The Gamer's Guide to Buying Used Cables and Adapters

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The Gamer's Guide to Buying Used Cables and Adapters

Cables and adapters allow users to connect their console to a television or other display monitor for gameplay. Without the proper cables and adapters, a gaming system cannot be used. These components come in a wide array of types, lengths, and brands. They may be geared towards a specific gaming platform or may be considered universal, which allows them to be used with multiple systems including Xbox, Nintendo, and Sega. For the most cost effective option, buyers should consider purchasing used products. Used cables and adapters can often be found in a like new condition for less than the cost of new components. Recycling cables and adapters is also the more environmentally friendly option because it decreases the production of new products, thereby saving resources.

When purchasing used cables and adapters at retailers such as eBay, buyers should consider the various types and familiarise themselves with the different factors necessary for selecting the right products.

Types of Used Cables and Adapters

There are various types of cables and adapters that are required in order to power a gaming system. Choosing the right type depends ultimately on what the cable or adapter is needed for.

AV Cables and Adapters

AV cables and adapters are used to transmit both audio and visual signals, and are used widely in home electronics. These cables are mainly used to connect a gaming console to a television.

RCA Cables

RCA cables are made up of three colours: red, white, and yellow. The red cable is for right-channel audio, white for left-channel audio, and yellow for video. These connectors have a thick pin that is used to connect the audio and video components.

Coaxial Cables

Coaxial cables transmit both audio and video. So, they are used commonly to connect gaming systems to televisions.

HD Cables

Unlike other cable types, HD cables offer full support for high-definition signals. Popular HD cables include component and HDMI cables . These offer better audio and video quality. Most gaming systems come with composite cables; buyers then need to purchase HD cables separately in order to perform an upgrade.

Power Cables and Adapters

Power cables are used to power gaming consoles. These connect directly from the gaming system to the mains supply or other power source. A power adapter is used to transfer power into the battery of the gaming console.

Wireless Network Adapters

Wireless network adapters allow gamers to connect their console to a local area network (LAN). The most popular type of wireless network adapter in the gaming industry is Bluetooth. This technology often provides wireless connectivity between the console and the controls provided both are within a short range of each other. Bluetooth adapters are generally used in gaming systems that have motion sensors and cameras.

Wireless network adapters come in a wide array of styles and sizes. When choosing the best type, buyers must ensure compatibility. In order to do so, the wireless network adapter must be latched above the console's back USB port. Newer models of the Xbox 360 have built-in Wi-Fi, allowing users to access the Internet wirelessly.

Link Cables

There are various games that allow for play between two consoles. In order to connect these consoles, buyers need to have a link cable, also known as a crossover cable in order for the consoles to communicate with each other. Link cables are especially useful for Xbox and Xbox 360.

Controller Extension Cables

Extension cables increase the length of the controller, allowing users to play from longer distances across a room. When searching for a controller extension cable , buyers should consider the cable length as well as compatibility between the cable and device.

Factors to Consider When Buying Used Cables and Adapters

There are many factors to consider when purchasing used cables and adapters. These include hardware compatibility, cable length, shielding, centre conductor material, gauge, and the condition of the products.

Hardware Compatibility

When searching for used cables and adapters, buyers should consider hardware compatibility. It is important to take note of the gaming system's model number, as well as that of any monitor or screen on which the games are played. Buyers should follow the suggested voltage requirements and specification for their device. The adapter's voltage should be within 10 percent of the original voltage. It is also a good idea to check the wattage requirements of the device. The wattage capacity of the adapter should be equal or higher than the required number of watts. Using an incompatible cable or adapter may cause damage to the system.

In addition to compatibility, buyers should ensure that both ends of the cable or adapter have the necessary connector format. Cable configuration is important for successful gameplay.

Cable Length

When searching for used cables and adapters, buyers should consider cable length. The cable or adapter needs to span the distance between the console and television or other display monitor comfortably. It is highly recommended that gamers purchase the shortest cable or adapter that fits their needs. This is because signal deterioration may occur with longer cable lengths; in fact, longer cables produce a loss in overall quality. This loss of quality may or may not be noticeable. For example, HDMI cables less than 15 feet long are given better performance ratings than those that are longer. If a longer cable is needed, buyers should consider purchasing a signal booster or extension adapter. This allows them to connect shorter cables together, ultimately diminishing any loss of overall quality.


In order to minimise signal interference, buyers should consider cable or adapter shielding. The shielding, or wrapping, may be made of various materials. These materials can affect signal strength directly. Gold shielding is considered to be the highest quality when it comes to reducing signal interference.

Centre Conductor Material

In contrast to shielding, the material that the centre conductor is made out of is an important factor. The centre conductor material of most cables and adapters is made of pure copper or tinned copper. Both have great conductive properties. However, tinned copper is considered to be more durable and better able to conduct electricity.


The gauge of the cable is an important factor. The larger the gauge, the lower the resistance and the better the conductivity of the cable. A 20-gauge wire is larger than that of a 24 gauge. Therefore, the 20-gauge wire conducts electricity better.


When searching for used cables and adapters, buyers should take special note of the component's condition. The cable or adapter should be in good working order and there should not be any frayed wires; these can present a fire risk. Buyers should also inspect the plastic coating that covers the copper wires. As the outer casing degrades, cracks become common in the plastic coating. There should not be any copper wires exposed.

How to Buy Used Cables and Adapters on eBay

Used cables and adapters are available to buy on eBay. Buyers simply need to navigate to the appropriate products by using the keyword search. Typing in " used cables and adapters " is likely to render a large number of results. For a more selective search, buyers should type in more specific key terms such as " used wireless network adapters ". Alternatively, eBay's advanced search feature allows buyers to narrow down listings by price or condition.

It can be difficult to determine compatibility when buying used cables and adapters. Buyers should be sure to communicate clearly with the seller using eBay's "Ask a question" feature if they are unsure if the used cable or adapter is the right type for their device.

Once buyers find the used cables or adapter they wish to purchase, it is important to check the seller's feedback rating to see how other buyers have rated the service. If a seller is an eBay Top-rated seller, that means that he or she has a good reputation for dealing fairly on eBay.


Cables and adapters are necessary gaming system components. Some consoles may come with cables and adapters included. However, others may require that the user buys these components separately. In order to make greater cost savings, buyers should consider purchasing pre-owned cables and adapters. eBay offers a wide selection of used products, many of which can be found in a like new condition for a fraction of the cost of new versions. When searching for used cables and adapters, buyers should not overlook compatibility with the device. Buyers should also pay close attention to the item's condition. Used cables and adapters should not show signs of frayed wires, and all wires should be protected by a secure plastic casing.

In addition, buyers should consider the various types of cables and adapters. These include controller extension cables for increasing the distance between the console and the controller. However, if buyers need to connect the console to a television, they should consider purchasing HD and AV cables. With so many cables and adapters available on eBay's online marketplace, buyers are sure to find the right fit for their gaming needs.

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