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 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

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!