Running low on battery power for your Nintendo Switch controller can be a real buzzkill during gaming sessions. There’s nothing more frustrating than seeing that flashing indicator on your screen, warning you that your battery is about to die and your ability to enjoy your favorite Switch games is about to be cut short. Luckily, Nintendo has made it simple for players to keep their Joy-Cons fully charged and ready for action. In addition to several built-in charging methods, there are also dedicated Switch accessories available to power up your controllers.
If you primarily use the Joy-Con Grip as your Nintendo Switch controller, you’ll find that the battery life drains quickly. However, there are a few different ways you can charge it up. Fortunately, the easiest method doesn’t require any additional cables, accessories, or extra space.
Step 1: With the Switch turned on, attach the Joy-Con controllers to either side of the console until they click into place. You should see a notification on the screen confirming their connection.
Step 2: Ensure that the Switch’s dock or AC adapter is plugged into a power outlet. You can either connect the adapter’s plug to the USB-C port on the bottom of the Switch or place the Switch in the dock.
Step 3: Put your Nintendo Switch into “sleep” mode by pressing the power button located on the top. The Joy-Con controllers will not charge if the Switch is completely powered off.
Step 4: Be patient! It takes approximately three and a half hours for the Joy-Con controllers to fully charge. To check their current charge level, simply select the Joy-Con icon on the Switch’s main menu.
Using a Charging Dock
If you prefer to use a charging dock, the process is simple, and you don’t need to keep your Switch turned on.
Step 1: For the Joy-Con charging dock, plug the included cable into the USB port on the Switch’s dock.
Step 2: Place up to four Joy-Con controllers into the dock and ensure that the indicator lights turn red. Once they turn green, it means the controllers are fully charged.
Charging Joy-Cons while Playing
Want to continue playing on your Nintendo Switch while your Joy-Cons charge? There are a few ways to do so.
Step 1: Take a Nintendo Switch AC adapter and plug it into a wall outlet within reach of your gaming area. Connect the USB-C end of the adapter to the port on the bottom of the console.
Step 2: Attach the Joy-Con controllers and start gaming! As long as the Switch is charging, your Joy-Con controllers will charge simultaneously.
Charging with the Charging Grip
If you want to play on the television while charging your Joy-Con controllers, you’ll need the Joy-Con Charging Grip. This grip is identical to the standard Joy-Con Grip but can connect to your Switch dock to continue charging the controllers while they’re in use.
Step 1: Use the included cable to connect the Charging Grip to the Switch’s dock. Then, open the small slider on the top of the Charging Grip and insert your Joy-Con controllers before closing the slider.
Step 2: Enjoy your game! Your controllers will continue to charge while you’re using your Switch.
Charging with a Charging Case
The S-Charge is a Nintendo Switch charging case that comes with its own backup battery. It functions similarly to a portable USB charger and allows you to charge both the Switch and its attached Joy-Con controllers on the go.
Step 1: Ensure that the S-Charge is fully charged (it can be plugged into the Switch dock like a Pro Controller). Press the power button located on the left side.
Step 2: Lift the flap on the top of the case and attach the Switch with the Joy-Con controllers. Close the flap securely.
Step 3: Your controllers should now be charging! On the Switch’s home menu, tap the Joy-Con symbol to go to the controller page. It should indicate that the controllers are connected to a power source.
Step 4: The S-Charge has a battery with more than double the capacity of the Switch itself, so you can continue charging your Joy-Con controllers on the go for hours without worrying about the case running out of battery.
Step 5: Remember to turn off the S-Charge when not in use by holding down the power button for a few seconds. Failure to do so may result in a dead battery when you need it next.
Charging a Pro Controller
If you primarily play your Nintendo Switch in docked mode using the television, investing in a Pro Controller is a good idea. While the battery life is impressive, you will still need to charge it after approximately 40 hours of playtime.
The simplest way to charge a Pro Controller is to plug it into the USB port on the front of the Switch’s dock using the included cable.
Step 1: Once plugged in, an orange light will appear on the top of the Pro Controller. It takes around six hours for a full charge, and the light will switch off once the battery is fully charged.
Step 2: You can continue using the controller while it charges, although the cable might be too short for some gaming setups.
Step 3: The Pro Controller can charge even without the Nintendo Switch being docked. Feel free to detach it and play in handheld mode while waiting for the controller to recharge.
Charging with a Charging Dock
If you prefer not to use the Switch dock to charge the Pro Controller, you can consider the Nyko Charge Block Pro for Nintendo Switch. This charging dock features a low-profile design that fits anywhere and uses a patented dongle system connected to a USB Type-C port on your controller.
Step 1: Insert the included charging dongle into the port on the top of your Pro Controller.
Step 2: Connect the USB cable (included) to the AC adapter (also included) and plug the adapter into a wall outlet.
Step 3: Place your controller onto the Charge Block Pro. When the front light on the dongle turns orange, it indicates that the charger is working. The light will turn off once your controller is fully charged.
The method for charging a Nintendo Switch controller may vary depending on the specific device you’re using. The proprietary Joy-Con controller, for instance, charges differently than other devices. Additionally, different charging equipment may have varying charging speeds. It’s best to test out different cables, Switch modes, and setups to find what works best for you.
If you’re in a hurry to get back to your game, consider purchasing a backup controller to use while the other one charges.
As of January 30, 2023, no changes have been made to the instructions provided above, and their accuracy has been verified.
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