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Buying a New Console? You’ll Need the Right Accessories to Take Your Games to the Next Level

Top Product: Fastsnail Switch Joy-Con Grips

Video games are great. Of course they are. But you know what can make gaming better for everyone? The proper accessories. Having fun and functional peripherals can make something even the most frustrating quirks more tolerable, and can even help with accessibility. Some people might balk at the idea of using third-party accessories with their consoles (I’m a controller purist, myself), but a lot of these items are cheaper and work as well, if not better, than their official counterparts—if those official counterparts even exist!

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The Top Consoles to Buy

The first thing you’ll need is the console itself. Assuming you haven’t made your decision already, the three major players in the market include Sony (PlayStation), Microsoft (Xbox), and Nintendo (Switch). While the latter is getting harder to find these days, you have two options each when it comes to PlayStation and Xbox. Shopping around, you’ll find the PS4 in both ‘Pro’ and ‘Slim’ variants. To the average person, these aren’t exactly household names, but the key takeaway is this: PS4 supports 4K output and PS4 Slim does not. The same logic applies to the Xbox One S vs. Xbox One X.

Nintendo Switch is the outlier, then, since neither the original model nor the Switch Lite can run your favorites in 4K. Instead, you’ll be limited to 1080p on the Nintendo Switch and 720p on the Lite. The main difference here is TV compatibility. There is currently no way to play games on a TV using a Switch Lite [Editor’s Note: Believe me, I tried with this little gadget]. Instead, you’ll need a regular ol’ Nintendo Switch to start Joy-Conning it up in Ring Fit Adventure or racing past your significant other in Mario Kart 8. No matter your taste in hardware, I’ve highlighted the best gaming accessories to enrich your experience. *Sigh* Yes, even if you game on a computer.

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Fastsnail Switch Joy-Con Grips

FASTSNAIL Switch Joy-Con Grips | $13 | Amazon
FASTSNAIL Switch Joy-Con Grips | $13 | Amazon
Graphic: FASTSNAIL

Being able to use individual Joy-cons as controllers is an awesome idea … in theory. But anyone with adult-sized hands knows that trying to use a single Joy-Con as a controller is a bit of a painful experience. These Joy-Con grips can help a lot in making the act of holding the thing a lot easier, making them a more viable option for multiplayer games.

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Fosmon Xbox One Battery Packs and Charger

Fosmon Dual Controller Charger | $40 | Amazon
Fosmon Dual Controller Charger | $40 | Amazon
Graphic: Elizabeth Henges
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One of the biggest problems I have with my Xbox One controller is the need to replace its batteries. I always forget I need new ones until it’s too late. But my experience with Xbox One battery packs have been overall poor. Fosmon’s battery packs, though, work really well and even charge up wirelessly. Maybe four battery packs are a bit overkill if you only have one controller like myself, but that just means if one of them goes bad I have plenty of backups.

8Bitdo Bluetooth Adapter for PC

8 Bitdo Bluetooth Adapter | $20 | Amazon
8 Bitdo Bluetooth Adapter | $20 | Amazon
Graphic: Elizabeth Henges
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There are lots of Bluetooth adapters out there for the PC, and this one does, in fact, look like a weird Mario brick-themed USB stick. But I can assure you this particular adapter works like an absolute charm. The 8bitdo adapter is advertised as an adapter to play games on PC using a Switch Pro controller, but you can use any controller that can connect via Bluetooth. I use it to play Final Fantasy XIV with my PS4 controller, personally! I’ve had no issues with dropped button commands, either.

Bestek Power Strip

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Honestly, setting up my entertainment center is constantly a struggle of having enough outlets. Even worse is when I need to plug something new in, fishing behind everything and messing with wires. The Bestek power strip has a unique shape that makes it easy to place on an entertainment center, and the USB ports can help with charging your controllers. It doubles as a surge protector, too. Always connect your expensive electronics to surge protectors!

HomeSpot Bluetooth Trasnmitter for Switch

HomeSpot Bluetooth for Switch | $35 | Amazon
HomeSpot Bluetooth for Switch | $35 | Amazon
Graphic: Elizabeth Henges
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Trying to work around a wire when playing your Switch in handheld mode is a pain. So ditch the wired headphones and get yourself a Bluetooth adapter for God’s sake! HomeSpot’s Bluetooth adapter seems to be the best of the bunch, with the ability to hook it up to two devices at the same time—perfect for multiplayer! It even comes in different colors to match your Switch or Switch Lite. Who doesn’t like a little extra effort put into their accessories?

Oivo PS4 System Hub

OIVO PS4 System Hub | $28 | Amazon
OIVO PS4 System Hub | $28 | Amazon
Graphic: Elizabeth Henges
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Anything that saves me space is a winner in my book. My PS4 Pro takes up a lot of room on my entertainment center laid flat. This system hub not only helps it stand up, conserving precious real estate but also has room to store my games and controllers. You can even use it to charge your controllers, PLUS the hub cools your system down. If turning your PS4 sideways will broaden your storage options, this hub is the way to go.


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