manette nintendo switch

Nintendo Switch controllers: how to charge them, connect them and where to find them cheap?

Updated on 30 July 2023

Since its release in 2017, the Nintendo Switch has already won over many gamers around the world. Equipped with two detachable controllers on each side of the console, these are called Joy-Cons. Find out everything there is to know about these Switch accessories, including how to charge them, connect them, synchronise them and their benefits.

How do I charge the Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons?

If you want to enjoy hours of gaming on your Nintendo Switch and have a good time away from the daily grind, then the last thing you want is for your game to be interrupted due to your controllers running out of battery! So it's best to make sure you charge them efficiently. There are three ways to charge your Joy-Cons.

1. Connecting the Joy-Cons to the Nintendo Switch

Unlike traditional controllers from manufacturers like Sony or Microsoft, which require a special cable to recharge, the Nintendo Switch controllers (whether Nintendo Switch Classic, Nintendo Switch Lite or Nintendo Switch OLED) can simply be connected to the console to recharge. With this method, the controllers will stop charging at half capacity to avoid draining the console's battery. Note that the Switch must be switched on or in standby mode to allow your pair of Joy-Cons to recharge.

2. Using the Nintendo Switch Dock

The second option is to charge your Switch controllers by leaving them attached to the console, but placed on the dock. This accessory for Nintendo Switch, which is usually connected to a mains socket, will be able to recharge your pair of controllers to their maximum. On average, it will take just over three hours for your Joy-Cons to be fully charged.

3. Using the Joy-Con grip

Sold separately from the usual Nintendo Switch console package in retail stores, the Joy-Con grip is an ideal accessory for recharging the Switch controllers, as well as transforming them into a more comfortable controller. All you need to do is attach both Joy-Cons to the specifically designed grip (by Nintendo) and then connect it to the Nintendo Switch dock or directly from the mains socket supplied with the charging accessory.

How can I check that the Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons are fully charged?

If you're going to be on the move and plan to kill time playing your favourite Switch games, then it's a good idea to keep an eye on your Joy-Con battery if you want to get the most out of your hybrid console. To check the battery status of your controllers, go to the 'Home' menu on your Switch and click on the Controllers section. When fully charged, the Joy-Cons have a battery life of around 20 hours.

How do I connect a new Switch controller?

What could be more frustrating than a Joy-Con disconnecting in the middle of a Mario Kart game, or not knowing how to connect a controller to the Nintendo Switch for multiplayer gaming? You can connect up to 8 controllers to your video game console. Here's how to connect your controller(s).

Synchronisation through console attachment

This is the simplest method, as all you have to do is attach your Joy-Con to the console.

Sync button synchronisation

If the previous method didn't work, try going to 'Home' > 'Change Style/Order' > Press and hold the 'SYNC' button on the controller to be linked.

The only problem with this method of synchronisation is that your Switch won't be able to tell whether the controller is being used as a standalone horizontal controller or as a separate controller. If you want to use it as a separate controller, press the L button on the left Joy-Con and the R button on the right at the same time. You can also press the ZL button on the left Joy-Con and the ZR button on the right Joy-Con at the same time. To use the controller horizontally on your own, press the SL and SR buttons simultaneously on the controller you wish to play with.

USB synchronisation

If you want to use this method, you'll need the Joy-Con grip, which you can connect to the dock using a USB cable. Note that this synchronisation is only possible if the Switch has been updated.

Is it possible to connect a Switch controller to a PC?

Yes, you can connect a Switch controller to a PC if you want to avoid the keyboard/mouse method. The Switch controller is a firm favourite with gamers, who appreciate its comfortable button layout and long battery life. All you need is a USB-C to USB-A cable or a computer that supports Bluetooth.

If you choose the USB method:

  1. Connect the USB-C connector to your Switch.

  2. Plug the USB-A connector into your computer's USB port.

It will recognise the new device and configure it so that you can use it quickly.

If you prefer to connect via Bluetooth:

  1. Go to the Settings menu on your computer.

  2. Click on the Devices tab > Bluetooth and other devices.

  3. Click on Add Bluetooth or another device > Bluetooth.

  4. Prepare your Nintendo Switch controller for pairing by pressing and holding the small sync button next to the USB-C port until lights flash.

  5. Your PC should logically recognise your controller and connect it.

You can also use this method to connect your PS4 and Xbox One controllers to your Nintendo Switch.

How much does Switch controllers cost?

You'll find Switch controllers at prices ranging from £14.99 (wired) to £69.99 (wireless Joy-Cons) on average, depending on the model you choose. While we're used to seeing the famous red and blue Joy-Cons, you can also opt for other colours: purple-orange-blue-yellow-neon-neon-green-neon-pink-grey or The Legend of Zelda edition. You can also opt for a Switch Pro controller. Available in grey, green, pink, yellow, white, etc. This is a controller that offers several advantages: It's ergonomic, comfortable and incredibly precise, and its removable battery is easy to change too.

Where can I find cheap Nintendo Switch controllers?

If you need to replace your Nintendo Switch controllers or buy extra ones for multiplayer gaming, the ideal solution is to opt for refurbished Nintendo Switch controllers. At Back Market, you can get controllers in great condition, where all have been carefully checked by certified professionals and are ready to live a new reconditioned life so that you can win at your favourite games again, but at a very low price!

If you're also looking for a cheap Nintendo Switch Console, you can save even more with Back Market when you choose a second hand Nintendo Switch that has been certified refurbished.


Written by HaziqTech Expert for Back Market UK, Ireland & Australia

When not fighting the good fight for environmental sustainability, Haziq loves making reviews of everything and anything tech-related.

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