Best Portable Chargers for the Nintendo Switch

Anker PowerCore 13400 Nintendo Switch Edition with Nintendo Switch

A portable charger (aka power bank) can mean the difference between stressing over your Nintendo Switch’s battery life. Or being able to play all day long without worry. The best portable chargers for Nintendo Switch and Nintendo Switch Lite can all fast charge them while you play. While also offering enough capacity to keep you going, whether for a long commute or a day of travel.

Looking for a wall charger to use at home, work, or when you travel? Check out Best Chargers for the Nintendo Switch.

Anker PowerCore 13400 Nintendo Switch Edition

Anker PowerCore 13400 Nintendo Switch Edition

Like our phones and laptops, the Switch has a finite amount of battery life. With fewer energy saving options. A portable charger for the Nintendo Switch can extend your play time away from home. But what kind and how large depends on your model Switch and travel plans. This portable charger buying guide for the Nintendo Switch will go over the various options. Including recommendations for most Switch traveling needs.

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.

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

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)

All things being equal, a power bank goes furthest with the updated Switch than the other models. So if you have a model from late 2019 you can get away with a smaller power bank. While a larger power bank will help an original model Switch gain more play time. And cost much less than trading in your console.


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 portable charger. Making it as important of a specification as its capacity.

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

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 portable charger can charge your Nintendo Switch on the go. 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.

A USB-A portable 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 portable 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 portable charger you can give it a go. But if buying a new portable 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.


Capacity – Only carry what you need

More capacity generally means more play time. But you can end up with too much capacity. If you use 50% or less of a power bank then you’re carrying more weight than needed. And likely paid more than necessary, too.

Capacity to Play Time

You can’t compare mAh of the power bank to the mAh of your device’s battery. The changes in voltage from battery to USB back to battery makes the math more complicated. Not to mention expected power efficiency losses. The result being the actual capacity provided isn’t as much as the capacity listed.

As such I use this general guide of capacity to play time. Based on my own testing of many power banks with the Nintendo Switch. Individual power banks may give you better or worse play times. Depending on their power efficiency.

Nintendo Switch Portable Charger Capacity Play Times

How Much Do You Need?

For most travel I recommend a 10,000mAh power bank. Including the Switch’s battery you can get 7-10 hours (depending on your model Switch) total. More than enough for domestic travel.

A larger 20,000mAh may be more appropriate for longer international flights. It also works better if you need to charge several devices as you travel. Some also prefer a larger power bank for their commute. Opting to carry more weigh to save having to recharge it as often.

More than 20,000mAh is overkill for most people under most conditions. We’re talking 13-22 hours of running your Switch without access to a power outlet. You can also run into issues with carrying such a large power bank on some international flights.

In the United States you can fly with a 26,800mAh power bank on any flight.


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

So you now have a good idea of what type and size power bank to get. But keep your personal budget in mind. In general the larger and faster a power bank, 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.
  • Don’t go with 15W USB-C or USB-A. They aren’t much cheaper and aren’t a good value.
  • If wanting a 20,000mAh or larger model reconsider your capacity needs. A 10,000mAh works for most people under normal situations. Plan for what’s expected, not what might happen.
  • 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 power bank that includes it with one that does not.

Best Portable Chargers for Nintendo Switch

Pocket Size

These portable chargers offer around 10,000mAh capacity. They take up little space in a Switch carrying case. And can fit in your jeans pocket. But are more comfortable in a jacket pocket.

Sale
AUKEY PB-Y25 Sprint Wireless 8000

Features a wireless charging pad for compatible phones. And supports trickle charge mode, good for earbuds and fitness trackers.

  • Ports: USB-C, USB-A x2
  • Output: 18W USB-C PD, Quick Charge 3.0, 10W Qi Wireless
  • Capacity: 8,000mAh
    • Nintendo Switch (original): 3.5 hours of play
    • Nintendo Switch (new): 5 hours of play
    • Nintendo Switch Lite: 5 hours of play
  • Size: 5.8 x 3 x 0.6 inches | 7.0 oz
  • Includes USB-C to USB-C cable

Review of the AUKEY PB-Y25 Sprint Wireless 8000

Anker PowerCore 10000 PD Redux

Anker's compact portable fast charger. Includes a trickle charge mode, good for earbuds and fitness trackers.

  • Ports: USB-C, USB-A
  • Output: 18W USB-C PD
  • Capacity: 10,000mAh
    • Nintendo Switch (original): 4 hours of play
    • Nintendo Switch (new): 6 hours of play
    • Nintendo Switch Lite: 5.5 hours of play
  • Size: 4.2 x 2 x 1 inches | 7.0 oz
  • Includes USB-C to USB-C cable

Sale
Novoo PowerCube Mini 10000

A budget friendly alternative to the more popular brands. Offers the same fast charging for newer Switches, a bit slower for the original model. In more of a cubical form. And at a lower price.

  • Ports: USB-C, USB-A
  • Output: 18W USB-C PD, Quick Charge 3.0
  • Capacity: 10,000mAh
    • Nintendo Switch (original): 4 hours of play
    • Nintendo Switch (new): 5 hours of play
    • Nintendo Switch Lite: 5.5 hours of play
  • Size: 2.9 x 2.3 x 1 inches | 6.3 oz

Review of the Novoo PowerCube Mini 10000

Nintendo Licensed

Sale
Anker PowerCore 13400 Nintendo Switch Edition

Certified by Nintendo to work perfectly with the Nintendo Switch. It carries their seal of approval. After under going quality assurance testing at Nintendo's labs. But with that licensing comes a price.

  • Ports: USB-C, USB-A
  • Output: 22.5W USB-C PD
  • Capacity: 13,400mAh
    • Nintendo Switch (original): 5 hours of play
    • Nintendo Switch (new): 7.5 hours of play
    • Nintendo Switch Lite: 7.5 hours of play
  • Size: 3.8 x 3.1 x 0.9 inches | 9.2 oz

Review of the Anker PowerCore 13400 Nintendo Switch Edition

Camping

Novoo Explorer 10000

Need a portable charger for the great outdoors? This one is designed with camping and hiking in mind. It is waterproof, dustproof, and shockproof. Without being over designed.

  • Ports: USB-C, USB-A
  • Output: 18W USB-C PD, Quick Charge 3.0
  • Capacity: 10,000mAh
    • Nintendo Switch (original): 4.5 hours of play
    • Nintendo Switch (new): 6 hours of play
    • Nintendo Switch Lite: 6.5 hours of play
  • Size: 5.5 x 2.8 x 0.7 inches | 7.7 oz

Review of the Novoo Explorer 10000

High Capacity

These portable chargers offer 20,000 – 26,800mAh capacity. Making them big and heavy, but also offering enough power to keep playing for a day or more. All are legal to fly within the USA.

Sale
Anker PowerCore Essential 20000 PD

Anker's cheapest high capacity portable charger. Made specifically with handheld devices in mind.

  • Ports: USB-C, USB-A
  • Output: 18W USB-C PD, PowerIQ 2.0 (Quick Charge compatible)
  • Capacity: 20,000mAh
    • Nintendo Switch (original): 8 hours of play
    • Nintendo Switch (new): 12 hours of play
    • Nintendo Switch Lite: 12 hours of play
  • Size: 6.4 x 2.9 x 1 inches | 15.8 oz
  • Includes USB-C to USB-C cable

Sale
ZMI PowerPack Aura 20K USB-C

A more budget friendly alternative to the popular brands. Offers the same best charging rate for the Switch. And unusually efficient power transfers, allowing for more play time.

  • Ports: USB-C, USB-A x2
  • Output: 27W USB-C PD, Quick Charge 3.0
  • Capacity: 20,000mAh
    • Nintendo Switch (original): 10 hours of play
    • Nintendo Switch (new): 14 hours of play
    • Nintendo Switch Lite: 14 hours of play
  • Size: 5.9 x 2.8 x 1 inches | 13.4 oz
  • Includes USB-C to USB-C cable

Review of the ZMI PowerPack Aura 20K USB-C

RAVPower PD Pioneer 26800

If you need to carry as much capacity as possible a 26,800mAh portable charger is for you. RAVPower's exceeds the Switch's needs. And allows for enough power for long play times and keeping your other devices topped off.

  • Ports: USB-C, USB-A x2
  • Output: 30W USB-C PD
  • Capacity: 26,800mAh
    • Nintendo Switch (original): 10 hours of play
    • Nintendo Switch (new): 14 hours of play
    • Nintendo Switch Lite: 14 hours of play
  • Size: 6.8 x 3.2 x 0.9 inches | 16.3 oz

Review of the RAVPower PD Pioneer 26800


Comparison of All Recommended Portable Chargers for the Nintendo Switch

 

Charger NoteOutputCapacitySizeWeightPrice
AUKEY PB-Y25 Sprint Wireless 8000Review
(4.8)
Wireless charging for phone18W USB-C PD

18W Quick Charge 3.0 USB-A

12W USB-A

10W Qi Wireless
8,000mAh5.8 x 3 x 0.6 in7.0 oz$29.99
Anker PowerCore 10000 PD ReduxPopular and compact18W USB-C PD

12W USB-A
10,000mAh4.2 x 2 x 1 in7.0 oz$45.99
Novoo PowerCube Mini 10000Review
(4.5)
Budget friendly18W USB-C PD

18W Quick Charge 3.0 USB-A
10,000mAh2.9 x 2.3 x 1 in6.3 oz$12.99
Anker PowerCore 13400 Nintendo Switch EditionReview
(4.9)
Licensed by Nintendo22.5W USB-C PD

7.5W USB-A
13,400mAh3.8 x 3.1 x 0.9 in9.2 oz$56.53
Novoo Explorer 10000Review
(4.6)
Camping, outdoors18W USB-C PD

18W Quick Charge 3.0 USB-A
10,000mAh5.5 x 2.8 x 0.7 in7.7 oz$25.99
Anker PowerCore Essential 20000 PDBest selling high capacity18W USB-C PD

PowerIQ 2.0 USB-A
(Quick Charge 3.0 compatible)
20,000mAh6.4 x 2.9 x 1 in15.8 oz$49.99
ZMI PowerPack Aura 20K USB-CReview
(4.6)
Budget friendly high capacity27W USB-C PD

18W Quick Charge USB-A

12W USB-A
20,000mAh5.9 x 2.8 x 1 in13.4 oz$35.99
RAVPower PD Pioneer 26800Review
(4.6)
Highest capacity good for all USA flights30W USB-C PD

12W USB-A x2
26,800mAh6.8 x 3.2 x 0.9 in16.3 oz$59.98

tl;dr – How much power bank do I really need for the Nintendo Switch?

Several different power banks will work well with the Switch. Just look for these key specifications:

  • Minimum: 15W USB-C output
  • Recommended: 18-30W USB Power Delivery output
  • Don’t buy USB-A only, but okay to try one you already own
  • 10,000mAh for an extra 4+ hours
  • 20,000mAh or more if traveling far or powering 3+ devices
  • 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 power bank you quite like? Or which is available in your region? Take what you’ve learned here and check out my larger power bank comparison list.

Prices are from Amazon Product Advertising API, last updated on 2020-03-28.