Skip to Content

Do Switch Controllers Charge In Sleep Mode Or When Off?

*This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.


There are many different controllers that you can purchase when you own your first Nintendo Switch. Because every controller is different you may notice that each controller has its own way of charging it’s battery. 

There is nothing more inconvenient than going to play your Nintendo Switch only to find out that your controller battery is almost dead or dead. This can easily make your day or road trip go from normal to extremely boring. 

If you have the controllers that come with the Nintendo Switch you have probably realized that the Switch has a sleep mode which allows you to save its battery when you’re not playing it. Many people wonder if you can still charge your controllers though if the device is in sleep mode. 

The Switch controllers will begin to charge even if your Nintendo Switch is in sleep mode or turned off. As long as your JoyCon controllers are attached to the Switch and it is properly inserted into the docking station, you will never need to worry about your controllers not charging. 

One thing you must always make sure of though is that your docking station is plugged into the wall with the power cord that comes with. Obviously if your docking station is not plugged in it will not be able to charge your Switch or the JoyCons. 

Want to take your Nintendo Switch to the next level? Then check out this Nintendo Switch accessory bundle by clicking here.

PowerA Pokemon Joy-Con Comfort Grip for Nintendo Switch - Pikachu, Works with Nintendo Switch Lite - Nintendo Switch

Do you love your Switch but want to stand out from everyone else with the same model? Then look no further than this custom Joy-Con grip.

This Joy-Con grip will make your Switch console look amazing and you can even choose the one that fits your style the best!

How can I tell if my Switch controllers are charging?

Only Nintendo Switch can be extremely fun, but there are a couple of downsides especially when it comes to the controllers. One of the biggest downsides of the Switch controllers are their size. 

Even when the JoyCon controllers are being used as one controller it is still small with a weird controller button layout compared to other companies. If you are using the JoyCon controllers individually, they are extremely small and will not fit in most average sized hands. 

On top of them being small, many people have issues knowing if they are charging when they are plugged in or not. You obviously will not want to think your controllers are charging only to check back in an hour and realize they are still dead. 

Unfortunately when Nintendo released the Switch they did not create a way for you to tell if the JoyCons are charging when it is plugged in. The only way to make sure your JoyCons are charging is to purchase a docking station. This docking station will allow you to charge two sets of JoyCons and will even let you know when they are fully charged. 

When you first put the controllers on the docking station the LED light in the middle will turn red if they need to be charged. Once the controllers are fully charged the LED light in the middle will turn green so you know that they are ready to be used. 

This docking station is extremely easy to use with an easy slide in design to connect each JoyCon to the charger. It can hold four controllers, and simultaneously charge them all to full power within two hours. 

Do JoyCons charge while undocked?

Because you may be using your Nintendo Switch on the go often you probably want to know if the controllers can be charged while your Switch is being used on the go. This is very important as your Switch would be useless on the go if your JoyCon controller batteries are dead. 

The JoyCons will need to be attached to the Switch and the Switch will need to be on the docking station in order for the JoyCons to charge. This is because the JoyCons will not take a charge from the Switch while it is on the go. 

The easiest way to explain it is that the JoyCons do not use their own battery when they are plugged into the switch. They only use their own battery when they are taken off the device and used separately. 

Even if you are on the go and using your JoyCons all the time, the battery in them should last quite some time as they are designed to work on the go for long periods of time before running out of battery. 

Does the Switch Charge faster in sleep mode?

Everyone who owns a Nintendo Switch wants the device to charge faster so they can play it more. No one wants to be sitting around waiting on the device to charge for hours on end if there is a faster way. 

Because so many people know about sleep mode on the Nintendo Switch, they may begin to wonder if this will charge the device faster. After all if you can charge the device in an hour and a half instead of two hours by being in sleep mode, you would want those extra 30 minutes of gaming time. 

Unfortunately your Nintendo Switch will not charge considerably faster if it is in sleep mode. You honestly will not notice a difference if your Switch is in sleep mode or not when it is charging. The only way to charge your Switch faster is by having it completely turned off. 

With the JoyCon controllers attached to the Switch and the Switch turned off in the docking station, you will notice that the switch charges considerably faster. This is because the Switch will not use any battery when it is on the docking station because it is turned off. 

Even though you may not be playing the Switch, if it is on, it will use some of its battery. The only way to make sure that the Switch doesn’t use any of its battery while charging is to have the device turned off. 


Now that you know about the Nintendo Switch and charging the controllers, you can see exactly why so many people struggle when it comes to charging it. Even though you can put in on the docking station to charge it, you will not be able to tell if the JoyCons are charging or not. 

At least the Switch can function and charge properly when it is in sleep mode or turned off. Being able to charge your controllers while the device is off works out great for most people. This is because most people will just leave the system and controllers on the docking station while they are busy with something else.

Even though there have been rumors about the Switch charging faster in sleep mode, we didn’t personally notice any changes. The only time that we noticed changes were when the device was completely turned off. 

If you are on the go often though and you worry about running out of battery on your JoyCons, you will probably want to purchase a docking station. This station will let you charge up to 4 JoyCon controllers at once, and it will also let you know when they are fully charged by turning the light green. 

If you are looking to purchase one of these docking stations, you probably know that they are many different ones to choose from at different price points. The best Switch docking station for the JoyCons is this one. 

It has the fastest charging capabilities and works perfect with the JoyCon controllers. It allows you to charge four controllers simultaneously, and complete their charge in under 2 hours. 

This docking station may not be for everyone though, as some people prefer to only charge their JoyCon controllers while they are attached to the Switch and the docking station.