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Powering a Nintendo Switch with your phone charger

One of the main draws of the Switch is its portability. You can carry it along and play wherever you want. However, its dock and charging cable are not so flexible. So what can you do if you want to charge your Switch on the go but don´t have the accessories to do it?

Can you charge your Switch with your phone charger?

Yes, as long as it´s NOT an iPhone´s lightning charger. Most modern smartphones charge up using a USB-C cable, and the Switch recharges via a USB-C port at its bottom, so you can see how the two are compatible.

If you plug your charger into the USB-C port of the Nintendo Switch and then connect it to a power outlet or computer, then you should see that the Switch will begin to charge up.

Which chargers work for the Nintendo Switch?

Any USB-C charging cable can theoretically work with the Nintendo Switch. This means that basically all modern phone chargers, sans the ones used by Apple, are compatible with Nintendo´s hybrid console. Curiously, the MacBook charger is compatible while the iPhone´s charger is not.

It also doesn´t matter what version of Nintendo Switch you use. The regular model, the OLED model, and the Lite should all be compatible with USB-C phone chargers.

The problem with using these chargers, and not the Dock or the official power cable, is that they will charge your console slowly. In most cases, it won´t be able to keep up with power drainage if you try to power up your Switch while playing.

If you want to have decent charging speeds, you will need a 5-volt (V) charger capable of producing 7.5 Watts (W) of power. Most "fast" or "premium" chargers shoot past these requirements, but the default one that came with your phone probably doesn´t.

Do note that the Switch caps the maximum amount of watts it receives to 7.5 W unless you are using the official AC adapter or a high-wattage cable. In most cases, it´s not worth it to buy a super expensive charger for the job as it will not charge faster than its cheaper alternatives like this one.

Is it safe to use a phone charger to charge a Nintendo Switch?

Nintendo doesn´t recommend using external charging devices not approved by them. That said, there haven´t been any incidents where a Switch stopped working because someone used a phone charger.

The USB-C port is supposed to be self-regulating, so it should not allow the Switch to receive dangerous levels of current if the voltage or wattage is too uneven between the console and the charger. It should draw exactly the current it needs to keep on working.

That said, there have been cases where the Nintendo Switch got bricked by using unofficial third-party docks. The reason for this issue is not in the charging function of these docks, but in the way, they handle the AV output for the TV/monitor. So it should be safe to keep charging the Nintendo Switch with a USB-C cable.

If you don´t want to have any issues but need another dock, there are a few official third-party docks available to the public that do have Nintendo´s approval, you can try using one of them. We have already written about such alternatives at length before, you can even use some to charge up your Joy-cons independently.


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