Adding power to your console has never been so easy, but there are a lot of options to consider.
The early days of owning a Nintendo Switch wasn’t easy for those of us who wanted to power the console with something other than a wall outlet. Most battery backups didn’t provide enough power fast enough, and what few options were available came at a substantial cost. Fast forward a year and manufacturers have stepped up in a big way with batteries of all shapes and sizes. This, of course, presents a unique new challenge for those who want the best battery for their needs.
Before you figure out things like capacity and price, you need to take a look at which kind of battery is best for your needs. Would you rather have a battery backup you connect to your Switch with a cable, or a Nintendo Switch case with a battery backup baked right in? Here’s our look at both options to help you decide.
In much the same way some companies make battery cases for phones, the Nintendo Switch now has a variety of cases you attach to the outside of the console to both protect the body and offer additional power while playing. These battery cases connect to the power port on the bottom of the Switch as you seal the case around it, allowing you to turn the battery on when you want to charge the battery in the console. When the battery is depleted, you still have a protective case around the console in case of drops or bumps.
Because the battery is attached to the console I can charge the Switch when it is in its travel case, so every time I pick up the console I know it has a full battery.
Adding a battery case to your Switch adds weight and complexity to your set up. If you like playing your Switch in handheld mode with the Joy-Cons attached to the sides, you will feel the added weight of the battery immediately. This design also makes it so you have to remove the case every time you want to put the console into its TV dock, which can be a little tedious. What you gain in convenience is worth it, in my opinion. Being able to drop the Switch into this case and know you have a full day of battery no matter what you do feels great. Because the battery is attached to the console I can charge the Switch when it is in its travel case, so every time I pick up the console I know it has a full battery.
I’m also a big fan of how many manufacturers have taken the added bulk of the battery case and used it to provide additional kickstand features. These kickstands are a great deal more sturdy than the one included on the Switch, and several designs allow for multiple tilt angles of the console so you can play comfortably in different seating positions. My personal favorite is the Antank Battery Case for Nintendo Switch, which offers quite a bit for the $ 42 price tag. If you’d rather your battery be attached to the console and don’t mind the added weight, this is what I would recommend.
People all over the world use battery backups for all kinds of things. Many come with multiple USB ports so you can charge multiple things at the same time, and if your battery is capable of charging a Switch quickly it is also capable of fast charging your phone or tablet and in some cases even your laptop all from the same battery. These are versatile, capable batteries with a ton of juice and usually a couple of unique, handy features.
The best Switch battery backups can charge the console more than once without needing to be recharged itself, as well as charge just as fast as the wall outlet.
But like everything else, you have to remember to bring your battery backup with you. The right cord needs to be with you as well, and it needs to be charged separately from the Nintendo Switch. These batteries are also usually a touch on the heavy side, and usually too big to slip into a pocket or alongside the Switch in a small travel case. You also can’t use your Switch in the Kickstand mode when charging from a battery backup, because the Switch power port is on the bottom of the console. You have to use a special stand or use the console in Handheld mode when doing anything. When all of this works, it’s a great option to have. When it does not work, these batteries can be seen as an expensive hassle.
The biggest benefit here is sheer power. The best Switch battery backups can charge the console more than once without needing to be recharged itself, as well as charge just as fast as the wall outlet. I’m personally a fan of the Mophie PowerStation USB-C XXL battery. For $ 150 you get the ability to charge your Switch at least three times before the backup needs to be recharged, and you can charge tons of other things at the same time. It’s also compact enough to slide into a back pocket if you are in a rush, but given the weight of the box I would recommend stashing it in a travel case instead.
Which is best?
There are some serious pros and cons to each. The battery backup is more likely to keep your Switch going for multiple days if you’re travelling, but the battery case can be used more conveniently in more places. Most of the battery cases won’t charge the Switch as fast as the battery backups either, but you are paying for that privilege with the noticeably increased price tag.
Ultimately I think it comes down to how you use your Switch. If you know you’re coming home to charge it every day and just want something to guarantee you can make through the whole day with no power anxiety, the battery case is the more functional, practical solution. If you keep your Switch away from its dock for multiple days at a time and want to be able to play no matter what, get a great battery backup. But for most people, a good battery case is probably more than enough.