One of the most common requests that we get is for the replacement of damaged Nintendo Switch charge ports. It’s not a big surprise since games that are mobile tend to be prone to accidental damage far more than the full sized consoles that sit in your living room rarely if ever being moved from their stationary locations. There’s a saying when it comes to electronics. “Parts that move are usually the first things to fail.” Since we are talking about the entire game system “moving” you can imagine why it would be likely to end up dropped, wet, or show signs of wear and tear. Add to this the arguably poor design of USB-C in general, the fact that the Switch is also popular with young people, and you have a recipe for bad things happening at some point.
Here’s the good news. Screens, Joy Cons, and even the charging port itself can be repaired/replaced. By the way if your device is still charging but does not work properly when docked this can be the USB-C port itself or one of the on board micro chips which tends to fail. Don’t worry we can replace that too! In fact it’s somewhat rare for us to encounter a device that can’t be fixed. The really tough ones have either been run over by a vehicle or dropped into a swimming pool. Other than that it is usually a single component that has stopped working and just needs to be replaced. When it comes to the port you can usually see physical damage by looking inside. If everything appears to be normal as in not bent or mutilated then it could be that your charging IC has failed. Hard to say why but we do not recommend using after market accessories including chargers with this device. Like iPhones they are designed to be picky and work best with genuine Nintendo chargers and docks.
While we don’t recommend this repair for do-it-yourselfers due to the requirement of micro soldering taking the game apart isn’t particularly difficult. Again, please don’t ever attempt to work on your own equipment unless you understand and accept the risks involved. The Switch does require a less common driver known as a Tri-Point just to get inside. Other than that you need a small cross-hair screwdriver and some pry tools. Probably the first thing to keep in mind is that you will want to preserve as much of the thermal paste as possible. There is quite a bit inside and it is of a different type than that used on full sized consoles and computers. This is due to the amount of heat generated while games are being played. Manufacturers can really push performance on these handhelds and on a hot day it can be even more stressful to the game.
While physically damaged charge ports are easy to spot sometimes we come across more complex issues that prevent the Switch from charging. Batteries do wear out and this is something that most gamers observe happening over a period of time. If you find that you aren’t getting as much game time between charges then there’s a good chance that your battery may be approaching the end of it’s life cycle. On average Lithium-Ion batteries tend to last for about 500 charging “cycles.” This means an equivalent of full charge and discharge processes. So if you charge your battery from 50% to full then you have used one half of one charge cycle. By the way it is never a good idea to discharge this type of battery until completely dead. This can actually damage the internal cells and shorten the batteries lifespan. Also charging beyond 90-95% does not give you much in the way of play time since these batteries will charge slower and even discharge slightly once they reach this range.
In some cases a damaged port like the one shown in the previous photo can cause damage to other related components inside of the console. Two of the integrated circuits that negotiate charging between the port and the battery are notorious for this problem. Sometimes the bend contacts inside of the port make contact with each other when they shouldn’t and cause two or more circuits to short and in some cases these chips just fail for no apparent reason. If you find yourself in this situation don’t panic or give up. We carry replacement parts for all of the above and will be happy to asses the damage and provide you with an estimate of costs before we perform any work.
If you need to get your Nintendo Switch or other console repaired please use the for on this page to contact us.