the left Joy-Con. However, watch out as to not rip the gasket that covers up the gaps round the joystick to hold mud out of the Joy-Con. Carefully detach that if you happen to’re swapping your Joy-Con case.

  • Next, gently carry the NFC antenna out of the shell. It’s the element that I’m pointing at in the picture above. The rectangular-shaped antenna is held in with adhesive, so rigorously pry it up with the metallic spudger. When you transplant these components into your new Joy-Con case, the analog stick’s gasket will want to go first, adopted by the NFC antenna.
  • Lastly, as you probably did with the left Joy-Con, exchange the buttons as you see match into your new shell. To put your extra colourful Joy-Con again collectively, observe the above steps in reverse. Remember to ensure that your button membranes are utilized accurately, and that you just plug in any ribbon cables that you just unplugged.

You’re all achieved! Hopefully, these steps helped you give your Joy-Cons an reasonably priced, enjoyable makeover. If you’re like me, this mission may make you need to take all of your controllers aside, if solely to give them a very good cleansing and respect how every thing is laid out.

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