Xbox controllers are often considered to be the gold standard for controllers, with many competitors and third-party companies closely imitating Microsoft's designs for their own products. One consistent complaint regarding Xbox's official controllers, however, is they rely on standard AA batteries for power rather than a more elegant rechargeable solution. The PowerA Dual Charging Station for Xbox aims to solve this complaint without breaking the bank.
Compatible with both the older Xbox One controller and the new and improved Xbox Series X|S Wireless Controller, the PowerA Dual Charging Station is an unabashedly budget option that doesn't excel in any one way; it nonetheless delivers on its promises and offers unmatched value in the segment.
Bottom line: Build quality leaves a lot to be desired in some respects, and battery life is below what more expensive solutions offer. Still, this charging dock gets the job done and does it at a frankly absurd price point.
- Amazing value
- Solid and unassuming design
- Great for displaying controllers
- Below average charging speed and battery life
- Indicator lights are inconsistent
- Build quality is less than perfect
PowerA Dual Charging Station for Xbox: Price and availability
The PowerA Dual Charging Station is available for $25, and you can grab it from Amazon and directly from PowerA. It's available in two colors, white and black, to match the colorways of the Xbox One X|S and Xbox Series X|S. In the box you'll get the charging dock, power cord, two rechargeable batteries, and four battery doors (two for Xbox One controllers and two for Xbox Series X|S controllers).
It's easy to acquire the PowerA Dual Charging Station at the moment, although this may change as time progresses and more people pick up an Xbox Series X or S, or purchase new controllers.
PowerA Dual Charging Station for Xbox: What's good
PowerA's claim to fame with its Dual Charging Station for Xbox is undoubtedly the value provided in the box, with everything you need to equip two Xbox controllers with rechargeable batteries, and display them in an attractive manner when not in use, included from the start. Beyond this simple, yet effective, proposition, PowerA's charging dock is a comprehensive charging solution in all the ways that matter.
Setup is easy, as PowerA includes battery doors for older Xbox One and newer Xbox Series X|S controllers in the box. All you have to do is install the batteries and battery door, plug the dock into the wall with the included AC adapter, and place the controllers on the dock.
The design of the dock is straightforward and unassuming, but this is by no means a bad thing. Once placed in the dock, controllers naturally nestle where they need to be, even without the presence of magnets to help keep them in place (like on the more expensive Razer Universal Quick Charging Stand). Rubber pads on the bottom of the dock ensure it stays in place despite its low weight.
Push each half of the dock down until you hear a click, and the indicator light will glow orange to signify the controller is charging. When you'd rather only display the controller (or the light has gone white to indicate the controller is fully charged), you can push each half of the dock down again to lift the controller off the charging contacts. This is an effective and thoughtful design compared to other solutions, which give no easy way to display your controller without constantly connecting it to power.
In use, the PowerA Dual Charging Station continues to get the job done without excelling. Battery life is lower than competitors (more on that below), but it's still good enough to last a full day of gaming and more. While I rarely went two or more days without charging my controllers, the dock makes it easy to charge them when they're not in use. Even with slower charging speeds than more expensive solutions, I never had to worry about not having enough juice when the next gaming session rolled around.
PowerA Dual Charging Station for Xbox: What's not good
PowerA's relentless pursuit of delivering ultimate value means compromises had to be made, and the Dual Charging Station reflects that. Beyond the simplistic design, the build quality is less than ideal, as the product is constructed of cheaper, lightweight plastic.
The included battery doors are compatible with two generations of Xbox controllers, but they're also constructed of the same cheaper plastic and have a small amount of give. You won't be able to acquire the battery doors in any color but black and white (to match your choice of dock), and even then the coloring is slightly different from the black and white controller colorways.
The aforementioned design that lets you display your controllers without charging them also comes with inevitable moving parts, which feel loose and shift side to side. This unwanted movement means it's a little too easy to place controllers down slightly wrong and disrupt charging, despite the natural shape of the dock aiming to combat this.
Rounding out the inconsistent build quality are the indicator lights, which aim to alert you when your controllers are charging normally (solid orange), are having issues charging (flashing orange), or are fully charged (solid white). While the indicator lights worked as advertised most of the time, I had several instances when the orange light didn't shift to white until hours after the controller was already fully charged. There were also a few moments when the light would begin flashing orange — indicating an issue with the controller's contact with the dock — even when nothing disturbed or moved the dock and controllers, and they had been charging reliably for hours.
Finally, while I found battery life and charging speeds to be good enough for my use, both metrics are still irrefutably worse than more premium charging solutions. Battery life is rated at 20 hours, compared to other solutions that deliver up to 30 hours or more of continued usage. I found that battery life is a little lower than this rating in my testing, but it's not far off. At the end of your use, it does take several hours to charge the controllers fully. One thing I wasn't able to verify, but is still a concern, is that of longevity — more affordable batteries may mean a shorter lifespan and the need to replace them sooner.
PowerA Dual Charging Station for Xbox: Competition
When it comes to pure value, the PowerA Dual Charging Station for Xbox is essentially unmatched. However, more premium options in the space deliver a better experience overall if you're willing to shell out extra for the luxury.
The official Xbox Rechargeable Battery is always a reliable option. Coming in at the same price as the PowerA Dual Charging Station, it only provides a rechargeable battery for one controller and a charging cable to keep it topped up. This means you have to plug the controller in to charge it rather than dock it, and you'll have no way to display or store your controller when note in use. Still, the Xbox Rechargeable Battery offers excellent battery life and astonishing longevity.
If you need a dock, the Razer Universal Quick Charging Stand is the quintessential standard. There's an option to match practically any controller, including many limited-edition options; build quality and design are impeccable, with magnets to guide the controller into place and a convenient USB Type-C power port; and, battery life and charging speeds are fantastic. There's a lot to like about the Quick Charging Stand. However, it only charges one controller at a time, and starts at $40 for the basic colors options.
Finally, PowerA itself offers alternative charging solutions. If you want rechargeable batteries but don't need the dock, PowerA offers two rechargeable batteries compatible with Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S controllers for $18. Want the dock, but only have one controller? PowerA offers a standalone charging stand (basically identical to the Dual Charging Station, but cut in half) for $20. However, in both cases, it's easy to assert the Dual Charging Station is a better value.
PowerA Dual Charging Station for Xbox: Should you buy it?
In most cases, the PowerA Dual Charging Station can be described as "good enough." It's not bad by any means, but it can't be considered "great" when compared to competing charging solutions that ask more for the privilege of using them. This, however, is exactly where the PowerA charging dock charges ahead of the competition: the price you're paying for it.
For the price of one official Xbox Rechargeable Battery, or half the price of the generally excellent Razer Universal Quick Charging Stand, you're getting a convenient and efficient charging dock with everything you need for two Xbox controllers. For many, minor trade-offs in build quality or battery life will be well worth the money saved.
The PowerA Dual Charging Station for Xbox is a value-driven charging dock for up to two Xbox controllers. It looks good enough to earn a place on your entertainment center, and is more than good enough to serve the battery life and charging needs of most players. If you're willing to accept its minor faults in exchange for the incredible value on offer, the PowerA Dual Charging Station is easily one of the best Xbox charging accessories you can choose.
Zachary Boddy (They / Them) is a Staff Writer for Windows Central, primarily focused on covering the latest news in tech and gaming, the best Xbox and PC games, and the most interesting Windows and Xbox hardware. They have been gaming and writing for most of their life starting with the original Xbox, and started out as a freelancer for Windows Central and its sister sites in 2019. Now a full-fledged Staff Writer, Zachary has expanded from only writing about all things Minecraft to covering practically everything on which Windows Central is an expert, especially when it comes to Microsoft. You can find Zachary on Twitter @BoddyZachary.