Energy-saving tips for game consoles

18 October 2022

Corinne Webb

With just a few simple steps, we explain how you can save money by making the most of your system’s energy-saving features, without missing out on any fun.  

Energy-Saving Mode

Most consoles have an energy-saving power mode. Without this, the Xbox Series X can waste energy even while in standby mode because of its instant-on power settings, potentially costing users 44p an hour*.

Switching to the Xbox Series X energy-saving mode can reduce the cost to less than 1p a day.

The PlayStation 5 (PS5) enters a low power ‘rest’ mode after one hour of inactivity, and users can enable time limits for USB power charging when the PS5 is in this mode to save even more.

The Nintendo Switch doesn’t burn much energy while it’s asleep, fortunately. However, if you’re not looking to play on it again soon, it’s still best to shut it down fully to save battery power.  


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Switch it off

The latest versions of the Xbox and PlayStation burn a lot more energy than their predecessors because they use superior hardware that handles high-definition visuals better but also pushes their processors harder.

Turning the consoles off completely will prevent any energy drain, so if you’re not constantly gaming, then you can just unplug them. Make sure to do a full shut-down of the console first though (rather than unplugging while in energy-saving or standby mode) to make sure you don’t corrupt the drives.

Keep them updated

While console updates can eat up your playing time, don’t put them off for too long because they can help with energy management.

Earlier this year Microsoft issued an important update for Xbox consoles that should reduce electricity consumption. It allows the consoles to download system and game updates while in the energy-saving Mode, where previously you could only do that while using the less efficient standby mode.

Keep it separated

If you have a Smart TV or streaming stick, it’s more efficient to use those instead of using your games console, as they use far less energy.

Remember, consoles are built for gaming and shouldn’t be used predominantly for streaming if you’re trying to save money on your bills.


*Running costs of an Xbox Series X on standby instant-on power setting calculated using Sust-it calculator

Energy use of Xbox Series X on Standby (13W) and Regulatory Standby (0.5W):