As with other entertainment consoles meant to connect to your television set, the Nintendo Switch doesn’t rely on batteries. You can game on the console for as long as your heart desires. It’s when you remove the console from its dock that you have to worry about fixing bad Nintendo Switch battery life.
The Nintendo Switch isn’t a gaming console as you’ve experienced it before. For as long as they’ve existed, portable game consoles and living room game consoles have been two separate things. They’ve coexisted but always maintained their distance. The Nintendo Switch is both a living room gaming console and a way to play titles away from your television set. Removable Joy-Cons are one innovation that makes this possible. The other thing is a dedicated 720p touchscreen display and a battery tucked inside it.
Because Nintendo is bridging two different worlds, everyone expected there to be some casualties. Battery life is the easily identifiable one. The Nintendo Switch is more powerful than recent consoles from the company. That and the demanding games Nintendo expects to launch guaranteed that some users would need to seek fixes for bad Nintendo Switch battery life.
There’s no magic way to double the amount of play time you get from your Nintendo Switch between charges. There are ways to help modestly boost the amount of time you can enjoy your favorite games.
How to Fix Bad Nintendo Switch Battery Life: Play Another Nintendo Switch Game
As is the case with your laptop, Nintendo Switch battery life is not consistent. That is, you can’t expect that the console will give you the same amount of play time across its portfolio of titles. Different games push the Nintendo Switch’s internals in different ways. The same is true of laptops and tablets.
It’s possible to get 6 hours of playtime in casual puzzle titles available through the Nintendo eShop, Nintendo says. Playing The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild isn’t going to get you nearly that much. In fact, it’s a pretty safe bet that none of the high-profile Nintendo Switch games coming in 2017 will get you that much. Breath of the Wild players report around 3 solid hours of play time before the console reminds them that it needs to be charged again.
All that points to one important way to manage bad Nintendo Switch battery life. To get more play time out of the console, try playing a less demanding title until you can make it to a charger.
How to Fix Bad Nintendo Switch Battery Life: Turn Down Screen Brightness on You Nintendo Switch
Besides the processor, the biggest draw on the battery in the Nintendo Switch is its display. Turning down the screen brightness on your device can help you get more gaming time.
Hold down the Home button on the right Joy-Con to get a pop-up menu that allows you to adjust some settings. Now use the slider to get the display brightness as low as possible. You’ll want to make sure that it’s bright enough that you can still see it, but low enough that there are some power savings.
While you’re here, go ahead and shut off the Auto-Brightness feature so that your console doesn’t decide to override your settings when your lighting situation changes.
How to Fix Bad Nintendo Switch Battery Life: Put the Nintendo Switch in Airplane Mode
While you’re inside this quick settings menu there’s another thing that you can do to save Nintendo Switch battery life. You can switch to Airplane Mode.
Airplane Mode shuts off any wireless communication. As such, you’ll need to keep your Joy-Con controllers attached to the console. This means no Joy-Con Grip or Nintendo Switch Controller usage. You’ll also want to make sure that the game you’re playing doesn’t require an internet connection. You should notice some small gains in battery life.
How to Fix Bad Nintendo Switch Battery Life: Try Turning Your Nintendo Switch Off Completely Between Sessions
When you press the power button on the top edge of your Nintendo Switch, you are not powering it off completely. The console goes into a state of sleep. In its slumber, it consumes much less battery power than it would otherwise but there’s still some drain. If extending the amount of time you can go until your next charge is a really big priority, turn the console completely off.
To turn it off you’ll need to press and hold the power button. In this state, your Nintendo Switch shouldn’t consume power at all, meaning the next time you game it’ll be at or close to the battery level it was at when you turned it off.
Good luck trying to improve bad Nintendo Switch battery life. To be clear, you can take all these steps and it’ll still feel like your console isn’t lasting as long as it should. There is a bit of good news, though. Most planes and trains now offer plugs for charging your devices and your Nintendo Switch comes with a USB Type-C plug that’ll act as a portable charger just fine.