Best Wall Chargers for the Nintendo Switch

ZMI PowerPlug Turbo with Nintendo Switch

The power adapter included with the Nintendo Switch works for it whether docked or in handheld mode. Providing the fastest charge possible. But it isn’t a travel friendly design, with its built-in cable, fixed prong, and wall wart size. And it probably already lives behind your TV, making getting it out a hassle. Luckily there’s a wide range of third party chargers available.

The best wall chargers for the Nintendo Switch and Nintendo Switch Life can all fast charge them while you play. And many are available in a smaller size and cheaper price than Nintendo’s official charger.

Looking to charge your iPhone 11 on the go? Check out Best Portable Chargers for the Nintendo Switch.

ZMI PowerPlug Turbo with Nintendo Switch

ZMI PowerPlug Turbo with Nintendo Switch

What kind of charger you need depends on your model Switch, travel plans, and other device needs. This charger buying guide for the Nintendo Switch will go over the various options. Including recommendations for most Switch use cases.

It is safe to charge the Switch with a third party charger. There have been no reports of good quality, third party power sources damaging a Switch. There have been problems with third party docks. But the issue stemmed from poor (or no) PD protocols on the dock’s power transfer chip. As with any accessory do your homework and buy well reviewed and quality products. I have more details in Safely Charging the Switch.


Energy Efficiency of Your Model Nintendo Switch

There are currently three Nintendo Switch models. They have varying energy efficiency levels and battery sizes. As such the model you own will affect how much play time you can get. And how long they take to recharge.

Nintendo Switch, original (HAC-001)

  • Released March 2017, mostly out of stores by fall 2019
  • 2.5-6.5 hours play time
  • Actual play time may be less for “launch day” units. Due to normal consumption of its lithium battery.
Compare Nintendo Switch models for charging efficiency

Original Nintendo Switch, new Nintendo Switch, and Nintendo Switch Lite

Nintendo Switch, updated (HAC-001-01)

  • Released August 2019
  • 4.5-9 hours play time
  • New hardware with many energy efficiency improvements
  • Same size battery as the original (4310mAh)

Nintendo Switch Lite (HDH-001)

  • Released September 2019
  • 3-7 hours play time
  • Same improved energy efficiency hardware as the updated model
  • Smaller internal battery as larger models (3570mAh)

Nintendo Switch Charge Times

 Original SwitchNew SwitchSwitch Lite
Sleeping Charge Time:3:303:142:59
Gaming Charge Time:3:152:582:55

The Switch Lite recharges the fastest. Not surprising, given it has the improved power efficiency and a smaller battery to fill. But even the original model Switch is only 20-30 minutes behind.


Power Output – Fast charging your Nintendo Switch

With the right cable you can connect most any USB portable charger to the Nintendo Switch and have it draw power. But how quickly it charges depends on the power output specs of your charger. And the Switch’s dock has very specific requirements.

USB Power Delivery

The Nintendo Switch supports USB Power Delivery over USB-C. USB Power Delivery (USB PD) is a fast charging standard. Like Quick Charge, but not cross-compatible. The Switch will always charge at a better rate with a USB-C PD power source.

18W USB-C PD

  • Charges all model Switches near their max rate in handheld/tabletop mode
  • Also commonly used to fast charge newer iPhones, Samsung Galaxy, and Google Pixel
  • Chargers supporting 15V will charge all model Switches at their max rate; but are uncommon among 18W
  • An 18W charger with 12V (but no 15V) will charge an original model Switch slower than normal; but still more than enough to charge while you play

30W USB-C PD

  • Guarantees all model Switches charge at their max rate, which requires 15V output
  • Can also power most 12-inch laptops
  • Max charge rate is not required to charge while you play, and you may not notice a difference between 18W and 30W

45W USB-C PD

  • Generally required to power the Nintendo Switch’s dock (requires 15V/2.6A, or more amps)
  • Charges Switch in handheld mode as well as 30W
  • Cam also power many 13-inch laptops
  • A 60W charger will accomplish the same results, but won’t charge the Switch any faster

Get a USB-C to USB-C 2.0 cable with a USB PD portable charger.

USB-C & USB-A

A USB-C (non-Power Deliver) or 10W USB-A charger can also charge your Nintendo Switch. But at slower rates.

Regular USB-C should offer up to 15W output. It isn’t as fast as USB PD. But it is enough to charge the Switch while you play. And will be almost as fast charging when asleep.

A USB-A charger offering 5V/2A (or more amps) output can keep up with the updated Switch and Switch Lite’s demands. But the original model Switch may continue to drain, though at a reduced rate. For best results plug in while the Switch’s battery is near 100%. You’ll also need a USB-C to USB-A 2.0 cable.

A USB-A charger only offering 5V/1A will only charge the Switch while it is asleep. And then quite slowly. Not worth messing with.

If you already own a regular USB-C or USB-A charger you can give it a go. But if buying a new charger stick with USB PD. They are the best value long term.

Learn more about how the Nintendo Switch charges and deals with different power sources.


Budget – Don’t pay for more than you really need

So you now have a good idea of what type of charger to get. But keep your personal budget in mind. In general the larger the output, the more expensive it is. If your ideal model is too much here are some cost savings suggestions.

  • Go with 18W USB-C PD over 30W. You likely wouldn’t notice a difference in charge times. Only go for 45W USB-C PD if you also need to power the dock.
  • Don’t go with 15W USB-C or USB-A. They aren’t much cheaper and aren’t a good value.
  • Look at both single port and multi-port options. Sometimes a larger multi-port actually costs less.
  • Anker, AUKEY, and RAVPower are the most popular brands. But also the most expensive, especially Anker.
  • Price in the cost of a USB-C to USB-C cable. Especially when comparing a charger that includes it with one that does not.

Best Wall Chargers for the Nintendo Switch

18W USB-C PD

These wall chargers are as small as they come. Taking up little space in your Switch carrying case. While charging your Switch in handheld mode as you play. But not always at the fastest rate possible.

Anker PowerPort III Nano

Anker's newer 18W USB-C PD wall charger. Leveraging GaN technology, it is smaller and lighter than most similar chargers. But with its small design comes fixed prongs. So be mindful when tossing it in your bag.

  • Ports: USB-C
  • Output: 18W USB-C PD, PowerIQ 3.0 (Quick Charge compatible)
  • GaN tech
  • Size: 1.8 x 1.1 x 1.1 inches | 1.1 oz

Review of the Anker PowerPort III Nano

AUKEY PA-Y18 Minima 18W PD

Almost as small as an iPhone's power adapter. It charges the original model Switch a bit slower. But still enough to charge while you play. And no problems with newer model Switches.

  • Ports: USB-C
  • Output: 18W USB-C PD
  • Size: 1.4 x 1.4 x 1.3 in | 1.5 oz

Review of the AUKEY PA-Y18 Minima 18W PD

30W USB-C PD

Guaranteed fastest charging rate while playing in handheld mode. For all Switch models. And can support iPhone and Android, iPad, MacBook Air, and most 12-inch PC laptops.

Anker PowerPort Atom PD 1

Small, light, fastest possible charge, and USB-IF certified. The only thing you may not like about this charger is its fixed prongs.

  • Ports: USB-C
  • Output: 30W USB-C PD
  • GaN tech
  • USB-IF certified
  • Size: 1.8 x 1.6 x 1.5 in | 1.9 oz

Review of the Anker PowerPort Atom PD 1

AUKEY PA-Y19 Minima 30W

Leveraging GaN technology, AUKEY put a 30W charger into what use to be an 18W form factor. All the benefits of a small, travel friendly charger. While maxing out your Switch in handheld mode.

  • Ports: USB-C
  • Output: 30W USB-C PD
  • GaN tech
  • Size: 1.4 x 1.4 x 1.3 in | 1.5 oz

45-60W USB-C PD

These chargers will power the Nintendo Switch dock. As well as charge the Switch as fast as possible in handheld mode.

Sale
ZMI PowerPlug Turbo

Cheaper than some of the 18W and 30W options above. And includes the USB-C cabled needed to work with the Switch.

  • Ports: USB-C
  • Output: 45W USB-C PD
  • Size: 2.4 × 2.2 × 1.1 in | 3.6 oz
  • Includes USB-C to USB-C cable

Review of the ZMI PowerPlug Turbo

Inateck 60W PD USB-C

More power than the Switch needs, even in TV mode. But with its price and included USB-C cable it is a great deal. Especially if you have a larger laptop to use with it, too.

  • Ports: USB-C
  • Output: 60W USB-C PD
  • USB-IF certified
  • Size: 2.8 x 2.3 x 1.2 in | 5.4 oz
  • Includes USB-C to USB-C cable

Review of the Inateck 60W PD USB-C

Charge Two Switches At Once

These are dual USB-C port chargers. Great for households with multiple Switches. Especially when you travel.

Sale
Anker PowerPort III Duo

A great dual phone charger for both two Switches or a Switch and phone. Anker's PowerIQ 3.0 tech supports fast charging for iPhone, Samsung, Google, LG, and Motorola phones.

  • Ports: USB-C x2
  • Output: 18W USB-C PD each
  • Size: 2.5 x 2.4 x 1.1 in | 3.5 oz

Sale
AUKEY PA-D2 Focus Duo 36W Dual-Port PD

A multi-functional charger. Will charge any model Switch at the fastest possible rate in single port mode. In dual port mode it'll fast charge two Switches. Or a Switch and iPhone, Samsung Galaxy, or Google Pixel.

  • Ports: USB-C x2
  • Output:
    • Single Port: 30W USB-C PD
    • Dual Port: 18W USB-C PD each
  • Size: 2.5 x 2.3 x 1.1 in | 4.1 oz

Review of the AUKEY PA-D2 Focus Duo 36W Dual-Port PD


Comparison of All Recommended Wall Chargers for the Nintendo Switch

 

Charger NoteOutputSizeWeightPrice
Anker PowerPort III NanoReview
(4.6)
Smallest option18W USB-C PD

PowerIQ 3.0
(Quick Charge compatible)
1.8 x 1.1 x 1.1 in1.1 oz$17.99
AUKEY PA-Y18 Minima 18W PDReview
(4.8)
Compromise between size and folding prongs18W USB-C PD1.4 x 1.4 x 1.3 in1.5 oz$14.99
Anker PowerPort Atom PD 1Review
(4.9)
USB-IF certified

GaN tech
30W USB-C PD1.8 x 1.6 x 1.5 in1.9 oz$29.99
AUKEY PA-Y19 Minima 30W30W charger stuffed into an 18W enclosure30W USB-C PD1.4 x 1.4 x 1.3 in1.5 oz$24.99
ZMI PowerPlug TurboReview
(4.8)
Supports dock

Includes USB-C to USB-C cable
45W USB-C PD

Quick Charge 3.0
2.4 × 2.2 × 1.1 in3.6 oz$18.99
Inateck 60W PD USB-CReview
(4.9)
Supports dock

Includes USB-C to USB-C cable

USB-IF certified
60W USB-C PD2.8 x 2.3 x 1.2 in5.4 oz$19.99
Anker PowerPort III DuoCharge two iPhones, or an iPhone and Android18W USB-C PD

18W USB-C PD

PowerIQ 3.0
(Quick Charge compatible)
2.5 x 2.4 x 1.1 in3.5 oz$20.99
AUKEY PA-D2 Focus Duo 36W Dual-Port PDReview
(4.8)
Charge two iPhones, or a MacBook/MacBook Air30W USB-C PD - Single Port

18W USB-C PD - Dual Port
2.5 x 2.3 x 1.1 in4.1 oz$19.99

tl;dr – What’s the best charger for the Nintendo Switch?

Several different USB-C chargers will work well with the Switch. Just look for these key specifications:

  • Minimum: 15W USB-C output
  • Recommended: 18-30W USB Power Delivery output for handheld
  • Go up to 45W if you also wish to power the Nintendo Switch’s dock
  • Don’t buy USB-A only, but okay to try one you already own
  • Folding prongs fair better in a Switch carrying case than a smaller charger with fix prongs
  • Included USB-C to USB-C cable is nice, otherwise budget an extra $10
  • Anker, AUKEY, and RAVPower are the biggest brands. But there are other good ones. As well as some not so great ones. Always check reviews, on and off Amazon.

Don’t see a charger you quite like? Or which is available in your region? Take what you’ve learned here and check out my larger USB-C charger comparison list.

Prices are from Amazon Product Advertising API, last updated on 2020-03-30.