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Charging A Nintendo Switch To 1% From Dead: How Long Does It Take?

Following its release in March 2017, one of the Nintendo Switch’s chief criticisms is that it takes longer than other comparative consoles to charge, especially if it’s dead. So how long would it take to charge it to 1%?

All in all, it takes anywhere between 10 and 15 minutes to charge a Nintendo Switch from 0% to 1%, depending on factors like your charger, the battery health, and the individual device. It’s better to not let the Switch battery get this low, because it can reduce the lifetime of the battery.

To keep battery health good, it’s never good to run your Switch down to dead or constantly up to 100%, actually. So let’s look at how long your Nintendo Switch will take to charge and drain, as well as how to keep the battery in as good a shape as possible to maximize your playing time!

How Long Does it Take to Charge the Nintendo Switch to 1 Percent?

Nintendo Switch

When charging your Nintendo Switch from dead to 1%, expect to wait 10-15 minutes for your Switch to come back to life. You can check out our other related guide for the full charging time, but it’s about 3-4hrs. And note that it may seem like your Switch is busted or that the power button is totally not working, or that the console just simply won’t turn on, until it charges back up some, so plug it in and don’t panic!

For charging your Switch, you have several avenues for charging it, including the dock charger, the wall charger, or the charging stand. Be sure to use USB-C, and have a look at our other guides on speeding up the Nintendo Switch charge time, or what to do if your Nintendo Switch battery isn’t lasting long enough.

Dock Charger

The dock charger (on Amazon) you’ve probably been using to charge your Switch since you first got it comes standard with the Switch itself; it’s the gray U-shaped thing.

AC Wall Charger

Instead of your dock charger, you can purchase an AC wall charger (on Amazon) to charge your Switch directly without needing the dock charger. It probably came with one, but we know form experience that these things can easily get broken or lost over time.

Spare Charger

Alternatively, suppose you don’t want to spend $12 on a charger and have a spare iPad charger (or a similar tablet with a USB-C charger) lying around. In that case, you could use that instead, as you don’t need a Nintendo-specific wall charger to charge your Switch. 

Similarly, an iPhone charger may also work, but expect that to take double the time due to the lower wattage. 

Charging Stand

As an in-between of both the dock charger and wall charger, Nintendo also makes a charging stand (on Amazon) which would need to be bought separately. 

The wall charger is the fastest of the three chargers for charging them from dead, so you can expect it to take 10 minutes to charge. However, both the dock and stand chargers are more efficient and better for battery health in the long run.

How Long Does it Take to Fully Charge a Nintendo Switch?

Assuming your Nintendo Switch is completely dead when put on charge and is completely left alone while charging, it should take approximately 3-3.5 hours to fully charge a Nintendo Switch. 

This largely depends on factors such as the charger used, battery health, and age (among others). 

However, if you want to multitask: play on your Nintendo Switch and charge it simultaneously, it can take anywhere from 4-4.5 hours to fully charge your Switch. Likewise, the time depends highly on the game you’re playing and the above factors.

Playing While Charging

Interestingly, Nintendo recommends playing on your Switch while it’s charging. So although it may take longer, it allows your Switch to be charged more efficiently without the risk of damaging battery life all that much!

The only side effect of this is that this multitasking may cause your Switch to feel warmer than usual. However, this is completely normal. And the added heat will not damage your Switch, thanks to the internal fan.

On that note, it is recommended that you try to keep your Switch between 68 Fahrenheit (20 Celsius) and 77 Fahrenheit (25 Celsius) both when playing and charging your Switch to avoid damaging the battery health and/or raising the total charge time!

How Long Does the Nintendo Switch Battery Last While Playing?

Playing on Nintendo Switch

The answer is that it depends. Battery life depends on many factors, most importantly variant, the game being played, and the overall battery health of your specific Nintendo Switch device. 

At present, Nintendo has released three different Switch models, the original (sometimes called the “standard”) Switch, Switch OLED, and Switch Lite, which have different battery lifetimes. 

Check the Serial Number

For the original/standard Switch, there are likewise two different battery lifetimes which can be discovered by checking the serial number:

  • XK serial number Switch consoles: roughly 4.5-9 hours
  • XA serial number Switch consoles: approximately 2.5-6.5 hours
  • Switch OLED (an “XT” serial number Switch console): about 4.5-9 hours
  • Switch Lite: around 3-7 hours

The Battery

Like most other consumer electronics, the Nintendo Switch is powered by a lithium-ion battery, whose capacity degrades each time it’s charged. 

As a general rule, for every 800 charges (sometimes called “charge cycles”), you can expect to lose 20% of battery capacity. 

For example, after 800 charges, overall battery health would sit at 80%, and after a further 800 charges, overall battery health would sit at 60%, going all the way down to 20% after 6400 charge cycles.

How Long Until a Nintendo Switch Shuts Off with 1 Percent Charge? 

To preserve battery life, most experts and even Nintendo themself recommend that you start charging your Switch when it gets down to about 20-30% and take it off charge when it reaches 90-95%. 

However, assuming you’ve run the charge down to 1% charge you will find your Switch will begin to warn you of the low battery and prompt you to put it on charge (which you should then do so you can avoid a 10-15 minute wait for it to reboot!) 

From the moment you receive that notification, the official answer is that you have about 10-15 minutes; however, in reality, you can expect somewhere between 7 and 9 minutes of playing time left before your Switch shuts off.

This time depends on a few factors, such as the age of your Switch, the game you’re playing, and battery health, as well as other lesser-known factors like screen brightness and temperatures of your Switch and its surroundings.

Fun fact: It takes longer for your Switch to go from 1% to 0% than it does from 2% to 1%, as when your Switch reaches 1% battery, it begins to use its reserve charge and minimizes energy output by not running non-essential background programs.