Every fall, Microsoft, makers of the Xbox One entertainment console, try to stir up a frenzy. The company knows that as the weather cools down, there are more people looking for something relaxing to do inside. It 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. Microsoft’s accessories aren’t always the best either; plenty of other companies deliver great alternatives.
Here are 15 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. Kinect costs just $99.
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 4, Killer Instinct Season 2 and Quantum Break for starters. Halo Wars 2 is set for release on the platform in 2017. To create one ecosystem of gaming, Microsoft added support for Xbox One accessories into Windows 10.
The 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 or desktop is is. The Xbox Wireless Adapter costs $24.99 and supports up to 8 different controllers being connected at the same time.
Must Have Xbox One Accessories: PDP Talon Media Remote for Xbox One
The easiest way to control an Xbox One is with a Kinect sensor, but not everyone wants to be shouting voice commands. Not everyone wants to pick up a full-size Xbox One Wireless Controller to turn their television either.
The PDP Talon Media Remote puts Microsoft’s own offering to shame. It has dedicated buttons for those that use the Xbox OneGuide and Live TV experience. A number pad for interfacing with television and cable box controls directly is built-in too. Above everything else, the ABXY buttons make it easy to like a Community post and use any of the console’s features the way you’re used to.
The PDP Talon Media Remote for Xbox One costs just $14.99 from Amazon.
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 the Xbox app.
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: PDP Energizer Magnetic Play and Charge Kit
Everyone needs to recharge their Xbox One Wireless Controller at some point. The PDP Energizer Magnetic Play and Charge Kit includes a rechargeable battery to embed in your controller and a magnetic cable that locks into the battery through an included door. In homes where a microUSB cable could get jammed into the controller and broken, this could save you a ton of cash.
Once a MicroUSB port is broken on an Xbox One Controller, there’s no way to fix it on your own. It’s better to spend a little money now so that you don’t have to later.
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: PDP Faceoff Controller
What if you want a customized controller, but with a little more flair to it? What if you switch favorite games or sports times every few years? The PDP Faceoff Controllers let you go from faceplate to faceplate without purchasing a new controller. As such, you aren’t stuck with that Redskins design.
Because the controller is wired, you never have to think about batteries at all. PDP includes a rubberized MicroUSB cable in the box. Two editions already come with a themed faceplate, the Titanfall 2 Faceoff Controller and the NFL Faceoff Controller.
Amazon has the PDP NFL Faceoff Controller for just $39.99. The NFL themed Faceplates are available for pre-order at the company’s website now.
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 and any new Xbox One accessories you purchase.