Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning we get a small commission if you make a purchase through our links, at no cost to you. For more information, please visit our Disclaimer Page.

The Nintendo Switch is one of the top-selling video game consoles of all time. Gamers bought more than 100 million of these consoles since Nintendo launched it. You can play fun games like Animal Crossing: New Horizons and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe both on your own and with friends. The Switch is ready to play right out of the box.

One of the nice things about this console is that you can use it in two different ways. One is through TV mode, which works similar to other consoles. You play with your Joy-Con or controller and can see all the action on your TV screen. The Switch also has a tabletop mode where you see the action on a small screen.

With the handheld mode, you can take the fun with you. Why spend all day playing from the couch in your living room when you can have just as much fun relaxing outside or hanging out in your bedroom? We’ll look at whether you can use the Nintendo Switch without a battery and how to get more out of your console.

Can You Use a Nintendo Switch Without a  Battery?

The odds are good that you haven’t bought a console in years without seeing how long the battery lasts. This tells you how long you can play before you need to charge your controller or switch to a different one. Nintendo raises some eyebrows when the company announced that the Switch would not work with standard batteries.

Whether you use a Joy-Con or standard controller, you’ll find that they have built-in batteries that last for a maximum of six hours. Keep in mind that some games require more power, which can lead to your battery running out in only three or four hours.

This also means that you cannot play or use the Nintendo Switch without a battery.

Xbox and Sony consoles have official and third-party controllers that run on standard AA batteries. When your batteries run out, you can simply swap them out and keep playing. You cannot do the same thing with the Switch because you need to charge the battery when it empties.

Nintendo also sells replacement batteries and makes it easy for you to replace yours when it charges slowly or stops working.

Can You Dock a Switch Without Power?

Switch players know the dock is one of the most important accessories available. It comes included in the box when you buy a new Switch and is easy to use. The dock works with an HDMI cable and USB cord to let you play Switch games on any television.

How to Connect a Dock to Your TV

To connect your Switch dock to a TV, remove the cover from the back of the dock. You will then insert the USB cable and the AC adapter before plugging the adapter into a wall outlet.

Place the HDMI in the open and marked port and place the opposite end in the HDMI Out port on your television. Once you place the cover back on the dock, point it towards the set.

As long as follow these steps, you can begin playing as soon as you turn on the TV.

Do You Need Power?

You cannot use a dock with your Switch if the Switch does not have power. Nintendo requires enough power to run the console. Though there are some similar adapters on the market, most do not work with the Switch.

They may use too much power and can damage your console or not use enough power, which keeps you from playing. The one exception is if you have enough battery life left to use the Switch as it charges on the dock.

Follow the same steps we described above to open your dock and insert the AC adapter. You will then dock your Switch with both the screen and the front of the dock facing the same direction. This allows you to play as you charge the battery.

Keep in mind that this may not work if your battery is too low. The Switch may shut itself off until it charges for an hour or longer. You can also charge the Switch with your included AC adapter and a wall outlet.

Can I Make a Battery Last Longer in the Switch?

While basic games use little power and let you play for six hours before your Switch battery runs out, other games like the Zelda titles use much more power.

When you play those games, you may find that your battery empties within a few hours. We found some handy ways to extend the life of your Switch battery and make it last longer such as using your System Settings to adjust the brightness down to a lower level.

What is the Average Battery Life of a Switch?

The average battery life of a standard Switch is three to six hours. Standard consoles were the first ones to hit the market. Nintendo later introduced other versions of the console and new batteries. The Switch Lite has a battery with an average life of three to seven hours.

If you recently bought a console, you can open the back and look for the number on the battery. Many come with a battery labeled HAC-001(-01), which has a battery life of up to nine hours. No matter which one you have, you can extend the life of the battery in a few different ways.

System Setting Changes

Some of the best ways to make your battery last longer are with changes to your system settings. The brightness control refers to the brightness of the screen.

  1. Load the Home screen and select System Controls.
  2. Look for the Screen Brightness setting and turn off the automatic brightness

This feature adjusts the brightness of your screen based on the available light around the console. You can turn the brightness down even lower but make sure you don’t go so low that it hurts your eyes to play.

Another option to increase battery life is while in the System Controls, select the Controls and Sensors section. Click on the Controller Vibration and turn it off.

This stops the controller from vibrating as you play and makes the battery last longer.

You can also look for the Flight Mode option and turn it on, which turns off the connections the console has to your Wi-Fi.

Setting up Sleep Mode can also help. This tells the console to turn itself off after a period of inactivity. You don’t need to worry about the battery dying because you forgot to turn off your console before leaving the house or going to bed.

Other Ways to Get More Out of Your Switch Battery

Lithium-ion batteries are quite popular but do not last forever. Nintendo chose this type for the Switch. Do you have a habit of playing for a few hours and then leaving your Switch untouched for days?

Maybe you have a tendency to forget to charge it, but think this isn’t a big deal. Switch batteries will break down if you do not charge them enough. Not only should you keep your battery fully charged as often as possible, but you should avoid leaving the Switch off the dock with a dead battery.

We also found that portable chargers are helpful, especially if you love gaming away from home. One of the biggest benefits of choosing the Switch over other consoles is that you can toss it in your bag and play it on vacation or play on long road trips and work commutes.

Several companies make portable chargers and power banks that are compatible with different Switch models. You’ll also find a few cases that protect the console while you’re on the go and keep the battery charged.

Another helpful tip for gamers is to change the games they play. As much as you love playing The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, this game uses so much power that you may need to play for months until you reach the end.

If you play this game one day, switch to one that uses less power the next day such as Super Mario Maker 2 or Ring Fit Adventure. You’ll still get the chance to play every day but without feeling as though you need to constantly charge your Switch.

Is it Okay to Leave Your Switch Charging Overnight?

You probably heard many people telling you that you should never leave a device charging overnight. They claim that it poses a fire risk as the battery might explode or that it can cause the battery to drain faster. This isn’t true with the Switch though.

It is safe to leave your Switch charging overnight via your AC adapter or dock. This will not damage the console or the internal battery.

Do you love playing until the battery runs out but hate wasting time charging it? The Switch lets you play for hours while you’re awake and charge the battery as you sleep to have the console ready for you when you wake up. If you still have some battery life left, you need to complete a partial charging cycle.

Batteries that are fully drained before you plug them in will go through a full charging cycle. It’s even safe to leave a Switch charging while you’re at work or on vacation.


The Nintendo Switch is a popular video game console that has a lithium-ion battery inside. You cannot use the Switch without this battery or without power unless you charge it on the dock as you play. Get more out of your switch when you adjust the settings and do other simple things that make the battery last longer.