The Best Portable Batteries for the Nintendo Switch of 2018

By Seamus Bellamy

The Nintendo Switch provides an astounding on-the-go gaming experience for the limited amount of time that its battery holds a charge. But after two or three hours, you’ll need to recharge your Switch if you want to keep the digital party going. If you’ve got the console’s charger on hand and happen to be near an electrical outlet, you’re in business. If your Switch dies during your morning commute or anywhere else that plugging in isn’t possible? Game over—unless you happen to have an external battery pack with you.

After hours of research and an embarrassing amount of time playing video games, I can tell you that the best external battery for the Nintendo Switch right now is the Anker PowerCore Speed 20000 PD (available at Amazon).

Here’s how the external batteries we tested ranked, in order:

  1. Anker PowerCore Speed 20000 PD
  2. Mophie PowerStation Plus
  3. RavPower Turbo 20100mAh Power Bank
  4. Anker PowerCore 13400 Nintendo Switch Edition
  5. Mophie Powerstation USB-C XXL
  6. Mophie Powerstation Plus XL
  7. Jackery SuperCharge 26800
  8. Aukey PB-Y15
— Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

Updated November 30, 2018

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Best Overall Best Overall
Credit: Reviewed / Jackson Ruckar

Anker PowerCore Speed 20000

  • Editors' Choice

Anker PowerCore Speed 20000

Best Overall

Available for around $100, the PowerCore Speed 20000 PD is a 20,100 mAh battery that proved capable of charging my Nintendo Switch up to four times. This battery outputs 24 watts of power—six watts more than the power adapter that the Switch ships with. This means that the PowerCore Speed 20000 PD will keep charging your Switch while you continue to play, or it can quickly juice up the console while it’s in sleep mode. Once depleted, the PowerCore Speed 20000 PD takes about 3.5 hours to be charged to its full capacity, using its included 30-watt wall charger. What’s more, the wall charger can also be used to power the Switch directly when you’re at home or in a hotel. The charger’s USB C cable can be detached and used to connect your Switch, or any other USB C device including current generation USB C-powered laptops, to the battery. Have a device uses a legacy USB A connection? No problem: this battery has a port to to handle that as well.

The only real problem with this battery is how easily its plastic case scratches. Anker is definitely aware of the issue: They ship the PowerCore Speed 20000 PD with a protective carrying pouch to keep it from getting scuffed up. Additionally, you should know that at 13 ounces—a few ounces more than a Nintendo Switch weighs—its heft may not make it ideal for those who like to travel light. If you’re willing to sacrifice battery capacity in the name of weight savings, you might want to consider investing in Mophie’s svelte Powerstation Plus.

Best Lightweight Best Lightweight Battery
Credit: Reviewed / Jackson Ruckar

Mophie Powerstation Plus

  • Editors' Choice

Where To Buy

$43.99 Amazon Buy

Mophie Powerstation Plus

Best Lightweight Battery

The Mophie Powerstation Plus is a 6,000 mAh battery that contains enough power to recharge a Nintendo Switch once. Mophie’s well-known for the smart design and resilience of their products. With a sturdy aluminum and soft-touch plastic shell, seamless edges and a built-in USB C cable to charge your hardware with, this battery upholds its reputation.

The Powerstation Plus is an 18-watt battery, so it’ll charge a Nintendo Switch at the same rate as the Switch’s wall charger can, even while you continue to play. Once the Powerstation’s battery has been depleted, it’ll take about 2.5 hours to recharge. In addition to its built-in USB C cable, this battery also comes with a USB C port and a USB A port baked into it. Best of all, as it weighs just under six ounces, around the same weight as a smartphone, you won’t notice it in your everyday carry until the time comes to use it.

How We Tested

The Tester

My name’s Seamus Bellamy. I’m the fella responsible for Reviewed’s guide to the best rechargeable batteries. I’ve got an excellent understanding of how various rechargeable battery technologies work and what to look for when shopping for portable power solutions. I’m also an avid gamer and have been for most of my life. I love the Nintendo Switch for the fun it brings into my life and its adaptability. I’ve got a vested interest in finding a great external battery pack to use with it and want to share what I’ve learned with you.

The Tests

There are scores of external battery packs out there. Not all of them are a great match for the Nintendo Switch. While researching which batteries I should call in for testing, I considered the following:

  • Whether its manufacturer has a reputation for providing quality products and decent customer service.
  • If the price of the battery felt reasonable when its capacity is taken into consideration.
  • Whether the battery had garnered an unusual number of online complaints about its build quality, functionality or other issues.
  • If the battery came with the same power output rating as the Nintendo Switch’s 15V/26A power adapter.
  • Whether or not the external battery pack’s capacity was high enough to fully recharge a Nintendo Switch at least once.

Using these criteria, I whittled my initial list of potential test candidates down from just over 20 battery packs down to eight contenders. Before testing each battery, I drained it completely by recharging my smartphone, digital camera, tablet and drone—whatever I had on hand that needed a little juice. I then recharged each external battery pack, paying attention to how long it takes to fully recharge. Once each was fully recharged, I checked it to ensure that the battery’s true mAh rating was the same or close to what its manufacturer claimed it to be.

Next, I turned my attention to my Nintendo Switch. It was terrible but, in the name of science, I forced myself to play hours upon hours of my favorite video games (thank you for your sympathy) in order to repeatedly drain the console’s internal battery. As I recharged my Switch using each of the eight battery packs in my test group, I looked for the following:

  • Whether the battery allowed me to charge my Switch and play, simultaneously.
  • How many times I could recharge my Switch before the external battery itself needed to be recharged.

I also paid attention to how well each battery was designed, whether or not it appeared capable to standing up to bumps, being dropped and other casual abuse and what other functionality, aside from the ability to recharge a Nintendo Switch, it was capable of providing.

What to Know When Buying an External Battery for Your Nintendo Switch

Power & Play: The whole point of investing in an external battery pack to use with your Nintendo Switch is so that you can keep on gaming, even when you’re not able to plug the console into a wall to charge it. As such, you’ll want to think about finding a battery that has the same output rating as the USB-C charger that the Switch ships with: 15V/26A, or 18 watts. An external battery pack with this rating will allow you to charge the Switch’s internal battery with enough juice left over to simultaneously give Pikachu the beatdown he so richly deserves in Super Smash Brothers Ultimate. Charging while you play will take more time than if you were charging your Switch while it’s in sleep mode, but you’ll get there. When charging your console in sleep mode with a 15V/26A-rated battery, you can expect it to be fully juiced in three hours or less.

Capacity: There’s no sense in carrying an external battery pack to charge your Switch if it won’t actually, you know, charge your Switch. Be sure that any battery you purchase has a capacity of at least 4310 mAh: the same number of milliamp hours as the Switch’s internal battery. That said, more power is better, for a number of reasons. If you plan on playing while you charge, a 1:1 charging ratio won’t allow you to fully charge your Switch: some of your battery’s power will need to go towards running the console. Also, you know what’s better than being able to charge your Switch while on the go? Being able to recharge it multiple times on the go. The higher your external battery’s capacity, the more playtime you’ll be able to enjoy.

Weight: Your Nintendo Switch is a portable device: The external battery you pair it with ought to be, too. As the number of milliamp hours goes up with a rechargeable battery, so does its heft. Additionally, while buying portable gear that can stand up to casual abuse in a backpack or purse, or even the occasional fall is smart, buying hardware that’s overbuilt to withstand more abuse than you’ll likely subject it to means that you’ll be carrying around unnecessary extra weight. When shopping for a battery pack, try to strike a balance between power capacity, build quality and weight.

Legacy Ports: Your Nintendo Switch charges via USB-C: A fabulously versatile port that’s becoming more common with every passing day. But as it’s still a relatively new standard, there’s a good chance that many of the devices you own, such as your iPhone or Bluetooth headphones rely on older connections, such as Apple’s proprietary Lightning connector or micro USB to recharge. To ensure that your external battery can be used to power these devices as well, think about buying one that comes equipped with a legacy USB-A port. If you ever wind up away from home with a dead smartphone, you’ll be glad that you did.

Testing
Credit: Reviewed / Jackson Ruckar

Other Portable Batteries We Tested for the Nintendo Switch

RavPower Turbo Series 20100mAh

  • Editors' Choice

RavPower Turbo Series 20100mAh

The RavPower Turbo offers the same 20100 mAh capacity as our main pick does at just over half the price, making it a good choice for Switch owners to buy if they’re on a budget. It comes equipped with a single USB C port and two USB A ports, allowing you to charge a wide variety of devices with it. It sounds good! But compared to the Anker PowerCore Speed 20000 PD, it’s merely OK.

Where our Anker pick churns out 24 watts of power, the RavPower battery can only manage 18 watts. When the time comes to recharge this battery, you’ll spend around five hours doing so via USB C or close to nine if, for some reason, you opt to charge it using micro USB. Additionally, the RavPower battery, is both larger and heavier than our main pick, making it less desirable to carry.

Anker PowerCore 13400 Nintendo Switch Edition

Anker PowerCore 13400 Nintendo Switch Edition

The Anker PowerCore 13400 Nintendo Switch Edition isn’t a bad option: it’s just not a great deal. This 13400mAh battery is both smaller and lighter than our main pick, making it a better option for those who prefer to travel lighter than its heftier sibling. It’s capable of charging a Nintendo Switch twice before it needs to be plugged in for a top-up.

Unfortunately, it’s as susceptible to scratches and scuffs as the Anker PowerCore Speed 20000 PD is. Additionally, it’s a considerable drop in capacity compared to the PowerCore Speed 20000 PD, and it doesn’t have a drop in price to match: It’s only $20 cheaper than our best overall pick. Pass.

Mophie Powerstation USB-C 3XL

Where To Buy

$199.95 Apple Buy

Mophie Powerstation USB-C 3XL

With the exception of its outstanding build quality and design, the Mophie Powerstation USB-C XXL is outclassed by our best overall pick in almost every way.

The Powerstation USB-C XXL offers 1,500 mAh less than the Anker PowerCore Speed 20000 PD, but costs $50 more. It’s larger, heavier and took close to five hours to recharge once it was depleted. Unless you’re hard on your gear or care more about aesthetics more than you do about utility, exclude this battery from your shopping list.

Mophie Powerstation Plus XL

Mophie Powerstation Plus XL

As its name suggests, the Powerstation Plus XL looks like a Mophie Powerstation Plus that’s spent a little more time in the gym. Their design language is similar: Both sport an aluminum and soft-touch plastic shell, and come with a USB C Port, a USB A port and a built-in USB C charging cable. As much as I like Mophie’s hardware, I have to suggest that you give this battery a pass: It’s priced the same as our main pick but offers roughly half the battery capacity and 18 watts of power output compared to the 24 watt output you get from the Anker PowerCore Speed 20000 PD.

Jackery SuperCharge 26800

Jackery SuperCharge 26800

With its 26,800 mAh capacity, the Jackery SuperCharge 26800 has the largest capacity of any external battery pack I tested for this guide. It’ll cost you around 10 bucks more than our main pick, which feels about right, when you consider the its additional capacity.

I was able to charge my Switch five times before the SuperCharge 26800 was depleted. Additionally, it’s 45 watt output makes it a great choice for anyone looking to use it with a USB C powered laptop. However, weighing in at over 15 ounces, this battery, in addition to having the highest capacity in our test group, was also the one of the heaviest. There’s a line between utility and a loss of portability. With this battery, Jackery crossed it.

Aukey PB-Y15 26500mAh Power Bank

Aukey PB-Y15 26500mAh Power Bank

Despite its $53 price tag and 26,500 mAh capacity, the PB-Y15 ranks last on the list of batteries I tested. Let me start with its weight: 21.28 ounces That’s far too heavy to consider carrying with you on a regular basis. The Jackery battery we tested for this guide weighs significantly less, provides more power and sells for pretty much the same price. However, this battery’s greatest sin is that it took me close to 16 hours to charge it. That’s unacceptable.

If you're shopping for Nintendo Switch accessories, check out our guide to the Best Nintendo Switch Cases.

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