If you picked up a Nintendo 3DS at launch, you're most likely having a great deal of fun with it.

However, if you've taken your new toy on any long journeys, you'll also be very aware of how poor the battery life is.

Clocking in at around four hours, one standard 3DS battery charge isn't even enough to get from Manchester to London and back again, as we discovered a few weeks ago.

That got us thinking about what methods we could use to extend the battery life a little. Turning off a feature here, lowering some settings there - it's all for a good cause.

After careful experimentation, here are our top tips for making your Nintendo 3DS battery survive those long commutes. Using these helpful hints, you may be able to get a good eight hours out of your 3DS in one sitting.

Turn off the wi-fi


You may well have never touched the wireless slider on the side of your Nintendo 3DS before. The console doesn't really make you aware of it, or explain why you might want to turn it off.

Simply put, your Nintendo 3DS wi-fi is constantly running, looking for networks to connect to. Turn it off, and you'll get a good extra hour or two of gaming from it.

Of course, turning it off also means you won't be able to StreetPass any other consoles, but if you're sitting stationary on a train or bus, there most likely won't be many people to pass anyway.

Turn on power saving, turn down the brightness


See that picture of a sun in the top left corner of your 3DS main menu? Touch it. Go on, give it a press.

In here, you'll find some simple ways to extend the 3DS battery life, via adjustment of the screen's brightness.

Power saving mode, when activated, will detect how bright the room is around you, and lower the brightness of the screen accordingly. Hence, if you're already surrounded by light, it will darken the screen, saving precious battery power.

Just above that, you can alter the screen brightness yourself, again preserving that valuable battery life. We've found that putting it to 3 out of 5 is great, as you can still see perfectly - although you may want to try turning it all the way down to 1 to save the most.

Do you need the 3D on?


Nintendo suggests that, when in transit, you should turn the stereoscopic 3D off to avoid hurting your eyes.

Taking that into consideration, it may well be a good idea to move that slider down - especially when you see how much battery power it saves.

Many of the 3DS launch games don't use the 3D capabilities to great effect at the moment anyway, so it's all about balance: is it worth gaining some extra battery power by killing your new handheld's main feature?

For that matter, do you need sound?


OK, so we're clutching at straws here, but while you're turning those 3D effects off, do you really need sound, too?

You may well prefer to listen to music via another device while you play your 3DS, and so it's worth moving the sound slider all the way down as you do so.

In all honesty, turning the sound down will only save you around half an hour of battery life, but every little helps, as a wise Tesco shopper once said!

Take your power adapter with you when you travel Nintendo-3DS-AC-Power-Adapter

This may sound obvious, but it's easy to forget that the power adapter is not permanently attached to the docking station.

There will be plenty of opportunities to briefly plug your Nintendo 3DS in and charge it on your travels. For example, most trains now have plug sockets for your personal use.

Take your plug along with you, and perhaps a chance will present itself to grab some free juice. You'll be able to get a whole extra four hours of charge out of it.

Dock often


When you've finished playing on your 3DS in the home, it's easy to simply put it down on the side and forget about it until you want to use it again.

Don't! When you're finished, bang it back in the charging dock, and next time you come to use it, you'll have a whole battery's worth of charge again.

Of course, you can still play on the 3DS while it's sitting in the dock, but it's much nicer to be able to take it elsewhere in your house.