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Is it safe (or smart) to stand your Xbox up vertically?

Is it safe (or smart) to stand your Xbox up vertically?

Is it always safe to stand up an Xbox One console?

It's a common question: Is it really safe to stand your Xbox One vertically? Consoles are generally a rectangular slab, most often designed to sit horizontally for whatever reason. Perhaps it's because disc trays are easier to design when they're flat. After all, there's no need for additional engineering to make discs safe to use on a vertical angle. If you use your original Xbox One in a vertical position, it can cause some serious problems. But is that always the case?

No way, no how.

If you want to use a vertical console to save space or otherwise, here are a few scenarios when you can safely stand your Xbox up.

Is it safe to stand up an Xbox One (2013 model)?

The original Xbox One is not designed to be placed vertically in any scenario, according to Microsoft. It doesn't have the appropriate weight distribution to maintain stability when on its side, and it has ventilation requirements on both of its sides. If you place it vertically, you're not only going to block some crucial airflow, but the discs will come loose while in the console and potentially break your entire Xbox. (And, yes, I've seen this happen.)

But is there zero hope if you want to place the OG Xbox One up on its side? In theory, as long as you somehow keep the ventilation underneath clear, you could use your original Xbox One vertically as long as you play your games digitally rather than using discs. You'd have to be really careful to keep it steady, though, because it's not designed to have any balance on its side. We simply don't recommend it.

Is it safe to stand up an Xbox One S?

Xbox One S

Xbox One S (Image credit: Microsoft)

The Xbox One S is an entirely different story.

This is a console that was designed from the ground up to be placed in a vertical position, whether you're using it digitally or with discs. The only downside is that you need to buy a vertical stand that comes separately from the console. The stand is just a piece of plastic designed to give the lower side a larger footprint. Microsoft sells its own stand for around $15 (opens in new tab), but you can buy cheaper ones (opens in new tab) from third-parties that work just as well.

Beyond the vertical stand, you can also pick up an Xbox One S wall mount kit for around $30 (opens in new tab) from companies like HideIt. This allows you to actually attach your Xbox One S to the wall while leaving plenty of space for ventilation. If you want to keep your play area as tidy as possible, this could be a great option if you're willing to do some drilling. Executive Editor Daniel Rubino reviewed a HideIt wall mount in the past and found it to be remarkable.

Is it safe to stand up an Xbox One X?

Microsoft's Xbox One X is also designed for vertical play. Despite the fact Microsoft said that the limited edition stands that came with the Project Scorpio edition would be sold separately, they never seemed to materialize. Thankfully, third-party companies have stepped in to fill the void.

I'm using a cheap basic stand like this one from Younik (opens in new tab), and haven't had any issues whatsoever.

Jez Corden
Jez Corden

Jez Corden is a Senior Editor for Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by caffeine. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his Xbox Two podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!