As soon as Nintendo revealed that buying a replacement dock for its new console would cost $89.99, Switch owners immediately began hunting for cheaper alternatives. A few companies were eager to oblige, but recently, consumers have learned that sticking their consoles into third-party docks carries a far greater risk than they expected.
Last October, Kotaku’s Mike Fahey reported that some Switch owners who purchased the Nyko Portable Docking Kit were discovering that after using the dock, their consoles would no longer charge via the USB-C port. As if that wasn’t a serious enough issue, some Nyko dock users are now saying that their consoles are being completely bricked, as in they can’t be charged or even powered on. Those affected are losing everything stored on their Switch.
It’s unclear what exactly is causing these issues, but the reports increased considerably following the release of the 5.0 firmware update earlier this month. In fact, all 900+ comments on this long Reddit thread have been written in the past three days. Not everyone is being affected, but enough are running into issues that it seems incredibly risky to continue using a third-party dock at this point, even if you haven’t had issues yet yourself.
Nintendo shared the following statement with Kotaku regarding the reports of third-party dock issues:
Unlicensed products and accessories do not undergo Nintendo’s testing and evaluation process. They might not work at all with our game systems, and they could have compatibility problems with certain games, the Nintendo Switch system itself, and other licensed accessories and peripherals.
One user who was affected by the issue got in touch with Nintendo after losing an 80-hour Breath of the Wild save file (along with all of the other data on his Switch) and was told that there appears to be a connection between the update and Nyko’s third-party dock. Nintendo offered to repair his Switch, as it was still under warranty.