Gamers are cutting back on new purchases and playing later at night to avoid peak electricity costs amid the cost of living crisis.
A study of more than 2,000 UK gamers by TalkTalk found that more than three-quarters (78%) said they had modified their behaviour to help save money.
The research found that more than half of those asked (52%) said they were sharing new gaming purchases with friends and 62% said they were not buying new games at all – instead focusing on secondhand purchases or freebies.
The cost of energy was named as a key concern, with 68% switching off devices rather than leaving them on standby and 78% saying they were playing later into the night to avoid peak electricity costs.
Meanwhile, almost two-thirds (63%) have cut back on buying new clothes and shoes in order to keep gaming.
Players see video games as a key part of their social lives, with 41% saying it was their main form of socialising.
A survey of 2,000 gamers in August found that almost one in 10 were looking to stop playing to avoid rising rates.
Thousands sign up for energy bill trial
It comes as more than 300,000 households signed up to an energy bill trial in a bid to save money and reduce the risk of blackouts this winter.
Octopus Energy said that 320,000 of its customers had decided to sign up for the scheme, which is backed by the National Grid.
Participants will be paid if they reduce their energy on some days during peak hours and it is hoped this will take the stress off the electricity grid at a time when supply is expected to be tight this winter.
Jonathan Kini, managing director of TalkTalk, said: “This research demonstrates the impact of the rising cost of living on the gaming community.”