Xbox essentials: does Xbox Series X come with a USB-C cable?

There’s nothing quite like unboxing a next-gen system. The anticipation of the old mixed with finally letting go of an aging console feels just right.

For me, the experience of unboxing and setting up the Xbox Series X was effortless when compared to prior consoles. The console literally pops up right in front of you as you open the box, and everything is tidily tucked away.

Read more on Xbox: How the Xbox Series X|S shine a light on performance

Within a few minutes I was off to gobble up all of the bandwidth I could thanks to Game Pass.

You’ll find that Microsoft provides everything you need to get up and go but, thanks to changes in cable standards, you might be confused as what is and isn’t provided. More specifically, the use of USB-C might be different than what you’re used to around the house.

Does the Xbox Series X include a USB-C cable?

Unfortunately, the console does not come with a USB-C cable despite relying on it to play without batteries. You will find a pair of AA batteries included in the packaging, but the only cables provided are the power and HDMI cords.

No USB-C cable, but some batteries to get you started

There isn’t a cable for the controller included with the Series X, but you won’t be totally out of luck. Batteries are included in the box, and while not rechargeable, provide plenty of playtime with the system.

I’ve found that the Xbox Series X controller has pretty good to great battery life. Compared to my PS4 controller it’s a night and day difference.

USB-C included with some controllers

The majority of Xbox controllers don’t come with a USB-C cable. Buying from Amazon with leave you empty handed with some SKUs. Microsoft lists a SKU that includes a charging cable, but clicking through to find a retailer shows no sign of where to buy.

A USB-C cable is also not included with most Best Buy models. It’s frustrating, but USB-C has become the standard outside of Apple products (though it’s rumored they might ditch Lightning) and Microsoft, like other companies, aims to reduce costs.

Ditch the batteries and get a cable with Xbox Play and Charge Kit

It’ll cost you some money, but the Xbox Play and Charge Kit forgoes batteries and uses a rechargeable battery pack to power the new Xbox Series X|S controller.

The kit also comes with a USB-C cable. It’s a bit of a nuisance having to pay for this feature (although some prefer replaceable batteries), but it’s a great option for those who know they don’t want to deal with tons of AA batteries.

The PS5’s DualSense controller is rechargeable by default, but it doesn’t have the ability of swapping out the battery. The Play and Charge Kit also doesn’t break the bank – you’ll find that most retailers carry the accessory for around $24.99.

Alternatively, you can invest in rechargeable AA batteries and a battery charger.

In summary

No, the Xbox Series X does not come with a USB-C cable. And although this may puzzle some players, it’s far and away the standard for most consumer electronics.

Those looking to purchase their own cable will find that it’s incredibly inexpensive.

Ditching disposable AA batteries is similarly as painless thanks to the Play and Charge Kit and many varieties of rechargeable batteries.

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