Hot and video games: how to keep temperatures at bay

As in the best summer news, tips on how to withstand the summer heat while you play: here’s how to lower the temperature of PC, PS5, Xbox and Nintendo Switch.

Do you know those news programs that mark the beginning of summer by broadcasting the classic service with the elderly sitting around the fountain? Today we too will do something similar but … hey, stop, what are you doing? Don’t close the video, no, wait a moment (with excitement). Here, where was I, ah yes (softly, muttering as if recovering some notes): today we too are here to dispense some advice on how to withstand the great summer heat: but not for you, for your consoles and your gaming PC.

So it’s okay to eat lots of fruit, drink lots of water, go to the supermarket and not go out during the hottest hours. But don’t forget to take these precautions so as not to harm your trusted playmates.

Performance Issues

Don’t forget the heatsink on the CPU!

Making your gaming device overheat, be it PC, PS5, Xbox, Switch or Steam Deck, is not a problem just because it raises the temperature of the environment in which you play. Too high temperatures lead to performance issuesranging from system crashes and throttling phenomena, or the reduction of the operating frequencies of the processors, up to permanent damage to the hardware.

Of course, some machines, such as the aforementioned Nintendo and Valve portable consoles, have safety mechanisms that lead them to shut down when the situation gets too hot, so much so that the manufacturers themselves have reminded us in recent days, warning us to do not play if the temperature is above 35 degrees.

At the same time, however, exposing electronic devices to extreme temperatures, especially if battery-powered, is never a good idea and, even if the engineers have thought of various ways to safeguard the health of the internal components, it is good that we players too we do our part not to run into unpleasant inconveniences and irreparable breakdowns.

Correct positioning

Never stack consoles: NEVER

Never stack consoles: NEVER

One of the most obvious tips for keeping temperatures at bay is to keep your consoles and PC in correct position. We are not only talking about avoiding obstructing the air vents with disc cases, books, shelves or other objects, but also having a clear idea of ​​the place where we are going to house our devices. For example: does the cabinet where we put our PS5 have enough space on the back and sides to ensure proper air circulation? Are we sure our PC is fine there, so close to a window that it places it directly in the sunlight as we play games?

It is clear that the answer is no and if it is not possible to find another position for it then at least we should think about lowering the shutter to reduce the exposure. Also avoid keeping multiple consoles or devices close to each other, as they will inevitably end up exchanging heat amicably.

Another mistake that you can easily come across out of carelessness, then, is to leave a portable console in the car without any cover: when we return to get it it will probably be hot and it may not be the case to start playing immediately. But remember that it is also and above all risky for the health of the internal battery.

For heaven’s sake, then! Do not rest your laptop on the sofa or bed – placing it on soft surfaces is the best way to block any possible ventilation areas. Attention to positioning also applies to any external power supply, which just like the device it sends energy to, needs the right space to avoid overheating.

Avoid the hot hours

Don't forget Nintendo Switch in the car!

Don’t forget Nintendo Switch in the car!

Avoid playing during the hottest hours of the day. “You make it easy, you say: before you told me not to go out, now I can’t even play?” You are not all wrong. On the other hand, however, turning on any electronic device during the day increases the temperatures, forces you to increase the power of the air conditioning system, if you have one, and risks making you sweat like the protagonists of certain deodorant advertisements. In short, in addition to lowering the blinds, try to play mainly in the evening; maybe you read a book during those hours, or watch a TV series or movie on television or a mobile device, which certainly generates less heat. But woe to it while you keep it in charge!

In fact, using a device while it is charging not only reduces the life of the battery, but also increases its temperature. And if this is true for smartphones and tablets, it is even more so with consoles like Switch and Steam Deck.

Order and cleanliness

Now clean everything up, come on!

Now clean everything up, come on!

It is useless for you to look down on your desk as during the History interrogation: we know well that you have not cleaned behind your console since November 2020! But you really should do it. There dust it is in fact one of the main causes of an incorrect functioning of the console and PC cooling system: therefore arm yourself with dust-catching cloths and clean everything pretty well.

No, you cannot use your Japanese vacuum cleaner for the fans: its power may be excessive and damage internal components. Also remember not to underestimate the cable managementboth inside the PC and in the workstation in general: in addition to making the whole area appear more tidy, it is an excellent way to optimize air flows and facilitate cleaning operations.

For the PC, remember that the management of the PC is also part of its correct maintenance thermal paste: if you have bought or assembled it for a long time, or if you notice that temperatures rise too much even in normal use, it may make sense to try to change it. However, if you do not know how to do it or have little manual skills, do not do it yourself: rely on someone who knows how to replace it without causing damage.

Buy a fan

Did we mention not to stack devices on top of each other?

Did we mention not to stack devices on top of each other?

If the temperature in your home is hell there is nothing to do: to play quietly you need something to help lower it. Whether it’s a fan or an air conditioning system, it all makes up for a broth when it comes to keeping a console from overheating. If you have a laptop, then, a cooler pad it can support the integrated cooling system very well.

Take breaks

Take breaks, even with the Steam Deck

Take breaks, even with the Steam Deck

It is also a good idea when it is cold, but in these hot days the advice of take breaks frequent is more valid than ever. Not only will you avoid eye strain and you can stretch your legs, but you will also give the console respite, allowing it to return to more adequate operating temperatures.

Energy saving

Put the consoles in energy saving

Put the consoles in energy saving

Speaking of breaks, many consoles have energy saving options designed to reduce the operating consumption of the machine, even when you are not using it. On Xbox and PlayStation, for example, sleep mode is great for getting back to playing quickly without wasting time on startup, but it consumes and, of course, produces heat. During the summer, therefore, consider activating energy saving, so as to completely turn off the consoles when you are not using them: you will help lower temperatures and consumption, also doing the environment a favor.

And you were already following these indications? Or do you have other “tricks” to fight the heat? Tell us yours in the comments and don’t forget to follow Multiplayer.it on all its channels.