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Xbox Series X restock tips — how to buy a console at Amazon, Walmart, GameStop and more

Xbox Series X console next to window
(Image credit: Future)

Over the past few months chasing an Xbox Series X restock has become even harder than scoring a PS5 restock. While Sony’s console may dominate the headlines, Microsoft’s bulky black box seems to have all but disappeared from online shop shelves.

That’s why when a rare Xbox Series X restock does occur it’s more important than ever to take full advantage and score yourself a console. Of course, actually doing that is easier said than done. Purchasing an Xbox Series X remains a remarkably tricky task, thanks in large part to every major retailer using a slightly different system to allocate available stock. 

That’s where we can help. Below you’ll find expert buying advice on how to score an Xbox Series X restock at every major retailer, so the next time there’s a stock drop you’re prepared to secure your console.  

Xbox Series X restock at Microsoft

As you might expect Microsoft uses its own online retail arm to sell Xbox Series X consoles, although its restock process is a lot less defined than most other retailers on this list. When the retailer restocks the console it’s pretty much a free-for-all rush to get an order confirmation email before a sold-out sign appears. 

Microsoft was sending out invite links to purchase a console last month, similar to how Sony Direct runs its regular PS5 restocks, but there didn’t appear to be any concrete method in order to get an invite. As it stands the best way to score an Xbox Series X from Microsoft is to regularly check the site and hope you get a big old scoop of good fortune. 

Xbox Series X restock at Amazon

As the biggest retailer on the internet, Amazon is a natural place that many people turn to in the hopes of getting hold of an Xbox Series X. We'll assume that you have an account with your payment and shipping details saved — if not, get that sorted out as priority number one. Also, check that you're buying from Amazon and not a third-party reseller who may have jacked up the price.

Earlier this year we tested an Amazon wishlist trick that can make scoring a next-gen console during a restock much easier. It involves adding the Xbox Series X console to your wishlist when out of stock, then during a restock, adding the console to your cart from your wishlist rather than the product listing page. This often lets you bypass the mad scramble for stock and avoid glitches and server issues. 

Also, don’t be put off by Amazon claiming the console is out of stock minutes into a restock. It’s may seem to be a mad dash to get a console when a restock happens, but it’s often a marathon not a sprint. We’ve observed stock slowly filtering through over the course of 30-40 minutes, so keep trying to add it to your cart and don’t immediately give up hope. Persistence is key. 

Xbox Series X console

(Image credit: Phil Barker/Future Publishing via Getty Images)

Xbox Series X restock at Best Buy

We used to rank Best Buy as one of the best retailers to score an Xbox Series X, but that reputation took a series beating when the retailer started locking restocks behind its $200 a year Totaltech membership

Thankfully, not every console drop at Best Buy requires you to be a premium account holder, but it’s still an annoying paywall that you may need to navigate. While we do suggest signing up for a paid account at certain retailers, the value proposition of Totaltech isn’t strong enough for us to suggest you become a member. 

When Best Buy holds an open Xbox Series X restock, the usual rules apply: Make sure you’ve got an account setup with your shipping and payment details saved. It's also a good idea to try and buy the console through the retailer’s website rather than its app, which tends to experience crashes during restocks. 

During a restock stay on the Xbox Series X product page until you see the yellow 'add to cart' button, or grey 'please wait' button. If you see the latter, do not refresh the page. Be patient and wait for the button to change to 'add to cart'. If Best Buy says the console is sold out in your area, you may need to switch to a nearby location, so have an alternative address at the ready just in case. 

Best Buy, like other retailers, releases its Xbox Series X stock in waves, so hanging around and sinking some time into the purchasing process is likely to pay off as more stock drops, and the competition peters off as people lose patience. 

The retailer will also prompt you to enter a code that it can send out via email or text. Always choose text, so make sure that your phone number is linked to your Best Buy account. Text alerts are instant, and speed is of the essence. You don't want to lose the code in your spam folder!

Xbox Series X restock at Target

In May, Target announced a huge change to how it handles Xbox Series X restocks. No longer does the retailer wait to drop stock in batches as it does with PS5 restock, instead Xbox Series X consoles are available to buy as and when each individual store receives stock. 

This essentially means that Target no longer has nationwide stock drops on a fixed date and time. Instead, the console is available when each individual location receives fresh inventory. We’ve seen this new system come into effect over the last several months and it works pretty well. 

Unfortunately, it makes tracking restocks at Target nationwide almost impossible. In light of this, the best way to score a console at Target is to regularly check the stock levels at your local store, and hope that you get lucky and manage to score a console. 

xbox series x review

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Xbox Series X at Walmart

Earlier this year Walmart also placed its Xbox Series X restocks behind a membership paywall. While it does occasionally hold drops open to all, the majority of the retailer’s restocks are exclusively held for Walmart Plus members. 

Walmart Plus costs $98 a year (or $12.95 a month), and you get a fair amount for your money. Aside from priority access to console drops, you’ll also get unlimited free delivery, faster in-store shopping via Scan & Go, discounts on fuel and commonly prescribed medication, and early access to the retailer’s deals. If you’re a frequent Walmart shopper, that’s a lot of bang for your buck.

It’s important to note that only paid Walmart Plus members get access to console restocks. You cannot even attempt to score a machine if you’re using the 15-day free trial option, so ahead of a restock make sure you have a paid account otherwise you’ll be locked out of the drop.

Otherwise, the first thing to do is set up an account with payment details and shipping address. Walmart has an app, so download that, too. The retailer offers fairly slow shipment when it comes to its console order, and while the lead time can be anywhere up to four weeks, it often will be with you before then. So don't let the weeks-long wait put you off.

Xbox Series X at GameStop

GameStop is one of the easiest places to score an Xbox Series X from, and that’s because the gaming specialty retailer has a habit of putting its allocation of the console in pre-made bundles. 

This practice results in resellers largely avoiding buying the console at GameStop, as they don’t want to be stuck with the extras. So, if you don’t mind paying a little bit extra and receiving an Xbox Series X with some additional items like a second controller or some digital credits, then GameStop might be your best bet.

Another reason that GameStop drops tend to last longer is that they are exclusively reserved for PowerUp Reward Pro members. The good news is that Pro membership only costs $15 annually, which is significantly cheaper than Walmart Plus or Best Buy Totaltech. We’d say it’s a worthwhile investment, as membership gives you twelve whole months of chances to purchase a console during a restock. 

Rory is a staff writer at Tom’s Guide based in the UK. He covers a wide range of topics including tech news, deals, gaming, streaming and more. When he’s not writing hot takes on the latest gaming hardware and streaming shows, he can be found watching a borderline unhealthy amount of movies and being thoroughly disappointed by his terrible football team.