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How Long Does It Take To Charge A Nintendo Switch?

The Nintendo Switch is a revolutionary gaming device that’s designed for use both at home and on the go. That means greater portability, but it also means dealing with keeping batteries charged and ready. So, how long does it take to charge a Nintendo Switch?

It takes about 3 hours to charge the Nintendo Switch console, given it’s powered off or in sleep mode. Playing on the Switch while charging it will increase the duration it needs to charge. Different Switch models also have different batteries, and the battery capabilities differ accordingly.

To better understand what affects your Switch’s charging speed and the duration that it can run before it needs to be charged again, let’s take a closer look at the Switch’s battery. We’ll also look at how to maximize the battery life.

How Long Does It Take to Charge a Switch?

Nintendo Switch

A brand-new Nintendo Switch (on Amazon) should be fully charged in about three hours. If the battery is completely drained, it may take a little longer. The most time-consuming step in charging your Switch is the portion from around 80% to 100%. 

Many experts recommend that you don’t charge your Switch to 100%. They also recommend not allowing the battery to fall below 20%. This is the same trick Apple recommends for extending an iPhone’s battery life.

And you should also be sure to use a high quality USB-C cable for this. If you don’t use the device’s correct cable, it may not charge at all which will make it appear that the console’s power button isn’t working, or that the console is busted and won’t turn on at all.

If you follow that advice, you should be able to charge from 20% to 80% in about an hour and a half. But that depends on the model of the Switch and how old the battery is.

If your Nintendo Switch is charging too slowly, or if the Nintendo Switch battery just isn’t lasting long enough, be sure to see our related guides on those situations. If your Switch is totally dead, you may also be wondering how long it takes to charge the Nintendo Switch from 0–>1% and turn back on.

And note that we are talking about the big-boy switch here. If you have a Nintendo Switch Lite you’re troubleshooting, check our our other resources on a Switch Lite that won’t charge, or one that dies too quickly.

How Long Does a Charged Switch Battery Last?

Red Nintendo Switch

The duration you can use your Switch before recharging it again depends heavily on the model you own. Furthermore, the games you play can drain more power if they are hardware intensive. 

Nintendo States that after 800 charging cycles, the battery capacity should fall to around 80% of what it was when you bought it. The company also makes the following claims regarding the different models:

  • On an HAC-001 model where the serial number begins with XAW, the battery life per charge cycle is an estimated 2.5 to 6.5 hours of use.
  • On an HAC-001 model where the serial number begins with XKW, the battery life per charge cycle is an estimated 4.5 to 9 hours of use.
  • On the ‘Lite’ model with the serial number HDH-001, the battery life per charge cycle is an estimated 3 to 7 hours of use.
  • On the OLED model with the serial number HEG-001, the battery life per charge cycle is an estimated 4.5 to 9 hours of use.

And note that the AC adapter may fail at some point before the battery does. Also worth noting is that your console should get a bit hotter while you’re charging, but it’s not automatically a sign that your Switch or Switch Lite is overheating (though you can see our guides if you suspect that).

Maximizing Switch Battery Life

The lithium-ion battery in the Nintendo Switch is the same kind of battery used in laptops and smartphones. It’s therefore subject to all the same potential problems.

One such problem is the long-term battery life. With time, lithium-ion batteries slowly lose capacity. If you have an old laptop that can no longer run without a power connection, you probably understand the problem.

If you want to maximize the long-term battery life, there are a couple of tips and tricks that you should always keep in mind:

  • Keep the battery from falling to zero percent. Instead, charge the device when it drops to around 10 to 20%.
  • Keep the device cool. Some games inevitably cause the Switch to heat up, but the important thing is to refrain from using the device in a hot environment. Ideally, the ambient temperature should be between 68 and 77 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Don’t charge your Switch to 100%, or leave it on charge for extended periods. The best practice is to charge your device to about 80%. Only charge up to 100% when you know it’ll be a while before you charge it again.
  • Don’t play while charging your device. The results won’t be catastrophic but can negatively impact battery life over time.