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How to Make a Video Game Console Last for Years

Dreamhowl has played video games since childhood. She owns a PC, Xbox One, and Nintendo 3DS. She prefers roleplaying and adventure games.

Video game consoles today get updated every few years, but that doesn’t mean they can’t last longer than that. Maybe you have a friend who still owns a classic Nintendo system in working condition, or the original Playstation. The secret to getting your gaming console to last as long through hours of playtime is care. Whether it’s an Xbox 360 or a Nintendo DS, your gaming console can last for years upon years if you simply take proper care of it.

Dust is one of the big killers of gaming consoles.

Dust is one of the big killers of gaming consoles.

Preventative Care

1. Keep Your Console Dry

Spilling water or another liquid onto your game console can damage delicate parts that are key in its operation. You can permanently fry its insides and leave it irreparable. Think of what happens when you drop your phone into a puddle of water; unless you turn it off and submerge it in a bag of rice, the chances of its survival are very slim. Next time you are having a gaming session with your friends, keep the drinks on a table far away from your treasured video game console.

2. Don’t Drop Your Console

The moment where your gaming console slips out from between your fingers and crashes to the floor is one we all dread. Gaming consoles may sometimes look sturdy, but remember that they are delicate electronics; dropping your console can potentially damage parts that make it function properly. If your gaming console is portable (like a shiny new Nintendo 3DS), dropping it can damage the screen, buttons, or wifi receiver. If you are playing a gaming console that’s hooked up to the television, be careful not to knock the console over. Furthermore, take care of your console’s controllers—they are just as delicate as your gaming device.

Keep your portable gaming devices in protective cases in case of slippery fingers!

Keep your portable gaming devices in protective cases in case of slippery fingers!

3. Do Not Touch the Lens

The lens of your video game console is irreplaceable in its importance; the lens reads your game discs and touching it could permanently damage it. Breaking your console’s lens means your console will no longer be able to read game discs. You’ll need to send the console out for repairs which, unless you have an active warranty, will probably cost you. There are guides on the internet to repairing a console’s broken lens yourself, but it isn’t recommended; unless you are comfortable taking apart the case and pieces of your video game console, you can end up causing more damage.

4. Keep It on a Hard Surface

Like any other electronic, video game consoles can overheat depending on how long they have been on or whether or not they have enough air flow. For example, leaving a laptop on while sitting on your bed blocks its airflow and can burn out your computer over time. When you are gaming, be sure to have your console on a hard, even surface such as a wooden cabinet or coffee table. Carpets are plushy and absorb heat much more quickly than hard surfaces. Furthermore, be sure that your console has plenty of breathing room on all sides; empty space will allow for greater air flow.

5. Take Care of Your Video Games

You can’t enjoy your gaming console if you have no games to play on it! Always remember to take your discs out of your console when you are finished playing, and put them back in their cases. Leaving games laying around on the floor or furniture is a sure way to scratch them up and render them unplayable. At the price you pay for new games, the least you should do is put them back where they belong.

Keeping your games in their cases will keep them organized and scratch-free.

Keeping your games in their cases will keep them organized and scratch-free.

How to Prevent Overheating

1. Give Your Console Space

As mentioned above, video game consoles can overheat. Many people don’t realize that their consoles need space to breathe. The best place for a gaming console is on its own table or shelf, surrounded by nothing but empty space. If your television has a wooden or glass cabinet beneath it, give the console it’s own special place. Not only will you be extending your console’s lifespan, but you’ll be keeping it in tip-top shape, too. Avoid the urge to surround it with your favorite games or DVDs.

2. Dust Your Console Often

Dust is all around us, whether we clean once a week or clean once a month. Dust has a way of getting into crevices and cooling fans. Dust caked on the inside of your console or blocking the air vents can cause it to overheat without your notice. To prevent damage this way, dust around your console often. If you can, spray compressed air into the vents every once in a while to clear out dust. You’ll be surprised how much dust your console can accumulate. Consider dust as one of your gaming console’s worst enemies.

Canned air spray is useful when dusting out the insides of your console.

Canned air spray is useful when dusting out the insides of your console.

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3. Keep the Console Right Side Up

With consoles like the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, it’s tempting to stand the entire platform up on its side because it saves space, or “looks better that way." While standing your console on its side may be convenient, it also cuts off ventilation and attracts more dust over time. It’s more beneficial to keep your video game console right side up, even if you are sacrificing space for it. And don’t put any objects on top of it, either; putting unnecessary pressure on your console can do damage in the long run.

4. Don’t Expose It to Direct Sunlight or Heat

Exposing your gaming console to direct sunlight or a powerful heat source can bring on overheating and other electronic damage. The exterior of your gaming console can become warped, and the inner parts can become fried. Alternatively, extreme cold can damage your console as well. As long as your console is at basic room temperature, no unwanted interior damage should come to it. Keep this in mind when storing your video game console in an attic or storage space.

5. Take Breaks From Gaming Every Few Hours

Running your game console for too long can overheat it, especially if you are playing for hours at a time. Do yourself and your video game console a favor and take breaks every couple of hours. Furthermore, don’t forget to turn off the console when it's not in use; it may be tempting to leave it running until later, but your console needs a chance to cool down. If your console feels too warm to you, don’t hesitate to turn it off until it feels cooler; giving your gaming console breaks like this will protect its parts and prolong its life.

Keeping your console clean and uncrowded will prolong its gaming life!

Keeping your console clean and uncrowded will prolong its gaming life!

Following these essential tips will keep your video game console clean and ultimately prolong its life. While new makes and models of video game systems come out every few years, you shouldn’t have to upgrade because your older console is failing. To enjoy as many years as you can with your favorite gaming consoles, just remember: take care of your video game console, and never let it overheat.


Jessica Peri (author) from United States on January 30, 2015:

@scorpion I try to keep ours clean on a daily basis as well! The room gets super dusty, so I feel that I have to.

scorpion on January 30, 2015:

I dust off my every morning.

Jessica Peri (author) from United States on January 18, 2013:

Thanks for the feedback! My room collects dust quickly and I dust off the Xbox often. The computer gets worse. Blegh. Just happy to share the knowledge!

dailytop10 from Davao City on January 18, 2013:

My solution is to play with them at least once a week. It's not only a perfect way to fight against stress but also keeps the dusts away and help prevent the console's performance from degrading. Thank you for sharing!

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