With the cost of living going up internationally, it’s never been more important to budget gaming. We all deserve something to look forward to when we finish a day at work and all the chores that come with adult life. So, I’ve come up with a guide that should help anyone who wants to game on a budget. Even if you’re a child who has pocket money this should help you.
Clear the Clutter for Budget Gaming
If you don’t own physical video games, you can skip this step. Look at all the physical games you own. Get three large containers. One for games you will complete, another for games you have completed but want to keep, and the last container for games you want to sell. The focus here is to get rid of any games that you won’t play even if forced. If you have any games that have sentimental value then these can be kept, unless you can get that game digitally for less than you can sell the game.
If you no longer own the console that is needed to play the game but want to still play it look online for second hand consoles. Otherwise, it can be sold.
For me I love the Assassins Creed series, and I will play the whole series again at least once a year. But I don’t love every title, such as Assassins Creed 3. So, for me I would sell that title or give it away to charity.
Once you have separated the games into the three piles. Sell the games you’re not going to keep on eBay or Amazon. You will most likely getter better price than your local used game shop. It is more hassle selling it online, but the money you get back can be used to buy games that you will play.
Energy prices are shooting through the roof. Especially if you live in the UK. So when playing games it is important to take into account how much energy the console is consuming when playing video games. There are several ways to do this, however there are some great resources online that show the amount of energy the console is using. Like this report that shows that the energy consumption of newer consoles keeps increasing. This website also lists each games console and their wattage.
Even if you don’t pay for electricity, I.E. your living at home with parents. It is always worthwhile to consider using less energy as possible.
The above link shows that the slimmer versions of each console tend to consume the least energy. While the pro versions consume a lot more than the original versions. The Nintendo Switch consumes the least energy, but that console also comes with games with bigger price tags.
|Xbox Series X||45-220*|
|Xbox Series S||25-100|
|Xbox One X||65-180*|
|Xbox One S||35-90|
When ending a gaming session, make sure to turn the consoles completely off before unplugging them. Otherwise, you may run into corruption of the game files. Consoles will still try to consume electricity when plugged in and the more modern consoles have a standby mode that consumes more energy than the older generations. So, make sure to turn them completely off.
These figures don’t consider the monitor that you are using to play games on. The bigger and older the screen the more likely it will consume higher amounts of energy. So, if you can, play on a smaller newer screen.
Game Pass/ PlayStation Plus
If you’ve sold all the games, you don’t want to play. It may be tempting to put the money you made into buying Game Pass or PlayStation Plus. While in the long run it may be the most cost-effective way of playing games. If you still have games that you need to finish. Focus on them first.
Once you’ve completed them, then both services really benefit you as they are so cheap considering the amount of content you get. But it can be overwhelming. If you find yourself not finishing anything, then these services may not be for you.
The Gaming Habit
So here is the bulk of what you need to do when trying to save money. Make a spreadsheet in your favourite spreadsheet program. Listing the games that you currently have, along with their platforms as well as their average time to complete. Next add games to the list that you want to play. This will save indecision later when buying games.
Once you have completed the game start playing from the very top. If you play the game and start to lose interest move on to the next game. If again you lose interest go back to the first game and repeat this twice. If you still can’t complete either game, it will go in your selling pile and then you can move on to the next two games. Continue to do this until your backlog has been completed.
Once the backlog is completed get two containers one for selling and one for keeping. Go through each game and add it to either container. Again sell the one’s in the sell pile on eBay or other online marketplace.
With the money you have raised you can now start buying the games you want to play and recommencing the above process each time. Fingers crossed you won’t have spent any extra money on a new game.
Digital purchases is a mixed bag when it comes to budgeting. What I would recommend is if you are not using online on consoles. Remove your credit card or payment details from the service (This includes you Steam) That way it will take more effort to buy a new game. Unfortunately, even though the games tend to be cheaper. You can’t recoup the cost in any form as you can’t sell digital keys.
But if you work through your backlog, it should take you a long time before you run out of games. I currently own over 100 games on Steam and many more on the other platforms. So it will take me a long while before I run out of games to play.
It’s going to be a tough few years with the cost of living rising. So, follow the above process to get budget gaming. And hopefully when we come out the other side you can buy a new console or two. At the very least you shouldn’t be bored for a while.