As a recent Switch owner, a few things bug me about the system, one of them being the battery life is somewhat anemic if one tends to play for extended periods of time in undocked mode. I had been poking around looking for affordable solutions and based on some review scanning, there were a few interesting candidates but almost all had some flaws from dangling wires to not enough power for my tastes. Granted, my Switch has generally stayed docked or has only traveled to a few rooms inside the apartment. However, some recent invites from friends to pop by with my Switch to either see it in action or just to play with fellow Switch owners had my eye peeled for something that I could also show off as a solid charger that wouldn’t break the bank and be worthy of a hearty recommend. Well, “Say hello to my little friend (BOOM!)”
The MyCharge PowerGame ($49.99) is an absolute must for Switch owners who want a decent price point, portability and most of all, a battery pack that’s packing plenty of power where it counts. Simple to set up and sporting its own kickstand, it’s an accessory that has pretty much no caveats.The 7000mAh battery inside that PowerGame comes holding a charge, so once attached (which took all of ten seconds, but parents will want to show younger kids or attach the battery for them), you’re ready to play. That said, I plugged the included USB-C charger cable unto the nearest USB out (your Switch dock will work nicely) just to top it up for some heavy testing. I really liked the kickstand on the unit because it’s placed in a better spot than the one on the Switch. The only minor (very minor) issue is if you need to add, remove or swap out the micro SD card, you’ll need to remove the PowerGame or do that card change thing before it’s attached.
The first thing you’ll notice is yes, the pack adds thickness and some extra weight to the system (under 7 ounces), which isn’t bad at all. I’d gather younger kids may note that extra heft more than those of us with larger meat gloves. I spent the first day (well, evening into the next day) with the Switch on, playing on and off and eventually clocked a solid 9 hours 39 minutes before the PowerGame needed a recharge. That was running the default settings on the Switch playing games such as MagicCat, Broken Sword 5. a few Switch Online NES games and Nitro Ball. The battery can be charged with the Switch’s own battery by keeping it attached to the system, or separately if the Switch sill has a charge, with the process taking longer should both the PowerGame and Switch paired need a top-up.
Running more visually demanding games shaves off differing amounts of time, but all were far better than using the Switch’s battery. I toted my Switch over to a friend’s to borrow something DOOM-like (Okay, DOOM on the Switch), only to have him pop the thing off my Switch and attach it to his while I stepped into the bathroom. That fast on/off thing was a double-edged sword, it seems. Yes, he was interested in the PowerGame as soon as he tried it out and yes, he noted that he was going to get his own (which was a good thing because I kind of had this review to write). It also turned out he actually hadn’t played DOOM until a few minutes before I arrived, so I decided to let him try the pack out for a day and a half provided he played without it until his Switch needed charging and then attached it and reported the results.
Two days later, the results were in: undocked and without wi-fi (Airplane Mode): 3 hours, 18 minutes with the Switch battery and an additional 5.5 hours with the MyCharge attached. Not bad at all, I’d say. He wanted to try it with Breath of the Wild, but I suggested he’d want to do that test with his own PowerGame because I’d likely never hear from him again (I still haven’t completed the Wii U version!). As far as maintenance goes, you really need to do not much else save store the battery in a safe place. The charger’s cable also needs to be kept in a safe place (plugged into the Switch is good) unless you have a few spare USB-C cables handy. That said, if you only play in docked mode, this likely won’t make you want to buy one. On the other hand, it might get you to play undocked in another room and realize that yep, MORE battery life is always a great thing.
That said, there really aren’t any major downsides to the PowerGame at all, so it comes highly recommended even if you don’t go out and about with your Switch. Hey, it may be the thing that gets you the heck out of the house just so you can show it off to friends and get them to want one of their own, right? Yeah, I thought so go get one of these, I say.
Score: A (95%)
Review sample provided my MyCharge
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