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
Managing Editor - Tech, Reviews

Richard Devine is a Managing Editor at Windows Central with over a decade of experience. 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 steering the site's coverage of all manner of PC hardware and reviews. Find him on Mastodon at mstdn.social/@richdevine

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 come with the controller I'd think.
  • Damn, does that mean the battery packs from the Nyko Charge Base won't work either? It's so much better than any other method as you just drop it on the base when you're done playing and never have to worry about the batteries again. This is what I'm talking about: http://www.amazon.com/Nyko-Charge-Base-Xbox-One/dp/B00FLLFJE0/ref=sr_1_1?s=videogames&ie=UTF8&qid=1448456626&sr=1-1&keywords=nyko+charge+base EDIT: Just answered my own question. No it won't because of the special battery doors it comes with. Damn! Damn damn!
  • Reaction I had to my own packs not working!
  • This is a little misleading. I have a third party battery pack that works fine. The batteries fit inside like the official ones. You just can't use the replacement doors for charging. You have to take them out. Their made by nyko
  • Lots of battery packs come moulded with the door included. Lots of them. And if you read the title again it says play and charge kits. Which is more than just sticking a battery pack inside. It also says "Don't expect."
  • I put my charging station battery in, but the Elite's cover was a tight fit. It made me a little uncomfortable so I did buy a MS charging kit a couple of days later. I'm okay with having to do so because now all 3 of my controllers (1 Elite & 2 standard) have their own rechargeable batteries.
  • I bought the elite controller/charging station bundle from GameStop when I couldn't find a controller on release day. I didn't really want the charger and it's a cheap piece of crap, but damn its nice not having to ever plug my controller in. Word of warning, it tends to stop charging before you get a full charge, but I've had no issues running out of juice during a weekend marathon session.
  • That charging station gives a third party battery pack? If so, know that it doesn't stop charging the battery earlier than meant to. It's that the Xbox recognizes the original battery pack as a standard which has more juice in it. So the Xbox thinks that your battery isn't fully charged. I realized it when I started using my energizer stand for my controllers instead of bothering with cables etc. I'll be using the official kit when I receive my elite controller.. Stop waiting :'(
  • Microsoft is the Apple of the video game industry. Propriety everything that you gotta pay extra for because it has to come from MS. Gougers...
  • Right....
  • Except there's a shit ton of 3rd party accessories that work with MS stuff, sooooo no.
  • Apple supporters would use the same argument, but that's not the point...
  • The thing is, you didn't make a valid argument against mine. Name one thing that HAS to be from MS.
  • If that was true the cable without the battery would cost at least that 25$. The battery would be white with a logo and sell that to u for another 40-50$ minimum. And do half the charging and stuff a regular battery and charger does for the extra price. Think you still don't know how apple works.
  • And six months later you get the pleasure for another 50$ to buy the S model that has 10% more battery life. By then there would be peripherals for it like pink cable cover ( ?! ) and battery skins. I can already see them as amazon top sellers.
  • What? MS use AA batteries as standard... Sony?
  • Yeah, damn them for their proprietary USB ports, microUSB on the controller, AA batteries, external hard drive support... oh, wait...
  • Any bloody idea when they will be back in stock in the UK anywhere...they seem to be selling for £160 on Amazon and not available anywhere else!
  • Probably after Christmas. I actually snagged mine from CEX because i had a voucher. Overpriced but then I didn't have to pay for it so... Who the hell traded in a mint, sealed one of these is what I want to know. Maniacs!
  • Dagnammit I wanted a couple for Christmas presents but refuse to pay the ridiculous prices on Amazon and Ebay!!
  • if you dont mind purchasing a charging stand with it, Gamestop has them avalible at the time of this post. 
  • Power a have adapted theirs to fit Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Saw something of theirs on Amazon, but again, it needs an extra purchase, right? If the door doesn't fit either they start shipping with both doors or you buy a special Elite pack?
  • Yes, I have the Power A elite charger, which isn't very elite, but very cheap plastic lol. Does the trick though!
  • I'll just keep my two other controllers charging on the stands and switch the battery packs when needed.
  • I bought a few usbcell aa's I just switch them out when needed & they've held up good since I got them around xb1 release
  • "Don't expect your third-party Xbox One play and charge kits to work with the Elite Controller" But it will work if we don't expect it, right?
  • Well sorry to say but I think it's natural that it's preferred to use the official battery charger pack.
  • If you must have rechargeable batts, just use rechargeable AAs, problem solved.
  • If I do that, will the controller charge the bateries as I play or I got to put them to charge aside?
  • Yeah, I had the same issue. Microsoft says there will be an offical one from PowerA.
  • I'm using the Best Buy Insignia brand battery charge station (NS-GXBOBCS101) with my Elite controller and it works without issue. It comes with 2 - 1200mAh batteries and the base plugs seamlessly into the left side USB port. You don't lose the USB because it extends to the base. You remove the battery from the controller and insert it into the base to charge.
  • Just convinced me to wait until they drop under $100! Thanks! 
  • Recgargable AA batteries. Ive use them. First you can get much more powerful batteries rated 2300 MAh a piece, are what I have. The batteries are cheaper and last just as long[maybe longer]. I'll never go back to the play and charge kits given the perfromance difference. Charging while playing itsn't worth the extra cords and what not sitting aroudn the house.
  • I have solved this issue. All you need to do is take a pair of pliers and break the two end tabs off your third party battery cover. Then grind the remaining flat. You will be left with a 3rd party battery cover with only the center tab remaining. The center tab is the one that keeps it locked into place. I have done this and it is fine as long as you are not throwing your controller after getting pissed off at the game.
  • A hacksaw? really? i just got my xbox one elite controller and a Nykon Power Kit Plus for Xbox One...I did have to remove the lugs on the ends of the cover to make it fit only the outside lugs do not remove the center lug but it took about 20 seconds and a razor blade and i was good to go so....no hacksaw required an exacto knife or a plain razor blade does it just fine and as long as you arent really special and end up cutting towards you there is 0 chance of injury...dont try to scare people this works just fine and it was only 18 bucks at walmart for the kit lol