Nintendo Switch Battery Life Tested: How long will it last?

Switch Battery Life Test: The Nintendo Switch is out in the wild and reviewers – including us here at TrustedReviews – have begun putting the console’s battery to the test, and the results are pretty much bang on with where Nintendo said they would be.

The Switch, as you may be aware, is a console that offers both TV and portable gaming capabilities. When docked at home, longevity obviously isn’t an issue, but as you’ll also want to use it in handheld mode, the device’s stamina comes into play.

According to Nintendo, the Switch’s portable battery life will range from two-and-a-half hours (2.5 hours) up to six hours (6 hours), depending on the graphics requirements of the game being played.

As a reference frame, Nintendo added that one of the new console’s flagship titles, The Legend of Zelda, Breath of the Wild, will run for about three hours on an undocked Switch.

We also now know the Switch’s battery spec – it comes packing a 4,310mAh lithium-ion cell. Is that going to be enough?

The Switch will also take three and a half hours to fully recharge from a depleted battery. Despite charging via USB-C, the console won’t support quick charging per se, but instead utilise the new-gen USB Power Delivery 2.0 standard, which should help speed things along in certain situations.

Nintendo Switch Battery Life Test

We’ve tested the console by playing a game for one hour with both full brightness and Wi-Fi enabled, and then again with 50% brightness and in airplane mode.

While playing Breath of the Wild, the battery drained 36% and 31% respectively. After one hour of charging using the provided AC adapter under the same conditions, the battery also regained 47% and 45% respectively, meaning the battery thankfully charges quicker than it depletes.

However, using a USB-C to USB-C portable battery pack, the Anker PowerCore+ 20100, the Switch recovered an incredible 45% in an hour’s charge while in sleep mode.

We found a similar model battery pack without a USB-C port barely charged the Switch at all, though, so make sure you get one with a USB-C output. Ideally, if it claims to charge a MacBook as many do, it should be fine on the Switch.

As for general battery life, based on these figures you’ll get somewhere between 2 hours and 45 minutes to 3 hours and 15 minutes playing Breath of the Wild, depending on the settings you use.

We’re reasonably impressed with the Switch battery life, considering the power of the machine and the gaming experiences it can offer on the go. Three hours isn’t ideal, but with a portable battery pack, this can at least be alleviated and extended.

We’ll continue to test other games in future to see how they compare.

Got any further thoughts on the Switch’s battery life? Share them in the comments below.