Many people love their gaming and some even play games for a living not to mention the thousands if not millions of bloggers and people who work from a home office. Therefore being unable to play your PS4 or other games when there’s a power outage can be frustrating. So, Can a portable generator run a PS4 or Computer?
The short answer is yes, if the generator puts out enough power to support the computer and any attached hardware. However, not every generator is suitable for this purpose. Some do not produce a smooth power output which can damage sensitive computer equipment.
Let’s take a look at which generators are best to run a PS4 or Computer in the unlucky event of a power outage.
Why might a generator be unsuitable for running a computer?
Computers, smart TVs, tablets and any other smart device rely on the advanced electronics within them to operate. They don’t just need to be protected from power surges. They can be damaged by variations in the power supply of just a few percent.
While these power variations accelerate wear and tear in a blender or vacuum cleaner, it can destroy your personal computer or tablet.
There are several possible solutions. One is keeping your average generator but putting an inverter between it and your computer. Ensure that it has good fuses and other protective mechanisms.
Another is purchasing a generator capable of producing “clean” power. Clean power is defined by having less than six percent total harmonic deviation, though the best portable generators have less than 3 percent THD.
You can find generators that put out this “clean electricity”, regardless of its environmental impact. These generators typically use an inverter built into the generator to balance out the alternating current variations. And the inverter can serve as a backup power source for at least a few minutes, as you shut down the computer properly once the generator runs out of fuel.
What should you look for in a generator for running a gaming console?
The generator must be able to put out enough power to support the computer and peripherals like routers, computer screens or printers. It must have clean power, unless you correct for this with a separate inverter.
The best generators are also literally clean and safe. For example, they don’t generate a lot of noise or smoke. After all, you don’t want to be unable to watch a movie or hear the gameplay because of the engine noise outside your window.
What are the best portable generators for running a PS4 or a computer?
We recognize that not everyone has the same requirements. That’s why we’re recommending two different generators for running your devices when the power is out.
The first is the Wen 56203i
- Ultralight body weighs in at a mere 39 pounds for easy transport and storage
- Extremely quiet operation comparable to the sound of a normal conversation according to the US Department of...
- Produces 2000 surge watts and 1700 rated watts of clean power for safe charging of sensitive electronics...
- Fuel shutoff maximizes the generator’s lifespan by using up the remaining fuel in the carburetor before...
- Includes two three-prong 120V receptacles, one 12V DC receptacle, two 5V USB ports, and a two-year warranty
Last update on 2021-04-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
This is an inverter generator that will run your PS4 and TV, though it may not run anything else. It puts out 1700 watts of clean power, and it can provide 2000 watts of surge power. You need that to turn on the computer or TV, just as you would if you were starting a window air conditioner or small refrigerator.
One reason why we recommend it is because it is CARB compliant. You can use it in areas where strict environmental rules ban other generators, whether you live in California or not. Another point in its favor is the relatively quiet motor.
You’re not going to violate noise ordinances running this, whether you live in a suburban neighborhood or the kids want to play video games after a long day hiking in the woods. However, the noise level does increase with the load you put on it.
The unit is lightweight for a generator. It comes in a just under forty pounds. And it has a built-in carrying handle.
This generator is unusual for having two 5 volt USB ports in addition to two standard 3 prong 120-Volt power plugs. (Its single 12 volt DC receptacle is standard for small generators like this.) That means you can plug your laptop, tablet or smartphone into it to recharge via the USB port if you don’t have a conventional power plug for them.
And you could charge a smartphone while playing on your laptop, though you need to be aware of the power draw.
It automatically shuts off as fuel runs low. This reduces the risk of surges, something that can happen as a generator sputters and dies.
One downside of this model is that it needs external grounding. Unfortunately, the grounding rod and wire are not always included with the generator.
The second is the Goal Zero Model Yeti 400 Portable Power Station
This power station by Goal Zero is an alternative to a generator. It has power plugs for 12 volt DC, standard AC plugs and USB ports. It is built around a 400 Watt-Hour lead acid battery. It can charge up to 700 devices, assuming you’re dealing with 30 amp-hour power to half a dozen 12 volt devices.
- 396Wh lead acid battery portable power station can power up to 7 devices at once (33Ah @ 12V)
- Continuous 300W, 600W surge pure-sine wave inverter, 2.1A USB ports, 120W 12V ports
- Charge phones, tablets, laptops, cameras, and most small devices. Backup power for small appliances, lights,...
- Recharges from AC, 12V or solar panels (sold separately). Gas-free generator alternative with no noise, no...
- Chainable with other 33Ah lead acid batteries for longer runtimes
Last update on 2021-03-31 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
One point in its favor is that it is going to deliver smooth, clean power to any device. It puts out less power than the generator above. But because it is a massive battery, it won’t generate smoke or other pollutants as it delivers that power.
This means you could put it in the corner of your room or set it up in your tent to deliver power. More importantly, it is quiet. You can play games on a PS4 or work on a laptop, and the power source for your devices won’t keep others awake.
This device is perfect for charging cameras, laptop computers, tablets and smartphones. The only requirement is charging unit it in advance. That makes the Goal Zero power station the best choice for campers and RVers. Plug it into the wall to charge it before you go on your trip.
More importantly, it can charge from 12 volt sources like your house batteries or solar panels. Note that those are sold separately.
You can connect this power station to others of the same model to provide more power, whether you need more voltage or want to draw from the power source longer. This system is better than standard lead-acid battery arrays, because it is maintenance-free. Nor do you have to worry about refilling the gas tank.
Assuming the Yeti 400 is fully charged, it could recharge 30 smartphones or three to five laptops. It could recharge your GoPro, digital camera, or headlamp, too.
The only downside is that like other large batteries, the Yeti’s ability to store a charge itself declines. If it is heavily used, it will slowly lose the ability to hold a charge. Then you can only recharge a few devices on your trip, until it no longer charges at all.
You’ll know this is happening when it will not fully charge despite being plugged into a wall outlet for several hours or it drops to 60 percent power as soon as you connect a device to it.
Conclusion: Can a portable generator run a PS4 or Computer?
As you can see you can safely run a PS4, Game station or PC from a portable power generator but some are more suited than others. More importantly, some are safer for your expensive equipment and won’t put them at risk from using them in a power outage situation.
Many hardcore gamers and bloggers will not let anything stand in their way of making content and working from home, not even a power outage.
If you need a bigger generator to run, let’s say a fridge or home appliances then you may be better with a bigger Gasoline portable generator. Click here to see our top 10 recommended Portable Generators.
We hope we answered the question: Can a portable generator run a PS4 or Computer? If, not please let us know.