Keep Gaming Nonstop: How to Charge Nintendo Switch Controllers

As a fellow gaming buddy, I want to save you the headache and frustration of your Nintendo Switch or beloved controllers unexpectedly running out of juice mid-game!

This comprehensive guide will equip you with pro charging techniques to keep the gaming marathons rolling on any Switch console and wireless controller pairing. I‘ll decode the myriad of Switch models, walk through battery basics, and impart some insider tricks I‘ve picked up over countless hours of Zelda and Mario Kart sessions.

Grab some coffee and let‘s dive into the nitty-gritty of charging Pro Controllers, Joy-Cons, and more! This intel drops the confusion and guesswork so YOU dictate when playtime starts and stops on your Switch – not a measly battery.

Know Thy Gaming Machine: Breaking Down the Switch Models

Before getting handy with the charging cables, it pays to level-set on the Switch hardware variants available and what makes them tick:

Nintendo Switch (Origins Edition) – The OG that started it all remains beloved for removable Joy-Cons and hybrid portable/docked play. Both the console and Joy-Con batteries are internal, with efficient integrated charging circuitry.

Nintendo Switch Lite – This handheld deviates from Switch norms, with built-in controls and no video out capabilities. Thankfully, the non-removable controllers draw power directly from the unit so no separate charging needed!

Nintendo Switch OLED – Essentially a premium take on the original, now with a vibrant 7” OLED panel. Joy-Con and battery functionality remains unchanged though, and it’s still a charging champ.

The key item of note is that both Joy-Cons and Pro Controllers use internal rechargeable batteries. So while you’ll avoid a battery wasteland scenario like the Xbox controller requires, keeping these integrated batteries juiced is vital. Let’s examine best practices!

Step 1 – Power Up The Mothership Itself

While not entirely necessary, I highly recommend connecting your base Nintendo Switch or Switch OLED to wall power during any controller charging operations.

Relying on the onboard battery alone works in a pinch. But repeatedly draining down to 0% will diminish its overall lifespan – lithium-ion cells don’t take kindly to full discharges! Plus keeping the console itself plugged in means one less device to worry about.

But Doesn‘t Extra Charging Cycles Harm Batteries Too?

You may have heard advice to avoid “overcharging” batteries by plugging/unplugging too often. Or that leaving devices constantly charging lessens lifespan.

In the Switch‘s case, the intelligent charging circuitry within both the console and Joy-Cons regulate current and voltage optimally while attached. There‘s no risk of overcharge damage as with smartphones!

Think of it this way…you‘re better off topping a half-full gas tank when possible rather than pushing it to empty. Same principle applies to the lithium-ion batteries powering your gaming rig!

Step 2 – Dock Thy Joy-Cons, Young Adventurer!

Alright, with your Switch secure in its high-tech cradle, let’s focus on giving those detachable Joy-Cons some vital energy!

Simply slide each controller into its own designated rail on the left or right side of your Switch. You‘ll feel a secure click once properly seated, ensuring the charge pins make full contact. Like sheathing weapons after a hard-fought campaign!

[Diagram showing proper alignment of JoyCons on rails]

What Happens Inside When They Click?

The Switch handles delivering optimized ~3.7V DC current and voltage conversion for safe battery charging. No need to ever remove the Joy-Cons once docked!

If the small LED above the rails glows, your faithful Joy-Cons will automatically begin refueling their 525mAh internal batteries. After about 3-4 hours when fully depleted, they‘ll be primed for another 20 hours of glorious battle!

Step 3 – Cast a Charging Spell on Other Wireless Controllers

Unfortunately, the Pro Controller and third-party options can‘t harness the same seamless Joy-Con on-board charging experience.

But have no fear – connecting these wirelessly warriors simply requires a standard USB charge cable rather than sorcery!

Nearly all modern Switch controllers utilize USB-C connectors. Simply grab the included charge cable, plug the C end into the controller, and insert the other end into any convenient power source:

  • Your Switch Dock (for Pro Controller)
  • Wall adapter like the Switch AC charger
  • Laptop or desktop USB ports
  • Even portable USB battery packs!
[Diagram showing third party controller plugged into AC outlet via USB wall charger]

The Pro Controller itself packs a formidable 525mAh lithium-ion battery, reliably delivering ~40 hours gameplay time from just 2.5 hours charging. Huzzah!

For other third-party or Joy-Con only chargers, check the manufacturer guidance. But the trusty USB port seldom fails when electrical replenishment is needed!

Pro Tip: Mix n‘ Match Charging for True Power

Here’s a slick simultaneous charging tactic if couch co-op calls for multiple controllers…

Simply dock those Joy-Cons directly onto your Switch while ALSO connecting a Pro Controller or other device via open USB ports.

For example:

  • Joy-Cons charge aboard the main Switch unit
  • Pro controller plugs into Dock USB for its power infusion

Having backup controllers fully fueled minimizes any mid-battle interruptions! Or better yet, rotate pairs between gaming sessions.

Solving Joy-Con Charging When No Switch is Present!

Sometimes adventuring without your base Switch system leaves Joy-Cons stranded with no intrinsic charging source available.

In these moments, third-party accessory makers provide simple solutions…albeit without Nintendo’s direct involvement.

Joy-Con Charging Docks to the Rescue

Help arrives in the form of dedicated Joy-Con Charging Docks – essentially cradles with integrated charge circuitry designed explicitly for your detachable Nintendo controllers.

Models like FastSnail‘s especially are affordable and reliably charge up to 4 Joy-Cons simultaneously. This assumes you have multiple pairs in rotation of course!

[Image showing third party JoyCon charger]

While convenient and often more portable than hauling the Switch itself, do note these accessories lack official Nintendo licensing. In rare cases electrical faults could cause issues like overcharging or fried ICs. But quality designs provide sufficient safeguards.

Wield this intel wisely and may your quests know no bounds! Just be sure to detach Joy-Cons once fully loaded…leaving batteries maxed out indefinitely still isn‘t healthy long-term.

Rejuvenating Controllers for the Mighty Switch Lite

Fear not lone Switch Lite wanderers…your built-in controls avoid the recharging dance entirely! Still, for those times you pair wireless Pro Controllers or Joy-Cons, the charging procedure remains unchanged from Steps 2 and 3.

With the petite Lite power supply only accommodate a single USB device at once. But as adgeturing hero, having patience while taking turns I‘m certain! The key is recognizing when batteries run low across ALL devices early on, not just the Switch itself.

Be vigilant against draining any to fully empty. And don‘t forget tried and true battery protection techniques still apply:

  • Avoid temperature extremes during charging (50-95° F sweet spot)
  • Fully run down batteries once monthly before recharging to “recalibrate”
  • Engage Airplane mode when not gaming online to reduce idle battery drain

Treat your handheld (and its controllers!) well and untethered entertainment awaits for eons to come!

Charge On Towards Triumph!

Hopefully my hard-earned knowledge goes a long way towards banishing worries of power-related gaming interruptions!

Staying mindful of battery levels across the Switch ecosystem is crucial – don‘t let your console OR controllers discharge fully. Combine sensible charging habits with the steps outlined, and your Nintendo gear will perform reliably for years of gaming glory!

Of course, true masters remain open to new knowledge even after long journeys…so speak friend, any lingering power-related questions or curiosities this guide hasn‘t yet addressed? I remain always at your service!

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