Gaming is a pastime that is shared by millions of people. It has become more prevalent in recent years, with gaming consoles and online streaming becoming more accessible to the general public. Over two-thirds of American adults and three-quarters of kids younger than 18 play video games. With such popularity comes the need for improved internet connections, as a slow connection can cause frustrations and affect your gaming experience.
Internet Speed for Gaming
The internet connection you use for gaming is vital. You could have lag or disconnection issues if your connection isn’t fast enough. You might also have trouble connecting with friends and playing games with them.
Here are the recommended minimum requirements to play games online:
- A download speed of at least 5 Mbps (megabits per second)
- An upload speed of at least 3 Mbps (megabits per second)
- Latency of less than 100 ms
Download Speed, Upload Speed, and Latency
If you’re a gamer, you’ve probably heard of these terms. But what do they mean in the context of gaming?
Download speed is how fast your data can be transferred from one place to another. Upload speed refers to how fast your data can be transferred from your device to somewhere else, like your router or a game server.
Latency is the time it takes for information to reach its destination. If it’s too high, you’ll notice lag, or an unpleasant delay, when playing online games with other players.
One of the best ways to ensure a fast connection is to use fiber broadband. Fiber ISPs tend to have the lowest latencies. Hence, when you use this type of connection, you will get more bandwidth, thereby reducing the latency and improving your gaming experience.
Factors That Affect Internet Speed
Several factors affect your internet speed. These include:
- The number of devices connected to the network. If multiple people use the same Wi-Fi connection, your speeds will slow down for everyone.
- The amount of data being transferred. This can be affected by streaming services such as Netflix or downloading large files like games or movies over a VPN connection.
- Distance from router to the device, the farther away you are from your router, the slower your internet will be
How Much Speed Do You Need?
If you’re a gamer, you should know that there’s a difference between megabits per second (Mbps) and megabytes per second (MBps). All you need to know is that Mbps is the amount of data being transferred over your Internet connection, while MBps measures how much data is being downloaded.
Generally speaking, you can seek help from a reliable internet service provider (ISP) to play online games and connect with friends. Research by Restream shows that 54% of content creators stream about Esports. If you want to play on Twitch or YouTube Live at the highest possible quality, or if gaming is your profession, you will need fast internet speeds.
For gaming to be enjoyable, your connection must have enough bandwidth,
- Speeds below 5 Mbps are considered slow.
- Speeds above 15 Mbps are considered fast.
- Anything higher than 50 Mbps makes for very smooth gameplay experiences.
Choosing an Internet Provider
As mentioned, seeking help from a reliable internet provider can get you the best gaming experience. But how do you select an internet service provider?
Select a provider that has good coverage in your area. Your internet speed will be determined by the number of users in your neighborhood and the quality of their equipment. If you’re in a location with many other people using high-speed services, you may experience slower speeds than someone living out in the middle of nowhere with only one person on their block.
Another thing to consider is that the service provider should be local. Suppose you stay in Pinellas County, Florida, and hire services from an internet provider based in Broward County. This would impact your connection speed and impair your gaming experience. Hence, if you are located in Pinellas, you should choose an Internet Service Provider in Pinellas, Florida. Similarly, if you are in Broward, choose a local service provider.
You must also choose a provider that offers high-speed connections. The bandwidth available from each provider varies greatly. Some service providers offer up to 40 Mbps, while others only provide 3 Mbps or less. The more bandwidth available for gaming, the better your gameplay experience will be.
Lastly, you must choose a provider who offers good customer service and technical support when things go wrong with their service. Suppose something goes wrong with your connection, whether because there was too much traffic on their network or someone cut through their cable line. In such a scenario, it’s essential that the company is easy to reach and able to assist quickly when problems arise so that disruptions don’t affect your gameplay experience too much.
According to data, USA residents are currently enjoying 167 Mbps of download and 22 Mbps of upload speed from their broadband connections as of August 2022. This is a good indicator of the availability of decent internet providers. Shop around till you find a good fit for your needs.
Faster Internet Improves Your Gaming Experience
Having a faster internet connection helps improve your gaming experience. The reason for this is simple; you do not want to be playing games that aren’t running smoothly or freezing up entirely. This can happen if your internet speed isn’t fast enough to support the game’s file size and graphics requirements.
The gaming industry is huge in the USA. According to data, US consumers spent $60.4 billion on video games in 2021. And if you’re not getting a good experience after splurging on your new favorite game, you might want to consider upgrading your internet connection.
For games that require downloads and installation, like those on Steam, ensure you have enough bandwidth for downloaded and installed files. Here, a good rule of thumb is 10GB per hour (30GB every two hours). That said, if most of your game time is spent online, this might not be an issue unless you’re playing with friends who live far away (in which case you may need more bandwidth).
If playing offline, this isn’t an issue either. As long as everything is downloaded beforehand, it’s ready when needed. However, depending on how many people want access at once, this could become problematic if everyone wants access simultaneously.
Hopefully, this article has given you a better idea of how to improve your gaming experience. As mentioned earlier, the most important thing is to choose a provider and plan that offers consistent speeds. So if you enjoy gaming, don’t avoid a faster connection. Whether playing with friends online or just chilling and enjoying yourself, faster broadband speeds will only benefit you. It’s convenient, too. You can play on your home computer without worrying about lag.