PowerA Xbox One Play and Charge Kit review: Juice up for just $15

This Xbox One charging kit is your best choice when on a budget.

Windows Central Recommended Award

The Xbox One's reliance on AA batteries can be costly, with no shortage of charging accessories on the market. Only a small investment can save big in the long term, with the added convenience that comes with rechargeable solutions. They're a centerpiece of many third-party product lines and an essential accessory for any regular gamer.

PowerA's $15 Play & Charge Kit is among today's best positioned Xbox One charging accessories. This budget kit provides power for two controllers, delivering value unmatched by third-party alternatives.

What you'll love about the PowerA Play & Charge Kit

PowerA's Play & Charge kit features a pair of vibrant orange rechargeable packs, which firmly sit into the battery tray of official Xbox One controllers. These are secured by a custom battery door, with a separate Micro-USB port and wireless charging contacts protruding from the rear. Despite its modest design, all components maintain appropriate build quality and tightly sit inside controllers. Furthermore, the custom battery doors avoid heavy branding and match the finish of Microsoft's black controllers.

Unrivaled value for Xbox One charging.

Although this kit includes a USB Type-A to Micro-USB cable just short of 10 feet (3 meters), external contacts also ensure compatibility with PowerA's wireless charging stand and some third-party alternatives. And while having Micro USB integrated into batteries isn't pretty, it allows for charging without a controller.

The main draw of PowerA's kit is value, packing two controller batteries for just $15. Budget manufacturers like AmazonBasics offer only one battery for that price, with Microsoft charging $25 for its single unit. While the battery quality varies between these options, PowerA is offering a strong balance of quality and price.

Like many budget solutions, PowerA leverages two 1100 mAh nickel–metal hydride (NiMH) batteries, just falling short of Microsoft's 1400 mAh lithium charging kit. This surpasses the 800 mAh capacity of many alternatives, meaning increased play time between charges. There are technically better batteries on the market but these still offer suitable performance out of the box.

What you'll dislike about the PowerA Play & Charge Kit

Despite minor setbacks, you won't get any better for the price.

The NiMH batteries used by PowerA's charging kit deliver strong battery life and recharge times, but could still be improved. The effects of low-quality battery technology can be hard to see, though may lead to reduced capacity and durability in the long term. While the effect may be minimal, it's still worth considering.

PowerA also offsets the streamlined nature of the Xbox One controller with this kit, as a direct result of the protruding Micro-USB port and shaped battery door. Paired with a vibrant orange battery, this can be especially noticeable on simple controller colorways.

Should you buy the PowerA Play & Charge Kit?

PowerA's Xbox One Play & Charge kit offers value you won't find elsewhere from an established third-party manufacturer. This set offers all you need to ditch those disposable batteries for two controllers, with the flexibility to adopt wireless charging later down the line. There are small cutbacks made to achieve this price, but these won't have a huge effect on everyday usage. Provided you can deal with that vibrant orange, this is the battery pack for you. Definitely buy it.

The PowerA Play & Charge kit for Xbox One current retails for $15 on Amazon, with compatibility for all official Xbox One controllers.

See at Amazon

Matt Brown

Matt Brown was formerly a Windows Central's Senior Editor, Xbox & PC, at Future. Following over seven years of professional consumer technology and gaming coverage, he’s focused on the world of Microsoft's gaming efforts. You can follow him on Twitter @mattjbrown.