Digital Download vs. Disc Xbox One: Which Should You Buy? (Answered)

digital download vs disc xbox one

In the past, gamers would have to purchase the physical disc or cartridge for a video game in order to play it. In recent years, however, this trend has shifted towards digital downloads.

In this article we will explore some of the reasons gamers are choosing to purchase their games digitally and why others prefer discs.

So digital download vs. disc Xbox One: which is better? Find out.


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Reasons to buy digital Xbox One games

Digital downloads provide a lot of advantages over physical discs. These include:


It is significantly faster and easier to download a game than it is to drive to the store and buy a physical copy.

It is easier than ever to buy PC games online. This means that instead of driving to the store and buying a physical copy, gamers can just download their game of choice online. There are a lot of benefits to downloading a game over going into a store and buying one.

If you can’t find the game you’re looking for at your local store, it’s likely available on the internet.  There are a number of websites that specialize in selling games by mail order, and most of them offer a great selection at reasonable prices.


One of the most obvious, but often overlooked, benefits to acquiring digital games is the low cost. The prices for digital games tend to be much cheaper than those of physical copies, even when you factor in the cost of buying an Xbox One.

Digital download usually has no shipping costs, and you can start playing right away without waiting for the game to install.


You can update your digital games as soon as they are released, which you can’t do with physical discs, because they need to be shipped from the developer or publisher. This means that if there is a bug, the publisher can release an update to fix it easily.

You’ll never lose them

When you buy a disc, you can lose it and if it gets scratched or broken then you need to replace the game and get another copy. This can be damaging for your wallets and time.

With digital downloads, you never have to worry about these things because your games will always be saved in your library and can be accessed from anywhere as long as you have an internet connection.

You can play as soon as they launch

One good thing about some digital games is that you can sometimes start playing immediately or a few days after official release of the games.

Test before use

Digital downloads make it easier for you to try out new games without worrying about wasting money on something you may not enjoy.

No Shelf-life

Digital downloads do not have a shelf-life. With digital downloads, you don’t have to worry about your Xbox One disc scratching and getting really bad over time.

You get to enjoy cross-buy

Having a physical copy of a game is great. But if you want to play the same games on different consoles, having a digital download is the way to go.

Playing the same game on different consoles can be a hassle. It’s such a hassle that many people just buy the game again for the new console, which not only wastes money but wastes time as well.

If you want to play games on more than one console, digital downloads are your best option.

You can download Xbox One games anywhere you have an internet connection

If you have good internet connection, you can download your Xbox One games anywhere. If you have a good internet connection, downloading games is an easy way to continue playing them without having to swap discs or pay for extra downloads.

However, it’s important to remember that the digital versions of the game are not region-locked so if you’re traveling outside of your country, you may not be able to download any new games.

You have your games everywhere you go

Another great reason to go digital is that you’ll always have all of your games with you, no matter where you go. So you do not have to move around or travel with your disc.

The Xbox One console itself is region-free, however, some content and apps might not be available in all regions.

Disadvantages of digital Xbox One games

Now, let’s look at the disadvantages of digital Xbox One games.

Requires an internet connection

Digital games require an internet connection. If your game requires an internet connection, it may be problematic if you go somewhere with spotty coverage.

There are some issues that come with downloading games. For example, it may take a long time for the game to download, or gamers may need to download updates before starting their game.

Downloading large games, especially those with high graphics requirements, can also take up a lot of internet bandwidth or data usage.

Some updates take a really long time

Another disadvantage is that sometimes updates take a really long time. If you have a slow internet connection or if there is heavy traffic on your server then this becomes an issue.

Take up more storage space 

It is important to note that downloading your games will take up more storage space on your Xbox One. You will need a lot of free space for most games you download. This doesn’t include the updates and apps, but it does include any games you purchase digitally.

Reasons to buy disc Xbox One games

Here are reasons to buy Disc Xbox One games.

No internet connection required

Games on discs don’t require an internet connection to play and can be played right after installation. You don’t have to worry about internet speeds.

If your internet goes down there’s nothing stopping you from still playing your game. Again, buying discs may help to reduce the risk of having your account hacked or taken over by another person because you don’t need an internet connection to use them.

You can sell them back

Physical games can be sold back and traded in at places like Gameflip for money that can be used towards the purchase of new games on your Xbox One.

If you’re on a budget and can’t afford to buy many games at once, this is a great way to save money.    

No viruses and glitches

There’s a lot less chance of viruses and glitches when you’re using a disc as opposed to downloading it.

You can lend and borrow them

Another good thing about disc Xbox One games is that you can lend and borrow them. They are far more flexible than digital games. You can lend or borrow them out so that friends and family members can enjoy them.

Disadvantages of disc Xbox One games

May be difficult to sell

Another drawback with disc Xbox One games is that they may be difficult to sell once you are done with them.

Take up shelf space

Disc Xbox One games always take up more space on your shelf. They are bulky and require a lot of space to store. Digital download Xbox One games eliminate this problem by taking up absolutely no space on your shelf, or in your wallet for that matter!

Could be damaged if handled carelessly

Disc Xbox One games can get scratched and damaged and won’t work properly.


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So which should you buy?

As the development of technology advances, the trend is to replace physical items with digital ones. But there are still some people who prefer to buy physical discs than digital downloads. Digital download and disc Xbox One games have advantages and disadvantages. So which is better? It’s really up to personal preference.