Charger Buying Guide for the Nintendo Switch


The right USB-C charger for you depends on your Nintendo Switch gaming habits, planned travel, and budget. Also consider if you own other USB-C devices, or will in the future. You can narrow down the options by deciding on the charge speed and number of ports you need. Here I’ll go over the options and how each works best.

Do You Need Another Charger?

The Nintendo Switch includes an AC adapter (see my review). It charges the Switch while docked or in handheld mode. It can fulfill all your Switch charging needs. But it has two potential problems to consider:

  • For most it is behind their TV and not easy to access for travel. Or even going to another room.
  • Its single use design led it to having limited power profiles. It will not charge many other USB-C devices well, if at all.

A different USB-C charger can offer travel flexibility and support for other devices. It can stay in your bag, charge your smartphone or laptop, and cost the same (or less) as a second Nintendo Switch AC Adapter. You should consider a second charge if you…

  • Play in another room, away from the TV and dock.
  • Play at work (during breaks only, of course).
  • Travel. A charger with detachable cable and folding prongs packs better.
Are Third Party Chargers Safe?

In a word: yes.

There have been no confirmed reports of any charger or power bank damaging a Switch. There have been problems with third party docks. But those issues involve the power transfer within the dock. Some cases used the official AC adapter while others used third party chargers.

You can read more about safely charging the Switch. Check out my safety ratings and find which level you feel the most comfortable using.

Charge Speed

Different connection types and protocols offer different charge speeds for the Switch. The most important number is 8.75W. That is the most amount of power the Switch will use during game play. If a charger can offer more power than that, then it’ll keep up with the Switch. The more power it offers above that, the faster it’ll charge the Switch’s battery while you play. You can read more about how Nintendo Switch charging works.

Connection TypeMax Switch DrawCharge Time,
0-100%
While PlayingDock Support
USB-C PD18W2.5-3 hours
3.5 hours while playing
Charges under all gaming conditionsYes, if 15V/2.6A
USB-C10W3-3.5 hoursCharges under most gaming conditionsNo
USB-A7.5W4+ hoursCharges under some gaming conditionsNo

Available amperage can be higher without concern.

USB-C PD is generally what you want in a wall charger.

Not all USB-A chargers are equal. Check the print details on the charger for its power output. If it is 5V/1A or less it will not charge the Switch unless asleep. This includes most phone chargers.

Number of Ports

Single port chargers are smaller, lighter, and cheaper. More often they are travel friendly.

Multi-port chargers are useful if you want to charge other devices along with your Switch. They are larger and heavier. Some are travel friendly. Most have 1 USB-C port and 1-4 USB-A ports. The USB-C port is usually USB-C PD, but double check. The number of ports should match the number of USB devices you want to charge.

Chargers with 2 USB-C ports are rare. There is also an overdraw concern with the Switch, though that isn’t confirmed in real world usage.

Other USB-C Devices

If you own other USB-C devices you want a charger that can service both them and the Switch. USB-C is becoming more common, so if you don’t own a second USB-C device now you likely will later.

Smartphone

Newer Android phones are including USB-C. They often come with a USB-A charger and a USB-C to USB-A cable. It is unlikely iPhones will move to USB-C. Apple prefers its proprietary Lightning connection. And they make money licensing it to accessory manufactures.

  • 5V/3A & 9V/2A will cover most model USB-C phones

Laptop

Apple, Dell, Google, and other laptop makers are using USB-C for power as well as input. Microsoft Surface products are also moving in that direction. How much power you need depends on the size of the laptop.

  • 12-inch: 15V/2A (30W) or higher
  • 13-inch: 15V/3A or 20V/2.25A (45W) or higher
  • 15-inch: 20V/3A (60W)

Power Bank

A power bank with USB-C is best recharged via USB-C. You’ll need to check the power input specs for your particular model. A 45W USB-C PD charger will fast charge any model currently on the market.

Recommended USB-C Chargers

You should now have a good idea of the type of charger you want. It is time to find the exact charger for your needs. Here are USB-C chargers I recommend, as they well work for most Switch owners.

ZMi PowerPlug Turbo | Review

  • USB-C PD 45W wall charger that is travel friendly
  • Includes a 20 inch USB-C cable
  • Supports fast charging for iPhone and Android devices (cables not included)
  • My personal go to USB-C charger

Inateck 60W PD USB-C Wall Charger | Review

  • USB-C PD 60W wall charger that is travel friendly
  • Includes a long 6.6 foot USB-C cable
  • Supports fast charging for iPhone and Android devices (cables not included)
  • Higher output makes it ideal for both Switch and USB-C laptop

Apple 12W USB Power Adapter | Review

  • USB-A charger made for the iPad
  • Requires a USB-C to USB-A cable, sold separately
  • Only USB-A charger to that charges the Switch as well as regular USB-C
  • Smallest and lightest option that will charge while you play

Anker PowerPort II PD | Review

  • Dual port charger, with USB-C and USB-A
  • Great for travel with your Switch and 1-2 other devices

If none of these work for you please check out my list of Switch friendly USB-C chargers.

Don’t forget to get a USB-C cable if one isn’t included.