Playing games online can be a great way to pass time. They are fun, exciting, and can add a bit of adventure to your everyday life. But most of these games require a reliable internet connection to work well. When most people launch a game on their phone or console they just want to relax. Nobody wants to worry about things like the Charter internet prices, upload and download speeds, or latency. However, these things can make a lot of difference in the gameplay and your experience and are Need for Online Gaming.
Whether you are a casual gamer or a professional one. You need to know the right internet speed requirements and some basics about how internet speed works. This blog touches on important terms you need to know and the minimum speed requirements for playing games online.
How Does Internet Speed Affect Gaming?
Many gamers will claim that internet speed is directly proportional to their gaming performance. It can be especially true if you like to play FPS or strategy games. Muscle memory and reaction time can be important but if your internet is lagging, even they can’t help you. Speed isn’t the only thing that matters as latency and bandwidth are also critical.
Internet speed is usually measured in Mbps. So, the higher the MBs, the faster users can download and upload data. So, higher-speed internet is necessary when you are performing high-bandwidth actions like gaming or video streaming. Moreover, as the number of users increases, the bandwidth requirement also increases.
What Is Download and Upload Speed?
When most people talk about internet speed, they are usually referring to the download speed. As the name suggests, download speed means how quickly you can download data on your computer. So, it is a measure of the speed with which your computer pulls data from external servers. You are likely to spend more time on the internet downloading things. That is why download speeds are usually higher than upload speeds and most important for an optimum gaming experience.
Upload speed is quite the opposite and it measures the speed with which you can send data to external servers. Internet packages usually come with lower upload speeds because most people don’t send a lot of data from their computers. However, a lower upload speed can affect gaming quality if many users are connected to the same network.
Latency/Ping: The Real Trouble Maker
Most people don’t know this but your internet’s ping is as important as the speed and bandwidth. Some gamers might even say that it is more important for FPS games. It is a measure of a host server’s ability to send messages to an external server and receive a signal back. In other words, lower latency means that you can perform tasks a lot quicker. There is practically no lag between your action and the game’s reaction.
A high ping means that your computer is unable to send and receive data. And even if you have a high Mbps speed, it is practically useless. As a result, your game will lag or hang back from real-time which isn’t fun at all.
Minimum Speed Requirements for Online Gaming
Now you might have a better understanding of the requirements of online gaming. Speed, bandwidth, and ping are all critical to making your gaming experience better. However, many games and gaming platforms can have some minimum speed requirements. While these programs can run on the minimum speed cap, it is advised to get a faster connection for a smoother experience.
Here are the minimum speed requirements based on the gaming platform that you are using.
|Gaming Platform||Min. Upload Speed||Min. Download Speed||Max. Latency|
|PlayStation||2 Mbps||2 Mbps||N/A|
|Nintendo Switch||1 Mbps||3 Mbps||N/A|
|Xbox||0.5 Mbps||3 Mbps||150 ms|
Other Factors that Affect Online Gaming
Other than the ones mentioned above, there can be some other factors that may ruin your online gaming experience. Here are some of them:
#1: Wireless Connections
Using a wired ethernet connection might be the best thing for your internet speed. Wireless connections might be the most convenient option. But they are not the most reliable ones. They can be patchy, inconsistent, and may have many interferences in between. Whereas, a wired connection can be faster and much more reliable. As the connection is direct, there is minimal interference from other devices or solid objects like walls and ceilings.
#2: Type of Internet Connection
Some ISPs can offer multiple types of internet technologies like cable, optic fiber, satellite, and DSL. So, it can be a good option to research your internet connection technology before you choose it for online gaming. Some connections can have low latency/ping, while others are inherently slower. For example, a satellite connection will almost always have more latency than cable internet. However, optic fiber/FiOS can be the fastest.
#3: Outdated Firmware
Your internet speed can also rely greatly on updated router settings, firmware, and drivers. Outdated drivers can not only slow things down but also make your connection unsafe. Most internet companies can replace your old router with a new one. It is also better to make sure that you install any and all updates on your router. ISPs regularly send out these updates for router firmware to keep the technology secure and fresh.
#4: Number of Users
The bandwidth of your internet connection should be enough to handle all the traffic coming its way. A large number of users on the same network could stretch out the bandwidth too thin. So, instead of dividing it up between more users, you should consider your needs. Upgrade your package speed, bandwidth, and data cap to improve your gaming experience.
#5: Wifi Bands and Router Model
Many companies have specialized routers for gamers. These have a much better signal capture and can reduce your network’s ping. If your router is old, it won’t be able to send and receive signals quickly, thus reducing speed and increasing connection latency.
Moreover, the frequency of your internet connection can also be very important. Most Wifi routers are either 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz. 5 GHz Wifi bands are a lot more reliable than all others.
#6: Router Settings
Router settings can be a great way to improve your gaming experience. Many routers have a Quality of Service (QoS) setting that allows you to prioritize one network traffic type over another. So, if your QoS prefers streaming traffic over gaming, it could be the reason behind a subpar experience. You can change these settings any time from your router’s admin panel.
#7: Router Placement
One of the least technical but most important things to consider is the router placement if you are using wifi. Where you place your router in your home is crucial for receiving better signal strength and in turn, a faster connection. It is best to place your router in a central location of the house and as close to your gaming setup as possible.
A reliable internet connection for gaming should have consistent speed, bandwidth, and low ping. The recommended minimum speeds from different gaming platforms still may not be enough. Knowing the different metrics of internet speed can help you in finding the right one for you.