For a smooth gaming experience, good internet speed is undoubtedly important. But how much is good enough?
Anything above 25 MBPS is good internet speed so 400 MBPS (MegaBits Per Second) is more than enough. However, only speed is not enough. The internet connection has to be stable for a smooth gaming experience. Many potential factors, namely, latency, ping, upload and download speeds, wired or wireless connection, and so on which affect it. Let’s dive into details!
What is a good MBPS for gaming?
Even 25 MBPS is good for gaming. If you need a good gaming experience, you have to note that the ping is lower than 40 milliseconds with low latency and packet loss. In fact, games that require minimal action time can work even on the internet speed of 3-4 Mbps.
It should not have any jitters. Now that was a lot of fancy words. Allow me to familiarise you with this jargon.
- Latency: It’s the time taken by your gaming device to contact the server. Your gaming device sends the data to the gaming server and then receives it back on your device. If the time taken to do so will be high, it will lag the game and create an unpleasant gaming experience. Therefore, make sure it is as low as possible.
- Ping: How will you measure the latency? It is measured with pings. It is calculated in milliseconds. It is the signal the device sends to the server. The lower the ping, the faster the response time.
- Packet loss: It is the loss of information before it reaches the server. When too many people are playing on the same server, this may happen. It is measured in percentage and packet loss of more than 1 or 2% will create trouble when gaming online.
- Jitters: Also known as ping spikes, it is the rate at which ping changes over a period of time. It is basically the fluctuation or variation of latency. In this case too, the lower the jitter value of the connection, the smoother the gaming experience.
Most games, including PlayStation 4 and XBox One, require a minimum download speed of 3 MBPS and upload speed of 1 MBPS.
In a nutshell, a good internet speed for gaming depends most on what kind of gaming you’re actually doing. In case you’re into competitive gaming, AKA, the Esports (For example, if you play “Valorant”, “Fortnite”, “League of the Legends”, “Call of Duty” or the like), you would prefer both high download and upload speeds to prevent any sort of “lag” (or, as mentioned before, “latency”, the more technical term).
That being said, an Internet speed of above 20 Mbps is usually ideal for gaming, and especially multiplayer or “competitive” gaming. But remember that anything lower than 20 Mbps falls into the danger of being in the “lag zone”, and there’s nothing more frustrating than lagging exactly when you were about to pull off a series of some sick head shots.
While the speed of the internet is not the most important factor, it is still extremely relevant in order to have a seamless online gaming experience. And in order to get a fluid gaming experience, a wired internet connection is deemed far better than a wireless wi-fi connection.
Nowadays we use wireless connections everywhere, from homes to offices to the homes that have now been converted into offices. It saves us a lot of mess the cables would have created. Yet the wired connection remains unbeatable.
Advantages of a wired Ethernet Connection
What will get you the most reliable network for online gaming? The wired internet. Yes, it is true that wi-fi has now come a long way and is far more developed now as compared to how it started.
Yet, the waves used by Wi-fi may be interrupted by many factors such as the obstacles in the house (the walls, the doors, and so on), the distance between the device and the router, and even interference from other devices using the same wi-fi connection (the smartphones and laptops of the house).
All these interferences reduce the packets or might delay the rate of the packet transfer, which means high latency. This will reduce not only the download but also the internet speed in general.
In the case of an ethernet cable, the internet travels through a physical cable and therefore, the above-mentioned obstacles can not affect the internet speed. It will give you a much better, smoother gaming experience.
There are 5 types of internet connections
- DSL: It stands for Digital Subscriber Line. This connection is created by a telephone line which is generally made of copper and gives a theoretical speed of 100 Mbps. However, DSL is usually slower than 100Mbps and might vary depending on the place due to infrastructure.
- Fibre Optics: It is the most modern form of internet connection. Using light to transmit the data, it gives the fastest and the most stable connection possible. Unfortunately, they are the least extensive internet connection type and so, most people lack access to the fiber-optic networks at their place.
- Coaxial Cables: These are used in cable TV. While they offer much faster stable connections than Digital Subscriber Line, the speed and quality of the service vary greatly as it depends on the internet service provider.
- Satellite Connection: Here, an orbiting satellite that creates a connection with the internet. It is not limited by the infrastructure on the ground since it only needs an antenna. Yet, it is quite expensive. Also, its speed is comparatively lower and tends to have latency issues.
- Mobile Networks: These are the most widely used types of networks. It is the internet connection used for mobile phones and its speed depends entirely upon the network coverage. Also, the price to speed ratio is extremely high. So it is suggested not to game with a mobile internet connection, and stay with DSL Coaxial cables and fiber optic.
How can you increase the internet speed for gaming?
- It is suggested to keep a check on the internet speed through an online internet speed test which will give you the upload and download speeds.
- Use a wired connection for the internet rather than a wireless one.
- When using a wi-fi, keep the router as close as possible to the gaming device in order to avoid any kind of interference from the obstacles.
- Check the ping and other details of the server if the game is lagging. Pick a local server since it’ll have the lowest ping. For example, if you pick a Tokyo server, it’ll have a higher ping and will lead to an interrupted gaming experience.
- Keep your system updated to the latest version and if there is a problem with the router, update or change it for a better gaming experience.
- Keep an eye on your internet speed after following such measures to check if it’s working for you or not.
Can Gaming affect Internet Speed?
While gaming does affect the internet speed to some extent, it is the video streaming service that has the most impact on internet speed. Services such as Netflix or Youtube, particularly in the case of 4k videos, make the largest impact on the bandwidth of the internet, after the upload and download of huge data files.
You must have heard of bandwidth before. It’s simply how much information an internet connection can handle. This used to be a major problem for popular sites in the earlier days of the internet. Sites that had high traffic would need to increase their bandwidth or have their site either get charged through service providers or suffer from a slower performance.
The most common metaphor that keeps coming up with bandwidth is that of a highway. The more cars on a highway, the more it crowds the space. If the same amount of cars (users) is now crowding a road (site) with two lanes instead of four, things could get messy and complicated. In today’s times, running a server uses a lot of internet bandwidth since it has to keep a track of all the people on the server.
The same is the case in voice chats, downloading new games or updates, and so on. However, playing games from a disc does not use any bandwidth. Nowadays, in homes, there can be a number of various devices connected to the same internet connection simultaneously.
They are not only laptops or gaming consoles, but also tablets, mobile phones, and so on, and all of these use the internet bandwidth. In fact, in the case of mobile phones, there are multiple apps that get regular updates on the background level. It also uses a lot of data.
Again, as mentioned earlier, video streaming is the biggest consumer of the data and also voice chat like with Duo or Facetime (now even Whatsapp and Instagram have this feature )consumes a lot.
Therefore, it is not only the speed but the stability and the kind of devices the gamer is using that ultimately account for a gaming experience.
- Read More: Is 10 MBPS Fast Internet?