The Nintendo Switch uses a 4310mAh lithium-ion battery. All such batteries have a fixed number of discharge cycles. These best practices will help maintain your Switch’s battery for as long as possible. You can also apply these to your other battery driven devices, including your Switch’s power bank.
- More frequent, smaller charges are better than less frequent, larger charges.
- Smaller discharges and charges are less stressful on the battery.
- Avoid a full discharge (0%) where you can. There is no reason to do such unless you are correcting a battery capacity listing issue in the Switch’s software.
- Keeping the Switch in the dock for weeks is fine.
- Keeping the Switch in the dock for months is less fine.
- In this case remove the Switch and allow it to discharge to 90% or less every few months.
- Topping off a brand new Switch is a good idea, but not required.
- Use known good chargers with the Switch.
- An underpowered charger (less than 1.5A) can turn off the protection circuits. Avoid small phone chargers and the USB port in a car.
- See my list of recommended chargers.
- Keep the Switch at temperatures you find comfortable.
- It can operate in fairly hot and cold conditions, but who carries a thermometer with them?
- Never charge when above 113°F (45°C) or below 32°F (0°C).
- If storing your Switch for months or years:
- Charge/discharge it to 40-50%
- Turn it off completely
- Put it in a cool, but not cold, place
Don’t Stress About This
Best practices and the real world don’t always go together. Skipping them won’t doom your Switch. Likewise the battery capacity will still decline over time, just more slowly.
In the future Nintendo support plans to offer a paid battery replacement service. The Switch’s battery is technically not user replaceable. But hardware savvy owners can access and replace the battery without much trouble. See iFitIt’s Switch teardown. And having to replace the battery a few years from now assumes you don’t replace the Switch for a future model.
You can learn more about caring for lithium-ion batteries at Battery University.