Can You Charge a Switch With a Phone Charger? [The Truth]

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Imagine wanting to play your favorite Nintendo Switch game only to find that your console has run out of power. You look around you, and you find a phone charger! But… can charge your Switch with a phone charger?

And if a phone charger can power up your gaming device, is it safe? Or will it damage your Nintendo Switch’s battery? We have all the answers to your questions, so keep reading!

Can You Charge a Switch With a Phone Charger

What Charger Does the Nintendo Switch Use?

The Nintendo Switch uses a USB Type-C charger. It charges the Switch using a 39-watt power output, specifically 15 Volts and 2.6 Amperes of current. The USB Type-C connector is compatible with any USB Type-C power adapter that meets these specifications.

The Nintendo Switch has three versions – the Switch, Switch OLED, and  Switch Lite. While all variations use the same type of charger, the Switch Lite requires less power input, particularly  5 volts and 1.5 amperes. Despite this, the Switch Lite also uses the 39-watt USB-C charger that the Switch and Switch OLED uses.

This is because the device’s official charger can lower its power output depending on what version of Switch it is charging. 

Alternatively, you can find compatible charges on Amazon for a lower price.

Find out more about the Nintendo Switch’s charger specifications.

Can You Charge a Nintendo Switch Using a Phone Charger?

You can charge a Nintendo Switch using a phone charger, but you shouldn’t do it, as it can shorten the lifespan of the console’s battery. Phone chargers usually only have a 13-watt power output, three times less than the 39-watt power output required by the Nintendo Switch. 

Your Nintendo Switch’s battery will charge if you use a phone charger. But if you are playing with the device while charging it, its battery may continue to deplete due to the lower power output produced by the phone charger.

Using the console while charging can also cause overheating. The increase in temperature, along with the continuous charge and depletion cycle caused by using a low-voltage charger, can decrease the lifespan of your Nintendo Switch.

We recommend using an official Nintendo Switch charger to ensure safe and efficient charging. This will also ensure that the console will recharge within Nintendo’s estimated charging time of 3 hours.

Power Output of a Nintendo Switch Charger

If you still want to charge your Switch using a USB-C charger, ensure it has enough voltage and amperage to support its power requirements. It is also worth noting that a regular USB-C charger may not be entirely compatible with the Nintendo Switch. Instead, you must use a USB-C Power Delivery (PD) charger.

This type of charger delivers a higher power than regular chargers. A USB DP charger will allow your Switch to charge quickly, much like how fast chargers work with iPhones. 

Find out more about the Nintendo Switch’s proper charging method.

Can a Phone Charger Damage a Nintendo Switch?

Regular phone chargers cannot damage a Nintendo Switch. However, they can shorten their battery lifespan. Although Nintendo recommends using the official charger, there are no reports of phone chargers damaging the console. The worst thing a phone charger can do to your Nintendo Switch is shorten its battery’s lifespan.

While you can charge a Switch with a USB-C charger, you should never use a fast charger.

Such chargers transfer a much higher energy output than standard phone chargers to power up devices much faster than regular chargers. While it might seem convenient, fast chargers can cause the Switch’s battery to overheat, leading to damage. 

Can a Phone Charger Damage a Nintendo Switch

Considering that fast chargers work similarly to a USB Power Delivery charger (USB PD charger), you may wonder why the latter does not damage the Nintendo Switch.

The quick answer is that a USB PD charger can adjust its energy output depending on the device’s needs, while a fast phone charger can’t.

How Long Does It Take for the Switch to Charge With a Phone Charger?

The minimum time needed to fully charge the Switch using a phone charger is 3 hours, but it will depend on the charger’s wattage. The higher the phone charger’s wattage is, the faster your Nintendo Switch will charge. But it’s worth noting that all phone chargers won’t charge your console as swiftly as Nintendo’s official charger.

According to Nintendo, it takes 3 hours for a Switch that is in sleep mode to charge. Even if you use a fast charger, your console might take over 3 hours to charge. Third-party chargers might not provide your Switch’s specifications for optimal charging, resulting in a longer charging time.

Is It Safe to Play With the Nintendo Switch While Charging?

Is It Safe to Play With a Nintendo Switch While Charging

It is totally safe to play with your Nintendo Switch while charging it. The console has built-in proper charging circuitry, allowing its battery to charge and power its system simultaneously. However, your console will charge slower than charging it while in sleep mode, as its battery will continue depleting as you play with it. 

Despite being safe, observing your console while charging and playing with it is crucial. If it is becoming hotter than usual, taking a break and letting it cool down is ideal. Continuous overheating can damage your Nintendo Switch’s internal parts, so taking proper precautions is essential.

Using an official Nintendo charger when charging and playing with the Switch is also important. This way, your device will receive proper wattage and amperage, preventing its battery from depleting while you use it.

What Can Damage a Nintendo Switch Battery?

The Nintendo Switch is a durable device. But like any other technology, improper use can cause it to acquire damage.

What Can Damage a Nintendo Switch Battery

Here are some of the things that can damage a Nintendo Switch battery:

  • Extreme Temperatures.
    Exposing your Nintendo Switch to either too hot or cold temperatures can damage its display.
  • Overcharging.
    While your Switch has built-in overcharge protection, constant overcharging can stress its batteries, thus decreasing its lifespan.
  • Physical Damage.
    Subjecting your console to impact can damage not only its battery but also its internal components.
  • Water Exposure.
    Liquid or moisture exposure can cause your Nintendo Switch to short circuit. 

    Got your Nintendo Switch broken beyond repair? Find out how much a used Nintendo Switch costs here.
  • Deep Discharge.
    There is nothing wrong with fully discharging your Nintendo Switch once in a while. However, doing this constantly can strain the battery’s cells, resulting in damage.

Discover what to avoid to prevent damaging your Nintendo Switch’s battery.

Use Nintendo’s Official Charger With Your Switch

If you use it properly, the Nintendo Switch’s battery has a relatively long lifespan. While you can charge your Switch with a phone charger, ensuring it has the same power input as Nintendo’s official charger is vital.

The charger must also be a USB Power Delivery to ensure that it can adjust its output according to your console’s needs.

But despite these precautions, using the official charger for your Nintendo Switch is always better. Using a phone charger once in a while will not harm your console. However, using it as a dedicated charger for your Switch can decrease its battery life.

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