ConsolesNintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch Sleep Mode vs. Off: What’s the Difference

Key Takeaways

  • While in Sleep Mode, the Nintendo Switch drains 2% of battery life a day.
  • Placing your Switch in Sleep Mode for a prolonged period of time cannot damage your Switch but can reduce its battery life span slightly faster than if you were to shut it off.
  • Blocked Air Vents, Maintaining a LAN Connection can still cause your Switch to overheat even in Sleep Mode.

I’m among the individuals who like playing for 1-2 hours on the Nintendo Switch and then using the sleep function when I’m not using the console. But my colleague prefers turning off his gadget because he believes the Sleep function is hazardous in the long run.

After reading more about how other gamers like to power down their Switches, it was evident that most of them prefer to leave their Switches in Sleep Mode, while others prefer to power off their devices since they see the Sleep Mode as a consumer of a lot of energy which can cause a console to fail. But why the different perspectives? If you should power off or sleep your Switch, this article will help you understand the differences between the two modes.

What is the difference between Sleep Mode and Power Off on the Nintendo Switch? 

Placing the Nintendo switch in sleep mode shuts down the central processor as well as other essential components while keeping the device’s internal memory active, allowing u to resume back to your game immediately.

Unlike when the Switch is powered off, rest mode will continue to consume power from your device, although a very small amount of 0.3-0.5 Watts if connected to a Wi-Fi network which equates to about 2% battery life a day. The wattage usage increases to 2.2 Watts if connected to a Lan network instead.

The Switch is also designed to stay in sleep mode for a prolonged period of time, so keeping it in sleep mode will not damage your device. Instead, it can reduce the lifespan of the device’s battery at a slightly faster pace than if you were to shut it off.

This is because the Nintendo Switch uses a lithium-ion battery which works in charge cycles. After a limited number of charge cycles, the battery capacity will be shortened. A charge cycle occurs when you consume equal to 100% battery life, so assuming your device drains 2% battery a day while in sleep mode and not in use, this will equate to one charge cycle in 50 days.

Certain devices, such as Apple devices, have 1000 charge cycles until the battery capacity reduces to 80%.

So reducing the number of charge cycles consumed helps maintain battery expectancy.

In addition to this, Nintendo have confirmed that your Switch can heat up during sleep mode; however, this is not a result of being in sleep mode but instead due to other issues such as the air vent being obstructed, leaving the device in a room with a high ambient temperature, maintaining a LAN connection for prolonged periods, keeping your Switch charged for extended hours, or keeping it plugged into the dock for extended periods.

Should you keep your Switch on sleep mode or shut it off

Your daily usage should determine what mode is best for you.

If you play regularly, keeping the Nintendo Switch in sleep mode would make more sense since it would allow you to easily resume your gaming session and would only drain minimal battery life until your next gaming session (around 1% battery drain per 16 hours).

Turning your Switch off would be the better option if you only play occasionally since it would limit the number of charge cycles used, even if it’s a very minimal amount.

Additionally, completely turning off your switch refresh’s the system’s ram which helps with occasional lags and glitches. So if you do use sleep mode turning your device off once in a while could be beneficial for your device’s performance.

Can game downloads occur in sleep mode?

Yes. You can download your games when the console is asleep. All you have to do is ensure that the Wi-Fi connection settings on the device are active. Downloads will consume additional power from your device even when in sleep mode.

What if my Switch fails to download or update in sleep mode?

Here are some solutions to fix the issue. But before applying the fixes, check the Wi-Fi settings to check if the device has a problem connecting to the Wi-Fi network. Once done, follow the steps below:

• Check for system updates: You may need to perform a firmware update for downloads to continue. 

• Restart the device: Hold the power button on your console for a few seconds and select shut down on the pop window.

• Position the console close to a router: Although the gadget may have a strong internet connection, you need to reduce any signs of interference by putting it close to a router. 

• Check your device’s storage space: If the device’s storage is full, it won’t download games that require a lot of memory. Since the Switch does not provide alerts on storage space, check the storage settings regularly to see how much space is left.

Steven Carr

Steven is a certified IT professional and gaming enthusiast. He has been working in the tech industry for over 10 years, and specializes in all things Tech-related. When he's not geeking out over the latest hardware or software release, he can be found testing out the latest video game.

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