If you are a gamer, you already know that your gaming experience depends on your internet speed. There is so much contention regarding the optimum speed required for gaming. While gaming, if you experience lag, no matter how good a gamer you are, a lag can prevent you from making it to the top.
Internet speed is important for gaming. It is important to learn how much speed you actually require for gaming. The faster the internet, the better the gaming experience. However, you surely don’t want to overpay just to get enough speed for gaming.
But what internet speed is ideal for gaming? To help you out with this answer, we have compiled this article. We will take you through what internet speed is the best for gaming and why you really need it.
Even though the perfect internet speed depends on the gaming console you use, most gaming console manufacturers recommend an average speed of 3-5 Mbps. This number is only for a person and doesn’t take other people and their activities into account. If you are using the internet with other people, you need to have more speed available. You might need more speed if you are updating or downloading a game.
If you are sharing the connection with just one more person and there are not many devices sharing the same bandwidth, getting a plan of 25-30 Mbps should suffice. But if you have a bigger family, you will need more bandwidth.
Upload speed is how quickly information is being transferred from your network to the external network. So, it is the time taken to send data to receivers.
So, when you are sending an attachment in an email, it is called uploading.
A good upload speed is about 5 Mbps for a single individual and you can add 0.5Mbps for every additional individual in the house. But if you are playing games, make sure you have 10 Mbps upload speed and add 1-2 Mbps for each additional individual in the household.
As you play games, you constantly send data over the internet to your opponent. Higher speed ensures that data is going smoothly and reaches its destination without any hassle. Even though gaming companies recommend 1 Mbps speed, adding 1 Mbps per person is necessary as the internet is hardly ever completely stable. The higher internet upload speed ensures you don’t experience any lag if the internet slows down a little.
Download speed, on the other hand, refers to how quickly the router receives data from an external source. It plays a significant role and is used heavily while gaming. This causes many people to believe that the internet is either slow or fast. No matter what you do over the internet, stream videos or listen to music, all require good download speed.
The Federal Communications Commission recommends at least 25 Mbps gaming speed. But it also depends on the number of people using the internet.
Ping is the signal you are sending out to the gaming server. So, if you are pressing a button to move forward, a good ping means that the characters will move immediately after you press the button. But a bad ping will lead to a delay in the movement.
The lower the ping number, the better the gaming experience. But some games don’t require as high ping as others. For instance, to play Hearthstone, you don’t need an impressive ping rate but games, such as Valorant require good ping to make sure it is playable.
A good ping rate is 15-45 ms. However, a ping rate up to 100 ms is still acceptable. If the ping rate is too high while you are playing a game, the game might reject your connection.
Often, the words ‘ping’ and ‘latency’ are used interchangeably. But they are not the same. Latency is the time taken by the data to travel from the device to the server. Your internet connection decides the level of latency. Lower latency is best for gaming.
If the latency is higher than 100ms, you will experience a considerable lag in the gameplay. So, you will have a poor gaming experience.
Even though latency and ping rate are measured in the same way, monitor them both to ensure that you have the best time playing the games.
You should also be aware of the data cap when you are playing an online game. it is the limit placed on the amount of data you can transfer over the internet within a given period. So, if you have a monthly data cap of 150 Mbps and you go over this limit, your internet service provider will throttle your connection.
You need to have a faster and more reliable service to download and play games. Thus, you should get a connection that will give you a minimum speed of 100 Mbps without any data caps.
Bandwidth throttling is a practice where the internet service providers reduce your connection speed when they go over the monthly data cap. It is a common practice. When this happens, the bandwidth speed drops below the minimum requirements for online gaming. Thus, you will have a poor gaming experience.
Here are the minimum speed requirements for every game you play online.
1. First Person Shooters
These games are played from the perspective of the primary character. You find the character carrying the weapon, at the bottom of the screen. FPS games, such as Counter Strike: Global Offensive require faster ping rates so that the players can keep up with the real-time action.
2. Role-Playing Games
Role-playing games are the ones where you see the fictional character complete the game for you. The game is usually set in a fantasy world and has stats and levels that improve as you progress in the game. It is the quest, which drives the storyline in the video game.
3. Real-Time Strategy Games
As the name suggests, these are time-based games. These games provide resources to the players to defend their base and fight their opponents having the same goals. Even though these games can also be played on PC, a gaming console, such as Xbox 360 will help in improving ping rates and slow internet speed.
4. Massive Multiplayer Online Games
Massive multiplayer online games are set in a fictional world where several people like you are playing the same game. But in this case, your goal is not just to complete the game. You have to build character experiences, resources, and skills. Since you will be communicating throughout the game, you will need more bandwidth.
But remember, the recommended internet is the minimum requirement and is based on a single player. If your household has multiple internet users, you will need a higher speed.
A fiber connection is the best for playing online games. Close to this is the cable internet connection. Some 5G networks offer stable connections with low latency.
Let’s take a look at the different connection types and their download speed in the table below.
Every gaming device has its own speed requirement. Let’s check out the minimum speed requirements for each.
Upload Speed: 1 Mbps
Download Speed: 3 Mbs
Ping Rate: 150 ms or less
2. Xbox One
Upload Speed: 0.5 Mbps
3. Nintendo Switch
4. Windows or Mac PC
Upload Speed: 0.75 Mbps
Download Speed: 3-6 Mbs
Ping Rate: 100-150 ms
Poor internet speed can be quite frustrating for gaming. But there are a few ways to optimize the speed and improve your gaming experience.
1. Move the Router to a Central Location
If your console is placed far away from the router, you might experience a slower internet speed. This especially happens when you live in a bigger house with multiple walls between you and the router.
The more obstruction between you and the router, the slower is the internet speed. So, if you move your console closer to the router, you can alleviate this problem. But if you cannot move the console, you can try to move the router.
Placing the router at the center of the house ensures you enjoy the optimum speed no matter where you are playing from. The Wi-Fi connection gets distributed evenly throughout the house.
2. Use a Wired Connection
If you can, you should use a wired connection to play games. Regardless of how close you are to the router; a wired connection will be much faster than a Wi-Fi connection.
You might not have much trouble while using the Wi-Fi connection. But as soon as you shift from the Wi-Fi connection to the Ethernet cable, you will notice the speed doubling up.
3. Use a Wi-Fi Extender
If placing the router close to the gaming console doesn’t help or a wired connection is not an option, you can get a Wi-Fi extender. These are devices that pick up the Wi-Fi signal to broadcast them around their location. With this, you can improve the internet speed even without moving the router.
You can easily get a router in the market. They are also quite easy to use and are a great solution. If you use an extender, rather than connecting to the router, you connect to the extender.
4. Turn Off Unnecessary Devices and Applications
When you see the connection lagging while you are playing games, try to cut down the amount of traffic on the network. Check if someone is streaming 4K videos on their device as you are about to begin a new match. If they are, ask them to wait for some time. You can also keep other devices from piling up on the network unnecessarily. You can pause some software or turn off some smart devices while you play. Reactivate them when you are done playing.
5. Upgrade the Ethernet Cable
You will find different kinds of Ethernet cables. Every generation is faster than the previous one. No, you don’t always need the fastest ethernet for gaming but you might encounter slower internet speed if you use one of the oldest ethernet cables. Cat 6 or Cat 5e is best suited for gaming.
6. Scan Your System for Viruses
If you are playing games on your computer, check for viruses using a virus scanner. Viruses might hide in the system and drain important resources away from what you do. This, in turn, can slow down your internet connection across other devices, too.
Viruses are not easy to find. If you remove them from your system, you can easily improve its speed. Often, when you download pirated software over the internet, you download viruses with it. If you remove these viruses, you can improve your internet speed.
7. Use the Best Setting on the Router
Logging into your Wi-Fi router will unlock a new world of optimizations. Every router has its own settings. However, they might not be the best setting for gaming. So, log into your router and tweak the settings to improve your gaming performance.
8. Use a Powerline Adapter
What if the ethernet cable is too short to be connected from the router to the gaming setup? The setup might be too far away and a cable running across the floor might not look aesthetically pleasing.
To eliminate all these issues, you can use a Powerline adapter. They use the existing electrical wiring in the house for sending an internet signal. Just connect the Ethernet cable from the router to the Powerline adapter and just plug it into the closest power outlet.
Next, plug the other adapter to an outlet close to the PC and run the other ethernet cable from the adapter to the PC. Now, the internet connection will run through the electric circuits of the house and function as a wired connection.
But ethernet is more reliable than Powerline, as the former can transmit faster internet connection. Yet it is better than nothing.
9. Upgrade the Internet Connection
Believe it or not, upgrading the internet connection is the ideal way to improve your internet speed and reduce lag when you are gaming.
You might have to spend a little bit of extra money on this solution. So, it might not be the ideal solution for all.
10. Using a VPN to Improve Internet Speed for Gaming
A good VPN for gaming can improve your connection speed and reduce latency. When you connect to a VPN server, which is close to the game’s server, you will notice an improvement in the speed. But if you connect to a server that is further away, you might notice a drop in the speed. This will cause you to experience more lag and latency. When this happens just try some other server of the VPN.
A VPN will also improve internet speed by preventing data throttling. It will redirect all traffic through its own servers and also encrypt them. Thus, even though you use the internet connection, your ISP won’t know why you are using the internet connection. Thus, they won’t identify you as a user whose internet connection has to be throttled. And, you get to enjoy reliable and fast internet at all times.
Many VPN providers claim to improve latency and increase internet speed. However, when you are choosing the best VPN, make sure you are prudent and select the one that is best for your gaming sessions.
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