How to Charge Nintendo Switch without a Dock

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Depending on the game you’re playing, the Nintendo Switch can take from two to six hours to complete. If you want to continue playing after this short period of time, you will need to recharge it. However, you don’t need the Nintendo Switch Dock for this. The Switch is charged via USB type C for use with portable chargers.

The Nintendo Switch is charged in the same way as the A and O of the systems. And it certainly makes the dream of playing big games on the big screen TV come true and you can switch to mobile games in the car, on the bus or in the middle of the park. But this possibility of playing at home or on the move poses a not-so-subtle problem: how to maintain the load in all these situations?

How do you charge a Nintendo Switch via a USB cable?

All Nintendo Switch models use USB-C for the charging port on the underside of the device. This allows you to charge it in no time at all with any USB-C cable connected to a power source such as a tablet / smartphone charger, battery, PC or USB hub. The speed at which the battery is charged (and whether it actually powers the playback switch) is highly dependent on the power source.

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As for cables, any well-made USB A to USB C cable will work with sufficient power to charge the switch. However, this method limits the maximum power to 7.5 watts due to the design of the switch. This is enough to play and charge at the same time – but not at the fastest rate.

The switch also allows for a higher power charge mode, which charges the battery much faster. But that requires a USB C to USB C cable with a high-powered power source (such as a 61-watt USB C charger for MacBook Pro) or a custom switch power supply.

  • Minimum in-game charging requirements: To allow your spare battery to charge (albeit slowly) during game play, you’ll need a power source that can provide at least 5 volts and 1.5 amps (or 7.5 watts) of power. The more amps, the better to recharge the batteries faster.
  • Minimum requirements for charging in Sleep Mode (without the Dock): Nintendo does not provide an official lower limit for the power required to charge the switch in Sleep Mode. Our own tests show that the switch is charged from a power source that can only provide 5 volts at a fraction of an ampere (e.g. 400mA/0.4A), but the charge is slow.

In general, the more amperes you have at your disposal, the faster the switching loads are. The ideal output voltage for standby charging of standard USB adapters (such as those available in supermarkets) is about 5 volts and 2 amps.

Each USB power adapter or dedicated battery pack should have a small label indicating the output power. It says something like “Output”: 5V/1A”, which means that it can provide a maximum of 5 volts for 1 amp or 5 watts of power. Those are the numbers you want.

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