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How to Charge Your Nintendo Switch: The Ultimate Guide

As a fellow Nintendo Switch owner, I know how frustrating it can be when that low battery warning pops up in the middle of an intense gaming session. But don‘t worry, charging your Switch back to full power is easy when you follow this comprehensive guide. I‘ll provide detailed instructions on the best charging practices using the official AC adapter, dock, USB-C cables and more. You‘ll also get pro tips to optimize your Switch‘s battery performance. So let‘s dive in and get your Switch juiced up for marathon gaming!

Overview of Nintendo Switch Batteries

Before we get to charging, it helps to understand the battery inside your Switch. The original Switch model and new OLED both use a non-removable lithium-ion battery with a 4310 mAh capacity. The smaller Nintendo Switch Lite has a 3570 mAh battery.

These batteries provide between 4.5 to 9 hours of playtime depending on the game. Here are the average battery durations:

  • Nintendo Switch: 4.5 to 9 hours
  • Nintendo Switch OLED: 4.5 to 9 hours
  • Nintendo Switch Lite: 3 to 7 hours

The lithium-ion batteries are charged by USB-C connection and can also be charged through the Switch dock which provides AC power. Now let‘s look at the best ways to charge your Switch battery!

How to Charge Your Switch with the AC Adapter

For the fastest charging times, you‘ll want to use the official Nintendo Switch AC adapter that came with your console. Here are the step-by-step instructions to charge using the adapter:

Step 1: Insert the AC Adapter into an Electrical Outlet

Take the AC adapter and plug it directly into a wall outlet, surge protector, or power strip. Make sure it‘s fully inserted and secure.

AC adapter plugged into outlet

Plugging in the AC adapter for charging.

Step 2: Connect the USB-C Cable to the Bottom of the Switch

Now take the attached USB-C cable and connect it to the port at the base of your Switch console. You‘ll feel it click into place once properly attached.

USB-C cable connected to Switch

The USB-C charging cable connects to the port on the underside of the Switch.

Step 3: Check the Battery Level

Press the small power button on the top edge of the Switch. The LED battery indicator lights will display to show how much charge you currently have.

For a rough estimate:

  • 4 solid green lights = 100% to 60% battery
  • 3 solid green lights = 59% to 30%
  • 2 solid green lights = 29% to 5%
  • 1 solid red light = 4% or below

Switch battery indicator

Push the power button to view the LED battery indicator.

Step 4: Attach the Joy-Con Controllers

To charge the Joy-Cons, slide them onto the rails on the sides of the Switch until they click into place securely. Leave them attached to charge up while the console is plugged in.

JoyCons charging on Switch

Connecting the Joy-Cons to charge them.

Step 5: Wait for the Switch to Fully Charge

It takes about 3 hours to fully charge a fully drained Switch battery with the AC adapter. But the Switch can still be played while it‘s charging!

Step 6: Disconnect the Charger

Once the battery indicator shows 4 solid green lights, unplug the AC adapter from both the Switch and outlet. Never leave it charging unattended once fully charged.

And those are the basics of charging your Switch with the included AC adapter! Pretty simple right? Now let‘s look at other charging options…

Alternate Ways to Charge Your Nintendo Switch

While the AC adapter provides the fastest charging speeds, here are some other ways you can power up your Switch:

USB-C Cable

Any high-quality USB-C cable like one from Anker can charge your Switch from another power source like a laptop, portable charger, or wall adapter. But USB-C charging is slower – expect 6+ hours for a full charge.

Make sure to use cables rated for at least 15V/2.6A power delivery for decent charging performance. Lower amperage cables can take 10+ hours to fully charge a dead Switch battery.

Docking the Switch

The Nintendo Switch dock provides AC power to charge the Switch while it‘s docked. Just insert the Switch and charging will begin automatically.

Docked charging times are similar to the AC adapter. So whenever your Switch is docked for TV gaming, it‘s a good opportunity to top up the battery.

Car Charger

You can charge on the go with an accessory like Anker‘s PowerDrive Speed+ Duo. This lets you charge from your car‘s 12V cigarette lighter port. It has both USB-C PD and USB ports.

Just note that car chargers are slower due to lower wattage. You‘ll get around 2% charge for every 6 minutes plugged in according to tests. Handy for longer trips!

Battery Packs

There are portable USB-C battery packs like the Anker PowerCore+ 13400 that allow charging on the go. Charge times vary based on the capacity.

While convenient, these will charge slower than the AC adapter unless supporting 18W+ power delivery. But they do give you peace of mind if away from a power outlet!

Pro Tips for Charging Your Nintendo Switch

Use these expert tips to keep your Switch battery healthy and charging efficiently:

  • Let battery drain before charging – Don‘t continuously "top up" your Switch battery. Allow it to fully drain down once a month before charging for better battery calibration.
  • Avoid overcharging – Don‘t leave the Switch plugged in for days after it‘s fully charged. Overcharging degrades the battery.
  • Use Switch in Airplane mode – This disables wireless communication and can extend battery life significantly. Handy during a low battery situation or travel.
  • Turn down screen brightness – Lower the screen brightness under System Settings to conserve power when in handheld mode.
  • Close software when charging – For marginally faster charge times, power off the Switch before charging. But using it while charging is fine too.
  • Keep Switch and charger in cool area – Avoid charging in hot environments like direct sunlight. Heat degrades lithium-ion batteries over time.
  • Update Switch software – Install new system updates which often include battery and charging optimizations. Keep your Switch firmware current.

By adopting these tips, you can keep your Switch battery in optimum shape for many years. Personally I like to charge mine overnight using the AC adapter when possible. This guarantees I start each day with a full battery for on-the-go play.

Troubleshooting Nintendo Switch Charging Issues

If your Switch isn‘t charging properly, here are some fixes:

Switch isn‘t charging:

  • Check connection points – Unplug and re-insert the cable on both ends. Use a toothpick to clear any debris in the Switch USB-C port.
  • Try different power sources – Switch to the dock, USB-C cable, AC adapter to isolate issue.
  • Reset the Switch – Hold down the power button for 10+ seconds then reboot.
  • Contact Nintendo Support – If still not charging, the battery may need service.

Switch charges slowly:

  • Don‘t use underpowered adapters – Use the official Nintendo AC adapter for fastest speeds. Avoid phone chargers.
  • Replace old USB-C cables – Damaged or deteriorating cables can cause slow power delivery.
  • Check for bad outlet – Switch to a different wall outlet if slowly charging.
  • Turn Switch fully off – Try charging from a fully powered down state, not sleep mode.

Battery life decreased:

  • Run it empty then recharge – Drain and fully recharge the battery to calibrate it.
  • Close background apps – Force close any frozen or glitched apps draining power in the background.
  • Turn off controllers – Disconnect Pro Controllers and Joy-Cons when not in use.
  • Check battery health – Older batteries degrade over time. You may need a replacement.

Hopefully these troubleshooting tips help get your Switch charging properly again. Let me know if you have any other charging issues arise!

Frequently Asked Nintendo Switch Charging Questions

Here are answers to some common questions about powering up your Nintendo Switch:

How long does it take to fully charge a dead Nintendo Switch?

Using the AC adapter, a fully depleted Switch takes around 3 hours to charge to 100%. With lower power USB-C cables it can take 6 hours or longer.

Can you overcharge the Switch battery?

It‘s not recommended. Leaving the Switch plugged in at full battery for prolonged periods of time can degrade the battery through overcharging.

Is it OK to play Nintendo Switch while charging?

Absolutely! The Switch is designed to be played while charging. The only downside is it charges marginally slower while in use.

Should Nintendo Switch be charged to 100% each time?

For optimum battery health, it‘s best not to frequently do partial charges. Allow it to drain close to empty before fully recharging 1-2 times per month.

What should I do if my Switch won‘t turn on or charge?

First, try charging it for 30 minutes then turn it on. If it still won‘t power on, you may need to contact Nintendo Support to diagnose a potential hardware issue.

Keep Your Nintendo Switch Battery Charged and Healthy

I hope this comprehensive charging guide helps you keep your Nintendo Switch powered up for countless hours of on-the-go gaming. Let me know if you have any other Switch battery or charging questions! I‘m always happy to help a fellow Switch enthusiast.