Let me know if you’ve run into this situation before. You’re gaming on the go with your Nintendo Switch and hitting a really good spot, but your battery is running low. You’re nowhere near your official Nintendo Switch charger, but you have your smartphone charger with you.
Can You Charge A Nintendo Switch With A Phone Charger?
You can charge your Nintendo Switch with your phone charger as long as you have a USB-C cable. While this will charge your battery, the caveat is that the official Switch charger is more powerful. You may notice your battery slowly depleting if you’re playing games.
While charging your Switch with phone chargers is fairly easy, there is some important information that you should know. Read on to find out more about whether you really can charge your Nintendo Switch with phone chargers and if it’s a good idea.
Charging Switch With Phone Charger
As I explained above, sometimes you don’t have your Nintendo Switch charger with you, but your battery is running low, and you don’t have other options.
Can you charge your Switch with your phone charging cable? The short answer is yes.
I’ll explain how to charge your Nintendo Switch with your phone charging cable while also giving you important information about how efficient this actually is.
This is true whether you’re using the standard Nintendo Switch, Switch Lite, or Switch OLED. While the Switch Lite doesn’t come with an HDMI port, it still has a USB-C.
While you might notice some difference in how quickly the console charges, that’s the only significant difference.
Choosing the Right Cable
There are various different cables that you can choose from to charge your phone.
For example, older Android devices use micro-USB cables, Apple iPhones use the Lightning cable, and modern Android devices use USB-C cables.
You can also use the Nintendo Switch cable itself, which also has a USB-C port. You want to make sure you have a USB-C charger. No other port will work with your Nintendo Switch.
Many phone charging cables also offer QuickCharge capabilities. The truth is that QuickCharge 2.0 and 3.0 don’t make a significant difference in Switch charging.
QuickCharge 4.0 is somewhat faster, but it only provides half the normal charge the Nintendo Switch is designed for.
The Nintendo Switch has a USB-C port on the bottom, which means that it can only connect with USB-C cables.
That being said, there are a few ways around this. This requires using uncommon cables or adapters, so it’s not the most convenient option.
Many USB cables have different heads. For example, one end might be a standard USB port while the other is USB-C.
As long as one end can connect to the charger and the other head is USB-C, then it can connect to your Switch. If you have a Lightning, micro-USB, or another cable, then you will need an adapter to make it connect with your Nintendo Switch.
Connect one end of the cable to the adapter. You should then connect the USB-C adapter head to your Switch to charge it.
This isn’t ideal, but it will work in a pinch.
The Nintendo Switch is designed to charge at around 39 watts. This is what the official Switch charger outputs, and it’s enough to charge the battery even if you’re playing intensive games on the Switch.
It also ensures that the console charges quickly. The most significant issue with using a phone charging cable with your Switch is that it doesn’t output enough power.
It will slowly charge the battery if you’re not playing games, but the battery might deplete if you are playing games.
A standard phone charging cable outputs around 5W to 10W. Even if you have QuickCharge 4.0, you’re only getting around 20W from that power source.
While this is better, you’ll still notice that it has less power than the official charger, and your Nintendo Switch charges slowly. That being said, Nintendo seemed to have anticipated people doing this and has made their console compatible with these chargers.
It’s far from ideal, but you shouldn’t have to worry about significant issues.
Connecting the Charger
Connecting a phone charging cableto your Nintendo Switch is incredibly simple. This is just as easy as charging your phone or any other device.
Plug your phone charging cable into an outlet. You will then plug the charging cable into the phone charger. There is a USB C port on the bottom of your Switch.
Plug the other end of the cable into this port. If you’re unsure whether the Nintendo Switch is charging or not, then turn on your Nintendo Switch and look at the battery indicator to the top right of the display.
The icon should have a lightning bolt running through it. This means that the console is charging.
While it’s possible to charge your Switch with a phone charging cablesw, as I detailed above, I think it’s also good to go over the official recommendations.
Nintendo recommends only charging the Switch with official Switch hardware. This means using an official Switch cable and charger.
Sometimes companies do this only because they don’t want you to buy other hardware, but sometimes it’s actually a good idea to listen.
As I explained above, there are significant power differences between official Switch chargers and phone chargers. Phone chargers output around 5W to 20W at most, while the Switch charger is around 39W.
This means that your Switch will charge much faster with official hardware. Whether you’re playing a game or not, there is a significant difference in how quickly the console charges if you’re using Nintendo hardware.
Many people have successfully charged their Switch with a phone charger, and this is often considered safe.
At the same time, some people have reported significant issues you should be aware of.
Aside from simply not charging or experiencing slow charging, the worst problem is that some people have experienced a bricked console. This means that your Switch will no longer work.
This usually occurs due to the power difference. The Switch is meant to be charged at around 39W. If there is another more or less than that, then the Switch could experience hardware issues.
It’s rare, but it’s possible that your Switch will stop working.
Another thing you should never do is use a USB-C power bank. Also known as a battery bank or battery pack, this is a mobile battery that can charge most devices like phones, tablets, laptops, and more.
There is an official Switch power bank, and this is the only one that you should use. If you’ve lost it, it’s time to order a replacement.
If you use another power bank, then you might run into issues like poor charging or even bricking the console. Just be careful and keep your Switch safe.
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