Nintendo Switch Swollen Battery: Why bloated console batteries are so hazardous


The Nintendo Switch, if you've been able to get one, hasn't been without its issues. The dock sometimes scratches the device's screen, some Switches have shipped with a slight bend, and the games don't even taste good. Now you can add a side of bloated batteries to the menu of Nintendo Switch problems.

One owner of the Switch has posted on Reddit with their battery issues. Here's a picture of the Switch in question.


Nintendo Switch swollen battery issues: Now you're playing with (too much) power

Teardowns of the Nintendo Switch show that the battery is on the right side of the console when looking at the back. It may be tough to tell which parts of the Switch are enlarged, if at all, but looking at the logo, the light's circular shape indicates the back is slightly raised. The Switch pictured is from the launch day batch, according to the poster.

Batteries increasing in size in this way are never a good sign. 

Lithium-ion batteries are little science experiments inside a tiny black rectangle and in rare cases the elements tucked inside may react in the wrong way. Tekrevue points out that overcharging a lithium ion battery is the problem: lithium builds up faster than the battery knows what to do with, the reaction results in heat and the warmth heats the gases inside the battery causing expansion. If you're wondering if the battery pack could rupture and then explode, the answer is yes


Nintendo Switch swollen battery issues: How to avoid ruining your device's battery

Given the very real danger of explosion, if your Switch starts to change shape near the battery, call Nintendo immediately and sort out a repair situation. Their customer support page is here. 

It could be a manufacturing defect on Nintendo's part or the Reddit user's fault from using the wrong chargers to power up his device. You're always taking a risk when using non-official Nintendo chargers to send power to the device — in this case, the correct charger is the official AC adapter the Switch comes with. While the Switch supports the versatile USB-C port, make sure you're using cables, wall adapters and battery packs from trusted brands.

At the time of this writing, swollen batteries in the Nintendo Switch are still rare. It's likely that your battery is fine, but make sure to check the back casing occasionally and carefully choose which cables and batteries you use to juice up your Switch.

Check out more Nintendo Switch news and coverage

Looking for more Nintendo Switch news? Check out how blind gamers are using the Nintendo Switch. Nintendo's left Joy-Con issue turns out to be a hardware problem — here's how to solve it. Find out how to buy a console amidst the recent restock. Learn why the Switch cartridges taste so bad. Check out our comparison photos sizing up the Switch to the Wii U GamePad (part one and part two), or find out how to make use of ethernet without the dock and the best way to get alerts when new stock arrives.