If you’re an avid gamer, then the energy price crisis around the world might be perplexing you more than many. Gaming is a fun hobby, and you can easily spend hours of your time every evening battling bosses or collecting prizes in your favourite games. But if you’ve been tracking your energy use at all recently, you might have noticed a massive spike each time you fire up your gaming setup to enjoy some gameplay.
Of course, everybody’s priorities are different, so you might be just fine with spending a huge amount of money on powering your gaming console and PC while saving money elsewhere in your home with other cost-cutting strategies when it comes to your energy use.
But if you want to save money across the board, then you’ll need to think about how you can enjoy your favourite games without using up so much power. Thankfully, that doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t game at all. Keep reading to find out more about what you can do to save money on energy as a gamer in an energy crisis.
Use a Laptop
If you are a PC gamer, then your setup probably uses up more power than pretty much anything else in your house, especially if you have a massive powerful processor, tons of fans and loads of monitors and gadgets connected.
It might be worth firing it up to play some of the most immersive, graphics-heavy games, but is it worth spending all that money to run it every single time you play? You can save a decent amount of money by investing in an affordable gaming laptop instead.
When you game on a laptop, you don’t even have to have it plugged in if you’ve charged it up fully, meaning that you can game without drawing any electrical power at all for a win-win situation.
Stick to a Time Limit
It’s very easy to get carried away when playing a game – ask any gamer and they have probably spent way more hours than they planned to enjoy a new title. However, for every hour that you are using your gaming PC or console, you’re using energy, so it might be worth putting some limits on yourself.
This way, you still get to enjoy your favourite games on a regular basis, but by keeping your power use in check, you’re not paying for it with a huge energy bill through your door at the end of the month.
For example, you might want to limit yourself to gaming for an hour in the evenings, or only on the weekends. Don’t forget that there are plenty of mobile and tablet games that you could substitute once your time is up, if you want to carry on having fun but need to conserve power.
Consider Solar Energy
While this is more of a long-term investment in your entire home rather than simply being related to gaming, investing in solar panels might be worth thinking about if you own your home and have filled it with a lot of electrical gaming gadgets and power-heavy stuff.
Solar panels will usually start to pay for themselves over time and draw energy from the sun that you can use for free to power your home. You can either rely on solar only, or a bit of both – for most people who don’t live in a climate where there’s dazzling sunshine all year round, having grid energy for backup is a good idea, so you don’t end up getting a power cut in the middle of an intense game.
Switch It Off
Even if your gaming console or PC is switched off and plugged in at the wall outlet, it’s still drawing some power. Even worse, if you leave your device on standby or sleep mode, then it’s just wasting energy for no reason waiting for you to come and switch it on to use.
If you’ve got a lot of monitors, speakers, and other devices that are plugged into your setup that are all on standby, this could actually be costing you hundreds of dollars every year, with nothing to show for it. Switching it all off at the outlet when you’re done is a great habit to get into. Or for a more high-tech solution, consider hooking it up to a smart plug that you can switch on and off using your phone as needed.
Only Use a Gaming PC for Gaming
If your gaming PC is your main PC, then you might be using it for loads of other things like working throughout the day, sending emails, scrolling through Facebook, watching videos on Netflix and anything else you do.
But the fact is that all of these activities do not need the massive amount of power that your PC is drawing. Sure, having that powerful processor and super-fast graphics card is worth it when you’re playing the Witcher 3, but sending an email to your boss? Not so much.
It might even be cheaper to invest in a basic, budget laptop like a Chromebook that you can use for everything else, and only switch on your gaming PC when you actually want to game.
Upgrade Your Specs and Look After Your PC
If you’ve had your gaming PC for a while, then it might be worth taking a look inside to see what you can upgrade. Newer, faster components like processors and graphics cards are often more energy efficient along with being more compatible with the latest games.
Along with this, a bit of basic gaming PC maintenance can also go a long way when it comes to reducing energy use. Clean your fans from dust regularly as the dustier they are, the more energy they’re going to use up due to the heat generated.
The energy crisis right now is worrying for everybody, affecting countries all over the world as the wholesale prices of energy rise. If you’re an avid gamer, this hobby might be the leading energy use in your home. The good news is that there are plenty of energy-saving strategies you can put in place to ensure that you can continue enjoying your favourite games without breaking the bank on your energy bills.