Judge dismisses Joy-Con drift class-action lawsuit because players signed up to Nintendo's end user agreement

Nintendo Switch Joy-Con
(Image credit: Nintendo)

A federal judge has dismissed a class-action lawsuit from parents who had taken legal action against Nintendo for the Switch's Joy-Con drift issue.

Interestingly, the dismissal has nothing to do with the rights or wrongs of Nintendo and Joy-Con drift itself but instead states that because players agreed to Nintendo's End User License Agreement (EULA), they had also agreed not to take legal action against the company.

Although the plaintiffs argued that the players - their children - could not knowingly agree to the terms of that license, the judge disagreed and said that as "de facto owners" of the Switch systems, the parents had signed up to terms that "disallow lawsuits" (via NE (opens in new tab)). This means that the parents should have sought legal arbitration rather than pursue a lawsuit. 

The case has now been dismissed; you can read the whole judgement - which was filed back in November 2022 - right here (opens in new tab)

Unhappy Nintendo fans have been filing class-action lawsuits since way back in 2019 (opens in new tab) when Joy-Con drift - a term applied for when controllers detect a directional input when none is being applied - first came to light. Though not usually game-breaking, it's an often frustrating defect that will send your camera spinning ever-so-slightly to one side and even players of the newer Switch Lite system have not been immune (opens in new tab).

Interestingly, a UK consumer group recently claimed that Nintendo Switch Joy-Con drift is due to a "design flaw" (opens in new tab). According to Which?, the Joy-Con drift is likely down to a mechanical fault and design flaws, rather than wear and tear from usage over time.

As Hirun summarized for us at the time, the report studied the Joy-Con's circuit boards and found that they showed "noticeable" wear and tear even after just a couple of months' use. Dust and "contaminants" were also found in the Joy-Con's internal components, too, prompting Which? to call on Nintendo to provide compensation or a refund for any UK consumers who purchased a replacement Joy-Con due to drift since 2017. 

Are your sticks wandering too? You should try recalibrating your Joy-Cons via the options menu before you seek out support from Nintendo. Here's how to fix the Nintendo Switch Joy-Con drift problem (opens in new tab) yourself.

Find some savings with our list of the best Nintendo Switch accessories (opens in new tab).

Vikki Blake
Weekend Reporter, GamesRadar+

Vikki Blake is GamesRadar+'s Weekend Reporter. Vikki works tirelessly to ensure that you have something to read on the days of the week beginning with 'S', and can also be found contributing to outlets including the BBC, Eurogamer, and GameIndustry.biz. Vikki also runs a weekly games column at NME, and can be frequently found talking about Destiny 2 and Silent Hill on Twitter.