The Nintendo Switch is not just a great console for playing in your living room, but Nintendo has also placed a lot of emphasis on its portability. The concept of being able to play ‘Breath of the Wild’ wherever you want is very attractive, but it has one major shortcoming: battery life. Playing a graphically intensive title like ‘Breath of the Wild’ will only get you about 3 hours of play time when the Switch isn’t docked.
For long flights, the Switch will be unable to sustain its charge. Let’s try to fix that in this Nintendo Switch battery life guide!
See also: Best Nintendo Switch accessories
Nintendo Switch battery tip 1 – Detach those Joy-Cons!
We’ll start with the controllers. When attached to the Switch, the Nintendo console might be super easy to hold but did you know that they also will keep charging up via the console? Detaching them means they’ll instead run off their own batteries, which should get around 12 hours of use. If you need more juice, then you should consider the Nintendo Switch Charging Grip which is charged via USB-C and also provides a more comfortable grip if you prefer a more traditional game controller.
For flights, you can then put the screen portion into kickstand mode and game with a more traditional controller setup. How much of a real battery difference will this make? Honestly, you’re probably only going to get an extra 15-30 minutes of usage, but when we are talking about such a limited battery life (3 hours) to begin with, every little bit helps. Anything to help out your Nintendo Switch battery life even a little, right?
Nintendo Switch battery tip 2 – Turn down the brightness
The Switch’s screen is easily one of the most battery-draining components. The good news is that you can turn down the brightness in order to conserve a little energy. To do so, you simply hold the Home Button, pull up the quick settings and slide the brightness slider to the left.
Turning down brightness will make the screen harder to see in daylight, but it can make a huge difference in battery life. How much will depend on the game, but we’d say it’s entirely possible to extend things a good 30+ more minutes by going this route.
Nintendo Switch battery tip 3 – Consider airplane mode
If you’re not interested in playing in kickstand mode and want to keep those joy-cons attached, you might want to consider turning on airplane mode. This will turn off WiFi, Bluetooth, and other wireless connectivity options that typically put a fair amount of stress on the battery. Note that wireless controllers won’t work in this mode, and you’ll be limited to using the Joy-Cons (attached to the system).
The amount of life you save here can vary, but again, we’re talking about at least 15 to 20 minutes extra.
Nintendo Switch battery tip 4 – Battery packs for the win
Honestly, the best way to save battery life is to give up on saving battery life. If you want to play the system the way it has meant to be without resorting to lowering brightness, turning off connectivity, and other little sacrifices — get a battery pack! Just keep in mind you probably won’t be able to use the system in kickstand mode, due to the fact that the Nintendo Switch’s USB Type-C port is at the bottom of the console, and therefore will be blocked.
If you prefer playing with the joy-cons attached, however, battery packs a a great route to take.
A new product called the SwitchCharge is currently being developed with support on IndieGoGo. Expected to be released in August 2017, it fits securely around the Switch and contains a 12,000 mAh battery, estimated to bring the battery life to 12 hours! It too can be charged by an external battery pack and also comes with a more stable kickstand.
Or you can buy a more traditional battery pack, which you’ll find some great portable battery pack options over at our sibling site, Android Authority.
The Switch is beloved by many, and we hope that your battery life problems can be solved to provide you with hours and hours of fun. If you have any other methods that you personally use to keep your Switch alive, drop us a comment below, we would love to hear from you.