The Nintendo Switch is fantastic. Except for one little thing: the battery life. For the original version, it’s legit torture to charge it every couple of hours… literally. The New version is a bit better, but still not a big deal. So, I thought, are there ways to stretch that battery life? And what about charging it on the go?
The answer to both these questions is yes, so let’s dive into it.
Now before going forward, let’s have a quick look at the switches’ power specs:
- The Original Nintendo Switch - Charging dock, HDMI cable, and AC adapter included; Battery Voltage: 3.7V; Battery Capacity: 4310mAh; Battery Duration: Approx. 2.5 to 6.5 hours.
- The New Edition Nintendo Switch - Charging dock, HDMI cable, and AC adapter included; Battery Voltage: 3.7V; Battery Capacity: 4310mAh Battery Duration: Approx. 4.5 to 9 hours.
- Nintendo Switch Light - AC adapter included; Battery Voltage: 3.8V; Battery Capacity: 3570mAh; Battery Duration: Approx. 3 to 7 hours.
Nintendo Switch Original and New versions can take up to 18W power, and Nintendo Switch Light can take up to 13.5W.
To effectively charge them, you need a device that provides 18W at least and, essential, 12V or 15V. This is if you plan to charge the switch directly, skipping the dock.
If you plan to charge them through the dock, you need a charger with over 30W capacity.
The Official Charging Procedure
There are a couple of “official” ways to charge your switch and controllers. Let’s start with them.
The first method is attaching your controllers to the switch, putting them in sleep mode, and connect the AC adapter. In this method, you can’t actually turn the switch off, as the controllers won’t charge in that case.
The second method uses the Nintendo Switch dock and Joy-Con Charging Grip to charge your switch and controllers. Pretty intuitive: make sure your switch is in the dock and controllers are on the grip. Then, connect the grip to the dock and the dock to the power adapter.
Tips on Extending Battery Life
I feel like this part does not differ much from the general battery-saving tips we discussed before, but let’s list a few specific ones:
- Make a habit of looking up battery level. You can do this from the system settings for the switch itself, the console, and the controllers.
- Switch to Airplane mode if you’re not playing online. Because this is the only way to turn off the Wi-Fi. Although Wi-Fi draws a lot of power in any device, in the Nintendo Switch, the situation is even worse. Your switch is on the search for Wi-Fi all the time. And every inquiry takes power and not a bit of it. Go to the system settings, choose to turn off all that you’re not about to use. As soon as you turn the Airplane mode back off, this setting will be forgotten, so this is an every-time task.
- Disable the HD Rumble on the controllers. That vibration sucks power, so when you’re on hand-held and want to extend your battery, just toggle it off in the system settings.
- Disconnect your controllers when not in use. The batteries in the controllers last a lot longer than that of the switch itself. However, when connected, they draw power from the switch. So, when you’re not playing, slide them out, pressing the black button below the shoulder one.
- Really power the Switch off when you’re done with it for some time. The default action on pressing that power button is switching to sleep mode. Hold the button for a bit and choose power options from the pop-up. Then turn off the switch from the menu. Remember that this will erase all unsaved progress.
And another not-so-comfy tip: choose your games wisely when going for a long hand-held session. The graphics-heavy sophisticated games draw more power, so perhaps choose something lighter when going for long on-trip playing.
For more energy-saving tips, check out this post.
Tips on Higher Efficiency Charging
There’s not much you can do, actually. Simply pick your charging method wisely and pay attention to its specifications.
You will also get the most out of your charging time if you charge your switch when not in use, at least in a sleeping mode. As a matter of fact, the less power the device uses up during the charging, the sooner it will be filled.
Also, take care not to keep it on charge all the time; the battery is Li-ion after all.
Other Charging Options
As with anything today, we are not limited to the official procedures to charge the Nintendo switch. There are several solutions and methods out there. Let’s have a look at the most interesting ones.
- Power Banks - This is quite a comfortable solution for the on-the-go. Only make sure to pick a quality product, supporting USB-C PD and at least 18W charging capacity. And for the power capacity, the Switch’s battery is 4310mAh, which means that a 20,000 mAh power bank will charge it just about 4 times. Given the short battery life, this will give you about 8-10 hours of gameplay from the power bank alone, which is optimal.
- Laptop - You can plug your switch into your Mac for charging, but make sure you completely turn off the switch before connecting. The point is, if the switch is on, the laptop will draw power FROM the switch.
- Third-party Chargers - you can use a third-party power adapter for your switch. Even your smartphone charger, as long as it is USB-C. You have to pay attention to several things here, though:
- Make sure you use a quality charger; a bad one may ruin your switch, as well as any other device you plug into it.
- The specs: your charger must have at least 18W capacity and 12V or 15V power to effectively charge your switch.
- Pay attention to your cord: it needs to be able to transfer the voltage.
The POWME 65W Ultra Small GaN Charger is a perfect solution for charging your Nintendo Switch, regardless of the version and whether you charge it directly or through the dock. The 65W capacity, supported PD protocols, a large variety of supported voltages allow easy and quick charging. Compact size, small weight, and foldable plug make it travel-friendly and easy to use no matter where.