Whereas Pac-Man from the arcade games likes to eat pellets…
An Xbox console loves to consume a lot of data.
But if you’re wondering how much data exactly it uses…
And whether you can do anything about it…
I’ve got all the answers for you.
Continue reading to learn:
- The real reasons why Xbox consoles use so much data.
- Whether an Xbox actually uses more data than a Playstation.
- 7 interesting facts about data usage that every Xbox user must know.
- And much much more…
How much data does Xbox use?
Xbox uses around 100 to 300MB of data per hour. This is when it’s used exclusively for playing games. However, the data usage can increase to over 1GB hourly if you’re using multiple apps simultaneously. Furthermore, downloading and installing games and updates will also take up a lot of data.
Xbox data usage – 7 facts
#1: The bulk of an Xbox’s data usage is in downloading and updating apps
If you’re a new Xbox user…
You might be shocked to learn how fast it eats up your data allocation.
But let me tell you. It’s actually not uncommon for Xbox owners to use well over 100GB of data per month.
And that’s why if you’re planning to use your console heavily…
You’re better off connecting it to WiFi with an unlimited data plan. Otherwise, you may find it hard to fully enjoy your device’s features.
But what exactly is causing an Xbox to use so much data?
Well, there are actually several factors. But the activities that use the most data are:
- Updating games and apps.
- Downloading and installing games and other apps.
To give you an idea about the file size of Xbox games, I’ll share a few examples.
Grand Theft Auto V’s a classic Xbox game. And its download size is around 60GB.
But believe it or not, that file size’s actually among the lower end among Xbox games…
Because the majority of titles actually average in excess of 100GB.
For example, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare ranks among the most popular Xbox games. And its file size clocks in at around 200GB.
So whenever you’re downloading games into your console…
You’re using up anywhere from 50 to over 200GB worth of data.
And updating those games needs similar data usage.
As a matter of fact, it’s not uncommon for a 100GB game to require another hundred GB or so for updates.
So now you know the Xbox activities that use the most data.
But don’t worry. There are things you can do regarding those.
And I’ll be talking about them in the next couple of entries.
#2: Installing games via discs is a great way to save data
There’s a simple way to save hundreds of GB whenever you need to install games.
And that’s by using a physical disc.
I know we’re in the digital age. So using a disc’s somewhat old-fashioned.
But it’s still the way to go if you’re on a limited data plan.
Remember how I said Xbox games range from 50GB to over 200GB in file size?
Well, that’s pretty much the amount of data you’ll save when you install via a disc.
Through this method, you’ll only need data for installing updates for your games.
And here’s an even better reason to go the physical disc route…
You’ll also get to save some money.
“Wait, aren’t digital and disc versions supposed to cost the same?”
Upon initial release, yes. Physical and digital copies of games are priced similarly.
However, within a matter of a few months…
Disc copies usually go down in price significantly. In contrast, digital game versions take a while before you can get one at a discount.
In addition, installing games via disc is just as easy as a digital download.
And if you’re not sure how to do it, just refer to the guide below.
How to install disc versions of Xbox games
Step #1: Press your console’s optical drive button to open it. And then place the disc there.
Step #2: Push the optical drive’s button again to close it. Then wait for the console to read the disc.
Step #3: When the game’s thumbnail appears on your home screen, highlight it. Then tap the controller’s X button.
Step #4: Select Install.
The installation process should then begin. And you’ll see a bar on the screen to track its progress.
It could take around 10 to 15 minutes to finish, depending on the game’s size. Just ensure that you don’t turn off your console. Otherwise, the game won’t install correctly.
Now, if you prefer a visual guide for installing games via disc, watch this video:
#3: Disabling automatic updates can lower your data usage
I did mention that installing updates also uses a lot of data.
And by default, every game and app on an Xbox is set to update automatically.
So how do you fix that?
Simple. Just disable the console’s auto-update feature.
How to prevent Xbox games from updating automatically
- Press the remote’s main Xbox button to pull up the Guide menu.
- Scroll down and select Profile & System.
- Select Settings.
- Choose System.
- Click Updates.
- Look for the Keep my games & apps up to date option.
- Uncheck the box beside it.
With the auto-update disabled, you’ll only know if a game needs updating when you launch it.
You’ll receive a notification. And it’ll be up to you to decide whether to download updates or not.
In addition, you can also check which games needs updating through the Guide menu.
How to find out if there are available updates for your installed games
- Open the Guide menu by pressing the Xbox button on the controller.
- Select My games & apps.
- Click See all.
- Choose Manages.
- Look for Updates and then click it.
You should then see a list of all the games with available updates. Again, the decision’s up to you if you’d like to download them immediately or at a later time.
#4: MMOs use more data than any other type of Xbox games
MMO stands for Massively Multi-player Online games.
It refers to games that involve many players competing simultaneously online. On average, an MMO game has around 4000 to 5000 participants.
Examples of popular MMO games on Xbox include:
- Destiny 2.
- Defiance 2050.
- Sea of Thieves.
- The Last Oasis.
- The Elder Scrolls Online.
And while these games are fun to play due to their competitive nature…
They also use up the most data among Xbox game genres.
MMOs average around 100 to 300MB per hour.
Other types such as Role-Playing Games (RPG) use about 30 to 100MB hourly.
So if you’re into MMO but you’d like to save data…
The best you can do’s limit your playing time.
Moreover, you can also opt to play more non-MMO games instead.
Here are some of the best-reviewed non-MMO titles on Xbox:
- Diablo 3.
- Stardew Valley.
- Dragon Age: Inquisition.
#5: Using the Voice Chat feature can double your hourly data usage
Voice Chat’s a function that allows you to talk with other players during the game.
It’s actually a great feature that can spice up the competition even more while playing.
However, enabling it will almost double your hourly data consumption.
For instance, when you play PUBG on Xbox with voice chat…
You’ll be using around 50MB of data on average.
With voice chat disabled, that number goes down to about 30MB. So you’ll be saving plenty of data when you switch this feature off.
How to disable voice chat on Xbox
Step #1: Press the controller’s Xbox button.
Step #2: Select your Profile and go to Settings.
Step #3: Select Privacy and Online Safety.
Step #4: Select Customize.
Step #4: Look for the option that says, “You can communicate outside of Xbox Live with voice & text.”
Step #5: Select Nobody.
#6: There’s an option on Xbox to see the amount of data you’ve used
While an Xbox console does consume a lot of data…
You can actually track its usage easily.
This console has a setting that allows you to check its hourly and daily data consumption.
Just follow these steps to view your Xbox’s data usage:
- Press your controller’s Xbox button.
- On the Guide menu, navigate to Settings and select it.
- Scroll down to Network and then click it.
- Select Network Settings.
- Choose Bandwidth Usage.
From there, you’ll see a detailed log of how much data you’ve already used. It’s broken down on an hourly basis.
And if you’re on a limited internet plan, it’s best to take advantage of this feature.
Check it regularly so you can easily keep track of the data that you’ve used.
#7: Streaming in 4K requires a massive data usage
Xbox consoles are a lot more than just gaming devices. You can also connect it to Roku and other TVs to watch videos.
So its massive data usage shouldn’t only be blamed on the games themselves.
In fact, you also use a great amount of data when you stream from Xbox apps like Netflix.
And truth be told, streaming typically requires even heavier data usage than playing. This is especially true if you’re watching videos in a 1080p or 4K resolution.
To clarify, 1080p movies or TV shows take up around 3GB of data per hour.
On the other hand, videos in 4K resolution consume approximately 15GB hourly.
As for Xbox games…
They rarely even reach 1GB of data consumption in a matter of an hour.
So if you’re goal’s to limit your overall data usage…
Select a lower resolution when watching. 480p or 720p should be more than enough.
Also, if you can, try to refrain from binge-watching. Not only will it help you save data, but it’s also a great way to avoid eye strain.
Why is Xbox using so much data?
Xbox is using so much data because its games’ file sizes are typically huge. So downloading and installing them require the use of a significant amount of data. In addition, it also takes heavy data usage to update games. And the same’s also true for streaming videos in 1080p or 4K resolution.
Does Xbox use more data than Playstation?
An Xbox uses the same amount of data as a Playstation. And it’s because the 2 consoles are very similar in functionalities. Both need a great amount of data for downloading games or streaming from apps. So there’s no advantage to using one over the other if you’d like to lower your data usage.