Technology

Should you leave your Xbox in Instant-On mode?

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ou could save more than £50 on your annual household electricity bills by making a simple switch in Xbox console settings.

The Xbox Series X and Series S have a mode called Instant On, which allows gamers to press the power button and instantly resume where they left off in games. This mode also used to be the only way to have massive game updates downloaded in the background, so you didn’t have to wait ages for updates to download when you fire up the console.

However, Instant-On mode is power hungry. According to Microsoft’s figures, Instant On consumes 13W on an Xbox Series X, and 10W on an Xbox Series S.

Using the new UK electricity price-cap figures which come into effect on October 1, leaving the Xbox Series X in Instant-On mode around the clock would cost just under £60 over the course of a year, and £46 on the Xbox Series X.

The Energy-Saver mode available on both consoles consumes around 0.5W, which reduces the annual bill to only £2.26.

The even better news for gamers is that they won’t have to sit idle waiting for massive game updates to download by switching to Energy Saver, either. Microsoft implemented changes to Energy Saver mode in March, allowing games to be downloaded in the background in this mode, too, as spotted by Alex Hern.

“Now, system and game updates can be downloaded during Energy-Saver mode, further saving energy,” said Dave McCarthy, corporate vice president of Xbox operations said at the time. “Energy-Saver mode consumes about 20 times less power than Standby mode when the console is not being used or receiving updates.”

To put your Xbox console into Energy-Saver mode, go to Settings > General > Sleep Mode & Status and then select Energy-Saver mode. You won’t be able to resume games instantly any more, but it’s a small inconvenience for a sizeable saving on electricity bills.

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