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Why Is My Nintendo Switch Battery Draining So Fast?

There are many things to love about the Nintendo Switch, but its relatively short battery life isn’t one of them. At most, the Switch is supposed to last up to nine hours, according to Nintendo, but even then, most games are so energy-consuming that the battery won’t last that long while playing. And what’s worse is that your battery can easily be poorly maintained or simply a dud and drain quicker than expected.

The simple answer as to why your Switch’s battery is draining so fast is that it’s a lithium-ion battery. As with most lithium-ion batteries, your console’s battery will gradually decrease its charge. The more you use your console and recharge it, the more you wear down the battery.

The standard lifespan for the Switch’s battery is about 800 charge cycles. It will decrease to about 80% compared to a battery on a new console. To prevent the battery from quickly draining, you can take a few precautions, and if your battery is already at that point, there are a few things to try before calling Nintendo for a replacement.

How long should the battery on your Nintendo Switch last?

Before jumping to any conclusions about your Switch’s battery, you should know the current lifespan of the battery. The Nintendo Switch Lite features a battery life of up to nine hours. At a full charge, it should last at least 4.5 hours. The charge depends on the type of games you play. For instance, if you play a more resource-heavy game, like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, the battery will last about 5.5 hours. 

How do you check the battery health on your Nintendo Switch?

The following steps instruct you on how to check the battery life on your Switch:

To view the approximate battery life:

  1. Press ZL + ZR simultaneously to momentarily display the battery charge percentage.

To view the percentage constantly:

  1. Select System Settings, from the Home Menu.
  2. Scroll down the options on the left and select System.
  3. On the right-hand side, select Console Battery (%). 
  4. Then Press on the A button to display the approximate battery life percentage on the Home menu.
  5. Press the A button again to turn off this option.

How can you check if the battery charge display on your Nintendo Switch is correct?

Your battery might seem to drain quickly, but it continues to keep working for hours at 1%. Nintendo saw this reoccurring error and addressed it by telling users to take the following steps to ensure the battery charge was displayed correctly.

  1. Ensure your Switch has the latest system update.
  2. Set the auto-sleep mode settings to never.
  3. Connect the power adapter directly to your Switch until it’s fully charged.
  4. Leave your Switch alone for one hour with the power adapter still connected.
  5. Disconnect the adapter and let the console display the Home menu for three to four hours.
  6. Once the battery charge is almost drained, turn your Switch off and leave it alone for 30 minutes.
  7. Repeat steps two through six.

How do you know if the battery on your Nintendo Switch is bad?

If your Switch isn’t taking or keeping a charge, there are a few things to test before going to the repair shop or doing a DIY job.

Perform a hard reset. Hold down the power button for 12 seconds, then press it once for the console to turn on. 
Use an official Nintendo Switch power adapter. The Switch charges using a non-standard protocol, so if you’re using a third-party adapter, that may be where your problems are coming from.
Power-cycle your power adapter. Unplug it from your Switch and the wall and leave it alone for about a minute. This may give the adapter a chance to reset.
Connect the power adapter to a wall outlet. Ensure the adapter is connected to the console and plug it directly into a wall outlet.
Check the power adapter for damage. Before you power-cycle your adapter, make sure there isn’t any fraying on the cables or bent pins inside the USB-C plug. And ensure there are no cracks or buckling on the housing of the wall adapter side.  
Leave it to charge for a few hours. If the battery’s been heavily drained, it needs to recharge slowly for safety reasons. Leave your console charging (while supervised) for at least two hours, but keep it plugged in for longer if there are still no signs of life. If, after 24 hours, you don’t get a response, try a hard reset as one last attempt to get things going.

If all of this fails, your best option is to call Nintendo directly and discuss repair services. 

What can you do to prevent the battery on your Nintendo Switch from draining quickly?

To prevent your Switch’s battery from a quick death, you can maintain its lifespan in a few different ways. First off, try to charge your console early and often. Don’t wait for it to be at 10% before plugging it in, and don’t let it get that low and set it down for the night without plugging it in. Plugging it in more often and earlier will allow you to prolong the battery’s lifespan and, therefore, your gameplay time. Another maintenance tip for a healthy battery is to avoid extreme heat and cold temperatures. 

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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