Whether you have a standard Nintendo Switch or the upgraded OLED model, you’ve probably encountered a problem or two. Perhaps one (or both) of your Joy-Cons have begun to drift. Perhaps you’ve noticed that your console isn’t running as smoothly as it once did.
While Nintendo has long provided free Joy-Con repairs, the same cannot be said for system slowness. However, it is generally much easier to fix a slow Switch than it is to crack open a Joy-Con and fix the infamous stick drift problem.
The main challenge is determining what is causing your Switch to slow down in the first place, which could be caused by a variety of factors. Most of the time, it’s either an internet issue or something has gone wrong with your software somewhere along the way.
How will I know if my Switch is slow?
If your Switch starts to slow down, you’ll probably notice it pretty quickly. You may experience unexpected frame drops while playing a game, or you may experience controller input lag. Perhaps menus are taking longer to appear or disappear when you exit them. The Switch’s system menu may suffer from the same menu lag.
However, it’s possible that the Switch’s performance has only slightly deteriorated — or has deteriorated so gradually that you can’t tell if it wasn’t always like this. If you suspect your Switch is slowing down but are unsure, run a few simple tests. Play a game you haven’t played in a long time to see if it performs better/worse. Examine a game that you suspect is running slowly in both handheld and docked mode to see if there is a difference.
You can also use the internet, which has nearly as many gameplay videos and playthroughs as it does memes (actually probably not that many). Start the game you want to test, then watch a video of it on YouTube to compare performance. However, you should also consider whether there are any model differences (for example, standard vs. OLED) between your Switch and the one in the video.
What do I do if my Switch is slowing down?
Check your internet connection if your Switch is experiencing performance issues as a result of internet speeds, or if you are reasonably certain it is. Open “System Settings,” then “Internet,” then “Test Connection,” and take note of the speed displayed. If it’s roughly where you think it should be, your internet connection may not be the issue. However, if your internet is slow, try moving your Switch closer to the router or modem to see if that helps. Assuming that interference and proximity aren’t the problem, try restarting the router or modem by unplugging it, waiting about 15 seconds, then plugging it back in and letting it cycle through the settings.
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If you’re still experiencing slowness after all of this, try searching online to see if there are any known performance issues for the game you’re having trouble with. It’s not ideal, but it’s possible that your game occasionally chugs and you can’t fix it. Hopefully, a patch will be released to assist, but in this case, waiting is your only option.