Whether it’s Christmas, a birthday, or any other holiday, buying a gift for an Xbox gamer can be tricky. Say you’ve got a budget of $50, but you know they have more than enough games.
What do you do?
The answer, of course, is to buy accessories – and there is a massive selection to choose from. While some hardware is of sub-par quality, usually these accessories are worth the money, as long as you buy the gear from Microsoft or reputable third parties.
We’ve collated the following list of sub-$50 accessories for Xbox One and Xbox 360 owners. You might just find that perfect gift right here…
Including a Chatpad and Chat Headset 3.5mm jack) that connects to the Chatpad, this full QWERTY keyboard plugs into the standard Xbox One controller to aid communication with fellow gamers in online play.
The keypad is backlit for nighttime gaming, and audio controls make it easy to manage volume and mute the mic. Also included are programmable X1 and X2 buttons that can be used to access game DVR or take screenshots.
Chatpad and headset are compatible with Xbox One and (X1 and X2 buttons notwithstanding) Windows 10.
Nyko Charge Base
A flat controller makes gaming pretty tough; you’re basically not gaming, unless there is a wired alternative. Having space to charge two controllers without the fuss of removing batteries is even better, so why not consider the Nyko Charge Base (a PS4 version is also available).
Design to sit two Xbox One controllers comfortably, with two rechargeable batteries included, the base makes charging convenient, enabling you to place the controller onto the charge point and quickly remove when done.
While other charge bases are available, this is a particularly popular option.
Again from Nyko comes this cooler, essentially designed to prolong the life of your Xbox One.
Featuring easy clip-on installation, and with a design that matches the contours of the console (comes in black, so beware adding to custom Xbox One consoles!), the cooler is powered by USB, and can be used in both horizontal and vertical orientation.
The USB connection means that it will automatically switch on when you boot your Xbox One, and reduces ambient temperature within by directing hot air away from the console, thereby improving gaming performance. Heat can have a negative affect on any PC or games console – the first generation Xbox 360s had a particular problem with ambient temperature causing the CPU and GPU lifting from the motherboard (one of the infamous “Red Ring of Death” issues), so having a cooler is a very good idea.
Afterglow LVL 3 Wired Headset
Three versions of this headset from PDP are available, with LVL1 and LVL3 both under $50. Officially licensed by Microsoft, the device uses finely tuned 40mm drivers, designed for a full stereo, superior audio experience.
Essentially, while this is a chat headset, and comes with a mounted, noise-cancelling microphone, it’s also a gaming headset – PDP want you to enjoy the best of gaming audio with this hardware.
Due to having a 3.5mm jack, this device is compatible with the second generation Xbox One controller. For first gen controllers, you’ll need to add a headset adaptor.
Xbox One Media Remote
Recipients of this dedicated remote control from Microsoft can take control of their media with an easy-to-use, compact IR device with a 30-foot range that controls video playback on Blu-ray or videos streamed to an Xbox One.
Also capable of switching on your TV and adjusting the volume, backlit buttons make it easy to use in the dark, and the intuitive controls make it easy for anyone to use, adult or child (although that might not be ideal!).
Requires 2 AAA batteries.
Hard Drive Enclosure
Now this accessory is more or less invisible. It’s a hard disk drive enclosure that slots onto the side/top of an Xbox One, ready to host a second HDD while offering three USB 3.0 ports.
A minimum 256 GB HDD of 2.5 inches in length is required to slot into the enclosure, no wider than 12mm, and once connected, the owner of the Xbox One will no longer be concerned about running out of hard disk space! This is particularly important if they like to record and upload gameplay for Twitch or YouTube – assuming they’re playing the right games!
The clever design of the enclosure means that it will be difficult to spot, thereby not ruining the sleek aesthetics of your Xbox One.
Modding an Xbox One controller can make it more comfortable to use, potentially giving an edge in challenging games and online/competitive gaming scenarios. These E-MODS GAMING thumb sticks are just one example of the many thumb sticks that can be added to an XB1 controller, with a grippable, rubberized surface.
Comes with four thumb sticks, enough to replace the default thumb sticks on two controllers, but note that the controller must be open for the thumb sticks to be fitted.
These thumb sticks are also compatible with PlayStation 4 Dual Shock 4 controllers.
Xbox 360 Wireless Controller
The Xbox 360 remains a popular console. So if the target of your gift buying is still using their last-gen gaming machine – and let’s face it, there’s no reason not to as long as A-list games continue to be released – perhaps you’d like to treat them to a gold chrome wireless controller?
Shiny in a way that makes it look far more valuable than it really is, this controller is wireless, and therefore requires recharging regularly. Also, note that the controller is not compatible with the Xbox One, although you should be able to connect it to your PC with the correct receiver.
Xbox 360 Headset & Mic
From INSTEN, this headset connects to an Xbox 360 controller to deliver voice communication to discuss strategy with gaming team mates and trash talk opponents.
With a noise cancelling microphone and stereo phones, the device also includes a volume control and mute switch, and is adjustable to fit most head sizes. As with many Xbox 360 accessories, this device is not compatible with other hardware, including Windows PCs and Xbox One.
Xbox 360 Speed Wheel
Xbox 360 gamers with an addiction to driving games might just find this gem of a controller useful. With rumble feedback to feel the bumps on the road, this wireless wheel controller from Microsoft is equipped with motion sensors and buttons for gaming functions.
Trigger buttons are also included for gas and brake controls, making this an ideal controller for digital speed kings. However, there are a couple of things to note. For instance, this controller cannot be easily used with the Grand Theft Auto series of games, as walking and shooting are a little difficult with a steering wheel.
And as with other Xbox 360 hardware, you won’t be able to use with the Xbox One, although it should be compatible with Windows 10.
Got Some Xbox Gift Ideas? Share Them!
That’s our list of 10 Xbox gift ideas for under $50. We’re pretty impressed with what is available in this price bracket, but you may know better. If so, tell us all about it in the comments.