Can You Charge a Nintendo Switch With a Phone Charger?


At some point, every Nintendo Switch owner has lost or misplaced their charger. If you recently did, you might be wondering whether or not you can use your phone charger in the meantime. Thankfully, these gaming consoles are surprisingly versatile when it comes to refilling their battery.

You can charge your Nintendo Switch with any USB-C type phone charger. However, using a phone charger brings some downsides, such as slow charging speed and dock incompatibility. Nintendo recommends using their Switch-specific AC adapter, but phone chargers remain a solid backup option.

Our guide answers all the burning questions you have regarding charging your Switch with phone chargers. We also explain some other more specific situations that might apply to you. So without further ado, let’s dive in!

Is It Bad to Charge Your Switch With a Phone Charger?

It’s not bad or harmful for you to use a phone charger with your Switch, per se. 

The problem is that phone chargers are not efficient for charging your Switch.

The reason why involves some science and math, but I’ll keep it simple:

All Nintendo Switches come with an AC adapter that can charge the Switch directly or when docked. It provides up to 39 watts (15 volts at 2.6 amps) of continuous charging.

Meanwhile, most phone chargers only manage around 7-13 watts of output for your console. This lower rate means that some games you play may consume power faster than your phone charger provides it.

So while phone chargers aren’t bad for your Switch, they’re also not very effective. Think of them as more of a backup or emergency charger.

What’s the Best Way To Charge Your Switch?

Nintendo’s AC adapter is a powerful charger tailor-made for your Switch. Nothing will charge your Switch faster or more efficiently.

On average, the AC adapter can charge your Switch in 3 hours when it’s off. 

For comparison, phone chargers ordinarily take around 5-10 hours to charge a Switch fully. 

When I tested my phone charger on my fully-drained Switch, it took about 7 hours for the battery to reach 100%. Though, your results may vary depending on the specific USB-C cable and power source.

Other chargers typically haven’t seen quality testing for their performance with the console. So while they likely won’t hurt your Switch, they also won’t charge it as swiftly.

Additionally, the Switch consumes more energy during gameplay than most phone chargers provide. Meaning that phone chargers might only slow how quickly your Switch loses battery while you play it.

Can You Power the Switch Dock With a Phone Charger?

While your Switch works with other USB-C chargers, the same isn’t true for the dock.

You can only power the dock with an AC adapter, or charger explicitly meant for Switch.

Nintendo sells its own name-brand replacement chargers. However, you can find other fully functional third-party chargers for less than half the price of Nintendo’s version.

Here’s a highly reviewed third-party AC adapter for Nintendo Switch on Amazon.

Can You Charge Nintendo Switch With An iPhone Charger?

iPhones use a proprietary charger unique to them and Apple products. As a result, you can’t use their chargers to refill your console’s battery.

However, you can plug USB-C chargers into Apple laptops to give your Switch some juice in a pinch. This might be helpful if there’s no electrical outlet nearby while you’re on the go.

Additionally, the Apple MacBook currently uses a USB-C port for charging. So if you have a MacBook, you could use that charger for your Switch! 

Just remember it won’t work as well as your Switch’s AC Adapter or dock.

Can You Charge Nintendo Switch With A Samsung Charger?

Virtually all current Samsung phone models utilize some form of USB-C charging. That means that generally, you can use your Samsung chargers for your Switch.

But there’s a catch:

Older Samsung models typically charged their battery via micro USB 2.0 as opposed to USB-C. 

Unfortunately, Switch doesn’t inherently support charging through micro USB 2.0. So those spare chargers you have lying around might not be so helpful after all.

Can You Charge a Nintendo Switch With a Car Charger?

You can charge your Switch in your car as long as you have a USB-C car charger.

And not only can you charge your Switch with a car charger: Nintendo licenses products specifically for that purpose!

Keeping an extra charger in the car is an excellent idea. 

That way, you can plug in and play to pass the time if you’re ever stuck waiting in your vehicle. Assuming you aren’t also trying to drive, that is.

Also, make sure to unplug the car charger when not in use to stay on the safe side.

Can You Wirelessly Charge a Nintendo Switch?

Nintendo doesn’t officially license or recommend any method of wireless charging for the Switch. And the Switch itself doesn’t natively support wireless charging.

However, it is still possible to power your Switch this way if you have the right tools.

A USB-C Qi wireless charger receiver is the most straightforward way to get your Nintendo Switch charging wirelessly. These plug into the USB-C port of the console and enable them to collect power wirelessly. 

You can find various models for pretty cheap online through retailers like Amazon.

Though keep in mind that even though you can charge wirelessly doesn’t mean you should.

Unofficial testing has shown it takes up to 8 or 9 nine hours for a Switch to fill its battery this way. So you’ll usually be much better off using the AC adapter or even your phone charger.

Can You Charge Nintendo Switch With A Power Bank?

The Nintendo Switch supports charging via USB-C power bank and external batteries.

Keeping an external power source for your Switch will definitely come in handy. It saves you from hunting for an outlet when gaming on the go or during road trips.

Preferably, you want a USB-C PD external battery over USB-C.

Standard USB-C works adequately but often won’t charge quickly enough to match battery drain from active use.

On the other hand, USB-C PD delivers enough energy to charge your Switch while you play.

Conclusion

If you’re ever in a pinch, phone chargers are a solid option to keep your Switch running. However, the AC adapter is by far the best way to charge your console’s battery.

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