With the Xbox One approaching its third birthday, Microsoft and its hardware partners have better realized what the console is (and isn’t). The Kinect is almost a dirty word, while controllers and storage solutions have been refined to fit what discerning Xbox gamers want.
Whether you’re using your Xbox One for video streaming, dominating noobs online, or keeping the ultimate digital collection of Xbox One and Xbox 360 games, you’ll likely find an accessory here that fits your needs.
1. Xbox One Elite Wireless Controller
Meet the pricey, pro-level controller for Xbox One and Windows 10
The Xbox One controller is already a pretty solid piece of hardware, improving on the Xbox 360’s controller that became the industry standard. Somehow, Microsoft managed even further improvement in the form of the Xbox One Elite Wireless Controller.
There’s swappable thumbsticks and directional pads that offer up a better feel than the standard Xbox One controller, as well as quick-hit triggers to help out in the most high-impact shooters. While it’s pretty pricy for a pad at almost three times the cost of a standard controller, you definitely get what you pay for with this premium piece of hardware.
Read the full review: Xbox One Elite Wireless Controller
2. Xbox One Play and Charge Kit
Stop throwing away money on batteries and picking up dead controllers
While there is some benefit to having the Xbox One controller use standard batteries (like not having to worry about having a controller-free console in a few years when the other platforms controller batteries start dying and the platform manufacturers have moved on), the process of switching out AA batteries every few weeks can be maddening.
If you yearn for some simplicity, though, the Xbox One Play and Charge Kit puts the Xbox One Controller on the same playing field as the competition. Just put the simple battery back where you’d put the batteries and use a micro-USB cable to keep the controller fresh when you run out of juice.
3. Xbox One Media Remote
The best (cheapest) way to make your Xbox One feel like a grown-up streamer
…it’s a remote?
Should’ve been included with console
Ever since the PlayStation 2 put a DVD player in the homes of millions, one constant has remained this millennium; using a controller to watch videos on consoles is the worst. If you’re using your Xbox One as a streamer, Blu-ray player, and TV watcher, the Xbox One Media Remote is a great way to watch all of your favorite content without fumbling to remember the proper controller command to bring up closed captions or time remaining.
This remote is perfectly sized to fit every important command (including volume options that controllers and Xbox One Smartglass cant handle), is very sleek, and has a backlight that’s perfect for home theaters and late-night video-watching.
4. Turtle Beach Ear Force XO One
Get all the benefits of a surround sound system without the mess
When it comes to console headsets, there’s a tricky line to tow between quality and affordability, and the Turtle Beach Ear Force XO One hits that line the best. Unless you’re up for paying in the triple digits for an online audio solution, the XO One is the best option to mix top-of-the-line stereo sound game audio with high-fidelity chat abilities so that you can deliver (and hear) commands without the worry of audio drop.
On top of all that, it’s one of the most comfortable cans on the market, so you won’t feel like cutting your gaming sessions short on account of head squeeze.
5. Xbox Live Gold 12 Month Membership
Live Gold isn’t just about multiplayer anymore, get on-board
Over the last decade-plus, Xbox Live has been synonymous with Xbox consoles; if you want to get the most out of your Xbox 360 or Xbox One, having Xbox Live to play online with friends is tantamount. Even if you don’t play games online regularly, there’s still a lot of value that comes with this subscription.
On top of weekly discounts, Xbox Live members also get a pair of free Xbox One games (and another pair of backwards-compatible Xbox 360 games) to keep as long as their Xbox Live subscription stays valid. It’s a great deal that ensures you’ll rarely even have to pick up new games, given the breadth and depth of freebies that come to Xbox Live on a monthly basis.
6. Xbox One Chatpad
Send messages in a snap
Sometimes, a voice message won’t do and you’ve got to send some words to your Xbox cohorts. So what do you do? Painfully trudge through the UI keyboard to slowly…type…out… each… word? Pull up your phone and dive through a series of Smartglass menus to text your fellow players? Wouldn’t it be great if you had a keyboard handy at all times?
That’s why the Xbox One Chatpad is so darn handy. Sending messages is a snap, even in the dark thanks to the backlit mini-keyboard. Sending longer messages to friends or redeeming one of the Xbox One’s insane 25-character redemption codes is a heck of a lot easier with this sweet add-on that fits flush with your controller.
7. Xbox One Digital TV Tuner
A great, low-cost way to consume all your media through your Xbox One
Basic OTA stations on Xbox One
Makes OneGuide WAY better
A little on the expensive side
Outside of sports apps, it’s tough to keep up with live events via the Xbox One. If you’re a cord-cutter who still wants to stay in the conversation when network shows, specials, and sporting events air, the Digital TV Tuner is key to connecting.
If you’ve got a halfway decent antenna, connecting it to this tuner will allow you to pull in over-the-air channels with the benefit of the Xbox One’s snazzy UI to navigate through TV listings. If you’ve got hard drive space, Microsoft is promising the ability to DVR programs later this year, making this little piece of tech even more valuable.
8. Xbox One Stereo Headset Adapter
An ingenious way to let you use your own headset or headphones
Works with all headsets
Comes built into new controllers
Whether you’ve got an old reliable headset that saw you through some Xbox 360 battles or want your PC gaming headset to pull double duty, you’ll need something to get a non-official headset working with the Xbox One’s proprietary controller connector.
Thankfully, there’s the Xbox One Headset Adaptor that allows one to plug a standard wired gaming headset on the Xbox One console. It also helps things out by centralizing the headset commands right underneath the controller. No longer will you have to feel around on your headset’s wires to find the volume and muting controls; it’s all right there on the controller no matter what headset you’ve got connected.
9. Nyko Data Bank
Expandable storage whenever you need it
With new backwards-compatible hits from the Xbox 360 generation adding to the Xbox One’s vast game library on a daily basis, it’s tough to find space to fit all of your digital wares. While you can buy external drives, if you’re the kind of person who keeps space hard drives around for your personal computer, you can use the Nyko Data Bank to attach cheaper 3.5-inch drives to the Xbox One.
Fitting sleekly in-line with the console itself, you can use the Data Bank in conjunction with the Xbox One’s internal drive to dedicate multiple terabytes of storage to your console’s size. It’s an easy swap too, so you can add more drives as this console generation continues.
10. Seagate Game Drive
The guaranteed a solution to your storage ills
Even with the streamlined simplicity that consoles offer, sometimes storage can be tricky, especially given the sheer variety of external hard drives on the market. Will a hard drive get enough power from the console to run properly? Is the speed up to snuff enough to play full games at a proper clip? Sometimes reliability and peace of mind is worth spending a little more for, which is why Seagate’s official external drive is worth seeking out.
Beyond the snazzy look and logo, you’re guaranteed a solution to your storage ills and a hard drive that will work right out of the box. If you’ve ever had to futz around formatting your drive and crossing your fingers that your console will recognize it, the Game Drive is a breath of fresh air.