How to Charge Joycons for Nintendo Switch Controllers

how to charge joycons

Curious to know how to charge joycons? The Nintendo Switch gives a variety of controller selections. You can utilize the included Joy-Cons to play in handheld mode or use the Joy-Con grip for TV play or unite Pro Controller for maximum precision in TV or tabletop mode.

You can even use wireless controllers on the newer Nintendo Switch Lite, provided that you have a way to prop up Nintendo’s dedicated handheld console. The Switch’s controllers help make the console as versatile as possible, but you’ll need to keep them charged up to make the most of them.

How to charge a Nintendo Switch’s Joy-Con controllers

Connect the Controllers to the Console

The simplest way to charge the Joy-Con controllers is to connect them to the Nintendo Switch console while the unit is connected to the AC power unit that comes with the console.

You can achieve this by holding the console in its dock when you’re not using it (as pictured above) or connecting the Switch to power directly when you will be using its built-in screen for play (as shown below).

Joy-Con controllers start charging as soon as they are connected to the Switch console, even if it’s not connected to power.

When plugged in and not in use, the Joy-Con controllers will need about three hours and a half to charge fully, and this charge should last for about 20 hours of use.

If you unite the controllers to a Switch console that is not plugged into power, the Joy-Cons will be charged to about half power or until the Switch’s battery runs low, whichever happens first.

how long to charge joycons
how long to charge joycons

Connect the Controllers to a Charging Grip

If you need to play on a TV and charge your Joy-Con controllers simultaneously, you need to buy a charging grip separately. A charging grip effectively powers up Joy-Con batteries even during active use on another display.

You can combine this controller grip to your AC power unit, and it will charge the Joy-Cons even as you use them on another display.

Charging Nintendo Switch Pro Controllers

If you have purchased one of the Pro controllers made for the Switch, you’ll also find multiple ways to keep them charged. It’s also a better option if you use TV mode a lot, as these controllers have much longer battery life.

Since there are many third-party controllers out there, there may be many various methods of charging your Switch controllers depending on what controller you have. But for the Nintendo licensed Pro controllers, you can follow the directions below.

Use a USB cord

Your Pro controller should come with a USB cord that you can use to plug into the Switch.

  1. Attach the USB cord to your Switch, and the other end into your controller.
  2. An orange light should come up on the controller, implying it’s charging. Once charged, it’ll turn off.
  3. You can utilize the controller while it’s charging if you’re playing in TV mode. The Switch doesn’t want to be in the dock for it to assess if you want to play in handheld mode while the controller charges.

Use a Charging Dock

There are some third-party charging docks out there made specifically for charging the Pro Switch controller. You can find many various versions with multiple features, but this officially licensed charging dock from PowerA charges both a Pro controller and Joy-Con controllers.

  1. Add your Pro controller and your Joy-Cons to the charging dock.
  2. Utilizing the included USB cable, plug it into the Switch console to charge the controllers. Be sure your Switch is plugged in and on or in rest mode.
  3. The lights at the top of the charging dock will turn red while your controllers are charging and turn green once fully charged.
how long do joycons take to charge
how long do joycons take to charge

Controller Battery Life

With all the Switch options for controllers, you might query if it’s best to stick with the included Joy-Cons or buy a Pro controller. It all depends on how you extremely like to play your Switch console.

The Pro controllers have the most dependable battery life, lasting for at least 40 hours of use. Joy-Con battery life is about half that. If you’re an avid Switch player, it’s apparently worth investing in a Pro controller for this reason, among others.

It also gets around 6 hours to fully charge the Pro controller, while the Joy-Cons take about 3.5. If you play your Switch sparsely or are more into playing in handheld mode, just sticking with the original Joy-Cons is your best bet.

Either way, there are so many choices for charging Switch controllers that you likely won’t have to worry much about your gaming getting interrupted by a dead controller.


Q: How do you charge the Nintendo Switch controllers?
A: The easiest way to charge a Nintendo Switch’s Joy-Con controllers is to attach them to the Switch console while connected to power. You can also buy a Joy-Con charging grip that sends power to the controllers even during active play.
Q: Can you charge Joycons while docked?
A: There are three methods of charging Joy-Con. The simplest way to restorethe controllers’ batteries is by attaching them to a docked Switch. The controllers will also charge as long as they’re hooked up to the Switch unit, even if they aren’t plugged into power.
Q: Do Joycons need charging?
A: That’s all there is to it – you don’t need any cables to charge the Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons; they charge from being attached to the console if you don’t buy any extra accessories.
Q: Is it wrong to leave the Switch in the dock?
A: The Nintendo Switch console can be left in the dock while not in use to guarantee that it is fully charged. Leaving the console on the port or plugged in immediately with the AC adapter overnight or past the point where the battery is fully charged will not harm the battery.


Make sure you keep an eye out for these connection types when choosing a third-party pad, and be sure to leave your controller connected to a charger when not in use. Share your valuable thoughts and suggestions in the comment box section below.

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