Although Microsoft’s Xbox One and Sony’s PlayStation 4 consoles are nearing the end of their life cycles, there are still issues being reported with their consoles. The Nintendo Switch also has its fair share of issues that seem more prevalent due to the fact that it’s still a relatively new console compared to the Xbox One and PlayStation 4.
Over the past decade, the gaming industry has rapidly increased in size as more and more individuals use their gaming consoles to unwind after a long day. But they’re not just exploring deeper and more robust storylines, they’re also using their video game consoles as a source for streaming entertainment with apps like Netflix, Hulu, and Spotify. That means all members of the household are able to enjoy these systems, even if they have no interest in playing video games.
This makes choosing the right console even more important, since they’re no longer made for a small subset of consumers who just enjoy video games, even if that is their primary function.Which is where we come in.
Drawing from our unique and proprietary data found on Fixya, we will cover some of the most common issues and solutions that each company has with its gaming consoles and give you the tools to find a solution.
We’re putting a spotlight on gaming consoles problems so you can see which one is right for you and your household. Let’s get started.
Nintendo has a long-standing relationship with the gaming industry that stretches back to the 1970s when the company switched gears from a toy business into the video game behemoth consumers know and love today. Recognized by gamers across the globe for their fun, party games, and iconic characters like Mario, Nintendo appeals to a wide set of consumers and has enjoyed a resurgence with the release of the Nintendo Switch.
Nintendo Switch Synopsis:
Arriving on the market in March 2017, the Nintendo Switch is a hybrid gaming console of sorts. It’s a portable tablet with attached controllers (Joy-Cons) that can also be docked so it can be played on a TV. Since its release, the Nintendo Switch has become immensely popular, despite being underpowered compared to the Xbox One and PlayStation 4. More importantly, unlike the Wii and Wii U before it, the Switch has received overwhelming support from third-party developers, many of which are porting their indie games to the system so they can be enjoyed on the go.
The Switch however, does not have as robust of an online multiplayer experience as its competitors, lacking features such as voice chat. Instead, Switch users have to use their mobile device and an app in order to communicate while playing games online, which is hardly a seamless solution.
Now over two-years old, there are plenty of issues being reported by Switch users. Below, we’ve compiled the most common problems and solutions you may run into with your Nintendo Switch.
Common Problems & Solutions for the Nintendo Switch:
The most well-known issue with the Nintendo Switch are problems with its controllers, called Joy-Cons. Fixya users experience issues with the Joy-Cons disconnecting, specifically the left controller. More recently with use, some users also report Joy-Cons experiencing an issue called “drifting.” This occurs with the controllers’ analog sticks, registering a movement even though they aren’t being used. This issue actually occurs on used controllers on other consoles, but Switch owners are reporting drifting issues at an alarming rate.
Since Joy-Con issues have become prevalent, Nintendo actually has support for the issues. Typically you will have to ship the Joy-Con back to Nintendo for either a fix or a replacement, depending on the severity of the problem.
If you’re having issues with your Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons and don’t want to go through the process of sending it back to Nintendo.
The best way to troubleshoot your Nintendo Switch Joycons are:
- If your Joy-Cons are experiencing intermittent connection issues, disconnect them from the Switch by using the touchscreen interface. From the main menu, select “System Settings,” then “Controllers and Sensors,” then “Disconnect Controllers.” Make sure you are using the touchscreen when doing these steps, as using the Joy-Cons will automatically re-sync them to the console if they’re attached to the Switch.
- Once you’ve disconnected the Joy-Cons, re-sync them to your system by selecting “Pair New Controllers” from the “Controllers and Sensors” menu. You can also simply pair controllers to your Switch by attaching them to the console.
- For those experiencing disconnecting issues, DIY fixers have reported adding a small bit of conductive foam over the controller’s internal antenna fixes the disconnecting issue. In fact, users who have sent their Joy-Cons to Nintendo for a fix have opened up their controllers to find the same conductive foam being used to fix the issue.
- For the more serious and widespread “drifting” issue, you’ll have to send your Joy-Cons to Nintendo for a repair or replacement.
- Always make sure your Joy-Cons are charged if you’re running into any other issues. You can check the charge of your Joy-Cons from the Switch’s main menu.
Considering how expensive replacement Joy-Cons are for the Nintendo Switch, you’ll want to try to fix the issue yourself or send them to Nintendo for a repair. Of course that means you’ll be without controllers for a period of time, which isn’t very convenient. Alternatively, you can always purchase the popular Nintendo Switch Pro Controller, which has fantastic battery life and is more comfortable to use than the Joy-Cons, although it’s not as portable and doesn’t attach to the console.
Recommended products for Nintendo Joy-Con issues:1. Replacement Joy-Cons
It’s far from being the cheapest option, but you can always purchase a set of replacement Joy-Cons if you can’t fix the issues with your current pair. If you purchased your Switch at launch, you likely have either a pair of gray Joy-Cons or a red/blue combo. Now, Nintendo offers a variety of colors to fit your style, and although it’s not a huge consolation, at least you can get something different if you’re having to purchase new Joy-Cons.Product features:
- Approximately 20-hour battery life
- Can be used independently in each hand or as one controller when attached to the Joy Con grip
- Each Joy-Con includes an accelerometer and gyro sensor
2. Nintendo Switch Pro Controller
If you’re just tired of dealing with Joy-Con issues, the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller is a great option. Just keep in mind that the Pro Controller is a separate peripheral, meaning it can’t be attached directly to your Switch. It’s best used when the Switch is docked.Product features:
- Extremely long battery life
- Includes motion controls, HD rumble, built-in amiibo functionality
- USB C charging (includes USB C to USB A cable)
What to do if your Nintendo Switch has Dock Issues
What makes the Nintendo Switch so unique in the gaming console market is its ability to dock so you can start playing on a TV. The seamless process takes a few seconds by simply sliding the Switch into the included dock, but users have experienced issues with the dock scratching the Switch’s screen. This problem isn’t as common on newer units, but it appears two pieces of plastic inside the dock can make contact with the Switch, causing scratches to the device.
- If you’re often playing your Switch in portable mode, you’ll want to invest into a screen protector to prevent any scratches to the screen. Although this won’t prevent scratches on the rest of the console, the screen is what you’re staring at while you’re playing. There are several options on the market for screen protectors, but Fixya users have had great results with tempered glass.
- If you’re planning to use a tempered glass screen protector, make sure you avoid docking the Switch for at least 24 hours so the tempered glass can set. Otherwise, the high temperatures from the Switch could cause the adhesive to melt.
- Even if your dock isn’t currently scratching your Switch, you may still want to purchase an anti-scratch cover sleeve for the dock. These are basically “socks” for the Switch dock, made from soft materials to prevent any sort of scratches from occurring to your device.
- If you’re experiencing other issues with your dock, make sure the AC Adapter and HDMI cables plugging into the dock are secure. If necessary, unplug both cables and plug them back in to make sure you have a tight connection.
- Try replacement AC Adapter cables and HDMI cables if you’re still having issues, especially if a video signal isn’t being sent to your TV.
Recommended products for Nintendo Dock issues:1. Tempered Glass Screen Protector
Screen protectors have become a become an important accessory for any device with a screen, and the Switch is no different. There are dozens of options out there to choose from, but most Switch owners prefer a tempered glass option. Even if your dock isn’t scratching the Switch, you’ll want to invest into a screen protector.Product features:
- Ultra clear with 99.9% transparency
- Ultra thin at 0.3mm thickness
- Full compatibility with touchscreen sensitivity
- Highly durable and scratch resistant
2. Anti-Scratch Cover Sleeve
An anti-scratch cover sleeve is a rather simple solution to prevent your Switch from getting scratched while it’s in the dock. This option is a basic black sleeve pad, designed to protect your Switch against dust, fingerprints, dirt, oils, scratches, and normal wear and tear.Product features:
- Made of polyester with soft velvet lining
- Washable and foldable
- Measures: 7” by 4” by 0.2”
What do if your Nintendo switch screen is frozen
Like most software-driven devices, the Nintendo Switch can freeze while being used. This is another common issue with Fixya users, with Switch consoles freezing randomly, regardless of what game is being played.Fix:
- Try docking and undocking the Switch to see if it fixes the frozen issue. Sometimes docking and undocking the switch will cause it to pop out of its frozen state and you can resume playing exactly where you left off.
- If the game you are playing actually crashed, try pushing the Home Button on your console to see if it takes you back to the main menu. If it does, then there was an issue with the game itself, which means you’ll have to close the software and restart it by pushing X on your controller. Unfortunately this means any unsaved progress will be lost.
- If docking and undocking the Switch didn’t do anything, and all the buttons on the system are unresponsive, you’ll need to do a hardware reboot on the Switch. To do this, simply press and hold the power button for 15 seconds. The Switch console will then reboot and go through its normal bootup process. Like closing the software, a hardware reboot means any unsaved progress in your game will be lost.
- You can also let the battery fully drain from the console if it’s stuck during the bootup process. Once the battery has fully drained, confirm by trying to power on the Switch and make sure you see a dead battery icon on the upper left. Afterwards, charge the device and see if it boots.
- If all else fails, you can try removing the game card and the microSD memory card from your device and trying the suggestions above. This should be done as a last resort however, since you’ll definitely lose any unsaved progress in your game.
- Unable to get your Switch unfrozen after trying the above suggestions? You’ll have to contact Nintendo and send it in for repair.
Microsoft Xbox One
Microsoft has a long history delivering quality consoles to users—the Xbox One is the third such entertainment console the company has produced, with the original Xbox and the Xbox 360 coming before it. The Xbox One had bold aspirations from the moment it was announced in November of 2013. Positioned as an all inclusive entertainment system that would provide a wide variety of entertainment options (think TV, Skype, streaming movies, etc.), Microsoft transitioned the Xbox One away from its original Xbox roots as a pure gaming system into a device that the entire family was able to use in the living room and enjoy.
Although the PlayStation 4 contains many of the same features, the Xbox One’s focus on serving a wider audience makes it an attractive option for consumers. Couple that with the stunning technological achievement that is the Kinect and it seemed as if Microsoft had a clear winner on its hands.
However, the Xbox One was hit with a rough response from the media from the moment it was announced. The issues centered around DRM (Digital Rights Management, embedded rules about what you can do with the content you buy) restrictions. This came around the time of revelations about the NSA and surveillance, igniting an American public that was becoming fatigued by revelations about surveillance.
As users took umbrage with proposed plans to require an online connection when playing offline, a mandatory connection with the Kinect device, as well as significant restrictions on selling and sharing used games, Microsoft felt the heat and felt it in their sales figures for the first six months, especially compared to the PS4.
The company eventually changed its direction however, removing the vast majority of irksome features that bothered users and consumers. Since its original release, Microsoft has continued to improve on the Xbox One’s lineup, offering the Xbox One S and Xbox One X variants.
But despite its rectified consumer concerns, a strong product lineup, and an excellent product at its core, the Xbox One still has some issues that consumers should be aware of.
Here’s the top three problems with Xbox One, and how to get them fixed.
Common Problems and Solutions with the Microsoft Xbox One:Kinect
The Kinect is a wonderful piece of technology that allows user to give commands to their device and play supported games via motion tracking and voice commands. This feature is a major selling point of the Xbox One, but unfortunately some issues have cropped up for users when attempting to use it.
The most common problem associated with the Kinect is that sometimes it simply does not work properly—whether that is voice commands not being recognized, the motion sensor technology malfunctioning, or games that leverage Kinect for in-game play not being able to be played because of these issues.The Fix:
- Make sure your Kinect is plugged in properly.
- Do a reset of your Xbox One by turning off the system for two minutes, unplugging all of the cords associated with the device, and then plugging it back in.
- Make sure your Kinect settings are up to date and compatible with what you are trying to do with it.
Recommended products for Xbox One Kinect issues:
- 1) Replacement Kinect
When all else fails, your best option may be to purchase a replacement Kinect. Keep in mind the Xbox One Kinect requires a Kinect Adapter (sold separately) if you wish to use it with the Xbox One S console.Product features:
- Control your Xbox and TV with voice commands
- Broadcast gameplay with picture-in-picture using Twitch, or make Skype calls on your TV
- Play games where you’re the controller
- Requires Kinect Adapter for USB (sold separately) for use with Xbox One S consoles
Common Audio Issues for the Xbox One
Since the inception of the device, the Microsoft Xbox One has had problems with its audio. This issue manifests itself in a couple ways—the primary problem happens when users are listening on their television or external speaker system, while the second problem occurs with the headset microphone that causes issues for other people you are playing with. For the TV and external speakers issue, the audio can be quiet, may only come out of a single speaker, or won’t be able to be heard at all. This obviously presents issues for users, especially if they do not have a set of headphones they usually use when playing games or consuming media with the system. For the headset microphone, the issue is that the microphone is incredibly sensitive and will pick up extraneous sounds occurring in the background a long way away.
Here's how to fix common audio issues with Xbox One:
- For your headset microphone, turn down the volume of your microphone output and input from the settings menu. This helps reduce the amount of cluttered noise you will hear from other users who are using a microphone that is very loud.
- Microsoft has replaced A/V cables with a single HDMI or optical cable that runs the audio and visual connection between your television and Xbox One. This means that the issue may be with the HDMI cable that came with your device and could require a replacement piece.
- Ensure your HDMI or optical cable is free of any defects or damage.
- Do a reset of your Xbox One by turning off the Xbox One for two minutes, unplugging all of the cords associated with the device, and then plugging it back in.
- Examine your Xbox One’s display and sound settings through the settings menu on the home page and ensure you have the correct option selected.
Recommended products for Xbox One Audio Issues:1) HDMI Cable
If you’re experiencing audio issues and you’re only using an HDMI cable, grab a cheap replacement to test if your currently cable is faulty. AmazonBasics offers an extremely affordable CL3-rated 4K HDMI cable in a variety of different lengths.Product features:
- CL3 rated
- Made with low-smoke materials to resist fire
- Meets latest HDMI standards (4K video at 60 Hz, 2160p, 48 bit/px color depth)
- Supports bandwidth up to 18Gbps
- Backed by AmazonBasics lifetime warranty
2) Optical Cable
If you’re using an optical cable for audio, try a replacement if you’re experiencing issues. Again, we turn to AmazonBasics as a recommendation with a CL3-rated optical cable. Affordable and available in a variety of lengths, give it a shot if you’ve run out of options.Product features:
- Provides multi-channel, fiber-optic digital audio output
- Buffer tubing and gold-plated corrosion-resistant connectors for clear, smooth-flowing signal
- CL3 rated for safe in-wall installations, made with low-smoke materials to resist fire
- PVC outer layer adds strength, flexible and lightweight cable
- Backed by AmazonBasics limited one-year warranty
3) Xbox One Headset with Microphone
Even if you aren't experiencing issues with your Xbox One audio, it's worth your money to invest into a nice headset with a built-in microphone for online chat. There are plenty of options to choose from that fits any sort of budget. If you want an affordable headset that offers great audio quality, take a look at ASTRO Gaming's A10. ASTRO is well known for its high-quality headsets and the A10 is one of its more affordable offerings, featuring a durable headband made from anodized aluminum and wrapped in a damage resistant polycarbonate blend. It's nice and comfortable thanks to memory foam ear cushions, while the omnidirectional mic features flip-up mute functionality and in-line volume control. Best of all, this headset is also compatible with the PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, PC, Mac, and can even be used on mobile devices.Buy on Amazon
Some Common Problems with the Xbox One Controller
As an entertainment system, the controller is probably the most important part of the user experience. It controls everything you do on screen, and while the Kinect has to some degree made the experience a little more well-rounded by introducing functions for specific scenarios in your experience, the vast majority of time users spend using the system are with the controller. It’s how you play games, and even if you’re just using the Xbox One for entertainment purposes, human beings’ familiarity with controllers make it the default for users.
This is made even more important by the fact that Xbox One no longer has to be purchased pre-bundled with the Kinect—consumers now have the option of purchasing the console without the Kinect, making a smooth controller experience all the more important.
Unfortunately for users, the Xbox controller has posed some problems over the years. This is seen in various ways, with the two most prevalent being the lack of an ability to set universal settings for your controller that makes every game you play adhere to those settings (instead of changing them for every single game), the fact that Microsoft still requires some of their controllers to use batteries instead of automatically providing a model that is able to be re-charged (that add-on is sold separately), and faulty thumbsticks that become worn down quickly and/or become faulty by setting its default resting position to the “up” position (meaning if you don’t touch the controller the cursor on your screen is going to slowly drift up the screen).
Here's some common fixes for Xbox one controller issues:
- For battery-controllers, there’s no real way to get around the issue. You must either purchase new batteries when needed, or buy an add-on that allows your controller to be recharged with a self-contained battery pack.
- For universal settings issues, you’ll have to set your controller settings individually for each game—the feature that was in the Xbox 360 is no longer present in the Xbox One. To set your controller settings for each game, go to the main menu and configure your settings to your liking via the Settings tab.
- For faulty thumbsticks wearing down, remember that a little movement goes a long way. Avoid keeping your controller pressed in any one direction for an extended period of time, make sure it is stored in a safe place, and periodically clean the device.
- For thumbsticks that are faulty and automatically causing the cursor to drift upwards, turn off your console. When you restart the device, make sure you are not pushing on the thumbstick in any way. This will sometimes reset the controller to its correct default—if not, you will have to call Microsoft Customer Service and exercise your warranty to get a new controller that isn’t faulty.
- Compatible with Xbox One X, Xbox One S, Xbox One, Windows 10 PC
- Includes Bluetooth for gaming on Windows 10 PCs and tablet
- Textured grip
- Interchangeable thumbsticks and paddle shapes
- Limitless customization and configuration options with Xbox Accessories app
- Offers up to 40 hours of rechargeable battery life
- Use Xbox Wireless, Bluetooth, or included USB-C cable
- Rechargeable lithium-ion battery
- Compatible with Xbox One X, Xbox One S, Xbox One, Windows 10
- Fully charges in under 4 hours
- Check if your PlayStation 4 is experiencing a blinking red or blue indicator light. If it is, please run through the troubleshooting steps for that issue (found above in this report).
- Via the settings menu on your PlayStation 4 home screen, ensure that all of the audio and video options for your PlayStation 4 are up to date and what you need for your specific purposes and television.
- A short-term fix for any audio issues can be to use headphones to listen to any audio - sometimes audio can still be heard through headphones though not your television.
- Examine your HDMI cable and/or the HDMI ports on your television for any issues, as sometimes the PlayStation 4 will not display audio or video despite the issue not being a result of the console malfunctioning.
- Replace your HDMI cable to check to see if the issue is with your HDMI cable and that the issue is not with your console or television.
- Update your PlayStation 4's firmware and software via any available online update.
- CL3 rated
- Made with low-smoke materials to resist fire
- Meets latest HDMI standards (4K video at 60 Hz, 2160p, 48 bit/px color depth)
- Supports bandwidth up to 18Gbps
- Backed by AmazonBasics lifetime warranty
- Before plugging it back in, users can also carefully open the hard drive to see if there are any issues with the disc drive that are causing the problem.
- Examine your HDMI cable and/or the HDMI ports on your television for any issues, as sometimes the PlayStation 4 will show an error result despite the issue not being a result of the console malfunctioning.
- Put the system in a more open area with proper ventilation.
- Place a fan next to the system in order to reduce heat.
- Ensure that the internal fan is running properly – you should hear it while the console is running.
- Download any software or firmware updates via the PlayStation Network, which can be accessed from your console's home screen.
- If your console is freezing while accessing the PlayStation Network to download any updates, visit the Sony Support site and download the updates to your computer there, then transfer them via a USB connection that plugs directly into your console.
- Reset your PlayStation 4 by turning it off for two minutes, unplugging all of the cords associated with the device, and then plugging it back in.
- Put the system in a more open area with proper ventilation, place a fan next to the system in order to reduce heat, and ensure that the internal fan is running properly—you should hear it while the console is running. If your console is overheating, make sure to let it rest for at least two hours before trying to boot it up again.
Recommended products for Xbox One Controller Issues:1) Replacement Xbox One Controller
If no solution is working, it’s time to invest in a replacement Xbox One controller. There are dozens of finish options now available, so you can get a controller that fits your style. Also, if you’re using one of the original Xbox One controllers, Microsoft has released a newer version that delivers twice the wireless range.Product features:
2) Xbox One Elite Series 2 Controller
If you’re having to spend money on a new Xbox One controller, why not spend a bit more and get yourself a much better gaming experience? The Xbox One Elite Series 2 Controller may be expensive, but it offers several advantages compared to the normal controller. The latest version offers a huge variety of customization options, with interchangeable thumbsticks and paddle shapes.Product features:
3) Xbox One Play and Charge Kit
If your current controller is having issues with its battery life, consider the Xbox One Play and Charge Kit. This product includes a rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack and charging cable, so you no longer have to use AA disposable batteries.Product features:
Buy on Amazon
Sony Playstation 4
Sony Playstation 4 Synopsis:
In no uncertain terms, the Sony Playstation 4 has established itself as the most popular next generation video game console on the market, at least with consumers.
Boasting impressive specs, a wide variety of video game consoles for gaming aficionados, and an even larger variety of entertainment options for the whole family that come in the form of apps in its online marketplace, the PS4’s ability to serve as a home entertainment console for a wide variety of users made it a hot-seller during the holiday seasons and has continued that strength despite the next-generation Playstation already in the works..
Along with games, the PS4 offers numerous other ways for users to take advantage of the device - it has music and entertainment options, a built-in browser that users can use to browse the web, the ability to live broadcast your gaming achievements at the click of a button, and voice control which allows users to dictate menu selections and other decisions hands-free. Its primary competitor, the Xbox One, also possesses many of these features as well.
So what are the issues with the Playstation 4? We examine them below.
Here are the common problems / issues with the Playstation 4:Audio/Video
It would make sense that audio and video are the most important things to have when booting up the Playstation 4, but unfortunately some users have reported issues with the audio or video with their PlayStation 4. The frustration associated with this problem cannot be understated, as it renders the Playstation 4 unable to provide any sort of worthwhile experience for the user—without audio or video functionality, the device simply does not work. These issues run the gamut from only audio issues, only video issues, and issues with both audio and video both not working at the same time.
Thankfully this issue can be relatively easy to solve if the right steps are taken. Here’s how to tackle the issue.
Try these quick remedies to fix your PS4 Audio or Video:
Recommended products for PlayStation 4 Audio/Video issues:1) HDMI Cable
Just like we recommended for the Xbox One, if you’re experiencing audio/video issues with the PlayStation 4, try a replacement HDMI cable. This AmazonBasics CL3-rated HDMI cable supports 4K, which is what you want if you own a PlayStation 4 Pro.Product features:
Buy on Amazon
Console Turning Off
The PlayStation 4 can turn off unexpectedly when using the device, and in rarer cases, will not turn on at all when the power button is hit. When the Playstation 4 is working it will display a white indicator light, but when it’s not, either a blinking blue or blinking red light will pop up. Whether you have a blue or red light that is blinking, the console is unable to be used and may require being sent into Sony for repairs or replacement in order to get it working properly again.
However, there are some steps users can take before reaching out to Sony. And we have them right here.
If your PS4 console is turning off, try these quick fixes:
As we’ve seen with the overheating issues of many devices in our reports, users of any electronic device have inevitably had to deal with their device freezing and requiring a reboot. Some PlayStation 4 users have encountered a trend of their console freezing at inopportune times, specifically when updating their device via the PlayStation Network and using their device to play games or consume media.
Obviously freezing can be a huge inconvenience, but thankfully it appears to be one of the more manageable issues compared to other maladies with the PlayStation 4. For issues with your PlayStation 4 freezing, users can go through the following steps.