Getting a Nintendo Switch? Congrats, but we recommend you avoid the Joy-Con Charging Grip. It's just not worth the money.
The Switch Joy-Cons are the main controllers for the console. While you can get the Switch Pro Controller as well, given the expense we can see why many people wouldn't want to. And you really don't need to either. They're good enough for all but the longest gaming sessions.
Each Joy-Con has a battery life of 20 hours, which is pretty decent. And, of course, you can slot them into a the Joy-Con Grip that ships with the console when playing at home. However, they only charge when connected to the tablet segment, either when docked or when used in handheld mode.
Alternatively, for £25 you can get the Nintendo Switch Joy-Con Charging Grip. But, as Brett Phipps explains in our ongoing Nintendo Switch review diary, you really shouldn't:
"I received one of these from Nintendo for review, and also had one pre-ordered. I took it home, and noticed it is almost identical to the one in the box, except it includes a USB-C charging port at the top.
I then realised the charging grip wasn’t what I, or many other people, expected. I was under the impression that the grip would have its own batteries so you could charge the Joy-Con without being hooked up to your console over a very long cable.
This isn’t the case, and makes the chargeable Joy-Con Grip a largely pointless accessory."
Why so pointless? Well, besides the fact you need to be close enough to a plug socket to charge when you play, there are much better ways to spend your money.
For example, you could spend £45 on this 20,000mAh battery pack, which would not only extend your Nintendo Switch battery life when out and about, but would help charge your Joy-Cons when they're connected.
If they need charging when you're at home, switching to handheld mode is no bother at all, though we do feel the bundled Joy-Con Grip ought to have the USB-C charging port built-in. Is it really too much to ask, Nintendo? Finally, we should add that there's a Charging Dock coming soon that'll charge four Joy-Con and costs only a fraction more. You can read more about that in our Nintendo Switch Accessories and Case Guide.
Bootnote: You could, of course, get the quite nice £65 Nintendo Switch Pro Controller instead, but it's rather overpriced and about half as useful as a good portable battery charger. Though we have seen it with £10 discount if you're tempted.