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Everything you need to know about charging your Pro Controller

Updated: Jul 10, 2021

The Pro Controller is Nintendo´s premier gamepad. Designed to provide a more classic experience, at least compared to the Joy-Con, it comes with a great ergonomic design that is still comfortable after hours of play.

However, one disadvantage that the Pro Controller has over the Joy-Con is that it can´t charge along with the Switch itself. So...

How do you charge the Pro Controller?

When you buy a Pro Controller, it already comes with a USB charging cable. Filling its batteries is as simple as plugging the cable to either the Nintendo Switch´s dock or directly to the AC adapter.

It should take around six hours to get a full charge, an LED light in the controller will indicate that it´s charging. When it turns off, it is fully charged. The charge should last around 40 hours of playtime, this is more than double the charge on the Joy-Cons.

Can you charge the Pro Controller without a dock?

Yes! You only need a USB-C cable to charge the Pro Controller. With it, you can connect directly to the Switch’s AC adapter or another power source. If you bought a second-hand Pro Controller that didn’t come with a cable, you can always buy one yourself, like this one.

Thanks to the cable, you can play with the Pro Controller even if you own a dockless Switch Lite. Just plug both ends, one to your Pro Controller and the other to a power source like your computer, and it will charge up like usual.

However, the cable is not the only way to charge your Pro Controller. There are power banks and charging stations that will also fill up its batteries.

Is a charging station better for charging the Pro Controller?

A charge station is a third-party accessory that is dedicated exclusively to charging your controller when not in use. They are small stands in which you can plug in your controller to charge it.

They can be quite convenient. Using one of them, your Pro Controller will always be full of energy, You can leave it on the charging station and just forget about it until it is time to play again.

However, they are not the only third-party gadget to be able to charge your Pro Controller.

Power banks are another accessory that serves a similar function, but unlike charging stations, they aren´t meant to be connected to a Pro Controller when not in use. Instead, they act like rechargeable batteries.

You charge them up at any time, and when your batteries are running low, you can connect your Pro Controller to charge it up. They will also work with laptops, tablets, and smartphones.

Charging stations are more convenient (and more charming to look at) than a USB cable. Using them when not playing means your Pro Controller will always be at full battery.

Their drawback is that they are more expensive, and you can´t use them while playing. It´s up to you if the convenience is worth the price.

A charging station is a good example of these types of gadgets, but if you want an even cheaper alternative, try the BENGOO charging station instead. And if you are interested in power banks, you can try the XCOREsion.

My controller is not charging, what´s wrong?

Anything out of several alternatives might be going wrong. Maybe the charging cable is broken, or the AC adapter is, or the USB port on the controller. Examine them and see if you can find any cuts, frayed cables, or any other type of damage.

If you don´t find anything suspicious, then you are going to have to try and dig deeper.

The first thing you should do is unplug the AC adapter and leave it alone for a minute or so. After that, try to charge your controller directly with the AC adapter.

If the LED light on the Pro Controller turns on, it means it´s charging. Leave it charging for at least fifteen minutes and then try to sync it with the Switch.

If the light didn't turn on, connect your Pro Controller to the Switch´s dock this time (needless to say, make sure the dock is plugged in as well). If it begins charging, then the issue might be with the USB port on your controller, rather than the AC adapter or the charging cable.

If nothing works, then the problem can be either the cable, the adapter, or the controller. You can rule out both the adapter and the cable by testing them on other devices, like the Switch itself.

A man tinkering with a black circuitboard.
If everything else fails, it might be time to send the controller back to Nintendo for repairs.

If they work, then the problem is the Pro Controller. You can send it to Nintendo to have it repaired, or you can buy a new one. The cables and the adapters can´t be repaired (or rather, they are not worth repairing) and so you will also need to buy a replacement if they are broken.

If the controller is charging, but it doesn´t stay on for long, then the batteries, and not the controller itself, might be the issue.

The Pro Controller battery is supposed to last forty hours of playtime. Any less, and they might be malfunctioning.

You can try swapping the battery pack yourself to try and fix the issue. IFIXIT has a tutorial about how to do it on their site. However, you will need to buy a spare battery like this one.

How long does it take to charge the Pro Controller?

Regardless of how you charge it, the Pro Controller will take about six hours to get a full charge.

Some cables and charging stations might boast that they can charge quicker, but that is usually not the case with the Pro Controller. It will take around six hours regardless of the charging method.

Can the Pro Controller USB cable charge the Switch itself?

Twisting the question around, can you use the Pro Controller USB cable to charge the Switch itself?

Yes, as you can probably guess. USB cables work with other USB devices and ports. The Switch uses a USB-C port to charge itself, so the charging cable naturally works with the Switch.

It is a handy replacement if something happened to your dock or if you are traveling away from home.

In summary...

The Pro Controller is not complicated to charge. It takes a relatively long time to do so (six hours) but it has enough juice to last for almost two straight days of gaming.

Charging it is quite easy. Plug the USB cable to the Pro Controller and then to the Switch´s dock or the AC adapter directly.

A charging station might be an ideal alternative to the cable if you want to never worry about plugging your Pro Controller again.

Sometimes the battery might get wear with time. Or the cable might get bent and stop working. In either of these cases, you will need a replacement part to fix the issue and get your controller full of energy again. You can learn where to get replacement parts from our article on making a custom controller.


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