Ah, the joys of recharging controllers. I actually like how the Xbox controllers let you use regular AA batteries for that quick change, as it allows me the option to use rechargeable AA batteries if I don’t want to constantly throw one used ones away. There’s also the option of rechargeable solutions from third parties. Today we have the Nyko Charge Base to look at. The fine folks at Nyko sent one over for me to review.
The Charge Base comes in two flavors, an Xbox version and a PlayStation version. For this one look, the Xbox version was reviewed and it comes with the ability to be used the Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, and Xbox One.
Inside the packaging there’s the main charge base itself, which is a long white rectangular unit with two cradles to allow for two controllers to be charged simultaneously. On the front are two LED indicators that let you know when a controller is charging and when it’s ready to go. Solid red means it’s charging. A solid green means it’s at max capacity. When you see a blinking red, that means it’s not situated in the cradle correctly to charge.
On the underside is a green LED that extends the length of the unit giving off that Xbox green glow. It’s not something you can turn off, so if you rather not see it, you’ll have to put some black tape underneath to hide the light.
On the back is a USB-C port that you use with the included USB-C to USB-A cable to plug into the console or a power source. I’m happy to see Nyko went with a USB-C connector here as I’m still seeing too many peripherals use micro-USB these days. There’s also another USB-A port on the back of the Charge Base if you want to plug in say another controller to charge. So in essence, the charge base can charge up to three controllers.
The Charge Base uses batteries with exposed contacts that when put on the cradle, make contact with pogo pins to initiate charging. The package includes four covers, two for the Xbox Series line of controllers and two for the Xbox One line of controllers. I was able to fit the covers perfectly on both an Xbox Series controller and Xbox One controller without any issues. Each set of covers has some lettering to let you know which set of controllers it will fit.
The batteries are of the NiMH variety and rated at 1100 mAH. It doesn’t use the best battery technology, but it should suffice for what it entails, which is powering your controller and recharging in an acceptable amount of time.
One minor criticism is that the covers come in white so if you have a black controller or some other different color like I do, the cover iss going to stand out. Now, Nyko can’t provide covers for every color permutation out there, but keep in mind that unless you have a white controller, it’s not going to fit the color scheme. To me, it’s a small thing since it’s going to be on the underside of the controller anyways and you won’t see it when playing.
Also, the Charge Base itself is going to be white so while it will match the color scheme of the Xbox Series S, it’s not going to be in line with the Xbox Series X and some Xbox One consoles. I do think it would have been nice if Nyko had offered both a black SKU to go along with the white one though. If you’re the type of person that likes to keep their multimedia equipment matching in color and you have an all black theme going, the Charge Base is going to stand out.
Installing the battery and cover plate was super simple. Just pop it in and you’re good to go. From a full charge, I was able to get around 14 hours of gaming with it before it went completely dead. It was good enough to last two days of long gaming. From dead, it took the Charge Base about 4.5 hours to completely recharge a controller, which isn’t too bad.
Placing the controller correctly into the cradle isn’t too hard, but I was shown the flashing red light more than a few times letting me know it’s not sitting correctly. While the design is made to just be dropped in and off it goes, you still sometimes need to stick around just to make sure it doesn’t start flashing at you. And that flashing isn’t instantaneous either. Sometimes it took 30 seconds or so to start blinking. That said, it’s a little easier than say the Sony PlayStation 5 charging dock where you kinda have to fiddle with it for it to sit right. The ease of placement isn’t foolproof, but more often than not I was able to just drop it in correctly and go about my day.
All told, the Nyko Charge Base works and it does what’s advertised. It’s not that expensive coming in at $34.99, which includes the unit, two batteries, and four cover plates. If you’re a stickler for aesthetics and don’t have the matching color scheme, this might be a pass for you. Other than that, Nyko’s Charge Base succeeds at what it’s designed for: a simplistic way to recharge your Xbox controllers and without having to go into disposable batteries if you don’t want to.
* The product in this article was sent to us by the developer/company.
I've been reviewing products since 1997 and started out at Gaming Nexus. As one of the original writers, I was tapped to do action games and hardware. Nowadays, I work with a great group of folks on here to bring to you news and reviews on all things PC and consoles.
As for what I enjoy, I love action and survival games. I'm more of a PC gamer now than I used to be, but still enjoy the occasional console fair. Lately, I've been really playing a ton of retro games after building an arcade cabinet for myself and the kids. There's some old games I love to revisit and the cabinet really does a great job at bringing back that nostalgic feeling of going to the arcade.View Profile