Nintendo revealed the Switch's battery life during the console's Jan. 12 showcase, saying that it can output a minimum of two hours and 30 minutes on a single playthrough. Of course, companies are wont to embellish key metrics, and real-word usage often harbors vastly different results.
Now that publications have gotten their hands on early review units, however, that metric has been officially put to the test.
Nintendo Switch Battery Tests
Turns out the Switch can really last two hours and 30 minutes on a single charge, so good on Nintendo for not sweetening that part. But here's where things get interesting: In GameXplain's battery test, the system was at its maximum sound and brightness setting, and Wi-Fi was turned on. Those settings resulted in two hours and 28 minutes of total gameplay — which is surprisingly a teensy bit less than the promised battery life all things considered. It's also important to note that the game played during the test was Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, which safe to say is a power-intensive title.
This is impressive because not everyone plays with the brightness setting turned way up, and gamers often don't have Wi-Fi enabled during games, especially with Zelda, which isn't positioned as a multiplayer-focused title.
Nintendo's official range for the Switch's battery is around 2.5 hours to six hours, and it's easy to imagine that Breath of the Wild, alongside other power-intensive titles to come in the future, will last longer on the Switch's dock mode when played at a lower brightness setting with wi-Fi turned off. Less-demanding titles in terms of power would presumably incur lesser power altogether.
Long story short, if you're getting the Switch and plan to play it mostly undocked, know that even with Wi-Fi turned on and the sound and brightness setting set at a maximum, you can squeeze a little under two hours and 30 minutes of total gameplay from it. Just turn off Wi-Fi and lower the brightness to squeeze more juice.
When the system's battery empties out, it won't take long before fully charging it again. As reported by Twinfinite, Switch-bearing reviewers are suggesting that it only takes roughly two hours before the systems reaches full juice levels.
That shouldn't be too much of a nuisance, though, because the Switch's headline selling point is that it can be put on its dock while charging and allow players to continue playing.
The Nintendo Switch is a forthcoming hybrid console that follows the Wii U and by extension the 3DS — even if Nintendo doesn't think so. It ships March 3 for $299. Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild ships on the same day for the Switch and the Wii U, the last first-party title for the ill-fated console, apparently. The Switch will be the first Nintendo console to feature a paid online service tier, although Nintendo hasn't exactly been much of a sharer in that aspect.
Thoughts about the Switch's battery life? Are you getting one? Feel free to sound off in the comments section below!