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Charging a Nintendo Switch controller

Running out of juice for your Nintendo Switch controller can ruin any gaming session. There’s nothing worse than seeing that blinking indicator on the screen, warning you that your battery is low and your ability to play your favorite Switch games is about to stall. Fortunately, Nintendo makes it easy for players to keep their Joy-Cons charged and ready for action. In addition to several techniques that work right out of the box, there are also special Switch accessories that you can use to power your controller.

And if you happen to use the Switch Pro Controller, you have even more options for keeping the battery full. Here all the different ways to charge your Joy-Cons or Pro Controller for Nintendo Switch, including the best Nintendo Switch chargers you can buy.

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Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons

Using the Joy-Con Grip as your main Nintendo Switch controller will quickly drain the battery before you know it. Fortunately, there are a few ways you can charge it.

Charge Joy-Cons when not playing

The easiest way to charge the Joy-Con controllers, requires no additional cables, accessories or shelf space.

Option 1: use the switch itself

– Turn on the switch and attach the Joy-Con controllers to both sides of the console until they click. You should see a notification on the screen indicating that they are connected.

– Make sure the switch’s dock or AC adapter is plugged into an electrical outlet. Plug the adapter plug into the USB-C port on the bottom of the switch or dock the switch.

– Put your Nintendo Switch into “sleep mode” by pressing the power button on the top. The Joy-Con controllers does not charge when the switch is completely turned off

– Make sure the switch’s dock or AC adapter is plugged into an electrical outlet. Plug the adapter plug into the USB-C port on the bottom of the switch or dock the switch.

– Wait! Nintendo estimates it will take about three and a half hours to fully charge the Joy-Con controllers. To see how much charge they have, just click on the Joy-Con icon in the Switch’s main menu and you’ll see their current charge level.

Option 2: use a charging station

Joy-Con charging station

If you’d rather use a charging dock, the process is simple and you don’t need to leave your Switch turned on.

– For the Joy-Con charging station, connect the supplied cable to the USB port on the Switch’s dock.

– Place up to four Joy-Con controllers in the dock and make sure the lights on the top are red. When they turn green, the controllers are fully charged.

Charge Joy-Cons while playing

Want to keep playing on your Nintendo Switch while charging Joy-Cons? There are also a few ways to do that.

Option 1: Play in handheld style

– Take a Nintendo Switch AC adapter and plug it into a wall so that the cord is still where you will be playing, and plug the USB-C end into the port on the bottom of the system.

– Attach the Joy-Con controllers and get started! As long as the Switch is charging, so are the Joy-Con controllers.

Option 2: use the charging handle

Joy-Con handle

If you want to play on the television while the Joy-Con controllers are charging, you will need to use the Joy-Con charging handleIt has the same shape as the standard Joy-Con Grip, but can be connected to your Switch dock to charge the controllers while they are in use.

– Use the included cable to connect the charging grip to the switch’s dock, then open the small slider at the top of the charging grip and insert your Joy-Con controllers before closing the slider.

– Play! Your controllers will now be charged while you are using your Switch.

Option 3: Use a charging case

Switch charging cases

The S-Charge is a charging case for the Nintendo Switch with its own backup battery, similar to that of portable USB chargers, and can be used to charge the Switch and its accompanying Joy-Con controllers on the go.

– While the S-Charge itself is charged (it plugs into the Switch dock like a Pro Controller can), press the power button on the left.

– Lift the top cover and attach the switch with Joy-Con controllers, then close the cover.

– Your controllers should now charge! From the Switch’s home menu, tap the Joy-Con icon to go to the controller page and it should indicate that it is connected to a power source.

– The S-Charge has a battery that is more than double the capacity of the Switch itself, so you can keep charging your Joy-Con controllers this way for hours without worrying about the battery running out.

– If you are not using the S-Charge, make sure to turn it off by pressing and holding the power button for a few seconds. If you don’t, it could be dead the next time you need it.

Pro controller

Switch to Pro Controller

If you’re playing your Nintendo Switch in the dock and using the television you’ll want to invest in a Pro Controller as the battery life is good, but you’ll still need to charge it after about 40 hours of play.

Option 1: Connect it to the switch’s dock

The easiest way to charge a Pro Controller is to connect it to the USB port on the front of the Switch’s dock using the included cable.

– Once connected, an orange light will illuminate on the top of the Pro Controller. It takes about six hours fully charge. When the battery is full, the light turns off.

– You can continue to use the controller while it is charging, although the cable is too short for this in some setups.

– The Nintendo Switch does does not need to be docked to charge the Pro controller. You are free to remove it and play in handheld mode while you wait for the controller to charge.

Option 2: Use a third party charging station

Pro Controller Charger

If you want to charge the Pro Controller without using the Switch dock, you can also use the Nyko Charge Block Pro. Nyko’s Charge Block Pro for Nintendo Switch has a low-profile design that fits anywhere and uses a proprietary dongle system that plugs into a USB Type-C port on your controller.

– Take the supplied charging dongle and put it in the gate on top of your Pro Controller.

Next, take the USB cable (included) and connect it to the AC adapter (also included) before plugging the AC adapter into a power outlet.

– Now place your controller in the Charge Block Pro. The orange light on the front of the dongle indicates that your controller is charging. You will see the light go out as soon as your controller has finished charging.

The way you charge your Nintendo Switch controller depends on the controller you are using. The proprietary Joy-Con controller will differ from other alternatives.

How fast your controller charges also depends on the equipment you are using. Some devices offer a faster charging speed than others. However, there are many other factors that can affect the rate at which your controller is charged. Keep in mind that you may need to test different cable types, switch modes, etc. to achieve the best installation for you.

Fortunately, Switch accessories are easy to find. If you’re keen to get back to your game, you can even buy a replacement controller to keep the fun rolling when your first controller runs out of juice.

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