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Don't expect your third-party Xbox One play and charge kits to work with the Elite Controller

The Xbox Elite controller is a stunning bit of kit — see our review for more — that has one small flaw. If you can really call it a flaw. But it's going to be annoying for some people.

Let me paint the picture. You buy a shiny new Elite controller, you rip open the box, take it out of the protective case and go to put in your third-party play and charge kit battery packs to get down to some wire-free Xbox action. Only, what's this? The battery pack won't fit.

Damn.

The issue is with the lugs on the battery door. To presumably accommodate the paddles on the rear of the Elite all three are in the center. This in turn is probably why the stock battery door feels a lot looser than it does on regular controllers. On the regular controllers they're more spaced out and as such don't marry up to the holes on the back of the Elite. So your battery pack won't fit. Or it won't if it requires anything other than the factory fitted battery door.

Or it won't fit unless you take a hacksaw to the two outer lugs. I've seen someone suggest that in a corner of the Internet and while it should work, it also won't leave you with a very tightly attached battery pack. And for a $150 controller it's a little too, well, hacky.

What you need to do is one of two things. Either use a pair of AA batteries and keep swapping them out every time they run flat or you need to buy Microsoft's official Xbox One Play and Charge kit. Microsoft's kit utilises an internal battery instead of one that's shaped like a battery door. You pop it inside in place of the AA batteries and then pop the regular battery door on over the top.

So you might need to spend a little more. But at least there's still a solution.

Richard Devine is an Editor at Windows Central. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently you'll find him covering all manner of PC hardware and gaming, and you can follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

59 Comments
  • Wasn't there a wired version?
  • Not of the Elite. There's a cable in the box but it's a wireless controller that you can also plug in and use with a cable. I'm not sitting on the sofa with a long old cable plugged in all evening ;-)
  • Wanna give this a try: Plug the controller into a phone charger plugged into the wall. I'm doing this with my regular Xbox One controller, using a Lumia 635 bundled charger. It's putting out enough juice to run the controller, a stereo headset, and charge the battery. If it works with the elite, at least you won't have the cable running across the room (if there's a plug near where you sit).
  • I usually just charge overnight tbh. Plug it into my regular USB brick at home next to the phones.
  • Another option is an Energizer or Duracell 15-minute Nimh charger. If your batteries die, they can be charged before you can use the washroom and drink a beer. Plus you have batteries for cameras and other stuff when needed.
  • See Richard, that's your issue. You assume the rest of us need to sleep such as yourself. "Charge overnight" he says... Hahaha!! Mortals *smdh* (shaking my divine head)
  • Divine should have been in all caps for more effect. Thanks wm10.
  • Tried that with the cable + controller bundle no dice when I got that last holiday
  • Has to be a dedicated/hardwired charger (like what comes with a 635). The cable and plug models I tried (even the one that came with my 1520) just didn't put out the juice.
  • Ack, looks like my venom charge kit will not do though I suppose I could rig something up. But still as you pointed out a little to hacky for a such a expensive controller. Thanks for the PSA, Richard :).
  • Pleasure :)
  • Why don't they add Qi wireless charging? You set the controller down on a pad on the table, and when you're ready to play, it's fully charged when you pick it up. No cables, no docks, no fuss.
  • Maybe the next Xbox will do that, and have a QI Charging spot on top of the console itself(where there aren't vents) Then you just put it back on top of the console when you're done and the Qi pad Gets it's power from the Consoles AC, cut down on a wire for the Qi pad
  • @Dan Harris -- I love it! That's a great idea. That's exactly where I put my controller now when I'm done playing, but I have to plug it in to the USB cable. @jjMustang, right next to our couch is a big third party Qi charger, generally used for my Lumia 928, but it would be great to just set the XBox controller there when I'm not playing. Nice! I wonder if the shape of the controller and Qi range limits make this difficult to implement, at least for use with existing Qi charging stations.
  • Qi has to be like really, really close IIRC. So you'd need a special stand right now to lay the battery flat against. Would be a killer idea though. Should send it to Microsoft!
  • If only one could find the controller anywhere
  • Exactly
  • If there's one thing MS really screwed up with the XBO, it's the controller batteries and the play & charge kit. On the 360, you could remove the battery with one button press and place it in the separately sold charger station. Now you have to fiddle around with a f**** USB cable to charge your controller as there is no charging station.
  • It wouldn't work with the elite, but I think there are third party battery packs that have a separate charge station similar to the official Xbox 360 one? I have one somewhere for the 369, had space for 2 batteries at a time and was very handy
  • Yeah for regular controllers there are a bunch. Elite will require someone re-designing their battery door elements but I'm sure we'll start seeing them soon enough.
  • What about the official dual-charging station??
  • Can't you just use the USB port to charge and play?
  • Of course. But without a battery pack inserted you're not charging anything. You're just using a wired controller.
  • For the price and elite name, the charge should