Late last year we told you about the Nyko UBoost, which is a GamePad accessory designed to increase the battery life of your Wii U GamePad without having to be a hassle. If you’ve used Nyko 3DS accessories like their 3DS battery boost, you know you need to remove the back of the 3DS and the stock battery that comes with the device in order to use it. Nyko avoided this by creating a battery pack that functions similarly to the stand that comes with the deluxe version of the Wii U.
The construction of the battery pack is decent quality. The best thing about it is that it’s optional until you need it, so if you don’t like playing with the power pack on, you don’t have to put it on until your Wii U GamePad is almost out of battery. The power button sits on the front of the device and with a quick tap, you can activate it to use as a backup battery. The device weighs about 6 ounces or so, so there is some noticeable heft to the controller once its put into place. The nice thing is the stand that Nyko has included on the back, which allows you to set the GamePad at the same angle as the deluxe charger stand.
In the picture above you can see I have the battery pack installed on the GamePad while it’s sitting in the charging cradle. These two are compatible, so if you don’t want to use the stand that Nyko provides on the back of the battery pack, you don’t have to do so. I found it a little hard to pull out and push back in, so I personally wouldn’t use it, but for someone who may not have a deluxe system, the stand could come in really handy.
Over the weekend I played a lot of Monster Hunter using the UBoost battery pack attachment. The Wii U GamePad usually lasts me about 3 and a half hours before it starts blinking and I have to plug it in, but with the UBoost, I was able to play a lot longer. The UBoost is supposed to add up to 10 hours of battery to the Wii U GamePad and on average, I would say I got that. The first charge of the UBoost lasted 11 hours and the second lasted 10, so Nyko’s claims are pretty accurate here.
Overall, despite the battery pack only behind held to the GamePad by the thumb screw at the top, I never felt like it was in danger of coming apart. Once the thumb screw is firmly in place, the battery pack is attached to the GamePad until you remove it. Thankfully the thumb screw is a lot more easy to detach than the built-in stand that comes with it. As previously mentioned, this battery pack is compatible with the deluxe charging stand that comes with the black Wii U, so if that’s your main method of charging your GamePad, you don’t have to worry about not being able to use it anymore.
The curious thing that I found is that Nyko’s own replacement charger, called the Nyko Charge Station U is incompatible with the stand. You’d think that Nyko would have made the battery pack to accommodate their own accessory so that you can charge both at the same time, but it doesn’t work well together. You’ll have to charge the UBoost separately if you have a Charge Station U, which allows two Wii-motes to be charged as well.
The design and function that the UBoost provides is pretty great. It comes in both black and white, but the review unit I received was white. The usual retail price for the UBoost is $24.99, but Amazon currently has them both hovering around $20 if this is something you’re interested in. I’d say it’s a worthy investment if you plan on playing the Wii U for any length of time, as it provides great battery life and it doesn’t get in the way like some accessories. If you have any questions about the unit, I’ll be happy to answer them in the comments below.