How to charge Joy-Cons for Nintendo Switch

nintendo switch joy cons charge
(Image credit: Nintendo)

You'll want to know how to charge Joy-Cons if you've got a new Nintendo Switch, as these little mini-controllers are vital to many of the console's various forms. Once you detach them they'll start draining their finite batteries, and to be honest - they're very, very finite. You'll have to charge them regularly if this is your preferred way to play, but how exactly do you do that? Without the option to physically insert fresh batteries (which you can't do), you'll need to know how to charge Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons, along with how long Joy-Cons take to charge.

How to charge Joy-Cons for Nintendo Switch

(Image credit: Nintendo)

The main way to charge Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons is to simply attach them to the console while it's charging by sliding them down from the top until they click into place either side of the device screen. This can be while it's in the dock, or in handheld mode but attached to the AC adapter. That's all you need to do in order to charge the Joy-Cons, although it is possible to charge them via another method.

If you don't want to attach them to the console itself, you can pick up a Joy-Con charging grip, sold separately. While it looks similar to the standard Joy-Con grip that comes with a new Nintendo Switch purchase, the charging grip means you can use the two Joy-Cons like a standard controller and charge them both simultaneously.

Nintendo Switch Joy-Con Charging Grip | $34.99 at Amazon.com (opens in new tab)

Nintendo Switch Joy-Con Charging Grip | $34.99 at Amazon.com (opens in new tab)
In the US, you can grab the official Nintendo Switch Joy-Con charging grip for around $35, a bargain price for a product that will cut out charging times.

Nintendo Switch Joy-Con Charging Grip | £24.99 at Amazon UK (opens in new tab)

Nintendo Switch Joy-Con Charging Grip | £24.99 at Amazon UK (opens in new tab)
Pick up an official Nintendo Switch Joy-Con Charging Grip in the UK for £24.99 at Amazon UK, so you can play and charge your Joy-Cons at the same time.

You can also pick up an external charging dock, which is extra useful if you have more than one pair of Joy-Cons.

ALLNice Nintendo Switch 4-in-1 Joy-Con Charging Dock | $16.99 at Amazon.com (opens in new tab)

ALLNice Nintendo Switch 4-in-1 Joy-Con Charging Dock | $16.99 at Amazon.com (opens in new tab)
This third-party Joy-Con dock allows you to charge up to four Joy-Cons at a time, ideal for anyone with multiple pairs.

PowerA Joy-Con Charging Station | £14.99 at Amazon UK (opens in new tab)

PowerA Joy-Con Charging Station | £14.99 at Amazon UK (opens in new tab)
Officially licensed by Nintendo and produced by PowerA, this charging station also charges up to four Joy-Cons at a time.

How long do Joy-Cons take to charge?

In terms of the length of time it takes to charge Joy-Cons, a full charge from empty will take approximately three and a half hours, according to the official Nintendo site (opens in new tab). Take note that if the console is not charging and the Joy-Cons are attached, they will only charge to about the halfway mark in order to reserve some console battery.

That's all there is to it – you don't need any cables to charge the Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons, they simply charge from being attached to the console if you don't buy any extra accessories. Make sure you always put the Switch in the dock and attach the Joy-Cons when you're not using it to keep them charged at all times and you're golden.

Make sure you check out our list of the best Nintendo Switch games (opens in new tab) if you're looking for something new to play!

Give me a game and I will write every "how to" I possibly can or die trying. When I'm not knee-deep in a game to write guides on, you'll find me hurtling round the track in F1, flinging balls on my phone in Pokemon Go, pretending to know what I'm doing in Football Manager, or clicking on heads in Valorant.