From controllers to headsets to storage, this list will help you build a better gaming experience.
The Xbox Series X and Series S are much easier to find than they were when they first released. If you've managed to snag the latest Xbox consoles, then you're likely wondering what accessories are worth your time. With nothing more than a controller in the box, there are a lot of gaps to be filled by the large number of accessories available.
To help improve your gaming experience, here are some of our favorite Xbox accessories at the moment. We're constantly testing new gear so this list will be updated regularly.
Read more: Xbox Series X review: Game Pass is the Secret Weapon
Given there's only one controller in the box with the Xbox Series X and S, you'll probably want at least one more to play with friends and family.
This Xbox wireless controller has it all. It can be used wired or wireless. The thumbsticks can be swapped for greater precision or faster speed. Holding the controller, your fingers fall naturally between two pairs of remappable paddles. The controller stores three profile configurations for the paddles and it's preset for FPS, sport and racing games; a button on the bottom lets you quickly switch between them. Remapping can be done on the fly, so there's no need for an additional app. There are also switches for the triggers so you can change them from a long pull to a quick click.
And then there's the look. You can choose everything from the color of the buttons to the style of the thumbsticks to whether you want rumble installed. Scuf also has a variety of faceplates in different colors and designs. The price is the only real drawback here, starting at $220 and going up from there depending on your customizations.
The Xbox controllers are powered by two AA-size batteries. You can replace them with rechargeable AA batteries, of course, but the better route is this charging station. For less than $30, you get two battery packs, four battery compartment doors to accommodate said packs (two for Xbox Series X controllers, two for Xbox One), the charging station and a power adapter. Pop the batteries in and drop the controllers in the charging cradles and you're good. Well, almost. You might need to adjust the controllers a little when you put them on because they didn't always sit flush and connect. There are lights around the base of each cradle, though, so you know you're charging.
Games are large and the Xbox's storage can fill up fast, especially if you have a Game Pass subscription. This small plug-and-play expansion card quickly adds one terabyte of seamless storage space. The best part, though, is that it behaves the same as the internal storage so you won't experience any slowdowns with load times or gameplay and no dips in graphics performance.
Even though it has some design and feature quirks, for $100, the Xbox Wireless Headset is a good deal. Simultaneous wireless and Bluetooth and chat-mix balance are usually only found in more expensive models, so here the performance and sound quality are worth the money. -- Lori Grunin
Why buy just one game when you can have access to more than 100? A Game Pass subscription is one of the best deals in gaming. New titles get added each month, both AAA and indie, for you to play for $10 a month (or $15 if you get Game Pass Ultimate, which lets you select games to play on PC too).
Microsoft's controller lets any gamer who can't maneuver typical gaming input devices easily customize it for their particular needs. It comes with some basic inputs, like big buttons, but you might want to pair it with Logitech's $100 kit with a ton of extra inputs.
Not everyone wants to use a controller for gaming. This couch-friendly desk lets you comfortably set up your keyboard and mouse for gaming. It has six USB 3.0 ports and cable management to keep you from getting tangled up. Simply pop off the panels on the bottom of the desk, connect your keyboard and mouse to the internal USB ports (there are four available), arrange your cables and close it back up. A single, specially designed cable connects the Couchmaster to your console (or PC) and an included optional power supply that lets you charge your phone or other devices while you game.
The desk piece rests on top of two foam cushions covered in microfiber. They keep the desk from sliding around while giving you a comfortable place to rest your arms. While the desk piece is slightly unwieldy to move, once it's in place you can just sit back and relax.
The left cushion has a couple of pockets on the outside so you can keep your phone or TV remote handy or stash other accessories. The front of the right cushion has a pocket to store your mouse to keep it from sliding all over while you get into position. Nerdytec also includes some Velcro strips you can attach to your keyboard or a controller.
While this might not be a necessity, the design and features all add up to a great gaming experience for anyone who'd rather go into battle with a keyboard and mouse than a controller. Bonus: The Cycon 2 can also be used as a laptop desk for your couch.
According to our friends at Roadshow (who know best), these are the best steering wheels for the driving-game aficionado in your life; at least, with prices around $300, the best that don't cost a gazillion bucks. Both are PC compatible; the G920 is designed to be used with an Xbox and the G29 with a PlayStation. Read our list of the best racing wheels.
We like the PowerA wired controller as a good, inexpensive option when you need an extra controller for guests or one to use while your wireless controller charges. There are two extra buttons on the bottom of the controller that can be mapped on the fly as well as a 3.5mm jack on the front for a headset. Just above the jack on top is a toggle for volume and a chat mute as well as a diamond texture to the bottom for better grip. Also, like many of PowerA's controllers, it's available in multiple colors.
On the PlayStation and PC side, Arctis has its high-end Pro Wireless ($330), which some say is the best all-around headset for both those platforms. But for Xbox, the Arctis 9X Wireless is an excellent choice if you're looking for a more premium wireless headset. It connects directly to the Xbox wirelessly without a dongle and can also be used with your phone with a Bluetooth connection. It delivers 20 hours of battery life.