Best Battery Backup for Nintendo Switch iMore 2020
One of the best Nintendo Switch features is portability! However, while you do not always keep it plugged into an outlet, it can lead to your battery draining surprisingly fast. That low battery notification can be scary, especially in games where you might lose progress if the system powers down. Save yourself the stress and extend your playtime by picking up a battery backup. Our favorite is the Anker PowerCore+; since it will charge your Switch fast and can also be used to power your phone and laptop.
- Best Overall: Anker PowerCore+ 26800 PD
- Best Runner-Up: Mophie Powerstation XXL
- Best for Travel: ZeroLemon Battery Charger Case
- Best for Handheld Charging: Marval Power GuliKit Battery Master
- Best Official Pick: Anker PowerCore 20100 Nintendo Switch Edition
Best Overall: Anker PowerCore+ 26800 PD
It's a great battery for road trips, extended flights, or just keeping in the car to top off when you need it. You can use the additional USB ports while you are charging your Switch, which means you can also use this to charge your phone, tablet, controller, or anything else you can think of. It's not a cheap battery, but it'll keep you playing your Switch for quite a while.
The key to its success is how much energy can be output via the USB-C port. This battery is rated at 30W output through that port, something most batteries cannot do. That means while many other batteries will charge your Switch slowly, this is one of few that will keep your Switch at 100% until you disconnect.
Ultimately, it's a combination of price and the "PD" part of the name. USB-C has a feature called Power Delivery, which is frequently shortened to PD in descriptions. USB-C PD means it can output at higher power levels, which your Nintendo Switch needs to charge while you're playing it. Without Power Delivery, most batteries can't provide more energy than the Switch consumes when playing a game. That means your Switch will run out of power slower, but it will still eventually run out of power when connected to an average battery.
Your Nintendo Switch is great for a couple of hours away from the dock, but then it needs power. The fastest way to charge your Switch is usually to put it back in the dock because Nintendo's included power adapter has some special features to charge your Switch battery quickly but safely. It turns out you can get very nearly as close to the same charge rate if you use a USB-C battery with Power Delivery.
- Easily stored in a case
- USB-C PD outputs fast
- Recharges the Switch 4X before needing more power
- Inconvenient to carry without a case
Get 21 hours of gameplay instead of four.
This is the best battery backup, with a 30-watt USB-C PD transfer, you can continue playing on your Switch while it's charging.
Best Runner-Up: Mophie Powerstation XXL
Not everyone wants a big-honkin' battery. Sometimes all you want is something you can slide in your pocket or clip on to the back, so it's all one piece with the Switch. These alternatives not only exist, but they're pretty good.
You can buy giant batteries to power your Switch multiple times over, but you may not be super happy about carrying it around places. These batteries are often heavy or oddly shaped, making them difficult to fit in a pocket or small carrying case for your console. The Powerstation XXL is pretty darn big, but it's smaller than most batteries in its category. It's capable of charging up your Switch with an additional 14 hours of use, but like many USB-C battery backups, it'll only keep it from going dead if you're trying to play and charge at the same time.
- Fast charging
- Sleek look
- No PD charging
Powerful battery backup with less bulk.
Striking a balance between portable and capable is a challenge, the battery adds a whopping 14 hours to your battery life.
Best for Travel: ZeroLemon Battery Charger Case
If you don't want to worry about cables, this is your best bet for a Switch battery. It's like a charging case for your Switch. It clips on to the back of the device and has a USB-C plug that sends the juice to your Switch. It also has a little compartment on the back so you can take two additional game cards with you. It has a long kickstand on the back, instead of that awkward and unbalanced design the Switch comes with. The four-light status LEDs on the side will let you know when the charger needs its own charge.
It has 10000mAh battery, so you're going to get 10+ hours of additional gameplay out of it. When you're just going to need a little extra power while you shred games in the car, you'll get through a few additional hours of leveling before you need to re-up. Plus, that helpful stand makes it a lot easier to play multiplayer games in tabletop mode.
- Secret compartment for game cards
- Small battery
Best for Travel
Convenient, compact, and ready to charge.
It attaches directly to the back of your Switch so you can continue gaming non-stop. It also has a kickstand for tabletop mode.
Best for Handheld Charging: Marval Power GuliKit Battery Master
If you don't see yourself using a kickstand while playing your Nintendo Switch on the go, then this battery attachment will be the perfect fit for you. Unlike other batteries that attach directly to the unit, this one isn't nearly as bulky, so your fingers won't get extended further while your grasping the Switch in your hands. However, it does make the Switch weigh more, so you need to be prepared for that.
It offers 10000mAh, which gives you 10+ hours of additional battery life. There are multiple ports on the side of the battery so you can charge more than one device at a time. That makes it a helpful unit for charging your smartphone when on the go.
- Doesn't take up a lot of room
- Attaches to the Switch
- Multiple charging ports
- Small battery
- Somewhat heavy
Best for Handheld Charging
A battery backpack for Nintendo Switch
It straps to the backside of your console and supplies 10+ hours of charge. You can also charge other electronics like your phone.
Best Official Pick: Anker PowerCore 20,100 Nintendo Switch Edition
This is the official Nintendo-licensed power bank on the market, so it will charge your Nintendo Switch while you play.
Nintendo officially licenses this PowerCore battery pack from Anker, so you know it will work properly with your Switch. It packs in 20100mAh of power (slightly less than the PowerCore+ 26800 PD), but also has Power Delivery, so you can keep on playing and actually get your juice back to 100%. Anker makes a solid quality battery. Considering it packs a hefty juice box, it's pretty sleek. Its biggest downfall is that it's a tad overpriced, likely because of official licensing.
- High-speed charging
- Designed specifically for Switch
Best Official Pick
Portable power in the palm of your hand.
This convenient power bank is specifically designed to work with your Switch. You get 2.5 charges and can charge while you play.
When you combine power output, price, and design, the Anker PowerCore+ battery quickly becomes the best option for just about every situation. Not only is the Anker PowerCore+ huge with its 26,800mAh capacity, but it can also push out that energy with enough current to keep your Switch topped off even when jamming along in Mario Kart 8. At the price, you get the biggest bang for your buck. That's why we recommend it above everything else: It will keep you going longer than anything else on this list.
Size-wise the Anker Powercore isn't terrible either. It's long and thin, making it easy to stow in your backpack, and the beveled edges make it comfortable to have it in your pocket. It does start to get heavy after a while, though, so keep it stowed if you can.
Of course, sometimes all you want is the official product backed by Nintendo to run perfectly on your Switch. In that case, the licensed by Nintendo Anker PowerCore 20100 is a great choice, and it's almost the same as the one we recommend. You know it will work and work well because Nintendo says so. So do we.
Credits — The team that worked on this guide
Russell Holly is a Contributing Editor at iMore. He lives for the shiniest new thing and loves explaining its potential to improve your life. Whatever you do, don't tell his spouse about the drawer full of tech under the bed.
Lory Gil is iMore's Managing Editor and Nintendo Switch fan at-large. She never leaves home without her Switch, which is why she's an expert on which battery pack is best.
Christine Chan is a staff writer at iMore. She loves her Nintendo Switch and is never seen without it. She knows a thing or two about what battery packs are good for the console.
Rebecca Spear loves keeping up-to-date with the latest and greatest electronics. She is a life-long gamer and a writer who has written hundreds of online articles over the past four years. On any given day you'll find her drawing with her Wacom tablet, playing video games, or reading a good book.
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