Don't be fooled by it's child-friendly appearance; there's a lot happening under the glass face of a Nintendo Switch console. Making a system this capable into something that could be portable for up to 6 hours on a single charge means there's a big battery and a lot of thermal management happening underneath to keep everything running smoothly. It also means recharging that battery when it isn't docked in the included charger isn't easy, especially if you want to charge and play at the same time.

If you've been hunting for a good portable battery that will charge a Nintendo Switch while you're away from home, there are a few options that will get the job done with a few caveats attached. The best option for charging a Switch, however, isn't yet available to purchase.

The best battery for charging your Switch

This is the Anker PowerCore+ 26800 PD, and it's the only battery available right now capable of charging the Switch at the same rate as the Switch Dock. That's a really big deal, because it means your Switch is now able to play for 21 hours when connected to this battery instead of the 3-4 hours it gets on its own and you never have to stop playing while charging.

It's a great battery for road trips, extended flights, or just keeping in the car to top off when you need. The additional USB ports can be used 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. At $83 it's not a cheap battery, but it'll keep your playing your Switch for quite a while.

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What about this other battery?

Nintendo Switch

The key to charging your Switch with a portable battery is making sure that battery can output energy at the same rate as the power cord that comes with your Switch. That can be a little confusing in this situation, as the back of the Switch power brick actually has two different charge rates. You'll see 5V/1.5A and 15V/2.6A listed on the charger, and in this case, it means the charger will output at 5V/1.5A when the Switch isn't charging the battery and 15V/2.6A when it is charging the battery.

Most of the "fast charging" battery packs you find for smartphones have a max output of 5V/3A, and if you connect one of those chargers to your Switch, you will see the charging symbol appear over the battery in the Switch UI. What you won't see is the battery actually charging, especially if you're using the Switch at the time.

With a 5V/3A battery backup, your Switch will recharge at a rate of roughly 1% every five minutes if you aren't using it. If you are using your Switch with one of these backups attached, you'll find the battery percentage of the Switch is still going down even though the charging symbol is on the screen.

If you want a battery that will "trickle" charge your Switch while you aren't using it, here's what we recommend.

Anker PowerCore+

Anker PowerCore+

This high-capacity portable charger boasts a 20,100mAh battery cell with a 3A output. It's small enough to hide away in your pocket or a bag and will get the job done if your goal is the charge the Switch while it sits safely in a backpack or travel case.

With its high capacity, you're likely to be able to charge the Switch three times over and have enough for your phone before it needs to be recharged. Not bad for $65, especially if you're the type to forget to recharge your backup battery after using it.

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What about Quick Charge?

Quick Charge Batteries

You'll find a lot of batteries now will have a featured called Quick Charge onboard that promises 12V/1.5A output, which may seem like it would charge your Switch faster. This is not the case, and you should not rely on Quick Charge to power your Switch.

Quick Charge is a proprietary charging tech created by Qualcomm for rapidly charging smartphones and tablets. In order for something to take advantage of Quick Charge, it has to have a Qualcomm processor and be certified by Qualcomm. No such certification exists for the Switch.

It's also important to point out that Quick Charge is not a part of the USB-C spec, which has its own rapid charging tech that is also not being used in the Switch. If this all seems overly complicated, that's because it is. The bottom line, however, is that Quick Charge is both something you don't want to use on your Switch and not something that will actually rapidly charge your console.

Updated December 2017: We've refreshed our options here after some additional testing of new backup batteries.

Nintendo Switch