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Can you put the Xbox Series X on its side? In short, yes!

Can you put your Xbox Series X on its side?
Last Updated on November 22, 2023
The pc guide logo on a blue background, featuring the Xbox Series X on its side.
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Three years on from its release, Microsoft’s latest console is still landing in many new gaming setups – but can you put the Xbox Series X on its side? The unique fridge-like form of the Xbox Series X is larger than its streamlined digital-only sibling, the Xbox Series S, due to its physical disc drive. Game discs aren’t going away anytime soon, and many gamers will still want a disc-reading console in their set-up: however, this doesn’t mean these gamers are exempt from the classic ‘horizontal or vertical console’ debate.

While Microsoft has confirmed that laying the Xbox Series X flat on its side is indeed possible, there are a few factors to consider before opting for this orientation. So, this article will cover the pros and potential risks associated with laying your Xbox Series X on its side. Let’s get started!

Pros of laying the Xbox Series X on its side

It could be said that there are actually several advantages to laying the Xbox Series X on its side. One of these significant benefits is that it can help improve the cooling performance of the console. When placed horizontally, the vents on the side and top of the console are opened up, allowing for better airflow and potentially reducing the risk of overheating. This can be particularly beneficial during extended gaming sessions or for those in warmer environments.

Another advantage of laying the Xbox Series X on its side is that it can make it easier to access the ports located on the back of the console. When positioned vertically, these ports may be more challenging to reach, requiring extra effort to connect and disconnect cables. By laying the console flat, you can conveniently access the ports without any hassle. So, not only is it better for access to the back of the console, but it can also be better for cable management. To connect your Xbox Series X to your TV or monitor, you’ll need a quality Xbox HDMI cable, so cable management is always good to have in mind.

✓ Marla’s thoughts

Should you invest in an Xbox stand?

Like most consoles out there, you can get a third party stand for your Xbox Series X – but is it worth getting one? Well, technically the Xbox Series X does come with a circular stand to support it when standing vertically, so it’s not essential to get an Xbox stand for it. However, getting a more sturdy stand can add more stability to your console, and offers extra features that will enhance the aesthetic and convenience of your gaming set-up. This includes RGB lighting features, enhanced cooling solutions, and hooks and slots to store your headset and accessories.

Cons of laying the Xbox Series X on its side

While there are benefits to laying the Xbox Series X flat on its side, there are also some potential drawbacks to consider. One particular concern is about the stability of the console. When placed horizontally, the weight distribution changes, which may cause the console to tilt or slide off the surface it is placed on. To mitigate this risk, it is crucial to ensure that the console is positioned on a flat and stable surface, such as a table, TV stand, or another well-ventilated stable surface.

Another consideration is the aesthetics of the console. The Xbox Series X features a non-removable circular stand on its base, which might not look as visually appealing to some gamers when the console is laid on its side. Additionally, laying the Xbox Series X flat on its side may result in potential scratches on the console’s case if not done with consideration. However, careful placement that leaves enough ventilation space surrounding the console shouldn’t cause you any issues, as the Xbox Series X does support both horizontal and vertical orientations!

Where are the vents on the Xbox Series X console?

Your Xbox Series X can be placed both vertically and horizontally, but regardless of its orientation you still need to make sure that you’re not blocking the air vents. The Xbox Series X takes in air from the back and the bottom of the console and expels hot air from its top. Therefore, you’ll want to make sure there are at least 6 inches of space surrounding your Xbox to make sure it’s getting enough airflow and isn’t at risk of overheating.

In summary

Overall, the Xbox Series X can indeed be laid flat horizontally, providing gamers with the flexibility to customize their gaming setup according to their preferences and available space. Laying the console horizontally offers advantages such as improved cooling performance and easier access to ports. However, it is important to consider the potential drawbacks, including stability issues and the risk of scratching the console’s case. Like any expensive bit of tech, you have to look after your Xbox, making sure that it’s carefully placed no matter its orientation, to ensure a nice long life for your console.

Marla writes across a wide range of topics across PC Guide, including AI, PC hardware, and news on the latest tech releases. She's a passionate writer that's interested in the future of technology.