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

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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 were 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 or dock in any way either.

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

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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 no matter if they are plugged into the outlet just to charge or left plugged in and docked all of the time.

That would stop it from being a real home console which is the big draw that the Switch has. It is a standard console that can also be used on the go.

Even when you are using the Switch as a portable console and it is plugged in, it stops using the Nintendo Switch battery 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 Extend Your Nintendo Switch Battery Life

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

Turn your screen 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 for 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 regularly walk 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 of 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 your Switch into airplane mode is a surefire 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 it 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 power bank 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-Con controllers 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 more quickly. This happens because the electrolyte in the cell will degrade.

If you have an original Switch, changing the battery could help to extend your battery life significantly (although whether that is worth the cost or you should just upgrade to the OLED model is something that you will have to consider).

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, the power comes 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.

How Long Does It Take Before A Nintendo Switch Overheats?

So I have already talked about how your Switch won’t overcharge because of built-in protections. But what about overheating? Will a Nintendo Switch overheat and if so how long will it take?

A Nintendo Switch will never overheat when played in handheld mode or when docked as long as it isn’t left in direct sunlight. Although the Switch will get a little warm when you are playing with it for many hours it will never get hot enough to overheat.

As mentioned above though direct sunlight can cause your electronic device to overheat. So if you are sitting outside in the sun while playing your Switch then it could cause it to overheat. Exactly how long it would take to do so would depend on the temperature outside, how intense the sun is, etc.

If you are concerned about your Switch overheating all you will need to do is not use it in the sunshine. Play it while inside or when you are in the shade and you won’t have to worry about it ever overheating.

How Charged Does A Nintendo Switch Need To Be To Turn On?

If your Switch battery died because you were using it too much you might be wondering how long you have to wait to use it after you connect it to the charger. Does it have to reach a certain percentage before you can use it again?

Your Nintendo Switch just has to have a fraction of 1% to turn it back on after it is connected to the charger. Once you plug your Switch in it will take approximately less than a minute to charge enough to where you can begin playing it again.

If you plug your Switch in when the battery is down to 1% then it will never actually shut off. The charger provides more power than playing on the Switch uses so as long as you plug your Switch in before the battery dies entirely then you can keep playing on your Switch without any interruptions in your gaming.

If you do accidentally let your Switch’s battery die it will only take a minute or less for it to charge up enough to where you can play on it again.

How Long Does It Take For A Nintendo Switch To Fully Charge?

If your Switch battery has been drained entirely you might be wondering how long it will take for it to reach a full charge. Of course, it can vary depending on if you are playing the Switch while it is charging or just letting it charge without playing.

But how long will the Switch take to actually charge?

The Switch will fully charge within 3 to 3 1/2 hours when using the official Nintendo AC adapter or charging dock. If you are using a lower-powered AC adapter it will take your Switch 4-5 hours to fully charge a battery that was entirely dead.

If you are playing on the Switch while it is charging it will also extend the charging time that it will take before it reaches full power. Exactly how long it will take the Switch to charge while being played will depend on which game you are playing as an online game will be more power-hungry than a game that you are playing off a cartridge.

In general, a Switch that has a dead battery will take approximately 4 to 4 1/2 hours to charge completely when you are still playing on the Switch. If you are playing an online game it will take closer to 5 hours to fully charge (since you are using the game’s resources as well as pulling in data over the internet). If you are playing a single-player game using one of your game cartridges it should take around 4 hours for the Switch’s battery to fully charge.

Is It Bad To Leave The Nintendo Switch Docked?

When you talk about overcharging your Switch it is important to consider whether leaving your Switch docked all or most of the time will actually harm it. I have already talked about the safety that Nintendo has in place to prevent overcharging but will leaving the Switch docked hurt it?

Leaving your Switch docked all of the time is not bad for the console or the dock. Nintendo has made sure to put safety features in place so that leaving it docked all of the time won’t harm the battery or anything else on your Switch.

I personally leave my Switch sitting on the dock the majority of the time and have done so for multiple years now. There has not been any extra decrease in battery life or any other adverse effects on the Switch usage either when docked or when in handheld mode.

There are no negative effects to leaving your Switch docked all of the time. It is 100% safe to leave your Switch docked and you won’t be at risk of damaging the Switch, dock, or causing any other issues.

Does The Switch Stop Charging When Full?

If you have your Switch plugged in or on the dock to charge will it keep charging even if the battery is full? If the battery is full will the Switch stop charging?

When the Nintendo Switch battery is full it will automatically stop charging. This is a built-in safety feature that is designed to help protect your Switch from overcharging.

No matter whether your Switch is plugged in to the USB-C power cord or whether it is on the Switch dock, it will stop charging once the battery is full. So you don’t have to worry about your Switch overcharging or the Switch battery being damaged because you left it on the charger for too long.

How Long Does The Nintendo Switch Battery Last? (Lifetime and Per Charge)

If you have a Nintendo Switch, Switch Lite, or Switch OLED you will likely want to know how long you can expect the battery to last. But how long it will last depends on what you mean by “last”. Do you mean how long will the Switch battery last before it needs recharged or do you mean how long will it last before it will stop holding a change entirely?

A Switch, Switch Lite, or Switch OLED will last for approximately 3-4 hours of play time before needing to be recharged. Exactly how long the battery will last will depend on what game you are playing, whether you are playing online, as well as the age of your Switch console.

A Switch, Switch Lite, or Switch OLED will have a battery lifetime (before it degrades significantly) of anywhere between 5-10 years. Exactly how long it will last before you need to replace your Switch battery (or leave it docked all of the time) will vary depending on whether you always leave it fully charged, how often you use it docked vs in handheld mode, and many other variables.

No internal batteries on electronic devices will last forever. Most phone batteries will only stay “good” without serious loss of battery life for 3-5 years. The Switch battery should last much longer than that since it isn’t depleted and recharged on a daily basis like phones are (in most cases).

So although the Switch battery won’t last forever and will need to be replaced at some point in the future if you want to use it in handheld mode, you shouldn’t have to worry about that for many years to come.


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 sitting 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.