6 Common Game Console Problems and How to Repair Them

6 Common Game Console Problems and How to Repair Them

Since the late 20th century, technology has evolved at a pace far beyond what the people of yesteryear could’ve dreamed of. Video game consoles are some of the most awesome things to come from that evolution. With how advanced today’s consoles have become, it’s hard to believe that we considered consoles like the Atari and NES mind-blowing just a few decades ago.

However, they say that the more things change, the more they stay the same, and that’s true of consoles. No matter how advanced they become, technical problems are an evergreen problem gamers like you face daily.

When problems arise, finding solutions can be a challenge, turning a gaming session into a game-less nightmare. But not every technical issue has to mean “game over.” Here are six common console issues and how to fix them.

1. Overheating

One of the most common issues that plague game consoles is overheating. Your game console’s components heat up when they perform heavy tasks, such as rendering high-detail worlds or simultaneously processing many objects on-screen. To keep your console’s internals from burning up, fans inside the console work to keep things from getting too hot.

However, for the fans to work effectively, the console has to be placed in a well-ventilated space; keeping it in a cramped area won’t do. In addition, the fans accumulate dust over time; regular cleanings with an air compressor will take care of that.

2. Console Not Powering On

Turning your game console of choice on only for it not to boot up can be alarming, but chances are, it’s not a cause for concern. Make sure your console’s power cord is connected securely, both at the console’s power port and at the wall outlet or surge protector it’s connected to, and make sure neither has been knocked loose.

If the cord is plugged in tightly on both ends, try unplugging it from the console and leaving it unplugged for at least 10 seconds to reset its power supply.

3. Connectivity Issues

Twenty years ago, game consoles with internet connectivity were a novelty. But today, they’re the norm, as you need them to be able to play online with other people, purchase games digitally, or download DLC. As a result, trouble with getting your console connected is hard to ignore.

One common culprit behind console internet problems is too much distance between the console and your router, which will require relocating your router to a more optimal position.

Another, however, is a bad update; check support forums to see if your console’s latest firmware has caused other gamers to struggle to connect to the internet. If that’s the case, you can usually download the latest official firmware from the company that made your console and update it using a USB drive.

4. General Glitches

No one likes a glitch messing with their game. Depending on the glitch’s severity, glitches can be anything from a pesky nuisance to game-ruining. Depending on how you’re playing the game (especially if you’re playing on an older console), these problems can typically be resolved in one of two ways.

If you’re playing a game off of a disc, ensure it has no smudges or scratches. Smudges or dirt can be cleaned, and if you know what you’re doing, you can patch up minor scratches on the disc’s surface. However, you’ll need to replace the disc for bigger scratches or cracks.

On the other hand, for digitally-purchased games, wait for updates to see if the problem gets fixed. If it doesn’t, visit the developer’s website and send them a message explaining the bug.

5. Running Slow

If your console has been chugging recently, you may need to clean the hard drive. Go to your console’s data management options, delete files like games, apps, screenshots, or recordings you don’t use, or back them up to a separate storage device. (You can re-download games and apps for free.) With less data to page through, your console will be able to function faster.

6. Issues with Audio or Video

Seeing and hearing what’s happening in your game is essential for a fun, immersive experience. If you’re experiencing problems with your console’s video or audio (or both), check your console’s HDMI cord; you can do this by plugging it into another device with an HDMI out port. If the same issues occur on the other device, your HDMI cable is damaged or faulty and needs to be replaced.
There are plenty of console issues that you can resolve quickly and cheaply. But if these solutions don’t work, or if your console has issues beyond what’s listed here, you should send it to a professional repair service; game consoles are complex and tend to contain unique parts those who aren’t familiar with a company’s tech might not understand how to work with.