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Xbox 101: Peripherals & Accessories

Over the next few articles, we are going to give new arrivals to the Xbox family a quick guide so that you can get the most out of your new console. Yesterday, we went over the basics of the console. We will be covering Xbox Live as well as must-have games for your blossoming collection. Today we’re going to take a look at the numerous peripherals and accessories that are available for Xbox One.

Elite Controller

There is a huge variety of controllers available on the market, however, the elite controller is a little different. It is the best controller around by quite a distance, however, the premium quality of the controller comes at a premium price. Clocking in at $180 for the Series 2, it costs almost as much as three standard controllers. Unlike Kinect though, I really can see the value in the Elite Controller.
First of all, the controller really feels like a premium product. It is well built and seems to caress your hands as you hold it. The main benefit of the controller though is the incredible level of customisation. It comes with a range of thumbsticks and d-pads for you to find the best one for you. You can change the range on the triggers and there are paddles on the rear of the controller that you can program to different buttons. If you are highly competitive and serious about your gaming, this is definitely worth checking out.
There are now two versions of the Elite Controller. The Series 2 Elite Controller comes with an internal rechargeable battery and the ability to change the tension of the thumbsticks. The Original Elite Controller is still a great piece of kit though, and you can probably pick one up at pretty reasonable price as retailers try to clear stock in favour of the Series 2.

 

Kinect

Ah, Kinect. The peripheral we were all told at launch was essential to the Xbox One but was unceremoniously dropped like a hot potato. In fact, Microsoft has dialled back so much on Kinect that if you have an Xbox One S or Xbox One X you will need a special adapter to be able to plug the camera system in. Kinect does offer some nice features, though it doesn’t justify the cost. It is kind of cool that it will sign you in by recognising you. It’s also great that it can read a QR code to redeem an item from the Xbox Store. It’s a small thing but so much easier than plugging in a 25-character code. There’s also a microphone so it can take voice commands. There are a few fun games for the peripheral, but they are in the minority.

Headsets

There are two main types of headset for Xbox One. Chat headsets that allow you to talk online and gaming headsets that replace the audio from your TV or sound system. Chat headsets will only have one earphone and a microphone. The official Microsoft one is very good but if you want to save yourself a little money, the third-party ones are pretty reliable. When it comes to gaming headsets there is a lot more variety. There are stereo headsets, surround sound headsets, ones with microphones, and others without microphones. The Microsoft official headset is only a stereo unit with a microphone and is not the best of its value. There are lots of quality surround sound headsets on the market, with the Turtle Beach and Astro brands usually being a safe bet.

External hard drives

If you bought an Xbox One with a 500GB hard drive you will very quickly find yourself running out of space. Even the 1TB hard drive in the Xbox One X runs out quicker than you would think. The issue is that a sizeable chunk of that hard drive will be taken up by the operating system. If you prefer to have a large number of games permanently installed on your console then you will want to look into getting an external hard drive.

Any USB 3.0 connectable hard drive will work and add some much needed extra storage. You can get an officially licensed Xbox One external hard drive, but the only advantage is aesthetic. The one thing to really keep in mind when purchasing an external hard drive is that some units require their own power supply while others draw their power through the USB connection. Both types of unit will work with the Xbox One, but some people may not like the extra cabling required or won’t have a spare power socket.

Steering Wheels

If you’re into racing games then you really should consider looking into getting a steering wheel. Not only do they help with your immersion into a game, but they also provide a much more accurate control mechanism than a controller. The only real thing to keep an eye out on here is the difference between vibration and force feedback. Vibration is exactly what it says; the controller will vibrate as your standard gamepad would. Force Feedback takes this a whole lot further. As well as vibrating, the steering wheel will actually resist your movements as a real car would.

Well, that covers the basic peripherals and accessories available for the Xbox One. If you have any questions about these or any other peripherals available please shout out in the comments section below. Why not check out one of the other articles in our Xbox 101 series.

Steve Clist
Joint Editor-in-Chief at Xbox Enthusiast as well as a contributor for Nintendo Enthusiast and PlayStation Enthusiast. Steve is a musician and gamer who loves sharing his passion for each. You will normally find him at the front of the grid in racing games or on the other end of the kill cam when you've just been killed in a first-person shooter.

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