If there’s one thing that gamers dread, it’s their controller dying partway through a game. Given Murphy’s Law, this typically happens in the middle of an online match or an important boss fight. Sure, swapping out batteries doesn’t take that long, but in the meantime, your controller has lost connection to your console, and you have to wait for it to power back on and re-establish a connection, costing valuable time.
Estimated reading time: 8 minutes
Our OtterBox Power Swap Controller Batteries for Xbox review looks at hot-swappable batteries for your Xbox One or Series X|S controller, allowing you to stay in the game with minimal interruption. Read on for our full review!
Table of contents
The OtterBox Power Swap Controller Batteries for Xbox we reviewed have the following features and specifications:
- Experience zero downtime — batteries swap on the fly with one hand for uninterrupted gameplay
- Reserve energy cell sustains controller power while you swap
- Continuous power eliminates need to resync
- Never connect controller to console to charge again
- Illuminating low-battery alert, so you always know when you’re running low
- Optimized for natural controller balance and feel
- Dock charges two batteries simultaneously
- Backup battery always ready
- LEDs display charging status and battery life
- Able to charge individual batteries via USB-C cable
- Proven durability withstands the test of time
- Limited lifetime warranty supported by hassle-free customer service
- Each battery delivers up to 10+ hours of untethered playtime
- Compatibility: Xbox X|S controller, Xbox One controller
- Dimensions: 1.44 x 1.45 x 1.03in (3.66 x 3.69 x 2.61cm)
- Weight: 0.40 lbs (179.87g)
What’s in the box
- Two swappable batteries
- Charging dock
- Cage for Xbox X|S controller
- Cage for Xbox One controller
- USB-C to USB-A charging cable
- Reserve energy cell
- Quick Start Guide
The OtterBox Xbox X|S and Xbox One Power Swap Controller Batteries consist of three components — all black in colour. First, there’s a cage for your Xbox One or Series X|S controller. This cage is thin and matches the contours of your controller. On one side is a small compartment for the reserve energy cell, while the main compartment is for the hot-swappable batteries. The cage is roughly 2 1/8″ wide by 3/4″ in height by 1 1/2″ in depth and fits perfectly inside your controller. The reserve energy cell is small, roughly 1 1/8″ in depth by 1/2″ in width and 1/2″ in height. One side has two contacts that connect with your Xbox controller, while the other side has three pins that connect to the battery.
The battery itself is about 1 1/2″ wide by 1 1/4″ in depth and tapers down from about 1″ at its thickest point to about 5/8″ at its thinnest. When attached to your controller, it does protrude out a bit as opposed to the smooth battery plate cover that comes with your controller. On the side that goes into the battery cage are three contacts for the charging dock. On the left side are three contacts that make contact with the reserve energy cell. When holding the controller, the backside of the battery has a button that you push to release it from the battery cage. The Otterbox logo is debossed above it. On the bottom side are four LEDs and a button you can press to see the remaining battery life. Finally, towards the controller’s front is a small LED that shines RED when the battery needs to be recharged.
The charging dock is 4 1/4″ wide, just over 1″ in height, and about 1 3/4″ in depth. The Otterbox logo is stamped into the front, just below the two charging receptacles. Centred on the back of the charging dock is a USB-C (yay!) charging port. The dock’s bottom has four rubber feet for added grip when the dock is sitting on your desk or a side table. A short USB-C to USB-A cable is also included, allowing you to plug it into your Xbox console.
I mentioned the battery cage and batteries are black in colour. This is great if you have an all-black controller or one with a black bottom side, but it definitely looks unappealing when you have any other colour variation, like the blue/white controller option.
Installing the Otterbox Power Swap Controller Batteries into your Xbox Series X|S or Xbox One controller is super simple. First, charge both batteries for about 3 hours to ensure a full charge. Ensure you select the correct cage (one has a 1 stamped in it for Series X|S, the other a 2 for Xbox One). Insert the reserve energy cell into the side of the cage and push until it clicks. Next, remove the controller battery plate and any batteries from your controller. Slide the cage with the installed energy cell into the battery compartment of your controller, sliding it in the same way as you would the battery cover. Finally, toe in the battery and push it towards the controller to click it in place. Press the Xbox button on your controller and you should be powered up.
Ease of Use
As mentioned above, when the battery pack on your controller is running low, an LED lights up and blinks red, shining on your hands to let you know you should change it. Unfortunately, unless you’re looking down at your controller, you don’t always notice it. Fortunately, your Xbox should also warn you that you have a low battery, so you should be covered there.
Depending on the game, you’ll probably want to find a place to hide quickly. Grab your spare battery then, while holding it in your palm, press the button on the installed battery. It should pop out, after which you can swap them in your palm and insert the new one. It does take a bit of practice to one hand it this way, but it is doable and can be done quickly. You should note, the reserve energy cell only has enough battery life in it for about 30 seconds, so you do have to be quick. While it doesn’t seem like a lot of time, even when fumbling with the swap before I got it down pat, it is enough time to swap the battery without having your controller power off and disconnect from your console.
Otterbox says each battery pack will last you up to 10 hours of playtime before needing to swap them out. While gaming for a couple of hours a night, I was able to get about three nights out of it for a total of 6 hours, which I’ll explain a bit more below. When ensuring that anyone who gamed used that same controller, we could get closer to eight hours over the course of two days. Battery life will vary based on the games you play and whether you have the controller rumble enabled or not (we have it enabled).
Unfortunately, the batteries tend to bleed when not being used — hence the lower battery life when used over the course of a week. I’ve used my controller for a couple of hours, then come back the next day, and it’s lost more of its charge. Likewise, I’ve left a fully charged battery in the charging dock but unplugged the dock, only to find it dead when I need to swap out my batteries. In other words, you always need to leave your charging dock plugged in to allow it to trickle charge your spare battery and ensure it’s fully charged when you need it.
When the batteries are empty, they do take about three hours to recharge fully.
With an MSRP of US$59.95, the Otterbox Power Swap Battery Kit for Xbox costs about the same as a controller, and is more expensive than the Xbox plug and play power packs. However, they do have the convenience of swapping out your battery mid-game without losing your connection to your console. Depending on the game, this could literally mean the difference between life and death.
There are plenty of rechargeable battery options out there for Xbox controllers. However, none offer a hot-swappable option like the Otterbox Xbox X|S And Xbox One Power Swap Controller Batteries. If you game a lot and don’t want to be down and out while you’re swapping batteries, this solution from Otterbox definitely works — as long as you keep a battery in the dock and the dock plugged in at all times.
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Last Updated on July 31, 2021.
OtterBox Power Swap Controller BatteriesUS$59.95
- Easy and quick to swap
- Includes cage for Xbox One and Series X|S
- Up to 10 hours of battery life per battery
- Red LED shines on your hands to indicate low battery
- Includes USB-C to USB-A cable
- Only comes in black
- Only have 30 seconds to swap batteries
- Suffer from battery bleed when not in use or plugged in
- Adds a bit of bulk to the controller