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Portable gaming is a great way to get some entertainment when you are busy and away from home but stuck between tasks. The Nintendo Switch is one system you can use for that. It has the ability to connect to a larger monitor for gaming that is similar to that of a true console, and players can use joysticks to control the actions of the characters on the screen.
This unique feature has proven to be a great selling point for the Switch, but gamers appreciate the great library of Nintendo games that they can take with them, too.
Some Switch owners are concerned that excessive heat might be damaging to the device in the long run. Since you might be playing with the gaming system outdoors, this concern makes sense, and we will tackle it in our article. In doing so, we will get deeper into how common it might be for the Switch to get warm, and the general guidelines that might exist for how warm it is supposed to get under normal circumstances.
Furthermore, we’ll talk about whether it is okay to leave your Switch unattended in a car, play it outdoors on a warmer day or in the sun, and talk about reasons the device might seem to get quite hot. We’ll also troubleshoot some ways to keep one of your favorite portable gaming systems cool when it might need it most.
Is It Normal for the Nintendo Switch To Get Warm?
In most cases, it is normal for the Switch to feel warm when playing it. It may even take on some heat when it is in sleep mode. In their own ways, modern gaming devices are small computers, and any kind of computer will generate heat as it performs its tasks.
This is particularly true of consoles that might run resource-intensive games.
By doing so, the components inside the Switch can get very warm to the touch, and some gamers may even consider the device to be hot. It is perfectly normal for your Switch to feel warm or a little hot whenever it is in use.
However, you’ll probably feel it radiating some heat when it is sleeping or charging as well. Any of these operations should produce some heat from the device, and it should not be a major cause for concern.
If you feel like your Switch gets warm outside of any of these scenarios, however, it may be best to discontinue the use of it temporarily. You should stop using the Nintendo Switch until you can do some troubleshooting in order to figure out why it might feel hot outside of what we could call normal operations.
Sometimes, you may just need to wait for it to cool down a bit and try again. Otherwise, there are some troubleshooting options you can go through to see if you can solve the issue. We will run through some of the major ones in a later section, but you can try leaving the console to cool down for a bit first.
Can Heat Damage a Nintendo Switch?
There are certain heat thresholds that apply to most electronic devices. Heat and electronic components do not tend to mix well, which is why many of them have cooling devices to keep things running within a normal temperature range. As an aside, excessive cold can also be bad for components.
This is why most manufacturers will list recommended ranges for normal operating temperatures for their devices. Going too far in either direction can cause some issues. Nintendo recommends using the switch in temperatures between 5 – 35 ℃ or 41- 95℉.
The real answer is that heat can certainly damage the Nintendo Switch. However, we also have to look at how likely it is for the device to get that hot in the first place.
In most cases, the Switch should not get too hot when you are using it normally. It is designed so that the console and its cartridge may feel quite warm, but they should not take any damage as a result.
The only times you should notice the device getting so hot that the temperature could be some kind of issue for it is if there is a defect in the construction or instance of improper use and storage of the unit.
As long as neither of these things is true, you should not notice any problems due to heat. We will get to some of the storage or use considerations later, but it is safe to say that you should not store the unit where it might be trapped in an area affected by excessive heat buildup for long periods. Doing so could mean that the Switch has no way to cool down safely, even if it is off.
Like many devices of its type, the Switch should be able to handle some pretty high operating temperatures. However, there might be scenarios in which the unit can reach these temperatures even when it is off.
If it does so for a long time, there could be damage to the circuitry. Damaged circuits are one of the main reasons why excessive temperatures can be so bad for devices such as the Nintendo Switch.
When circuits inside electronics become damaged, whatever those circuits are connected to may not get the kind of information they need. They may no longer be able to get the proper instructions they use to do the operations you need them to do.
As a result, the whole system can begin behaving in an erratic manner. For the Switch, games may not load properly, or you may find that things do not render quite the right way once loaded. At other times, the circuits might be so impaired that you’re not able to perform actions in the game the way you are supposed to.
If the high temperatures are sustained for long enough, there may be no way to restore those circuits, and this could be true even after the system cools itself down to a normal temperature range. For the best results, it is important to keep the Switch in a relatively cool area.
If it is completely off, you can even keep it in a warm area. However, keep in mind that there are some factors that can make the temperature rise when you least expect it.
Can a Nintendo Switch Sit in a Car?
Whether it is okay for your Nintendo Switch to sit inside a car probably depends on the outside ambient temperature. You should pay particular regard to how this temperature is supposed to change throughout the day.
If the day is fairly mild and has only minimal expected increases, your Switch will probably be fine, although this is not a guarantee.
Should the day be quite warm already, and if you expect it to get much warmer, keep in mind that the car interior can retain heat and become much warmer than the outside.
This could turn the car into a stuffy box that gets far too warm for the device to handle. If so, you may run into some problems.
The key aspect here is that the batteries might be at more of a risk than the console itself. In a lot of heat, a battery for an electronic device might swell up.
If this happens, it can become dangerous. Leakage of the fluids inside can occur, or it could cause small, explosive damage once it gets too warm.
This is particularly true if you try to use the battery when it is already in such a state. Although you can wait for things to cool down, a battery that has swelled physically to beyond what is normal for its size may not return to its proper dimensions.
In fact, it is probably a good idea to replace the battery before you power on the console the next time. Failure to do so could result in further damage that spreads out to affect the Switch itself.
Can You Play the Nintendo Switch Outdoors?
Yes, it is possible to play the Switch outside. However, this comes with a couple of caveats. On a particularly hot day, it is probably best to play with the unit in the shade.
This is because the device and its cartridge will both get warm regardless of what the temperature outside might be, and you should not add the heat of direct sunlight to this.
Prolonged exposure to direct sunlight might push the Switch to get to temperatures that exceed its working range. In order to avoid this when outdoors, it might be best to keep it in the shade and give it some rest from time to time.
The other consideration here is basic visibility. You may have a hard time seeing the Switch screen in direct sunlight. Indeed, even cranking the brightness settings to the maximum may not solve this issue. Even if it does help, doing this can drain your battery at a faster rate, thus limiting the time you can use it outdoors.
Why Does My Nintendo Switch Get So Hot?
As we touched on already, it is normal for the Switch to feel quite warm during play or charging, perhaps even to the point that it feels almost hot. There are a few reasons why it might seem to get so hot that it overheats.
When this happens, it should shut itself off to avoid damage. If you’re experiencing this, it is likely that dust is blocking its ventilation, there is an issue with the fan, or that some of the internal circuitry is damaged.
How Do I Keep My Switch Cool? 6 Fixes
Here are some ways you can keep your Switch happy:
- Keep it docked in a well-ventilated area.
- To cool it down faster, consider putting it under an active fan that can blow air on it directly.
- Make sure the device’s own vents are not obstructed by anything.
- Take breaks to reduce strain on the system.
- Check that various games are optimized for power usage and system resources.
- Make sure that the Switch’s own fan is in good working order.
The Switch is a cool console that sports an interesting concept for many gamers. It should be able to handle quite a bit of heat, and it is normal for it to feel warm as you are playing. Overheating should shut it down before any damage occurs, but there could be internal problems that cause it to get too hot to use. If this is the case, there are some troubleshooting tips you might be able to use here to resolve the issue yourself.