Easy fixes for poorly running video game consoles

June 30, 2015

As with all complex digital devices, serious faults in game consoles will require professional repair, but there's much you can do at home to address some basic problems.

Easy fixes for poorly running video game consoles

The console keeps freezing

Check the disk and controllers, and keep it cool

A common cause of freezing during game play is a dirty or scratched disk. Try cleaning the disk and examine it under indirect light for scratches; shallow scratches can sometimes be filled with furniture polish.

  • Disconnect your wireless controllers and substitute a wired controller that you know works. If this fixes the problem, try changing or recharging the batteries in your wireless controllers.
  • Make sure there are no obstacles (such as shelves or game disks) between the wireless controllers and the console. Try switching off any appliances that may interfere with the signal from the wireless units — these include fluorescent lights, microwave ovens, cordless phones and wireless routers.
  • Turn off the console and leave it to cool for 30 minutes. Move your machine to a better ventilated position and never place it on a carpet — its fibres could block the cooling vents. Use a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment on a low setting to clear away any dust from the ventilation holes on the console's casing.
  • Don't use a "chipped" console (one that has been modified to sidestep copy protection) or play pirated games.

My game console is running slow

Clear the system cache

If your games load or run slowly, try clearing the system cache — this is the console's store of data, such as game updates and pictures of your friends' game avatars. Select the "Memory" option from the console's "System Settings" menu, and press the "Y" button on your controller, then choose "Clear System Cache."

  • Keeping your console up-to-date with the latest system software will help it to run smoothly. If you are connected to the Xbox Live service, press the "Guide" button on your controller, then navigate to Settings -> System Settings -> Network Settings -> Wired Network (or the name of your wireless network) -> Test Xbox Live Connection and then choose to update the console software if prompted. You can also update the software from a new game disk or by downloading it to a computer and transferring it to the console via a USB flash drive.
  • If you have a PlayStation®3 or PlayStation®4, update the system software online. Navigate to Settings -> System Update -> Update via Internet. The console will check if you have the latest version. If not, it will download and install it for you.
The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
Close menu