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Charging Nintendo Switch controllers is a lot easier than you might think. While some controllers require batteries, like the Xbox’s, the Nintendo Switch’s controllers have built-in batteries. The good thing about that is you don’t need to worry about spending money on batteries, but the controllers can also charge while being used.

If you have an original Switch or a Switch OLED, then its removable Joy-cons are always staying charged while they are attached to the machine. The Switch Lite consoles don’t have this problem because their controllers don’t have separate batteries. However, third-party controllers and even Nintendo controllers like the Switch Pro Controller do require you to connect directly to a charger.

To charge your Nintendo Switch controllers, follow these super simple steps below.

Step 1: Connect Switch to Power (Optional)

The first thing you should do is connect your Switch console to power with its included power cable. You can do this by plugging it in directly or using the dock.

The Joy-cons can charge off the Switch’s battery, so you don’t have to plug the console in. However, it will drain the console’s battery even faster.

charge nintendo switch controller
Connect your Switch to a power source with its included cable.

Step 2: Dock the Joy-cons

The easiest way to charge your Joy-cons is using the Switch itself as the charger. You can do this by inserting the Joy-cons into their proper slots on the sides of the console. Once in place, the screen should light up and indicate that they are connected. You should also hear a click.

charge nintendo switch controller
Attach the Joy-cons to your Switch.

Step 3: Wait for the Controllers to Charge

Now you just need to wait for the Switch controllers to finish charging. Unfortunately, there isn’t a quick and easy way to see if the controllers are finished charging. However, you can view the battery status by turning on the Switch. The good news is that the Joy-cons only take a couple of hours to charge if you aren’t playing the console.

charge nintendo switch controller
Leave it plugged in with the Joy-cons attached to allow the device to fully charge.

Step 4: Undock the Controllers or Leave Them Connected

Once charging is complete, you can either leave the controllers attached to the Switch, or you can remove them.

Note: Just because the Joy-cons are charged doesn’t mean that the Switch console is charged, so you may want to leave it connected.

Another bit of good news is that the Joy-cons tend to lose power much slower than the Switch itself.

charge nintendo switch controller
Once your Switch and Joy-cons are fully charged, disconnect it from the power source, or you can opt to keep it plugged in.

Charging the Pro Controller

One of the great things about the Nintendo Switch is how many different types of controllers are compatible with it. Unfortunately, this also creates some confusion because those controllers cannot be docked to the console. Most of the other controllers on the market, such as the Switch Pro controller, have built-in batteries.

These controllers oftentimes use the same style plug as the Switch, which is USB-C. That works out really well because you can reuse the Switch console’s charger for these controllers. Unfortunately, you may find that some of the cheaper controllers use different style ports like micro USB. Be sure to check the instructions for your specific controller to make it gets charged correctly.

Switch Pro Controller
Nintendo USB Switch Pro Controller
  • Nintendo Switch Pro Controller
  • Comes with charging cable (USB C to USB A)
  • Includes motion controls, built-in amiibo functionality, HD rumble, and more
  • Amiibo not included
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
03/09/2023 06:51 pm GMT

Charging Joy-cons Without a Switch Console

There are a couple of scenarios where you may find yourself needing to charge a pair of Joy-cons without being able to use the Switch as a charger. The most common reason is that you have an extra set of Joy-cons, and you can only charge one set at a time on the Switch. The bad thing is that Nintendo hasn’t done anything to help with this problem, as they do not have a standalone charger.

Third-Party Chargers

There are third-party chargers that are specifically designed to charge Joy-cons without the need for a Nintendo Switch console. Even better, is that some of these chargers even have a charger for other controller types as well.

Just remember that most of these types of chargers are not licensed by Nintendo and that there is an inherent risk with using them.

Good Third-Party Charger
FastSnail Controller Charger Compatible with Nintendo Switch & OLED Model for Joycon, Charging Dock Station for Joy con and for Pro Controller with Charger Indicator and Type C Charging Cable
  • Can charge up to 4 controllers for Joy-con and 1 Pro Controller
  • Charger for OLED Joy-con
  • Easy slide-in design & plug and play
  • Plug into a USB dock
  • Indicates charge level
  • If you want to use the dock to charge your Switch, you can use the Switch Official AC adapter (not included) to connect the dock
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
03/09/2023 06:51 pm GMT

How to Charge Controllers with a Switch Lite

The Switch Lite is a little different because it does not use Joy-cons, as its controllers are built-in. This also means that its controllers do not need charging like the original Switch and Switch OLED do.

However, if you are using a Switch Pro Controller, that will still need to be charged. You can follow the steps above to charge it, which simply entails plugging the Switch Lite’s charger into the Pro Controller.

How to Charge Nintendo Switch Controllers in 4 Easy Steps (with Photos) FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

How long do Joy-cons take to charge?

According to Nintendo, a Joy-con takes about 3 to 4 hours to charge to 100% from 0%.

Does Nintendo make a standalone Joy-con charger?

No, Nintendo does not sell a standalone Joy-con charger, but you can purchase a third-party one.

Can you use Joy-cons with the Switch Lite?

Yes, you can pair Joy-cons to the Switch Lite for certain games.

Does the Switch Pro Controller have a rechargeable battery?

Yes, the Switch Pro Controller does have a rechargeable battery that you charge with a USB-C cable.

Can you replace the Switch Joy-con batteries?

No, it is not possible to easily replace the batteries at home. However, some repair shops can perform the replacement.

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