Charge That Xbox 360 Controller

charge xbox 360 controllerCharge Your Xbox 360 Controller the Smart Way

Recharging an Xbox 360 controller is totally different than charging a PS3 controller. An Xbox 360 controller, unlike the PS3 controller, has many removable battery options. If you choose, you can run your Xbox 360 controller off disposable AA batteries. However, buying new batteries and disposing of the old batteries* gets tiresome quickly.

Chances are that you have bitten the bullet on an Xbox 360 Rechargeable Battery Pack and are now looking for tips on charging your Xbox 360 controller with the RBP.

Inside the Xbox 360 Rechargeable Battery Pack

To figure out the proper way to charge your Xbox 360 controller, you gotta know what kind of batteries are inside it. And once again we have a little visual aid to show you exactly that. The answer: two Sanyo NiMH AA batteries.

Charging an Xbox 360 Controller the NiMH Way

No, NiMH doesn’t have anything to do with Mrs. Frisby and talking rats; it stands for nickel metal hydride. And as the kind folks at Battery University can attest, NiMH batteries do suffer from a memory effect and are best used in nearly-full recharge cycles. Avoid recharging your Xbox 360 controller after every use. Instead, run the battery pack down to about 20% charge and then give it a good full charge before using it again.

* Your neighborhood Radio Shack will recycle old batteries for you free. Cheers to the Shack.


PS3 Controller Charging

ps3-controller-chargingCharging Your PS3 Controller Battery

Your PS3 controller charging should have a strategy. That’s right – it’s not just playing the PS3 that demands tactical thinking.

You see, someday your PS3 (aka Sixaxis or DS3 or, if you’re looking at the controller’s model number, CECHZC2U) controller battery is going to crap out. Not today, probably not next year, but someday. Every rechargeable battery someday becomes unusable. You’ll be charging the battery over and over again for minutes and then mere seconds of gameplay.

You want battery failure day to be a long way off. So with rechargeable controller batteries, you want a charging strategy that extends the battery’s life as much as possible. Unfortunately, controller charging strategies vary radically depending on what kind of battery’s inside your controller.

What’s in Your Sixaxis: Lithium, NiMH, or NiCad?

Fortunately, some other geeks have already sacrificed a PS3 controller for science, and here’s what they found: a nice large flat lithium battery.

Not only is lithium handy for settling scrambled brains (under supervision of a medical professional), but it’s perfect for most gamers’ play habits. Lithium controller batteries thrive when charged frequently. On the flip side, they fail sooner when they are subjected to frequent full discharges.

So don’t let that USB controller-charging cable gather dust. Connect up your PS3 controller regularly and let it drink deep from the power of your sleek PS3. Charging is good. Repeat after me. Charging is good.

Other PS3 Controller Charging Tips

  • You can charge your PS3 controller off any USB port that provides power. Your laptop or cable box is fine.
  • Don’t expose your PS3 controller to extreme heat. Batteries hate heat.
  • Don’t freeze your PS3 controller to save the battery, either.
  • Lithium batteries don’t have a memory effect. Again, partially charging your PS3 controller is a good thing.
  • Lithium batteries have a lifespan, even when in the box, so be careful about buying a PS3 controller that’s used or has been rotting on the shelf.

I’ve also researched Xbox 360 controller charging strategies, and I’ll unload that on you folks next. Hint: it’s not the same as the PS3 controller charging technique.