Nintendo Switch Joy Con Rail Replacement Guide

If your Joy Con rails have broken or cracked, this tutorial is for you!


If you would prefer to read a written repair guide, check that out below. Or if the tool cost seems prohibitive for a one time repair and you would prefer that we complete this repair for you, check out our Repair Catalog to see if we offer repair services for this device. 


Are you a business? We offer wholesale discounts on our repair services if you are sending numerous units in for repair or want to send us continuing batches of devices for repair on a regular basis. Contact our support team for more info (This email is only for wholesale inquiries, please contact for other inquiries).



Repair Difficulty: Moderate 

Time to complete: 1.5-2 hours

The tools and parts that you will need for this repair:

      1. New Right and Left Joy Con rails
      2. Nylon Spudger Tool (For unlocking ribbon connectors and doing other tasks that require a non conductive tool)
      3. Repair Kit (Or a Small Phillips Screwdriver and a Y Screwdriver)
      4.  Anti-Static Parts Organizer Mat




1. Remove the Back Cover

Using your Y tip screwdriver, remove the screw in each corner of the back cover. 

Remove the screw in each corner of the back cover


Using your Phillips head screwdriver, remove the two screws in the center of the bottom side of the console, the single screw in the center of the top side of the console, and the 5 screws that hold each Joy Con rail on the sides of the console.

Two screws on the bottom side

Single screw on the top side

5 screws hold each Joy Con in place 


Remove the screw under the kick stand and pop the came cartridge cover out.

Single screw under the kickstand

Pop the game slot cover out


With all of the screws removed, lift the back cover away from the console starting on the charge port side then wiggle the case on all of the other sides to lift it free. We would strongly recommend watching how to do this part in The Video so as not to break the back cover. 

Lifting the back cover up starting with the bottom 


2. Remove the Heat Sink

Remove the 7 silver screws from the metal heat sink, starting with the one in the center next to the fan.

7 silver screws in the heat sink


With the screws removed, unplug and remove the micro SD card reader by pinching the reader in your fingers then lifting straight away from the console as seen in the photo below.

Removing the Micro SD card reader


Lastly, lift the heat sink away from the console.

Lifting the heat sink away from the console 


3. Disconnect The Battery and Joy Con Cables

Using your Nylon Spudger, disconnect the battery plug from the motherboard by wedging it up and out of the socket. 

Unplugging the battery

The power plug lifted straight out of its slot


Remove the left Joy Con ribbon cable from its socket by using your spudger to pop the back of the clip up then to use the ears on the ribbon cable to slide it out of the socket. It could be helpful to watch Ed do this in The Video.

Lifting the clip at the back of the plug

Gently pushing the cable out of the socket


Using your spudger, lift the tape that holds the ribbon cable in place, then slide the ribbon out of the console. 

Lifting the taped part of the ribbon cable up and out of the console


Repeat the process of removing the ribbon cable for the right side Joy Con. It has a shorter ribbon cable with no adhesive but uses the same latch socket for the ribbon cable. Take a photo of the orientation of the curl in the ribbon cable so that you can put the new one in the same way. 

The right Joy Con Ribbon connector


4. Replacing the Joy Cons

The right side Joy Con is a bit more simple and you can skip to the next step about clipping the ribbon cable in. For the left side, get the new Joy Con situated into its position, then, slide the metallic part of the ribbon cable under the circuit board. We recommend doing this by standing it on its side and pushing it down under the circuit board with your spudger. Watching this part in The Video could be helpful. 

Sliding the ribbon cable behind and underneath the circuit board

Pushing the ribbon cable underneath the circuit board


Using your spudger, push the end of the ribbon cable into the connector then close the latch, then repeat this process for the right side. 

Pushing the end of the ribbon cable into its connector


Reconnect the battery cable by pressing down with your finger when it is lined up with the socket. 

Reconnecting the battery


5. Re-attach the Heatsink and Joy Cons

Place the heatsink back onto the console then gently attach the Micro SD card reader back onto its connector and align the slot onto the two dowels that hold it in place then re insert the single screw that holds the reader in place. 

Attaching the SD card reader over the heatsink


Re-insert 4 of the 5 screws that hold each Joy Con in place excluding the center screw. 

Re inserting four of the five screws that hold each joy con in place


Re-insert the remaining 6 screws that hold down the heatsink. 

The remaining 6 screws that need to be secured


7. Attach the back cover

Start by aligning the two tabs on the bottom of the back cover with the two holes near the charging port then carefully lay the back cover down onto the console.

Aligning the tabs at the bottom of the back cover into the unit


Gently press in the center at the top of the back cover to lock the snap connectors in place. The back cover should be flush with the console all around after the top locks into place. 

 Snapping the top of the back cover down into place


Re-insert the two screws in the bottom of the console, the single screw in the top, and the single screw in the center of each Joy Con rail. Since these screws aren't magnetic, it helps to aim your screwdriver down and hold the screw on the end then drop the screw into its hole and tighten it until snug. 

Two screws at the bottom of the console

Single screw at the top

Single screw in the center of each Joy Con rail


Lift the kickstand and re-insert the short wide-headed screw into its hole.

Inserting the screw that goes under the kickstand


Using your Y tip screwdriver, re-insert the screw into each corner of the back housing. 

Inserting the four Y headed screws


8. Get back to enjoying your gear 🤓



If you have any questions in regards to this repair, feel free to shoot us an email or text and we will do our best to reply to you as quickly as possible. Please inquire using our Repair Catalog if you are wondering how much a certain repair will cost. If you do not see your item in our repair catalog, it means that we do not offer repair services for it. 


💬  360.362.1722

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