How to increase PS4 and Xbox One download speeds

Squeeze the most out of your PS4 or Xbox One with this rundown on increasing download speeds for both consoles.

03 Dec 2018

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There’s nothing worse than getting excited for a game only to feel your enthusiasm slowly ebb away as you watch the snail-like pace of the progress bar.

What’s worse is that games are only getting bigger; the hotly-anticipated Red Dead Redemption 2 clocks in at a massive 105GB – the largest PS4 game to date by a hot mile.

On the Xbox One, the story is similar, and since games must be downloaded to be played, it can take an age to finally get to experience the product you’ve just spent money on. 

How to increase download speed on the PS4

An image of a PS4 controller in low lighting

There are several different routes you can take to speed up PS4 downloads. You can put your console in rest mode, close any background apps, free up bandwidth on your network, or switch to a wired connection.

But first, many users have found the solution is to simply pause downloads and resume them again. To do so:

  1. Scroll up to the top of the home screen.
  2. Go to [Notifications] and highlight the game you want to speed up.
  3. Hit X on your controller, wait a few seconds, then press X again.

How to close running apps on the PS4

Applications running in the background can slow download speeds. While one game will automatically close when you open another, you may need to take an extra step to close other applications properly:

  1. Press and hold the [PlayStation] button to open up the Quick Menu.
  2. Select [Options] > [Close applications].

How to put the PS4 into rest mode

If you can’t see a difference in download speed once you’ve closed all apps and games, try putting your PS4 into rest mode, as follows:

  1. First, check that your console will stay connected to the internet while in rest mode.
  2. Go to [Settings] > [Power Save Settings] > [Set features available in rest mode]
  3. Make sure the checkbox for [Stay connected to the internet] is checked.
  4. Set your game to download, like you would normally.
  5. Then, hold down the [PlayStation] button to bring up the Quick Menu.
  6. Select [Power] > [Enter Rest Mode].

Your game should continue to download in the background.

How to restart the Xbox One console

If you’re facing a meaty download, it may be worth getting your system ready by doing a system reboot:

  1. Hold down the [PlayStation] button to bring up the Quick Menu.
  2. Go to [Power] > [Restart PS4].
  3. Your console should reboot automatically.

How to set up a wired connection for the PS4

White ethernet cable on a white background

One of the most effective ways to speed up PS4 downloads is by using a wired connection. To do so:

  1. Plug in one end of an ethernet cable to your router, and the other end to the back of your console.
  2. Go to [Settings] > [Network] > [Set up internet connection] > [Use a LAN cable]
  3. Select [Easy], follow the on-screen instructions and the rest of the setup should be automatic.

How do I connect the PS4 to WiFi? 

If it’s not possible to have a wired connection to your PS4, it’s a simple process to connect your PS4 to WiFi instead:

  1. If your ethernet cable is plugged in, unplug it from your console.
  2. On your console, go to [Settings] > [Network] > [Set up internet connection] > [Use WiFi] > [Easy]
  3. Choose your wireless network from the list and enter your network password.
  4. If you can’t find your wireless network, you may need to select [Set up manually] and configure settings yourself.

If your system supports two WiFi frequency bands (typically 2.4GHz and 5GHz), you can choose which band you’d like to use during step 3 above – press the [Options] button to start and follow the on-screen prompts.

Another step to take if you’re going the WiFi route is to free up bandwidth to prioritise your PS4. When you want to download something on your PS4, make sure you’ve stopped any downloads or streaming happening on any other devices connected to your network.

How to increase download speed on Xbox One

An Xbox Elite controller in black

There are several avenues you can take to try to increase download speed on your Xbox One. But first, it’s worth checking to make sure your download speed is actually as slow as it feels. To check your download speed:

  1. Go to [My Games & Apps] > [Queue]
  2. Scroll over to the game you’re trying to install. It should have the download speed in brackets. Are you getting a speed that’s slower than the speed you’re paying your internet provider for?

To increase download speed, you may have to close any running apps, restart your console, restart the install, or double-check your network connection. Read on for how to do so.

How to close running apps on the Xbox One

If there are any apps running in the background, the Xbox One tends to slow down downloads. To close apps:

  1. On the [Home] screen, select your most recent game.
  2. Press the [Menu] button and select [Quit].

How to force restart the Xbox One console

Another way to ensure there aren’t any apps running in the background is to restart your console. To do so:

  1. Press the [Xbox] button, then [Select] > [Restart console] > [Yes].
  2. Go to [Home] > [My games & apps] > [Queue] and select the game you’re trying to download. If it says ‘Queued’ or ‘Paused’ instead of ‘Installing’, select the game, press the [Menu] button and select [Resume Installation].

Your download could’ve been taking a long time because the console itself was frozen. If so, you can restart the console by pressing and holding the [Xbox] button for 10 seconds until the console turns off. Wait a couple more seconds and press the [Xbox] button to turn on the console again. Then, follow step 2 above.

How to restart game installation on the Xbox One

If restarting your console didn’t affect your download speed, you may need to reinstall the game or app itself. To do so:

  1. Go to [Home] > [My games & apps] > [Queue] > select the game you’re trying to download.
  2. Press the [Menu] button and select [Cancel].
  3. Reinstall the game by inserting the disc or downloading it from the Microsoft Store.

How to check network connection on the Xbox One

If none of the above approaches have worked, you may need to check whether the console is receiving your internet connection properly. You’ll need to run a network speed test:

  1. Go to [Home] > [My games & apps] > [Queue].
  2. For every game that’s currently downloading or queued to be downloaded, click [Pause installation].
  3. Close any games that are running on your system.
  4. Press the [Xbox] button and select [System] > [Settings] > [Network] > [Network settings] > [Detailed network statistics].

Find the details of your internet service provider (ISP) so you can compare the download speed they give you to the download speed displayed on your Xbox One console. If the numbers are significantly lower for your console, it may indicate a problem with your connection.

If so, you may need to pause other download activity your home network when you’re downloading games or apps for your Xbox One. It may also simply be a question of timing – your ISP might be limiting your connection at specific times of the day. If that’s the case, try changing up the time you attempt downloads.

Another approach could be to enable Quality of Service (QoS) on your router. QoS allows you to manage your bandwidth so you can give your Xbox One priority over other devices that might be connected to your network. Enabling QoS can be a complicated process and it varies between router models.

How to set up a wired connection for the Xbox One

Yellow ethernet cable on a blue backgroud

Another potential reason your download speeds are slow is because your console is connected to your home network wirelessly. Some users find that changing to a wired connection can help increase download speeds as well as improve stability. To do so:

  1. Plug in one end of an ethernet cable to your router, and the other end to the back of your console.
  2. The console will automatically attempt to connect to Xbox Live.

How do I connect the Xbox One to WiFi?

While switching to a wired connection can help Xbox One download speeds, it’s not always possible to do so. If you’re too far away for a wired connection, you can connect your Xbox One to WiFi instead. Here’s how to do it:

  1. If your ethernet cable is plugged in, unplug it from your console.
  2. On your console, go to [Settings] > [Network] > [Network settings] > [Set up wireless network]
  3. Choose your wireless network from the list and enter your network password.
  4. You should receive an on-screen message saying “Everything is good”. If you don’t, you may need to double check your login details.
  5. Click [Continue] to finish the set-up process. You should now be connected to Xbox Live.

What is the best router for gaming?

Of course, whether you’re playing on WiFi or have switched to a wired connection, your download speeds will still be at the mercy of your router’s capabilities. A nifty trick to make sure you always have the best gaming experience is by using a high-quality gaming router.

Gaming routers give gaming top priority, with Quality of Service (QoS) settings and other features that prioritise gaming traffic and channel bandwidth your way before allocating it to any other devices connected to the network.

So, what’s the best router for gaming? The short answers is, it depends. Gaming routers are available either stripped back or packed with features, easy-to-use or needing a little extra tinkering, super-fast or just fast enough, multi-user capable or with single ports, and encompassing a wide price spectrum. Think about the way you game, the types of games you play and how the rest of your household might use the router before making a decision.

Want to know more about the PS4 or Xbox One consoles generally? Get the answers you’re searching for in our consoles FAQ.

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