Will The Nintendo Switch Overcharge? (Is Leaving It Plugged In Bad?)

Have you ever wondered about plugging your Nintendo Switch in while you were gone, but you didn’t want it to overcharge? Maybe you heard rumors about people’s Switch catching on fire because they overcharged.

Well, in this article we will go over everything you need to know about the Nintendo Switch and its overcharging. 

So will the Nintendo Switch overcharge?

The Nintendo Switch has overcharge protection which means that it is designed to not overcharge even if it is left plugged in overnight or for long periods of time. Leaving it plugged in will also not damage the Switch in anyway either.

If you want to know more about the Nintendo Switch and its overcharging, you will want to keep reading this article.

If you want to find the best selling Nintendo accessories currently available you can find them by clicking here.

You can also check out this video about the Nintendo Switch dock overcharging the battery. 

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Can you leave the Switch plugged in too long?

Although some people think you can leave your Switch plugged in too long, Nintendos actually can’t overcharge. That would stop it from being a home console.

Even when you are using it as portable, it stops using the battery at when it is charged to 100% and uses the power supply to run the system. That’s why the lightning bolt goes away once it’s at 100%.

Is it safe to charge a Nintendo Switch overnight?

It is absolutely safe to charge the Nintendo Switch console overnight to ensure that it is fully charged. If you put the console on the dock or plug it into the AC adapter before the battery is entirely used, it will only charge long enough to fill it up so charging too much at night isn’t an issue.

Leaving the console on the dock indirectly with the AC adapter overnight or past the point where the battery is fully charged will not damage the battery on your Switch at all.

Just make sure your charger is good enough because if it’s weak, your Switch will drain power overnight rather than gain it.

There are two ways to charge Nintendo Switch consoles, and both allow you to play while you are charging: when your Switch is in its dock, even if you are playing on the TV, the console will be charging through the power cable connected to the dock.

You can also plug a USB-C charging cable directly into the Switch while you are playing it in handheld mode.

The Nintendo Switch system takes approximately three hours to fully charge when it’s powered off or in sleep mode. When the system is in use, the charging time will be longer.

How to make your Nintendo Switch’s battery life last longer

There are a few different things that you can do to make your Switch’s battery last a little bit longer.

  • Turn your brightness down

The display is very power-hungry with most modern devices. Lowering the brightness helps a lot, but it makes the screen a little harder to view if you are outside in the sun.

  • Don’t rely on sleep mode

Sleep mode is fantastic, and you can use it at any time. However, if you are trying to conserve battery power, make sure the Switch is completely turned off when not in use since your Nintendo Switch will slowly drain its battery even when it is in sleep mode.

Sleep mode is preferred if you need to take a ten-minute rest but anything longer than that you should consider turning it off or if you are at home, simply dock the console.

  • Turn off the vibration

For a lot of games, the vibration task is just an added extra, and most games can be finished without the need to have the HD rumble turned on.

With the vibration off it will allow the Switch’s battery to last a little bit longer.

  • Lower volume

The lower the volume on your Switch, the less power consumption it will have from trying to put out audio.

Changing to auto-sleep will also help if you have a practice of walking away from your Switch while it is still turned on.

  • Play less intensive games

More intensive games like Breath of The Wild with its massive open world will drain your Switch’s battery faster than other games will. In Zelda BOTW, you can expect around 3 hours playtime, whereas something a little less intensive on the console will have you seeing up to six hours of gameplay.

  • Put it in airplane mode

Putting you Switch into airplane mode is a sure-fire way to increase your battery life. Your console will not be able to pair additional controllers while in airplane mode and you will also be unable to connect to the internet.

It’s recommended you turn on the battery percentage display as well. This does not make the battery last longer, but it’s handy to keep an eye on how much power you have left.

  • Have a power bank with you

The power bank has progressed to the point where they can charge your device multiple times. The best power bank is the Anker Powercore+ 20100 USB-C as this can fully charge a Nintendo Switch twice, potentially giving you twelve more hours of gameplay.

You can find that powerbank by clicking here.

  • Carry a spare charger

It’s tiresome to carry your charger along but better than not being able to play your console on a six-hour train journey. You can find plug sockets in various places these days.

One of the best things about playing with the AC adapter plugged in is the console still charges faster, even when playing an intensive game like Zelda BOTW.

  • Remove your Joy-Cons

The Switch doesn’t usually charge your Joy-Cons while attached to the Nintendo Switch unless the Switch is getting some power from being plugged in. Are you aware when Joy-Cons are entirely depleted, they begin to charge from your Nintendo Switch?

This can waste precious battery life so if your Joy-Cons are low on battery they could drain your Switch’s battery.

  • Install a new battery

Eventually, your battery will stop holding a charge like it used to, and sometimes the best way to fix it is to start with a new battery.

Modern lithium-ion batteries usually only hold 80% of their capacity after 500 charging cycles. Unfortunately after every charge, your battery will degrade quicker. This happens because the electrolyte in the cell will degrade.

Where does your Nintendo take power from when you play while plugged in?

If your battery is not full and you plug it in and continue playing it may be taking power from both the battery and the wall if the power supplied by the cord is not sufficient however if you are using the supplied power cord this shouldn’t happen.

For example, if you just plugged the Switch into a spare USB port on your laptop, there’s a chance that the port will only provide 2.5W. This is not sufficient to run the Switch, so the battery would continue to drain albeit at a slower rate.

If your battery is full, it can still slowly drain if you are using a charger, which is not powerful enough. You can prevent this from happening if you use the stock charger that comes in the Nintendo Switch box.

If the battery is full and the charger is powerful enough, then the power is all coming directly from the AC adapter. It’s important to know if the charger that you are using is powerful enough. This information you can get from the package or the AC adapter of a charger.


The Nintendo Switch can’t overcharge since the modern device has a controller that won’t allow it to charge above a certain amount. This is why you do not have to worry about overcharging your device, or when you charge it, or even how long you leave it sit on the charger.

These devices are very smart and will not allow you to damage the device or make the battery blow up because you overcharge it. 

The Nintendo Switch is highly sought after, and the fact that it is portable and also a traditional console system is what sets it apart. Even though some people may not like Nintendo, you can clearly see that they are trying to bring everyone on board with the Switch. 

Matt Robbs

There is nothing quite so enjoyable as bringing back memories from your childhood. We used to spend hours playing pinball in my friends basement and that really got me involved in everything retro!

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