I have become obsessed with the blandest feature of the Xbox Series S.
After picking up the console at a bargain price, I did what many new Xbox owners would: subscribe to Xbox Game Pass and download an exorbitant amount of games that far exceeded the number I could reasonably commit to. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, Doom Eternal, Sniper Elite 5, even Fable and a bunch of other 360-era classics. I downloaded them all, before happily dashing between them – without caring how large my backlog of half-completed games became.
But that’s just it – I dashed between them. Not switched, not swapped, not waited an arduously long time to load each one. With the Xbox Series S’ Quick Resume function, I was zipping between them at the pace Lee Van Cleef could unload a six-shooter – a matter of seconds.
Hardly the sexiest feature of the console, and one that even appeared in a pared-down form in the Xbox One, Quick Resume has fast become the standout quality-of-life ingredient of the Xbox Series X|S. Through the feature, you can automatically save up to three games in a suspended state, letting you jump back into them exactly where you left off. No need to sit through their loading screens or navigate their main menus – booting up a suspended game will return you straight to the action, almost immediately.
It sounds rather banal, but has solved one of the most boring aspects of console gaming. Loading screens might occasionally offer gameplay tips or present interesting concept art to gawk at, but they aren’t half a mood killer.
When I played Mass Effect 2 on PS3 nearly 10 years ago, the initial loading screen was so long that I read nearly every anthology of Gary Larson’s Far Side comic across my completionist playthrough. While the crew of the Normandy was worrying about the hidden motivations of the Illusive Man, I was still thinking about anthropomorphic cows and surrealist single-panel wordplay.
But Quick Resume hasn’t only brought my gaming library within easy reach, it’s changed how I interact with it. I’ve found myself more likely to hop into a quick round of Fall Guys to cap off a gaming session, knowing that I won’t have to wait half as long for the game to load as I’ll spend tumbling through an assault course. Now, I hardly have enough time to read my WhatsApp messages before the game loads, let alone think up what new costume I’ll make my bean wear.
I haven’t quite reached the zenith of quickfire video game loading just yet. As one investigative Xbox player discovered earlier this year, you can remap the Xbox controller’s share button to open several games of your choosing. Remap it to open those games you’ve suspended with Quick Resume, and you’ll have an effortless way of instantly swapping between your go-to games, all at the tip of your thumb. Truly, gaming hardware has ascended.