Given how sophisticated and advanced modern consoles are, it’s kind of shocking Sony and Microsoft haven’t come up with more compelling charging options than simply connecting cables to controllers. Don’t get us wrong; the bundled USB-C cables do a more than adequate job of juicing up our DualSense and Xbox Series controllers, but they’re just not very glamorous. There’s a good reason the market is rife with third-party solutions that make charging controllers a little more attractive.
One such solution is Gioteck’s AC-2 “Ammo Clip” charging station. It’s a small hub you can use to connect two controllers and charge them simultaneously, but it only requires a single USB-C cable. In that way, it’s already far more convenient than the bundled charging method, although it’s only going to come into its own if you have more than one controller. With that said, it’s still a great way to charge a single DualSense or Xbox controller if you haven’t quite stretched to picking up another one yet.
The first thing to note is that there are two different models of the Ammo Clip available, each tailored to either the PS5 or the Xbox Series X/S. Both versions have two light strips available that display the charging status of the controllers, so you’ll always know the battery status of each controller you connect. The Xbox version emits a stylish green that matches the colour scheme of the console, while the PS5 version’s light is blue. Either way, the Ammo Clip is unintrusive and helpful.
Functionality-wise, the Ammo Clip is an extremely simple bit of kit. All you need to do is connect it to your console via the included fast-charging USB-C cable, then connect your controller’s USB-C port to one of the two connectors available on the Ammo Clip. Once you’ve done that, you should see it begin to charge your controller. That’s it – no fuss, no mess. Simple as. Given that it can actually be surprisingly tough to set up some third-party chargers, the Ammo Clip’s simplicity is refreshing.
We didn’t experience any connection issues whatsoever when we connected two DualSense controllers to the PS5 version of the Ammo Clip, and the same can be said of the Xbox version. The connection is stable, although we can see that it might start to get a little flimsy over time and with repeated use. Initially, though, connecting controllers feels snappy and satisfying, which is what you’d expect from a company as tried-and-true as Gioteck.
Since the standard Xbox Series controllers don’t come with rechargeable battery packs (which, in 2020, is frankly a grievous sin), Gioteck has been thoughtful enough to provide two battery packs of its own. This means that even if you don’t have a second controller, you’ll be prepared when you do eventually pick one up, which is a nice touch. The PS5 version of the Ammo Clip doesn’t come with battery packs, but it doesn’t need them, because Sony was sensible and made the DualSense rechargeable out of the box.
In terms of convenience, you’ll struggle to find a more user-friendly charging station than the AC-2 Ammo Clip. The controllers snap snugly into position and stay there until you need them, at which point you can simply press the button on the top of the Ammo Clip to detach your controllers. We didn’t try the AC-2 with a wall charging power source, but we can’t see any reason that it wouldn’t work, so even if you don’t want to connect it to your console, you should be able to find a spot for it in the house.
One unfortunate aspect of the AC-2, despite all of its excellent functionality, is the cable management side of things. There will always be a USB-C cable sticking out of one end of the Ammo Clip, which can look a little unsightly if you’re trying to incorporate it into a larger setup. This isn’t a deal-breaker by any means, but it’s a shame Gioteck couldn’t have come up with a better and more ergonomic way to hide cables away, because it just looks a little messy.
In terms of charging speed, the AC-2 is nothing to write home about. Despite the marketing blurb boasting of “fast charging”, you’re not going to get better or worse speeds here than you would if you simply connected the controller to your PS5. That’s an achievement in and of itself, of course; it’s charging two controllers at once, so you’re getting the same speed from a single cable but only using one USB port, which leaves the other one free for other peripherals.
All in all, the AC-2 is a very solid bit of charging kit. It’s not going to win any awards for incredible innovation, but it’s a nice solution for charging multiple controllers. The design of both the Xbox version and the PS5 variant gels well with the aesthetic of each console, so it’s not going to look out of place in your setup. Slightly dodgy cable management aside, the AC-2 is a great way to keep your controllers topped up, and it’s likely to last you a long while too.