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Is there a reason not to buy the official Xbox One USB Charging Cable?

Xbox One controller
Xbox One controller (Image credit: Windows Central)

Is there a reason not to buy the official Xbox One USB Charging Cable?

Best answer: Yes, although that isn't a fault of the cable itself. There's just no reason to buy one if you already own a micro USB cable, or if you might be interested in getting rechargeable batteries in the future.Amazon: Xbox One USB Charging Cable (opens in new tab) ($10)Amazon: Xbox One Play and Charge Kit (opens in new tab) ($24)

What does the Xbox One USB Charging Cable offer?

The biggest advantage that owning an Xbox One USB Charging Cable provides is giving you the ability to turn any Xbox One wireless controller into a wired one. This is incredibly useful if your batteries ran out of juice but you still want to play; all you have to do is plug the USB end into any compatible power source and plug the micro USB end into the top of your controller. Even if you completely take your batteries out of the controller, it will still work as long as you have this wired connection.

A small but still notable feature of the Xbox One USB cable is that it has a built in light that indicates whether or not power is flowing through it to a controller. Most of the time, this won't be useful, but if your controller isn't working with the cable, the light being on will indicate that the issue is with the controller and not the cable itself, narrowing down the problem.

Why would you not want to buy it?

There are two main reasons why you shouldn't buy the Xbox One USB Charging Cable. One of them is that, aside from the aforementioned light, this cable is identical to any other micro USB cable you might have in your home. People who own Apple software might not have micro USB cables since Apple uses their custom Lightning cable design, but anyone that uses Android phones or tablets will already have one. If that's you, then there's really no reason to spend the $10 here, as your phone charger can be used to make a dead controller wired, just like the Xbox cable can.

The other reason is that if you're thinking about getting rechargeable batteries for your controller, you can simply buy the official Xbox One Play and Charge Kit, which comes with one of the Xbox USB cables included. In fact, this is where the cable comes from originally; that's why it's called a charging cable. There's no reason to buy the cable standalone if you could be getting it as part of this kit.

Brendan Lowry is a Windows Central writer and Oakland University graduate with a burning passion for video games, of which he's been an avid fan since childhood. You'll find him doing reviews, editorials, and general coverage on everything Xbox and PC. Follow him on Twitter.