An Xbox One controller charging dock saves energy, effort, and money.. here’s how.

The shift from wired to wireless controllers has had its benefits in console gaming in the past 10 years. Thanks to technology, we have been given the ability to execute immediate in-game response through a self-powered, wireless protocol (that also does away with tripping around your gaming area due to dangling cords everywhere).

The longevity and availability of a controller’s battery level is always a good thing to have, which is why, in recent months, there has been an influx of controller-charging stations (like in this case, an Xbox One controller charging dock) that have been made available to the market.

And while price-conscious gamers may be hesitant to invest in charging docks because of alternate means of maintaining battery life, it cannot be argued that there are tremendous benefits in having one of these in your home (and not surprising, you could actually be saving money in the long run!).

Charging docks are an A+ alternative to AA’s.

not really the kind of thing you want inside your controller..

not really the kind of thing you want inside your controller..

A stock Xbox One controller usually runs on 2 AA batteries, which aren’t too bad because they are affordable and are bundled in large quantities. They are also easy to find ; standard alkaline-based batteries are also very accessible to consumers as they can be purchased at your local grocery or convenience store, while nickel-based dry cells that come with a basic charging kit are carried there and electronics shops as well.

But there are a couple of caveats when it comes to using batteries. The first and more notable one is that they have a limited lifespan. The average alkaline battery lasts around 20 hours of usage before it before it becomes unusable, which is not ideal if you’re trying to do speedruns or long gaming sessions as you will run out of juice along the way. As someone who extensively used alkaline cells on the last generation Xbox console, the quantity of used batteries piles up significantly over the years.

I should add that while nickel-based rechargeable ones may last a lot longer, they do wear out eventually and end up in the same bin.

Another issue with large ramifications is how these used batteries affect the environment, especially in countries where there are no recycling policies for batteries (thus leaving them in landfills). Recent studies over the years have shown that when a battery casing starts to wear off, the toxic chemicals stored inside (mercury, in particular) will affect the surrounding water, soil, plant and human life. Your 22 hours of gaming enjoyment in 2 cells equate to risk of long-term sickness to the next guy.

It’s definitely a big deal, especially when we live in a world where waste management and environmental awareness are key to our longevity. If there was a way to limit the amount of wastage from these batteries down to a bare minimum, that would extremely help.

That’s where charging docks come in!

xbox-one-controller-charging-dock-6

These products come with rechargeable lithium-ion battery packs that are created to fit Xbox One controllers.  These packs can be charged on their product dock and can provide more than double the battery life of a regular battery,  so you are definitely assured that your controller will not switch off in the midst of an intense online battle.

Plus, given the fact that these products have sustainable rechargeable packs, there is no need to constantly buy, use and dispose of batteries. Because of this, we are able to limit the amount of wastage that may or may not end getting recycled properly.

Longer battery life for your controller + Environment friendly effects? I bet you are liking charging docks already.

 

Charging separately from your console saves electricity!

xbox-one-controller-charging-dock-4When you think about it, it does make sense that controllers made the shift to batteries to power them – legacy controllers from earlier consoles relied on drawing energy from an electrical source ( in this case, it was their plugged and powered on console), and by having a separate power source for your wireless control, you are saving some money on your electricity bill.

 

Some gamers, though, prefer having a battery pack that comes with a USB cable so that they can plug it directly into their console; not only will this provide them with a more immediate response from the wired protocol, but this subtly provides charging for their controller as well.

Of course, this means having to keep your console on.xbox-one-controller-charging-dock-3

This may not necessarily be a big deal as recent consoles have been pretty good in terms of energy conservation, along with providing a “Standby” mode that consumes less energy yet allows for software downloads AND controller charging. In some places where energy consumption rates have high cost, it’ll definitely put a little hole in the wallet.

That said, having a charging dock is also beneficial – it is not reliant on having your console switched on and has its own wall plug. Furthermore, since it’s focused solely on charging the batteries on your controllers (as compared to playing games or streaming movies/applications on your console), the amount of consumption is considerably lesser.

->> A cool example of this is the Energizer 2X Charging Station, which you can read more about HERE! <<-

From 0% to Full in Less Time

xbox-one-controller-charging-dock-5If you’re the type of gamer who quickly saps the juice out of your controllers in short period of time, the last thing you would want to happen is to wait a long time to completely charge them to full. Semi or half charges until you reach full is not an option.

Something that is known about rechargeable batteries is that it is only as good as its previous charge – to get the optimal use of your charged battery every single time, you have to make sure to always discharge it to completely before charging it to full capacity. Partial, interrupted charging done constantly will also harm your battery’s life as it doesn’t allow you to fully complete the charging cycle.

Thankfully with charging docks, you are ensured that your controllers are charged to 100% every single time. It’s an uninterrupted source for your controllers that is guaranteed to utilize your controller battery to the fullest.

Furthermore, these products are extremely fast and efficient in terms of providing excellent battery capacity in the quickest time possible. An average charging dock will get to the advertised 40-hour full battery in less than 4 hours. Not bad at all!

->> For a great example, check out this review of the Nyko Modular Charging Station! <–

Closing Thoughts

Much like how portable battery chargers and powerbanks have become a staple for smartphone users, controller charging docks are slowly but surely going to become a staple accessory for console gaming. With benefits like reasonable pricing, environmental contributions, and long-term energy conservation, products like these are definitely going to have a place for gamers who want a sustainable kind of battery for their controllers.

If you’re one of these people, feel free to explore different types of charging docks for your console.

What are your thoughts on charging docks/stations for your game controllers? Let me know in the comments section.


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8 Comments

  • Chris says:

    This looks pretty neat – I’m sick an tired of my son overcharging the duracell recharghebles we are using at the moment! Like you said – these rechargeble batteries always cop it at some point – they stop working and they last for no more than 3 hours. This new hands free system has different batteries to the nickel type?

    • Raphy says:

      I hear you on the dry cells – you wear those out pretty quickly for what they cost!

      As for the battery types, it depends on the brand of charging dock that you purchase – nickel and lithium are the more common ones, though, so it would be best to check the packaging to see what they use.

      If you’re wondering about the casing of the batteries that come with the charging dock, though, you’ll be happy to know that these are encased as battery packs built for Xbox One controllers instead of dry cell casings, so you’re assured not only of a snug fit just like the stock AA-battery pack, but that it also prevents the kind of leaking that worn-out battery cells have.

      Hope this info helps!

  • Kevin says:

    This article was very informative.

    I own an Xbox One and a Playstation 4. The battery life in the controllers seems to hold up well, but when they die it can be a hassle.

    Having an abundance of cables can cause the charging process to become a hassle. Also, it is not pleasing to the eye. These charging docks are just what I am looking for. Thank you for the great review.

    Kevin

    • Raphy says:

      I’m glad you found this helpful, Kevin. Having so many cables going in and out of your console can be a pain to organize so it’s good to have a separate product to do the charging for you. In some cases, these charging docks do have shorter cables going into the console, so that also helps!

      More than anything, the fact that you’re reducing the amount of disposable batteries saves cash and the environment. These days I cringe at seeing some deteriorated battery casings because I am pretty sure the toxins emanating can bring a lot of harm to the immediate area. Imagine how all that can be avoided just by having a charging station for controllers!

      Stay tuned, I have some reviews on charging stations coming up!

  • Kyle Jones says:

    Glad I stumbled upon this site!! My controller batteries are so old now they die in about an hour, luckily I have 4 so I can just swap them around. But I would definitely think of getting something this so I don’t have to constantly keep changing the batteries around! It’s especially annoying when I’m in a race on GTA and my controller dies, lol! Great post man!

    • Raphy says:

      I hear you Kyle! What also becomes a concern with having to switch batteries every so often is not only are you risking eventual misalignment on the battery pack, but you also get the contact points dirty. And that can be a pain to clean up! With charging stations, you can be sure that you won’t run into those issues ever again, and you can outrun all the baddies in GTA all you want.

  • Steve says:

    I love the charging docks for controllers. The ones that glow and look like a space ship are awesome. You really made me want to buy one. It would look really cool in my room right next to my Xbox one. Question though… do you think these have long life span? How long until I need another dock?

    • Raphy says:

      As with all faders and accessories, the lifespan of this product will largely depend on how you use it take care of it. You would have to factor things such as product quality when removed from packaging, propensity of being plugged and amount of charging given out. Some say at worst you would be looking at 4 months at least, but with the right amount of care and maintenance, the product will last more than a year. Hope that duration is helpful!

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