Can You Charge A Nintendo Switch With A Phone Charger?

Let me know if you’ve run into this situation before. 

You’re gaming on the go with your Switch and hitting a really good spot, but your battery is running low. 

You’re nowhere near your official Switch charger, but you have your phone charger with you.

Can you charge the Switch with this cable? Don’t worry, I’ll give you the answer.

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 a phone charger 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 Switch with a phone charger, and to see if it’s a good idea.

Charging Switch With Phone Charger

As I explained above, sometimes you don’t have your 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 charger? The short answer is yes.

I’ll explain how to charge your Switch with your phone charger while also giving you important information about how efficient this actually is.

You should also know that the answer is the same regardless of whether you’re using the standard Switch, Switch Lite or Switch OLED. 

While you might notice some difference in how quickly the console charges, that’s the only significant difference.

Choosing the Right Cable

Can You Charge A Nintendo Switch With A Phone Charger 1 Can You Charge A Nintendo Switch With A Phone Charger?

There are various different cables that you can choose from to charge your phone.

For example, older Android devices use micro-USB cables, 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 cable.

No other port will work with your Switch.

Many phone chargers 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 Switch is designed for.

Other Cables

The 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 conventional 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 Switch.

Connect one end of the cable to the adapter.

You should then connect the USB-C adapter head into your Switch to charge it.

This isn’t ideal, but it will work in a pinch.

Charging Power

The Nintendo Switch is designed to charge at around 39W. 

This is what the official Switch charger outputs and it’s enough to charge the battery even if you’re playing intensive games. 

It also ensures that the console charges quickly.

The most significant issue with using a phone charger 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 charger outputs around 5W to 10W.

Even if you have QuickCharge 4.0, you’re only getting around 20W of power

While this is better, you’ll still notice that the 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 charger to your Switch is incredibly simple.

This is just as easy as charging your phone or any other device.

Plug your phone charger 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 Switch is charging or not, then turn on your 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.

Official Recommendations

While it’s possible to charge your Switch with a phone charger as I detailed above, I think it’s also good to go over the official recommendations.

While the Switch can charge this way, is it really a good idea?

Nintendo’s 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. 

A phone charger outputs 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.

Potential Problems

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 charging much slower than expected, 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.

Power Bank

Another thing you should never do is use a 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 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.