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How to charge your Nintendo Switch controllers and console

You'll need some charge - it's quite integral for playing games!

Nintendo Switch Joy-Con controller red blue

Wondering how to charge your Nintendo Switch controllers? How to charge up the Joy-Cons is not immediately obvious, as you may have noticed, but we’ve got the answers you seek right here!


The main Nintendo Switch console differs from other major consoles in a number of ways. To start with, it can be used as a handheld gaming device to take on the move – giving us GameBoy vibes from our youth – or you can connect your Switch to a TV just like any other console. It’s a choice gamers are given and it’s a welcome one!

With the Joy-Con controllers you get as standard, these are a different beast to what you might be used to, especially since they can detach from your console and serve as two smaller controllers or one big one. Again, this puts the choice in the hands of the gamer.

But these controllers still need to be charged and if you were wondering how many options there are out there for you to use for this, here is all you need to know!

How to charge Nintendo Switch controllers

There is a really simple way to charge the Nintendo Switch controllers – just dock them to the sides of the console itself. As long as the main tablet-like part of the console has power, it will start charging the controllers the second that you connect them and it does not take too long.

If the controllers and the console both need charge, you’ll need to connect the whole thing to your power supply. You will have received a charger with your console, and you can either keep this in your dock or just use it like a traditional phone charger cable.

But how long does it take for Nintendo Switch controllers to charge? To hit full charge it will take around three hours, so you’ll want to plan your play sessions around that.

But how do I know my Nintendo Switch controllers are charging? From the console’s main home screen, click the ‘Controllers’ icon and it should show you if they are charging on there. If they aren’t, try connecting them again and that should do the trick.

Another common question is this: how do you charge a Switch controller without a Switch? The answer is to buy a Nintendo Switch Joy-Con Charging Grip. That special version of the controller grip will allow you to keep playing without having to enter handheld mode. And it answers the question of how do you charge Joy-Cons without a dock!

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But what if you own a Nintendo Switch Pro controller? Well, you will notice the charging port on the controller and it is a trusty USB-C, a standard charger for many things including most phones that are not made by Apple.

One thing we do advise, whichever your preferred method is, is to just pop them on charge when you are not using them. If that becomes part of your gaming shutdown ritual then you will never be caught short with that annoying ‘battery low’ warning then tends to happen at the most crucial part of a game for us.

Nintendo Switch deals

Here are some of the deals we have found at the moment if you are debating going ahead and getting one – and if you love gaming, we highly recommend you do!

This year’s Radio Times Christmas double issue is on sale now, featuring two weeks of TV, film and radio listings, reviews, features and interviews with the stars. And if you’re looking for something to watch, see our TV Guide.


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