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How to Charge a Joy-Con Without a Switch or a Dock

Updated: Jul 10, 2021

The Joy-con is the default controller of the Nintendo Switch (but not the Lite version). Each console comes with an interlinked pair attached to its sides. When used in handheld mode, you don´t need to worry about their batteries, as they draw power from the Switch itself.

But what about when they are separated? Like when you play on TV or in Tabletop mode?...

How long do the Joy-Con batteries last?

The battery life of a brand new Joy-Con last´s around twenty hours per charge, regardless of if it is a left or a right Joy-con. They take around three and a half hours to get a complete charge when connected to a Nintendo Switch.

You can check how much battery the controllers have left by pressing the Home Button and selecting the Controller option. The battery life for each Joy-Con will appear on the screen.

Nintendo Switch controller menu with the Joy-Con batteries higlighted

You charge the Joy-Con by placing them on both sides of the screen and leaving them attached to the Nintendo Switch. When the Switch recharges on the dock, the controllers will do so as well, as they draw power from its batteries.

Why do my batteries deplete in less than 20 hours?

If your Joy-Con is not lasting 20 hours, then they are probably not charging right. For them to charge properly, the Switch has to be turned on or in sleep mode. Your Joy-Con will not charge on a console that´s turned completely off.

If the problem persists, you might need to call Nintendo´s customer support and have them take a look at your controller.

But what if you have extra Joy-Con? Or if you own a Switch Lite, and can´t attach your Joy-Con to it? In those cases, you can´t use the Nintendo Switch to charge them up. What's the alternative?

How do you charge your Joy-Con without a Nintendo Switch or a Dock?

You will need to buy either a charging station, battery pack or a power grip to keep them charged. This is especially true for the Lite, as they aren´t compatible with the Dock at all.

A charging station is a small gadget in which you can plug your controllers to charge them up. They are quite convenient, as you can leave your spare Joy-con hooked to it when not in use and they will always be fully charged and ready to go. You can find a lot of cheap charging stations for the Joy-Con on Amazon.

A battery pack is an accessory that lets you use regular AA batteries to power your Joy-Con. When they are plugged in, their battery life extends to a whopping 60 hours of playtime. The main drawback of this accessory is that, once the batteries run out, you will have to buy new ones.

The last alternative to charge your Joy-Con is a charging grip. You might be familiar with the default grip that the Nintendo Switch already comes with, a plastic holder that lets you attach your Joy-cons to play with them like if you were holding a regular gamepad.

A charging grip is the same accessory, but with the added feature of being able to recharge your Joy-Con as you play. This is accomplished by connecting the grip to your Switch with a USB-C cable.

And that´s all the different ways to charge your Joy-Con. If you are interested in the Pro Controller equivalent, check out our other article over here. And if you want to increase the battery life of the Switch itself, consider getting a power bank.

If you want to take a look at other Nintendo Switch accessories, we have a page for them right here! for controllers too!


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