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Why the Nintendo Switch Joy-Con Charging Grip isn't worth buying

Andy Vandervell

by

Charging Grip

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."

Related: Nintendo Switch problems and how to fix them

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.

Nate Trumper

March 4, 2017, 12:21 am

I think its worth buying. Id rather play the game and plug it in. Yes i think nintendo should have included the charger with the system but honestly id rather not keep taking off the cons to charge them.

Imufur

March 4, 2017, 1:53 pm

i think its worth it, to charge while playing, like every other console

SPN_82

March 6, 2017, 4:42 pm

"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"

LOL, what???

It's called a CHARGING grip, genius. Literally no one except you and maybe a few mentally handicapped people thought an ADD ON ACCESSORY would come with a batteries output so people would be paying for the item itself and then all the countless times afterwards they'd be spending EVEN MORE MONEY on endless batteries.

That's literally the ENTIRE POINT of the charging grip. You pay one time and then never spend money again. Duhhhhhhhhh.

Yikes, so much stupid in one beyond pointless, crybaby excuse for a review. XD

Fakulty

March 10, 2017, 2:12 am

It's actually ideal for charging you're joy cons, eliminating the need to attach them to you're switch thus reducing wear and tear.

MrRubiksCube

March 10, 2017, 4:12 pm

they meant a rechargeable battery built in. So you charge the grip, then you can use it to charge the joycons without a long cable

Jared

March 15, 2017, 3:09 pm

IF you're playing in TV mode and not in portable mode enough to charge them when hooked up to the tablet itself... and don't have a pro controller, for some reason!

Also, the wear and tear is an issue, but can be mostly mitigated by using the release button to push down the plastic clamp when ADDING AND REMOVING them to the tablet or one of the grips. The wear comes from plastic on metal as you do one or the other without holding the clamp button.

For the cost, I'd say the pro controller is a much better buy, even at $70, than this thing which is not necessary and the Switch comes with one anyway, just not one you can plug into usb to charge them... but they last 15-20 hours anyway, so you should be able to charge them between sessions, or again, just buy the pro controller for use with the TV to avoid their wear and tear AND get a much better 2nd controller.

Jared

March 15, 2017, 3:11 pm

LOL, simmer down on the defense of your favorite toy-maker bud. It's perfectly reasonable, and would have made it a decent buy, if you could charge via USB or batteries. For example, the charging pack for XBOX is a similarly named, and similarly used, item which would lead others to believe this is nintendo's equivalent!

Instead, Nintendo is selling what they include in the box - but with a usb port on it. Which should have been the one they included at the very least, and ideally, it should have provided the ability to recharge via USB or AA batteries (which you should use rechargeables for, like the XBOX controller, if the Nintendo equivalent actually existed).

And FYI, ever heard of eneloop or any of the million other rechargable batteries that cost only slightly more than non-rechargables, last even longer, and charge 500+ times over their life? Disposable batteries are indeed for morons, these days. Morons that hate the environment, to boot!

Graham Fluet

April 8, 2017, 6:36 am

My intention is to buy a second set of Joy-cons and a charge grip, so that I have 2-4 player capability (either 2 players using grips, or four players with individual Joy-cons, or just me when I can't be bothered to reconnect the Joycons to a grip every time i want to play). Seems this will work perfectly fine for that.

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