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Can I use any charger with my Nintendo Switch?

Ahh, the never-ending need to recharge our favorite devices.

person holding a nintendo switch console in well-lighted room
Image: Unsplash

Let me just start with saying how much I love my Nintendo Switch. First-party games such as Zelda: BotW, Mario Odyssey got me onto the console, but it’s the third-party independents known as “Nindies” that keep me coming back.

With all that playtime (seriously, I use it more than any other console I’ve ever owned), it’s always being plugged into the dock or recharged when I’m not using it. With how treasured my Switch is, the only question I have about recharging it is:

Can I use any charger with my Nintendo Switch?

  • Short answer: Yes (but with some whopping huge provisos)

Now, I imagine this is a question that many of you also have. Nintendo’s only official Switch charger is $30 and is fairly single-minded in how it’ll charge the Nintendo Switch or the Pro Controller, but not many other devices properly as it is out-of-spec for the USB-C PD specifications.

READ MORE: Here’s how to cancel your Nintendo Switch Online subscription

You might be wondering if other chargers, like the USB-C ones you use with your laptop, are up to the task of recharging that slate of Nintendo’y goodness. If you use your Switch more on the go, you might be wondering which, if any, power packs are up to the challenge. If so, read on:

The official line

At the beginning of last year, there were numerous reports of third-party docks doing everything from deleting data to bricking Nintendo Switch consoles. In response, Nintendo sent a statement to Kotaku which read:

Unlicensed products and accessories do not undergo Nintendo’s testing and evaluation process. They might not work at all with our game systems, and they could have compatibility problems with certain games, the Nintendo Switch system itself, and other licensed accessories and peripherals.

Pretty clear, right? Only officially licensed products are guaranteed to not give you issues in normal operation. That’s backed up by Nintendo of America’s FAQ pages for the Switch, which states: “The Nintendo Switch console is compatible with the Nintendo Switch AC adapter only (model No. HAC-002).”

If you really don’t want to buy the official adapter

Switchchargers.com has tested a bunch of non-official AC adapters and has rated them according to safety and a few other metrics. I still wouldn’t trust any charger other than the official one with my Switch, but that’s a decision for you to make.

Power-packs for portable juice:

Nyko Power Pak

You could get the Nyko Power Pak, which adds 5,000 mAh of battery capacity for $30, but it comes with some tradeoffs of its own. Mimoco has some officially-branded power banks as well as Anker, that can also be used to charge other devices, but you might not want the Nintendo branding all over it.

READ MORE: Are the games included with Nintendo Switch Online worth it? 

Again, Switchchargers.com has you covered, with a power bank buying guide and a whole bunch of tested power banks that have been rated on their ability to recharge the Switch.

There haven’t been any reported incidents with power banks damaging the Nintendo Switch to date. Just stick to one of the already-tested models to make sure you’ll be able to recharge while you play.

Did you find this article helpful? How do you charge your Nintendo Switch? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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