Love diving into a marathon gaming night with friends over Xbox Live? You might be concerned about how much electricity you’re using on those longer sessions. Finding out how much a console like an Xbox One uses – even when on standby – might help you make some changes to save you money.
In this guide, I’ll tell you more about how much electricity your Xbox One console is using, and I’ve built a calculator to tell you how much those gaming nights are costing you.
How Much Electricity Does An Xbox One Use?
The power needed for an Xbox One to run depends on the console model and what you’re using it for. Original Xbox One consoles use between 70 and 120 watts, but the Xbox One X can use up to 180.
First, let’s break down the different models of Xbox One and the amount of electricity each will generally use:
|Xbox One S||35-90|
|Xbox One X||65-180|
The Xbox One was the first version of the console, launched in the US in November 2013. The slimmer and more compact Xbox One S model was released three years later, in November 2016, and a year later the Xbox One X console debuted. This was the more powerful version of the console capable of playing 4K games.
So that’s the model dealt with – how about what you’re using it for? Because Xbox One consoles don’t just have a simple “on” or “off” mode. There are various different functions, and what you do with your console determines how much power it’s using.
It uses the most power when gaming, and the least when switched off – here’s a rough guide to the wattage you can expect:
|Xbox One Activity||Power used (watts)|
|Streaming apps (e.g. Netflix or Disney+)||75|
|Idle/scrolling the menu||70|
|Standby (while downloading games/updates)||70|
|Standby – completely idle||15|
That’s right – even when completely switch off, your Xbox One console is still drawing power, although it’s a minimal amount. You should unplug it from the outlet if you want to stop it drawing power altogether.
Another thing to consider is that an Xbox won’t be the only device you’re using when gaming as your Xbox will be connected to a TV which will also use electricity.
How Many Watts Does A TV and Xbox Use?
Depending on your TV size and screen type, and what you’re using your Xbox for, combined they will use between around 100 and 250 watts. On average, it’s likely to be around 175 watts if you have a mid-sized screen and you’re playing games.
Most TVs are LED, but some have an OLED screen, which will use more power. Otherwise, the main variant will be in the screen size – smaller TVs need less power, which is fairly obvious.
To find out how much electricity your particular TV uses, take a look at this guide: How Much Electricity Does A TV Use?
Here are some examples of how much electricity you’ll use with both a TV and an Xbox One console:
|TV screen size (LED)||Xbox One Activity||Total Power Used|
|32”||Scrolling the menu||98 watts|
|55”||Scrolling the menu||127 watts|
|75”||Scrolling the menu||201 watts|
Does An Xbox One Use A Lot Of Electricity?
The original Xbox One console, at between 70 to 120 watts, uses less energy than the equivalent original PlayStation 4 (90-150 watts) but a lot more than the Nintendo Switch (just 10-18 watts). Xbox One consoles use a lot fewer watts than large appliances.
So really, it depends on your definition of “a lot” – an Xbox One console is a pretty power-hungry device but it won’t cost the earth to run it either. You can see how it stacks up against other games consoles here.
Suggested read: How Much Power Does A PS5 Use?
How Much Electricity Does An Xbox One Use Per Hour?
An Xbox One console uses up to 120 watt-hours per hour when you’re gaming, or around 70 watt-hours if you leave it switched on and idle. The updated Xbox One S model is more efficient, using only between 35 and 90 watt-hours per hour when in use.
Of course, the watt usage alone probably doesn’t mean much, so let’s take a look at how much your Xbox gaming habits will add to your electricity bill…
How Much Does An Xbox One Cost In Electricity?
With the average electricity cost of $0.14 per kWh, an original Xbox One console will cost around 1.7 cents to run for an hour, although that is the cost of the console only, not including the TV. Costs will vary depending on where you live and how much you pay for electricity.
Some US states will have higher costs, up to almost double that amount. Here are some examples of how much it costs to run an Xbox for an hour:
|Electricity cost||Xbox activity||Hourly cost|
|$0.12 per kWh||Standby mode||0.18 cents|
|$0.12 per kWh||Idle (on)||0.84 cents|
|$0.12 per kWh||Gaming||1.44 cents|
|$0.23 per kWh||Standby mode||0.35 cents|
|$0.23 per kWh||Idle (on)||1.61 cents|
|$0.23 per kWh||Gaming||2.76 cents|
As you can see, even if you live in a high-cost electricity area, you’d have to be gaming on your Xbox One console for around 36 hours before you even spent $1 on electricity on the console itself.
Here’s how much the Xbox One console costs to run if you game for 4 hours a day, every day of the year:
|Electricity cost||Cost Per Month||Cost Per Year|
|$0.12 per kWh||$1.72||$21.02|
|$0.23 per kWh||$3.31||$40.29|
And finally, here’s a really interesting comparison – how much it costs to leave your Xbox One console on standby mode, against how much it costs to leave it switched off but plugged in.
|Electricity cost||One year of standby (24/7)||One year switched off (24/7)|
|$0.12 per kWh||$15.76||$0.42|
|$0.23 per kWh||$30.22||$0.80|
If you live somewhere where the electricity rate is 23 cents per kWh, you could save almost $30 a year just by switching your Xbox One console off instead of leaving it on standby – or save even more by unplugging it completely.
If you want to work out your own costs, you just need to multiply the cost of your electricity per kilowatt-hour by the kilowatt-hours your device uses, and then by the number of hours you’re using it for.
1 kilowatt-hour is the same as 1,000 watt-hours, so where an Xbox One uses 120 watt-hours for gaming, it means it uses 0.12 kilowatt-hours.
Alternatively, here’s the calculator I made that will do the math for you…
Are Xboxes Expensive To Run?
Xbox One consoles are not expensive to run – when used for gaming they cost between 1.4 and 2.8 cents per hour to run, depending on your local electricity cost.
With gamers averaging 8.5 hours of gaming every week, that’s a weekly cost of between 12 and 23 cents or an annual cost of between $6.24 and $11.96. That is just for the console alone, you’ll need to factor in the cost of the TV as well.
Suggested read: How Much Electricity Does A TV Use?
Out of interest, I decided to see how an Xbox One would compare with my Xbox Series X, so I plugged it into a wattmeter. These are the readings I took.
The Xbox Series X used 67 watts while on the menu. This jumped up to 141.6 watts when I played a trailer in the Store.
I then loaded up the most demanding game I had in my library at the time – Flight Simulator. This consistently took the power consumption above 150 watts.
So when idle, the Xbox Series X uses a similar amount of power to the Xbox One – but when you’re watching videos or playing games, it uses significantly more.
What Power Supply Does An Xbox One Use?
The original Xbox One console used an external power supply unit that had a built-in fan for cooling. The Xbox One S and Xbox One X versions of the console had an internal power supply.
All of the power supply units (internal and external) across the Xbox One console ranges were global, meaning they could be used in the US with a 120V outlet, or in Europe where there’s a higher voltage power supply of 220-240V.
Xbox One Power Saving Options
By default, an Xbox One console is in instant-on mode while in standby, which uses 15 watts of electricity.
The benefits of instant-on mode are that you can start the console up much faster, and even use your voice to turn your console on if you have a compatible smart speaker. It also lets you use your controller and console to turn on your TV or cable box.
However, if you’d prefer to cut down on your costs, you can put your console into energy-saving mode, which uses around 1 watt of power.
If you do this, you’ll have to wait around 45 seconds for your console to power on, and you can’t switch it on with your voice, you have to do it using the button on the front of the console.
Over the course of a year, you could save up to $30 a year by using energy-saving mode instead of standby, but you will have to be a little more patient every time you want to play.
If you want to change this setting on your Xbox One console, follow these steps:
- Press the Xbox button on the center of your controller to access the Guide
- Choose ‘Profile & system’ and then ‘Settings’
- Choose ‘General’ and then ‘Power mode & start-up’
From here you can change between instant-on or energy-saving mode, and you can also set a timer to turn your console off automatically if you’ve left it idle, which can save you power if you accidentally leave it running.
The Bottom Line
For the average gamer, you’re not going to spend a huge sum playing on your Xbox One console, with an average annual cost of around $12 if you live in an area with a high cost of electricity.
You can save more by making sure you get an Xbox One S console if you can though, since these are more energy-efficient and will use around 25% less energy when you’re gaming. But, if you want the best performance of an Xbox One X at 4K then you’ll be looking at higher energy costs instead.
The best advice is to make sure you use energy-efficient mode or switch the console off completely when you’re not using it. Otherwise, you’re just throwing away up to $30 a year for no reason.