Every spring and summer, Microsoft, makers of the Xbox One entertainment console, try to stir up a frenzy. The company knows that as the weather heats up, there are more people looking for something relaxing and cool to do inside. The company refreshes Xbox One bundles and launches a game sale to get the attention of those who’ve already made their purchase every year. Sometimes, it even throws some new Xbox One accessories into the mix for good measure.
The best Xbox One bundles all come with free games and a free controller, but everything you need isn’t necessarily included in the box. The free trial of Xbox Live Gold only lasts for a few weeks. After it expires and you’ll need to buy more. Only a few come with the Kinect sensor that Xbox One owners can use for voice control and gesture-based games. You may find yourself in need of another Xbox One Controller too.
Here are 10 must have Xbox One accessories.
Must Have Xbox One Accessories: Kinect for Xbox One
A Kinect allows you to play casual games without picking up your controller using hand gestures. Some games let you navigate their interface with voice commands using the sensor. It communicates with your audio and video equipment too, letting you turn on your television, speakers and console with just the command “Xbox On.”
I’d argue that no Xbox One experience is complete without a Kinect sensor for Xbox One. Microsoft recently announced promotional pricing for the Kinect at just $99. It also slashed the Xbox One + Kinect Bundle price at its Microsoft Stores to just $349. Both include a free copy of Dance Central Spotlight. The bundle also throws in a free copies of Zoo Tycoon and Kinect Sports Rivals.
Must Have Xbox One Accessories: Xbox Live
Microsoft’s Xbox Live service isn’t required to use entertainment apps on the Xbox One anymore. Thankfully, Microsoft did away with that restriction a few years ago. The service is still required to play online though, and Microsoft has started letting users download games to their console each month at no additional charge through its Games with Gold program.
Like with Kinect, no Xbox One experience is complete without Xbox Live. You need the service for multiplayer game modes and co-op experiences. The company shares some exclusive discounts with users every week. Microsoft charges $59.99 a year or $9.99 a month for Xbox Live Gold.
Must Have Xbox One Accessories: Plantronics RIG 500
Headphones are both functional accessory and a fashion statement. Plantronics had both in mind when it created its latest pair of gaming headphones. The Plantronics RIG 500 headphones can be used with an Xbox One or a smartphone. They’re customizable – users can add different headbands and ear cups if they’d like. Also, they’re ridiculously comfortable.
Must Have Xbox One Accessories: Xbox Wireless Adapter for Windows
Microsoft is in the midst of making Xbox Live a cross-platform service. Xbox exclusives are arriving in the Windows Store with stunning frequency. There’s Gears of War Ultimate Edition, Killer Instinct and Quantum Break for starters. Halo Wars 2 is set for release on the platform in 2017. To create one ecosystem of gaming accessories Microsoft added support for Xbox One accessories into Windows 10.
The new Xbox Wireless Adapter brings proper wireless controller support to Windows 10. Couple it with the Xbox app and you can get the Xbox experience anywhere your laptop is. The Xbox Wireless Adapter costs $24.99 and supports up to 8 different controllers being connected at home.
Must Have Xbox One Accessories: Xbox One Media Remote
Don’t want to use Kinect voice commands? Purchase the Xbox One Media Remote instead. This remote will let you navigate the Xbox One’s different apps and interfaces without picking up a Wireless Controller. The media remote is perfect for situations where picking up a controller would be too awkward. Really, it’s a must have for anyone that uses their Xbox One as a video and music streaming tool as well as a video game console.
Must Have Xbox One Accessories: Hauppauge TV Tuner for Xbox One
International users can pick up Microsoft’s Xbox One TV Tuner and watch broadcast television. It’s a terrific way to get broadcast channels in high-definition, plus the Xbox One’s advanced TV features, without paying for cable or satellite. The USB TV Tuner connects to an antenna and a USB port on the back of your console, pulling down every digital channel that your antenna is strong enough to get clearly. Microsoft already lets users stream broadcast channels from their console to a device with SmartGlass.
Must Have Xbox One Accessories: Xbox One ChatPad
At first, Microsoft thought that gamers would want to type messages with their phones with Xbox SmartGlass. That assumption was wrong. Here to remedy that and save users from the on-screen keyboard is the Xbox One ChatPad.
The Xbox One ChatPad is a keyboard that connects to the Xbox One Wireless Controller. It draws power from the controller itself. Typing on it should feel more natural than with the on-screen options that Microsoft provides. Two programmable keys let ChatPad owners create their own shortcuts for things that they do on a regular basis.
Must Have Xbox One Accessories: Xbox One Wireless Controller
Microsoft first refreshed the Xbox One Wireless Controller a few years ago. Besides changing some internal mechanisms, the company introduced a headset jack that lets gamers reuse their headphones and earbuds. This was possible previously, but required a separate stereo adapter. New Xbox One bundles come with the updated controller, but users who want the new controller without a console purchase have to spend $59.99.
Gotta Have Xbox One Accessories: Xbox One Elite Wireless Controller
Featuring rear-mounted paddles and a switch for changing profiles, the Xbox One Elite Wireless Controller is the best accessory to have come from Xbox in recent years. Companion apps for Windows 10 and Xbox One allow users to map the paddles on the back of the Xbox Elite Wireless Controller to match the core buttons on the front face. The directional pad and two joysticks have interchangeable surfaces, with extras included in the box. Which you decide to use is up to you; I prefer the rounded joystick add-ons that are included instead of the default concave joysticks.
The Xbox One Elite Wireless Controller costs $149.99.
Must Have Xbox One Accessories: Xbox One Design Lab Controller
Microsoft just can’t help itself where new controllers are concerned. For every year that the Xbox One has been on store shelves, the company has a new version of the Xbox One S Wireless Controller. That’s not counting the color variants.
The Xbox One Design Lab takes color variants to a new level. Using the service’s online creation tool, anyone can create an Xbox One Wireless Controller with their gamertag and 4 million different color combinations. The controllers feature upgraded internals too. They get better reception than the units they replaced and feature Bluetooth technology so that users don’t need to connect an Xbox One Wireless Adapter to their Windows PC to play their games.
Xbox One Design Lab Controllers start at $79.99.
Must Have Xbox One Accessories: Kinect for Xbox One & Windows Adapter
The Xbox One S sheds an impressive amount of the original console’s girth. Of course, that had to come at a price and Kinect for Xbox One users have to pay it. If you’re upgrading to an Xbox One S or want to use a the voice controller with your new console, you’ll need the Kinect for Xbox One and Windows Adapter. Those that already have the console can get one for free through Xbox Support – provided they’re upgrading for an older Xbox One console.
The adapter is $39.99 for newcomers.
Must-Have Xbox One Accessories: Xbox One S Vertical Stand
For those that enjoy standing their console up-right, Microsoft has the Xbox One S Vertical Stand. The accessory snaps to the left side of the Xbox One S and locks in place. Only owners of Limited Edition Xbox One S consoles get the stand for free.
Must Have Xbox One Accessories: Seagate Game Drive
You don’t have to purchase a new Xbox One console to get more storage; Microsoft added USB support a while ago. The Seagate Game Drive is an Xbox branded portal drive. Its rugged exterior makes it perfect for toting your games around to play sessions at someone else’s house.
Must Have Xbox One Accessories: Power A IR Extender for Xbox One
The Power A IR Extender is a simple accessory. Plug it into your Xbox One and your console can control your television set, audio equipment and cable box without you investing in a Kinect sensor.
Good luck with your Xbox One purchase or accessory purchase.