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Nyko Charge Block review: An innovative modular controller charger for Xbox One

Xbox One owners have a variety of battery and charging options, but they tend to be samey. The Charge Block from Nyko dares to be different, with modular charging stands that can link to each other and draw power via USB or AC outlet. Do those features make for a better charger? Read on to find out!

Charge Block Solo versus Duo

Nyko Charge Block Xbox One

The Charge Block is sold in two configurations: the Solo, for one controller, and the Duo, for two controllers. Both configurations have distinct SKUs for Xbox One and PlayStation 4. This review focuses primarily on the Xbox One versions.

The Solo includes:

  • 1 Charge Block
  • 1 1200 mAh battery pack
  • 1 battery cover
  • 1 micro-USB charging cable
  • 1 AC Adapter

The Duo includes:

  • 2 Charge Blocks
  • 2 1200 mAh battery packs
  • 2 battery covers
  • 1 micro-USB charging cable
  • 1 AC Adapter

Battery Packs

Nyko Charge Block Xbox One

To charge a controller with the Charge Block, you'll need both the unique battery pack and battery cover. Each pack can only be inserted one way, designated by "This Side Up" text. They're a tight fit, but not terribly difficult to install. The battery cover is black and has a small hole in the middle to allow the battery pack's contacts to touch those of the Charge Block.

The battery pack is 1200 mAh, about half the capacity of high quality rechargeable batteries such as Eneloops and even Energizers. That's the only weakness of this product – your controllers will need to be charged sooner than if you'd used standalone rechargeable batteries. But the convenience of the charging process might just balance things out.

Charge Blocks

Nyko Charge Block Xbox One

Each Charge Block is a fist-sized charging stand for one controller. If you buy the Solo, it can only charge one controller at a time. The Duo comes with two Blocks, so it can charge two controllers. But if you want to use more than two controllers with the Charge Block system, you just need to buy more Charge Blocks and chain them together.

Each Charge Block has a removable faceplate that reveals a male micro-USB connector. Just line the male connector up with the female connector on the back of another Block, lock them together, and the two Blocks become one.

You can connect up to four Charge Blocks in one chain – even mixing and matching Xbox One and PlayStation Blocks (though, obviously, you can't charge an Xbox controller with a PlayStation block, or vice versa). A single micro-USB cable can power two Charge Blocks when connected by AC Adapter and four Charge Blocks when powered by the USB 3.0 ports of a console. Not all controller chargers are so versatile.

Charging controllers with the Charge Block is simple. Just sit the controller down on the block and it will click right into place. LED lights towards the front of the Charge Block (one LED on each side) flash while the controller is charging. Once the charge completes, the LED stays lit. And if you'd rather use a controller while charging it, you can simply remove the micro-USB cable from the Charge Block(s) and plug it directly into the controller.

If you use the Chatpad accessory, you'll have to remove it in order to charge the controller. It will prevent a controller from fitting on the Charge Block.

Block Party

Nyko Charge Block Xbox One

The Charge Block is a clever new controller charger. It's not radically different from Nyko's original Charge Base (opens in new tab) for Xbox One, except for the addition of modularity. But for anybody with a lot of controllers, being able to grab as many Charge Blocks as you need (both Xbox and PlayStation) and power them from a single USB or AC outlet is handy. And the Charge Block makes for an attractive controller stand, to boot.

The Charge Block Solo retails for $19.99 and the Duo retails for $29.99. If you have multiple controllers and don't want to use Eneloop rechargeable batteries, the Duo is a great choice.

Paul Acevedo is the Games Editor at Windows Central. A lifelong gamer, he has written about videogames for over 15 years and reviewed over 350 games for our site. Follow him on Twitter @PaulRAcevedo. Don’t hate. Appreciate!

41 Comments
  • Usb 2.0 would be slow. They should have used usb 3.0 or c
  • Guess how much difference that would make on charging these small batteries...
  • you dont own an xbox one do you? Go TROLL elsewhere. my controller charges extreamly fast as it is........ plug it in for a few min and i have long battery life.
  • not trolling! just curious about using an old technology Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • ...
  • It does use USB 3.0 as that's what the Xbox One has.
  • This requires buying the battery packs from them as well. I can't recommend this to anyone and still prefer the play and charge kit that allows playing while charging too.
  • I wouldn't even recommend that. Get some recharagable AAs and swap when dead (last about 8-12 hours of continuous play). These are way cheap and you don't have to be plugged in. I had some energizers that I have been using probably 7-8 years, and Amazon has plenty of cheaper brands.
  • im enviromentaly consious. I dont want to throw baterys into a land fill every 8 to 12 hours. I will use a rechargable kit.
  • ??? Did you even read my comment? These are rechargeable. I would suggest next time before firing off a smart comment that you actually READ and UNDERSTAND someone's point before responding so you don't look foolish. Also, considering you are "environmentaly conscious" you should also know that you don't throw batteries into the landfill.
  • munurmenerp  
  • its a well known fact i am a selective reader. read what i want tot see :P
  • As am I. I abuse the edit button regularly. =P
  • I also use rechargable batteries, the trick is to have an extra pair so you always have a pair with full energy so when your countroller run out of energy just swap the batteries about 10-20 seconds and you can continue playing, no waiting for the controler to recharge.
  • No matter how many Charge Blocks you daisy-chain, they just need a single micro-USB charging cable to connect to the rear unit..... So if I were to connect Oh I dunno say 1000 of them, it would still work???? Lol
  • I think max 4 blocks are supported
  • I assume that they are NiCad. The Play and charge official ones are LiIon and they always seem better to me. One advantage these have is that there is no wear on the usb port on the controllers.
  • I use these magnetic USB cables on my controllers for just that reason. Micro USB sockets are far too fragile, and in the dark its annoyingly difficult to orient the cable the right way up, especially when the xbox and PS4 controllers use upside down sockets to start with. http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Micro-USB-Magnetic-Cord-Charging-Cable-Samsun...  
  • Nothanks :) I will stick with my PowerA charger!
  • The charging part at the back looks weird.. Doesn't exposing that copper part too much makes it corrode or something? Is that the correct word or dioxides?
  • The copper (though its probably not copper at all) will 'oxidize' being in the presence of heat and moisture from your hands leading to bad connections between the pack and the charging pins.  It might take a while but its going to happen.  At least you should be able to buy the battery packs seperately though.
  • Just black backs ? How about white? I have the orgigal Plug and play kit from Microsoft I picked up 2 days after getting my DAY one Xbox one... Still works perfect, no problems. The ONLY way I get a dead battery is if I dont charge it for a week (2 hour parts of playing games)...
  • Nyko's website lists a white version that is not yet available to order. It might end up being exclusive to their store.
  • I have a charger of this style, and I don't like it as much because you cannot keep the chat pad connected while the battery charges. I prefer the style of the Energizer one, which allows a chat pad to remain connected.
  • paul this looks great its been something ive needed for the last 3 years. i will defenitaly think on it some more.
  • I'll stick with the good o' micro USB cables. Since I upgraded to a Lumia 950 with a USB type c charger, I have extra micro usb cables that I used from my previous Lumia phones, that I could use towards my Xbox. Qi wireless charging controllers is the next thing that's gonna hit the market. If they can do it to phones i shouldn't be difficult to do it on a gaming controller.
  • This is a neat idea but I'll stick with my Eneloops. I've been using them for years and absolutely love em.
  • ^^^ This ^^^
  • These would definitely be useful to have.
  • Never been into these. I like the Play & Charge method much more, as I don't need to have a table/shelf to hold the charger. Instead, the long cable of a P&C can reach to wherever I'm playing or resting the controller.
     
  • The P&C kit is good, but battery life isn't as good as regular NiMH batteries and the USB socket on the controller isn't the more reliable after several hundreds insersions.
  • Yeah, but the lesser battery life isn't a big deal when the means of charging is so much more convenient. If the aim were battery life, I'd just go with eneloops over this thing (which I did at first). And the XB1 controllers have had so many PoS mechanical faults in my experience that I think they'll turn to crap well before the USB port is a factor.
  • what I need is a qi equipped battery + base
  • Perfect timing. I need more rechargeable batteries.
  • The question is, how readily available are the rechargeable batteries? I cannot find replacement batteries for a model just a year old.
  • Here you go: Nyko Power Kit Nyko Power Kit Plus Savvy users have also opened up old battery packs and replaced them with superior batteries, so that might be an option if you're feeling adventurous.
  • Double post.
  • Have they fixed the issue with the controllers not sitting just right? I bought the original Nyko charging station for the Xbox One and I absolutely hated it. They even tried to make a video stating that you're "using the product wrong" if you had the issue of the controllers not getting charged if sitting just right on the connections. I'm a pretty savvy technology guy, and I tried everything. I ended up taking my product to a recycler and buying a set of rechargeable batteries known to be excellent. But I do like the purpose of a dock and wish I had something to replace it. There was mention of removing the original batteries with some modification, which seems like a good suggestion. I'll look into this product a bit closer and see if Nyko warrants a second chance.
  • I never used the original charger, but Xbox One controllers fit perfectly on the Charge Block.
  • Well this certainly looks convenient, but I'm gonna stick with Eneloops.  Much larger battery capacity, and it takes seconds to pop in a fresh pair. I think the PS4 set might be in my future though.
  • That's exactly my situation - Eneloops in my Xbox One controllers and the PS4 Charge Block Duo for those controllers. :)